goat milk or replacer for orphan calf?

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My fil is giving us a 3-6 week-old orphaned calf (don't know exact age). It's strong and healthy. Would commercial calf milk replacer be best or goat milk?

-- Elizabeth in e tx (kimprice@peoplescom.net), May 21, 2001


I hit "submit" too soon! I also would like to know if we can pen it up with our goats, and what else it needs besides milk?


-- Elizabeth in e tx (kimprice@peoplescom.net), May 21, 2001.

If you have goat milk use it .You may want to water it down a little .Do the goats have horns ? If so they might hurt it .It will need hay and some calf starter grain.

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), May 21, 2001.

By all means, use goat's milk if you have it. At the age of your calf you should be able to feed 2 quarts of straight goat's milk morning and night. I have never particularly had good luck putting calves and goats together for very long. Each species seems to want to play in different ways and a calf that age can sure play rough if he gets going. My milk production went down the only time I did it.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), May 22, 2001.

I agree with Diane. In fact in dairy goats it is fairly well known not to dilute milk with water, it changes the fat and the guts ability to form a curd. Whether this is the same for calves, you got me their! I actually think alot of the milk replacer problems are very simply the gut not being able to form a curd to digest all this liquid. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), May 22, 2001.

I have been raising day-old calves on goat milk for years. Same goes for pigs. They all do very well on goat milk. I use milk replacer only if goat milk supply is down. When about 4 weeks old, add a sweet feed formulated for calves and provide access too hay or grass. As it grows its appetite increases and a gallon of milk a day is not sufficient any longer. And I have had no problems letting the calf out on the same pasture as the goats, it does not necessarily mean that they will "run" together as a group. Karin

-- karin macaulay (kmacaulay@co.brazos.tx.us), May 22, 2001.

We got a calf last fall, he was only a few weeks old, had to feed milk replacer since I wasnt milking any goats at that time. The only stall I had was the one with a 5 month old nanny so I put him in with her. They are the best of buddies. Still share the same stall and Molly[the goat] sticks right by his side when they are out in the pasture.They even lay down next to each other to sleep. She will miss him when the time comes to butcher the steer. I figure when the time comes I will try to get another calf and see what she does.

-- tracy (murfette@stargate.net), May 22, 2001.

You may already have the calf by now and this may be a moot point (or you may already know this and I may be preaching to the choir), but get some of whatever the calf is currently eating and ease it over to goat milk over several feedings to avoid scouring. Have fun with the new little one!

-- Sheryl in ME (radams@sacoriver.net), May 27, 2001.

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