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Sydney2015 Posted - May 05 2017 : 05:42:50 AM
I decided to take the calf off of AppleButter when she has it. But, I don't know how it will work, do I take the calf away immediately, or after a while. One woman I know offer me old cow colostrum, which will be better for the calf's first feeding. I know how to feed and what times of day, just not when I take the calf from the mom. Can anyone help me? This is the only thing that I haven't been able to find in all of my books! It should be somewhere! I might have to look later on.
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Sydney2015 Posted - May 05 2017 : 09:41:14 AM
Thank you! Two days ago, I received the last of the supplies I need(I got some at our local Fleet Farm, I tried for local small businesses, but no one had milking supplies, and the rest just got shipped to me from Paets Dept. ), I made sure to have a lot gloves on hand! This lady that said she might be able to get me some colostrum from an older cow manages the dairy I got AppleButter from and she also did AppleButter's Artificial Insemination. She said that maybe I should feed one feeding of colostrum from the older cow, then let the calf drink mom's milk/colostrum. I would leave the calf on her, but it won't be old enough to wean by the time AppleButter goes to the county fair, and I don't want to stress out the calf(or AppleButter, especially if she is not in her normal location). So I think it's just easier from the get-go. I love your calves MaryJane, so cute!! Thank you for helping me!!
maryjane Posted - May 05 2017 : 09:01:03 AM
Here's a run down of my morning that I think might help.

I was greeted by hungry calves waiting for a bottle, but first I have to heat up some of yesterday's milk. I use a hot plate and put the 1/2 gallon canning jars into a large stock pot until the milk is about 102 degrees, then pour it into a bottle with a nipple (the one I linked to above). Lizzy, born 4/23 is drinking about 3/4 gallon twice per day or one and half milk bottles (a calf quits just like that when they're full--Done! they say). MayBelle, born 4 days ago and bigger, is drinking a full gallon twice per day or 2 milk bottles.

Note that my dairy girl, MayBelle, born with a full set of teeth is already seriously dining on Chaffhaye, and she's only four days old!

While the milk is heating for the two girls, I bring Miss Daisy in to be cleaned and then into the parlor to be milked. I hook her into a stanchion and let my little bull, Larkspur, nurse while she eats a nibble of Chaffhaye.

When he's done, I let him loose to run and play while momma gets milked.

Before I take Miss Daisy into the parlor, the two girls get fed their bottles (that are now warm enough) and then they get turned loose outside with their mommas who are in line next to be milked. The chase is on! The calves want to run so the mommas try to follow for a bit and then give up and start lining up instead to be milked.

Eventually, I herd the calves into the orchard unless it's going to rain. I have a caf-cart that I sometimes use to move them around. The cart is designed with a head lock front so already they're being trained to go into a head lock.

The girls we handle as much as we can, the little guy, Larkspur, not so much, although it's hard--he's adorable!
maryjane Posted - May 05 2017 : 06:26:03 AM
Good morning Sydney. I would give the calf her momma's colostrum, fresh and good. You can let the calf take it from the teat. It might take as long as four hours for the calf to get up and suckle. Every calf is different. Just watch and wait and observe. Once the calf suckles, that usually triggers the passage of the afterbirth that you'll want to remove so the momma cow doesn't have to eat it to avoid attracting predators. (It usually upsets their tummy.) If calf doesn't eat within, say, four hours, you'll want to milk the colostrum out (give momma some relief because her udder will be very full) and bottle feed it to the calf. Here's a good set-up for that:

Remember to keep everything very clean and sterile. Gloved hands, etc.

In order for the calf to bond with you, make sure you start handling it right away (unless it's a boy that you're going to raise as a bull) by getting your face next to the calf's face, letting it hear your voice, rubbing and drying it all over with a towel while the momma also licks it and makes her momma sound. Connie makes a soft "murr, murr" sound that is nice.

During this time you want to dip the umbilicus with iodine.

With the three calves I had this past month, I'm only letting the boy calf nurse on his momma because I'm going to keep him intact, but only twice per day. I feed the two heifers twice per day, 12 hours apart with a bottle and then let them with their mommas for important licking and bonding. My calves never seem to eat if they aren't hungry so they don't try to nurse on momma. They're more interested in playing and sleeping during the day. I feed my calves at 7 am and 7 pm.

Anyway, that's what works for me. It's a kind of integrated approach and accomplishes my goal of having the calf bond with both humans and momma. Unless you get a bull. If you're going to steer it, then bond away.

Hope this makes sense. Make sure you're ready with everything and make sure you check on AppleButter throughout the night when she seems ready.