farmerjan

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Just had an opportunity to get on as I have been very busy with work, and dr appt and rain and unexpectedly getting over 200 broilers, and more work.
For what it's worth from someone who has beef cattle and nurse cows and has raised more than my share of bottle babies. 4-12 weeks is the worst time to get a calf off a beef cow. They are firmly established with the momma, not yet ready for weaning or able to eat enough to sustain themselves. As you are finding out. The vet is right, tubing will only cause more problems. Some calves just will not take a bottle. Sometimes they will take it out of a bucket if they get thirsty enough. My suggestions have all been made by others... Getting the other calf in should help with the loneliness factor and hopefully it will "follow the leader". There is no surefire way to get them to eat.
One thing, don't know what kind of nipple you are using on the bottle. If it is the "standard size" baby calf nipple...... get a LAMB nipple. They make them to fit on the 2 qt bottles. Most beef cows do not have big fat teats. I have much better luck getting a calf to drink from a lamb nipple than the calf nipple. In fact, I don't use calf nipples anymore. The lamb nipple that fits on the 2 qt bottle is sufficiently long enough and more shaped like a beef cow's teat, that they will often take it better.
Since you have been tube feeding, I am assuming that you have cattle experience. You need to get the calf where he cannot pull away. and see if you can't get the lamb nipple into it's mouth and stroke the calf's throat to try to get it to swallow. Sometimes I will pull the nipple in and out a little, to get the milk to sorta get squeezed into their mouth/throat... sometimes I will squeeze the nipple at the bottle end to get some milk flowing while it is in the calf's mouth. Unfortunately, you are dealing with a very difficult size, as they are pretty strong and lively at that age, so hard to hold.
All the other suggestions like the molasses will not hurt.

There just aren't any good foolproof answers for you. Hopefully he will follow the other calf's examples and try what it is eating. Is the other calf fairly friendly? You mentioned that the cow would never allow another calf to nurse. So I don't know how friendly the calf is. You need to keep them in pretty close quarters so that they learn they are dependent on you for feed, water, everything. At this point that is your best hope if you cannot get it to try the calf nipple.
I have some first calf heifers calving now, and caught one with 3 calves on her this morning..... most all of our home raised cattle will tolerate other calves nursing them. I have grafted many calves onto my jersey and guernsey cross nurse cows. Have one now with 3 on her that she will raise and wean. But getting a beef calf to even transition to a nurse cow at that age would be very difficult.
 

Nao57

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There is no fever. The antibiotic that the vet gave him took care of that very quickly.
As I told someone else, I put my older calf in with him this morning. Maybe that will do the trick.
The coloring of that cow on the right in the pic, in full white is very interesting. I can't recall seeing very many like that.

Around here most of them are dark browns or blacks, or with brown and white spotting together.
 

farmerjan

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@Jesusfreak101 is right about the milk/milk replacer. Had one calf that would not drink replacer for love or money. I finally wound up with getting milk from a dairy because all my cows were dry at the time. It has a different taste than milk and this calf would have rather starved than drank the replacer. I didn't think of that.
 

Promiseofglory

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I have a lamb nipple, and I will try that with the molasses on it. The other calf is very friendly, and will eat out of your hand. She’s not ready to be touched, but that isn’t far away now that she is off her mama.
The mama is the boss in the herd. She will eat out of your hand, but I’m always a little more careful around her as she wasn’t one of ours and is a little pushy. She was trying to butt this baby through the fence when we first brought him home.
I literally could go up to this baby and put the tube down his throat without a fight. I put his behind in a corner, but he didn’t struggle much. I can stroke him all over and he doesn’t move away. To move him outside from his stall, I walk behind him and loudly clap my hands. This isn’t normal. It would delight me to have him jump up and run away if he saw me coming.
If he would just eat something, I’ll give him more of it. I still have great pasture, although another problem has just arisen. The buzzards have spotted him.
The coloring of that cow on the right in the pic, in full white is very interesting. I can't recall seeing very many like that.

Around here most of them are dark browns or blacks, or with brown and white spotting together.
The older calf is purebred Charolais. She is the whitest of our Charolais, as most of them have a champagne coloring. The pic is her with her mama.
 

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farmerjan

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One other thing I thought of..... if you see her drinking water, put some electrolytes in it. It will help to boost her energy and it normally doesn't affect the taste very much. Won't hurt the other calf except to make her a little runny in the manure..... Oh, and give her a shot of B-12...or B-Complex...... the B-12 is an appetite stimulant that I have used often on animals not wanting to eat. Vet told me that years ago. I would think that 1- 1 1/2cc a day for 3-5 days. I think you can give it subq or im.... I was giving a full grown cow 10 cc a day for a week and she finally got to wanting to eat. She had gotten cut and it got infected out at pasture one summer and we didn't see it right away....she was always up with the group, and we don't make every single cow get up and walk when we are checking cattle. Finally one day she was away from the rest and didn't want to move when we went out there to her and saw it was infected and swollen. Got her in the catch pen, called vet, and loaded her up on antibiotics, cleaned it out although it was not as bad as it looked after opening it up more to drain, and gave her the B-12 for a week. After about 3 days she showed some interest in feed and by the end of the week, she was wanting out.
It sounds like you have a fair amount of experience with cattle so I am sure you are trying all the tricks. One other thing that many people do that is not good; don't make the hole at the end of the nipple alot bigger for the milk to "run out of". If it seems to be hard for the milk to come out, at the base of the nipple part, there is usually a small round looking spot that is actually for the air to go into the bottle as the animal sucks the milk out so the bottle doesn't collapse. Open it up a little, I often use something like a fork to ream it out, so that the hole is more open/flexible. It's not supposed to be open to see through, but it has a little bit of the rubber over it, and sometimes it is not letting the air in well. If you make the nipple end too big, you risk the chance of the calf getting the milk down into their airway and into their lungs....literally going down the wrong pipe. Especially often happens with newer younger calves.

Nice looking Charolais. Do you raise the purebreds? We have several in our commercial beef herd. Actually find that if they are treated right, they are pretty okay to work with. We run mostly angus, and angus cross cattle, a few Chars, a few Herefords, a few other odd balls.....Some of the chars are bought, we buy and sell some breds and such.... the bought ones are 50/50 on disposition, but some of the calves are pretty good. And they raise some pretty he//acious (as in nice big healthy) calves too.
 

Promiseofglory

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@Jesusfreak101 is right about the milk/milk replacer. Had one calf that would not drink replacer for love or money. I finally wound up with getting milk from a dairy because all my cows were dry at the time. It has a different taste than milk and this calf would have rather starved than drank the replacer. I didn't think of that.
That’s also easy to try...
One other thing I thought of..... if you see her drinking water, put some electrolytes in it. It will help to boost her energy and it normally doesn't affect the taste very much. Won't hurt the other calf except to make her a little runny in the manure..... Oh, and give her a shot of B-12...or B-Complex...... the B-12 is an appetite stimulant that I have used often on animals not wanting to eat. Vet told me that years ago. I would think that 1- 1 1/2cc a day for 3-5 days. I think you can give it subq or im.... I was giving a full grown cow 10 cc a day for a week and she finally got to wanting to eat. She had gotten cut and it got infected out at pasture one summer and we didn't see it right away....she was always up with the group, and we don't make every single cow get up and walk when we are checking cattle. Finally one day she was away from the rest and didn't want to move when we went out there to her and saw it was infected and swollen. Got her in the catch pen, called vet, and loaded her up on antibiotics, cleaned it out although it was not as bad as it looked after opening it up more to drain, and gave her the B-12 for a week. After about 3 days she showed some interest in feed and by the end of the week, she was wanting out.
It sounds like you have a fair amount of experience with cattle so I am sure you are trying all the tricks. One other thing that many people do that is not good; don't make the hole at the end of the nipple alot bigger for the milk to "run out of". If it seems to be hard for the milk to come out, at the base of the nipple part, there is usually a small round looking spot that is actually for the air to go into the bottle as the animal sucks the milk out so the bottle doesn't collapse. Open it up a little, I often use something like a fork to ream it out, so that the hole is more open/flexible. It's not supposed to be open to see through, but it has a little bit of the rubber over it, and sometimes it is not letting the air in well. If you make the nipple end too big, you risk the chance of the calf getting the milk down into their airway and into their lungs....literally going down the wrong pipe. Especially often happens with newer younger calves.

Nice looking Charolais. Do you raise the purebreds? We have several in our commercial beef herd. Actually find that if they are treated right, they are pretty okay to work with. We run mostly angus, and angus cross cattle, a few Chars, a few Herefords, a few other odd balls.....Some of the chars are bought, we buy and sell some breds and such.... the bought ones are 50/50 on disposition, but some of the calves are pretty good. And they raise some pretty he//acious (as in nice big healthy) calves too.
The Charolais don’t seem to have the disposition that other breeds have. They seem a little more high-strung. However, we have found that raising our own, and putting the effort into handling them makes a big difference. We cross the Charolais with Black Angus bulls, and the calves are apparently very desirable to buyers as we find our calves at the top of the charts at the sale barn.
We have a few Hereford and Hereford cross cows now, too. Hands down, they become pets with little effort as they have a temperament that is naturally sweet.
I looked for vitamin injections at the farm supply store earlier this week, and they either didn’t have them, or were out of them. I used to routinely give them to newborn colts, but haven’t had need of them for years, so I’m not sure if they are even available any longer. I bought instead a loose grained water-tank vitamin additive with electrolytes and added a tiny amount to the milk bottle. I would rather have the injectables and will check online and see if I can order some.
However much I know about cows, I seem to always fall short in knowledge for the next thing that comes along. I have a great vet, but there is no substitute for the help and experience of others who are in the cow world. I appreciate this forum, and thank you to all!
The lamb nipple was a partial success, and the calf did try to suck on it. I got all excited when he butted the bottle!! He just ran out of energy and I ended up finishing the bottle with a dosing syringe. I’ll keep trying.
 

farmerjan

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If you have trouble finding the Vit B-12, pm me and I will get you some and send it. Jeffers or Valley vet ought to have it. They are still available here.

Keep at it with the lamb nipple. I think once he gets it he will go to town. They can be so difficult sometimes. And we have found that anything with brown swiss (dairy) and "ear breeds" if they have been on cows, they are twice as stubborn to get onto a bottle.
Alot of the charolais are more high strung, but the angus/char crosses produce the smokey calves that do well here also. The char gives them more growth and size, without making them too "nutty".... Plus if they have that black nose, the buyers will pay more for the calves than a straight char because the angus is what the buyers here in the east want. All marketing, because the angus breed assoc did a SUPERB job of promoting the breed and pushing the whole taste thing. And another thing, the marbling of the angus at a younger age gives the char/angus crosses an advantage.... the growth is faster and the marbling is good.... so they grade better at the kill plants.
 

Promiseofglory

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If you have trouble finding the Vit B-12, pm me and I will get you some and send it. Jeffers or Valley vet ought to have it. They are still available here.

Keep at it with the lamb nipple. I think once he gets it he will go to town. They can be so difficult sometimes. And we have found that anything with brown swiss (dairy) and "ear breeds" if they have been on cows, they are twice as stubborn to get onto a bottle.
Alot of the charolais are more high strung, but the angus/char crosses produce the smokey calves that do well here also. The char gives them more growth and size, without making them too "nutty".... Plus if they have that black nose, the buyers will pay more for the calves than a straight char because the angus is what the buyers here in the east want. All marketing, because the angus breed assoc did a SUPERB job of promoting the breed and pushing the whole taste thing. And another thing, the marbling of the angus at a younger age gives the char/angus crosses an advantage.... the growth is faster and the marbling is good.... so they grade better at the kill plants.
I did find the vitamins at Jeffers and ordered it. Jeffers is fast, so I should have it soon. I bought buttermilk and added it to his diet today. He actually ate a little hay with the other calf this morning, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
His eyes are bright, no symptoms of illness, he reacts to noises, he’s growing like a weed. He’s just so lethargic. He doesn’t cry when he’s hungry, he doesn’t cry for his mama. He was in exactly the same position in the stall this morning as he was last night covered over with a light blanket. Frustrating.
 
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