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Old 23rd September 2008, 08:05 PM   #1
edster951
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Calves weight gain...

From Last week-->This week (chest measurement)

Calf 1 (Bullcalf), 77.5cm --> 81cm (47kg-->52kg= 5kg gain)
Calf 2 (Heifer), 80cm --> 81cm (50kg-->52kg=2kg gain)

The Heifer doenst seem as hungry as the bullcalf, he guzzles his milk, she takes her time, we have to shut her in thier "bedroom" to feed her.

They are both onto thier third ba of CMR between them.

Both on 2.5litres twice a day.

adlib water, doesn't go down too quick, and Moozli, same as the water.

If they get too much they get runny poos, so I drop it back a bit until the poos firms up again for a few days then up the volume again.

According to you experts out there, do they seem ok?
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Old 23rd September 2008, 09:19 PM   #2
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Re: Calves weight gain...

I used to give my calves 2 litres of milk a feed twice a day, a total of 4 litres, plus mooslie, and water adlib, so I think that you can up his milk and gradually up hers as well.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 09:26 PM   #3
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Re: Calves weight gain...

I got to see my first mooslie today I hadn't realised that y'all were actually talking about a brand, just was using mooslie instead of muesli when mentioning it.



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Old 24th September 2008, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: Calves weight gain...

My husband rears 180 calves (has for years) they get 2 litres 2x daily. Theyr'e holstein fresian but there are NZ crosses as well. They are growing beautifully are friendly, healthy and well.
They need the pellets to stimulate their rumen. Ours are up to 1/2 a kg per calf at the moment (but are older than yours Eddie), they are weaned when they get to a kg per calf.

Ours never liked the moozlie (looks like big bits of hardboard and grains.) What sort are yours getting?
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Old 24th September 2008, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Daily weight gain should be better than that Ed - the heifers DWG is especially poor. I seem to recall that she wasn't a robost calf when you bought her but at this age she should be doing so much better. She could be just a poor calf or maybe she has something wrong with her. I'd be real worried about her. Your bull calf sounds OK but if you knock him back to 2 litres twice a day he'll eat more moozlee. Continue to follow the mixing instructions on the bag of the CMReplacer tho.

Have you got the calves penned or running out on pasture? If on pasture, the grass won't be benefitting them at all at this stage - it'll probably be going straight through them unprocessed. Their bodies can't process it until their rumens are developed properly. Moozlee and barley straw are the quickest ways to develop a calf's rumen. The advantage of calves living on pasture tho. is less chance of picking up bugs although if your pens haven't had calves in them before they should be fine.

Tell us more about the heifer. Is her coat dull and rough and is she lethargic?

What you want is a bright eye, wet muzzle, lots of hooning, non-droopy ears, clean bum, cud chewing (mine start cudding between 7 - 10 days old as I feed lucerne and barley straw) Cudding indicates that the rumen is getting cranked up nicely and that they're getting some fibre.

The moozlee I use has molasses in it. Cattle of all ages do exceptionally well when getting molasses each day. If the moozlee you're using doesn't have molasses, phone around the farm supply stores to see if they have a bulk tank of it. I take my containers along to CRT for filling. Calves would just need a tablespoon morning and night.

I'd also add some natural yogurt to the heifers bottle. I use the dried easio packet stuff. Add 1 tablespoon to her bottle. This will get the good bacteria in her gut cranked up.
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Old 24th September 2008, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Also, a smaller hole in the teat so they have to suck harder will get the milk into the abomasum where it can be digested rather than into the rumen which will cause stomach upsets.
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Old 24th September 2008, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midge View Post
Daily weight gain should be better than that Ed - the heifers DWG is especially poor. I seem to recall that she wasn't a robost calf when you bought her but at this age she should be doing so much better. She could be just a poor calf or maybe she has something wrong with her. I'd be real worried about her. Your bull calf sounds OK but if you knock him back to 2 litres twice a day he'll eat more moozlee. Continue to follow the mixing instructions on the bag of the CMReplacer tho.

Have you got the calves penned or running out on pasture? If on pasture, the grass won't be benefitting them at all at this stage - it'll probably be going straight through them unprocessed. Their bodies can't process it until their rumens are developed properly. Moozlee and barley straw are the quickest ways to develop a calf's rumen. The advantage of calves living on pasture tho. is less chance of picking up bugs although if your pens haven't had calves in them before they should be fine.

Tell us more about the heifer. Is her coat dull and rough and is she lethargic?

What you want is a bright eye, wet muzzle, lots of hooning, non-droopy ears, clean bum, cud chewing (mine start cudding between 7 - 10 days old as I feed lucerne and barley straw) Cudding indicates that the rumen is getting cranked up nicely and that they're getting some fibre.
She seems fine except for her poor weight gain. She shows everything you note, bright eyes, wet nose, pricked up ears. She's just a little slow drinking from the bottle.

They have thier own penned / grass area to run and feed in which they do...

Quote:
The moozlee I use has molasses in it. Cattle of all ages do exceptionally well when getting molasses each day. If the moozlee you're using doesn't have molasses, phone around the farm supply stores to see if they have a bulk tank of it. I take my containers along to CRT for filling. Calves would just need a tablespoon morning and night.
The moozli I use also has molasses in it. I have it free choice for them during the day. We go in every now and then, and put moozli on our fingers and hands, and get them to suck it off, and pour a palmful into thier mouths.

Quote:
I'd also add some natural yogurt to the heifers bottle. I use the dried easio packet stuff. Add 1 tablespoon to her bottle. This will get the good bacteria in her gut cranked up.
I might get the vet to check her out on Monday if she hasn't shown much weight gain. I measure thier chests each week.
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Old 24th September 2008, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Just got back from giving them thier pm bottle.

2.5litres each.

She seemed to drink it better tonight, she has been sluggish feeding the past few days. Tonight she hoed in.

Tonight as well as feeding better she was butting the bottle. The past few days she has been stopping after 500mls and taking breaths, Not tonight though.

Poos. Noticed some constipated looking poos in the outer area of the pen. Looked likes broad bean sized lumps of stuck together poo with slight blood staining. In the pen was softer, similar coloured poo. Colour mid way between karitane yellow and normal brown poo. More khaki colour.
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Old 24th September 2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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Re: Calves weight gain...

I think having her checked out by the Vet would be money well spent Eddie. No matter what your plans are for her future, you're spending good money on tucker so you want a good animal out of it

There's something wrong when the good volume of milk you're feeding her isn't being converted into flesh.

You don't mention if she's cudding, is she? And what are her energy levels like?
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Old 24th September 2008, 09:02 PM   #10
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Re: Calves weight gain...

If you mean, by cudding< chewing when she is sitting/lying, I think she is, I'd have to look out for it. I'm sure both of them are.

She is, hopefully, going to be our housecow.

She doesn't seem as energetic as the bullcalf, but then she doesnt just sit there either.
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Old 25th September 2008, 07:22 AM   #11
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Drank her milk well this morning, and scooped in a couple of handful of moozli into her mouth....she seems fine, just doesn't put on weight.

If I used the condition scoring for sheep, she'd be on the skinny side, maybe a 2, loin bones easy felt, ribs easily felt.

I'll take some pictures of her tonight, and maybe a video and post it on youtube.
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Old 25th September 2008, 09:54 AM   #12
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Re: Calves weight gain...

how old are the calves? What breed?
Mine are late july and putting the tape around them the lightest was 92, the rest around 98-104kg
Granted they are friesan bulls.
Get as much meal and roughage into them. Its a Proven Fact that milk does not develop the rumen, after 10days the calves can digest 'solids' Moosile is a good starter meal but in my opinion, you need a high protein meal to really get them putting on the weight.
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Old 25th September 2008, 04:01 PM   #13
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Calves are 4-5 weeks old....both jerseys.

Went into the vet on the way to work this morning. Spoke to one of them.

They said it could be a parasite burdon and to drench them, so I got some Cydectin PourOn and drenched them when I got home, 5mls each.

I got the pouron because it's the only way I can drench the older cows, who each got 25-30mls each.

She said to watch them and see what happens.
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Old 25th September 2008, 06:46 PM   #14
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Not the best picture....hope it gives you an idea.

http://www.lifestyleblock.co.nz/vfor...9&pictureid=32
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Old 25th September 2008, 07:06 PM   #15
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Ooooher i do dispise vets that use those words!!!
If any doubt of a parasite burden a FEC works better than buying expensive pour-on.
I looked in my little yellow LIC bible and at 10weeks they should be around 80kg, so if they are 4-5 weeks now, ill say you are right on target.
Please dont go drenching willy nilly, especially young animals, drench resistance is hard to get rid of, but easy to avoid
Nice alert eyes, shine to the coat. id say you are doing things good. Dont change what you are doing its working.
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Old 25th September 2008, 07:13 PM   #16
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Re: Calves weight gain...

edster, jersey calves do tend to be skinny looking for the first 5-6 weeks, your calf looks fine to my eye, nice and bright looking, just keep on keeping on, you are doing a good job and good on you for caring so much. You could increase the strength of the milk mix a little if yu want- costs more tho- otherwise chuck in 5mls full of cider vinegar with the milk.The heifers do seem to be a slower than the boys so dont panic . they are a lot tougher than they look , if they are really sick you will knowithout a doubt.
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Old 25th September 2008, 07:43 PM   #17
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Re: Calves weight gain...

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Ooooher i do dispise vets that use those words!!!
If any doubt of a parasite burden a FEC works better than buying expensive pour-on.
I looked in my little yellow LIC bible and at 10weeks they should be around 80kg, so if they are 4-5 weeks now, ill say you are right on target.
Please dont go drenching willy nilly, especially young animals, drench resistance is hard to get rid of, but easy to avoid
Nice alert eyes, shine to the coat. id say you are doing things good. Dont change what you are doing its working.
I assume FEC is Faecal Egg Count?

I needed some pouron anyway for the older cows, so it's no big deal to get some.

She ate (drank) well tonight as well.

I suppose its hard to tell as the lambs are wee fatties, and doing this for the first time, it's hard to see your animals bones and not be worried.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old 25th September 2008, 09:43 PM   #18
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Please tell me about the ear tag. I've seen that type (which looks like the ones we buy as Direct To Slaughter tags) in young calves for sale on TM and wondered if they're being used for initial i.d. before it is legally required that they have the "real" ones.
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Old 25th September 2008, 10:23 PM   #19
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Re: Calves weight gain...

They came to us with the tags in. know nothing about them....first time owning calves and lambs, we've been in the country since December.

Lots to learn.
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Old 25th September 2008, 10:27 PM   #20
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Isla, they are bobby calf tags, thats what they all need to go off to slaughter, edster will need to replace them at some stage.Looking ok edster, agree with others, dont panic , all looks good.
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Old 25th September 2008, 10:33 PM   #21
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Good news that the heifer is perkier Ed

Ahem, will have to do an Isla here - the photo tells me she is a Jersey/Friesian cross. And this being so, I stand by, even more so, what I said earlier about the heifer not gaining enough weight for the amount of tucker going into her. Don't know many folk that would be happy with a 2kg weight gain over a week or the total weights Ed gives for their age and breed.

I'd not like to see Ed spending a lot of money on tucker to end up with a poorly future housecow. I recall that the heifer didn't get off to a good start so looked at that thread again - she had a wet navel when Ed got her at 5 days old as well as some swelling in her legs. She must be 6 weeks old now, is she Ed? Anyhoo, Ed was going to have the cockie that he bought her from check her navel out so I assume that she was treated. I don't know, I just feel that because of the poor weight gain she could have an underlying problem and if she has, it could be fixed and Ed will end up with a nice fat calf who will grow into a big healthy housecow that will keep the family in milk and beef for many years
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Old 26th September 2008, 08:12 AM   #22
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Re: Calves weight gain...

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Good news that the heifer is perkier Ed

I'd not like to see Ed spending a lot of money on tucker to end up with a poorly future housecow. I recall that the heifer didn't get off to a good start so looked at that thread again - she had a wet navel when Ed got her at 5 days old as well as some swelling in her legs. She must be 6 weeks old now, is she Ed? Anyhoo, Ed was going to have the cockie that he bought her from check her navel out so I assume that she was treated.
She had a bump where her navel is, and mildly looking swollen joint on her rear legs. I washed her navel with iodine and kept an eye on here. No other treatment needed. I may have just been paraniod as I just watched a video from NZAgBiz so I looking for alsorts of things.

The farmer has been around since (the navel incident) and she's fine. He says they are doing well last he saw them a couple of weeks ago. I don't like nagging him to look at every concern I have, as he is busy himself. Our vet is really good and does offer advice if asked.

She'll be about 5-6 weeks old now. I got her a week before my Annual Leave and I had 3 weeks off, and now its a week after that. Closer to 5 weeks.
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Old 26th September 2008, 08:48 AM   #23
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Is it possible she could have a low-grade infection still from the navel problem? I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that could be the case even if the navel itself is now healed and dry.
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Old 28th September 2008, 07:11 PM   #24
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Both calves gained 5kg this week...

Calf 1 (Bullcalf), 47kg-->52kg-->57kg
Calf 2 (Heifer), 50kg-->52kg-->57kg

Happier this week.

Mind you the 7kg lamb put on 3 to 10kg!!!! Thats why we call her guzzler.
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Old 5th October 2008, 08:04 PM   #25
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Re: Calves weight gain...

Not very good weight gain by either of them this week both gaining just 2kg

Calf 1 (Bullcalf), 47kg-->52kg-->57kg-->59kg
Calf 2 (Heifer), 50kg-->52kg-->57kg-->59kg

Both have had thier milk weaned to once a day (evenings) with water in the mornings, and given adlib moozli and water. Gone through 3x20kg bags of CMR. They are in one of the paddocks with the lambs, and moozli seems to be going down.

Calves seen eating grass and balage, and ruminating when sitting. They look happy and bright.
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