I have a calf that weighs around 125 or so. He has pretty much no fat content (he's half jersey) so I need to get some meat on him in a hurry. Not sure of the best way to do this. I'm feeding him 2 bottles a day and he also has grain and hay
Welcome to the forum
How old is this calf? What's the hurry?
How many times a day are you feeding him to equal the 2 bottles a day?
Are you feeding soy based or milk based replacer?
What kind of hay are you feeding? Is it free choice? Small stem or bigger stem?
What kind of grain? Again, how much and how often?
I am feeding him milk based replacer 2 times a day, I'm feeding him chopped corn and it's in front of him at all times. He's 4 months old. The hurry is it is currently 5 degrees and I almost lost him the other day due to the cold. I'm also feeding him a fescue/ clover mix hay
My hope is your estimated weight is off by a lot. If he's 125 pounds at 4 months old he's in serious trouble. Especially at those temps. Maybe post a couple pics of him. That can help determine a plan.
First thing I'd do is wean him off the replacer. He's plenty old enough if he's 4 months old. At this point it's not doing him any benefit if his weight is as you've said.
Have you seen him eat the hay and corn? What about water consumption?
Chopped corn isn't enough for a bottle baby. He needs a good quality starter and he needed it in front of him from the start. They need extra nutrients to keep up. If you have replacer left you can sprinkle it onto the starter (dry) for a bit of extra nutrients and to help him eat it starting off.
Fescue/ clover mix hay won't cut it either in this situation. He needs a fine stem alfalfa at this point. Just don't push the alfalfa AND starter all in the same day. Offer the alfalfa along with your fescue/clover (mixed) and a small amount of the starter twice a day. You'll overload his gut if you throw to much nutrition/calories at him at once.
Also if he were here I'd give him some probiotics. Especially if he's having a rough go with the temps etc.
You said you almost lost him already. I'm glad you didn't. Good job keeping him going!
What is his housing situation?
I'm rooting for you both! Good luck!
I'm keeping him in our stock trailer right now. I've got a heat lamp on him to help keep him warm. Also he was weaned, I just recently put him back on the bottle. (I've heard feeding a bottle is supposed to help keep them warm) I'm also not very good at guessing weight. He could be closer to 150
Is there any way you can get him out of the stock trailer? They are terrible for calves. Air circulates in and all around it making it extremely cold and hard to even keep warm spots under a heat lamp. At those temps the heat lamp would have to be too close to him to (safely) keep him warm. Be careful, many a fire has been started by heat lamps installed temporarily to close to walls, shavings and or straw. To close to a nosey calf and it can fall.
I would not feed him milk anymore. Warm his water if you want liquid warmth. Your not gaining any ground by starting him back on bottles. If he's been weaned for any amount of time his gut has already started changing to handle "feed". He will gain more at this point by putting him on a good starter/grower and good quality hay. He will stay warmer "grazing" throughout the day/night.
At his age he should be weighing around 250-350 pounds. Is he skin and bones or a bit fleshy?
What's his poop look like?