Tips on Bottle Feeding

#1. The calf needs to receive the cow's first milk (colostrum) or a powdered colostrum replacer as quickly as possible after birth.  A powdered colostrum should be available at your local farm store, such as Tractor Supply.  Use the colostrum replacer for 3 days, preferably about 4 times a day.

#2. Use a small nipple such as the goat nipples from your farm supply store. Days 1-3, feed about 12 to 16 ounces of colostrum, 4 times per day.  The first day, the calf may not drink this much, but after day 2, the goal should be to feed about 48 to 64 ounces per day.

#3. On Day 4, start feeding the calf a good quality milk replacer.  Depending on the size of the calf, the quantity should be 64 to 96 ounces per day, spread out into as many equal feedings as your schedule will allow.  Two feedings of 32 to 48 oz are sufficient, but the calf will do better if you can feed it 3 or 4 equal feedings.

#4. Offer feed such as rolled calf feed, calf starter, calf manna, etc. after about 10 days of age.  Some calves will eat feed early and some won't touch it until they are 60 days old.  If other calves are eating feed, it will learn from them and start eating feed sooner.

#5. Nutritional Supplements are available from your farm supply store if you feel they are needed.  1 cc of vitamin A/D and 1 cc of vitamin B-12 may be helpful.

Bottle Feeding a calf