Two of the main concerns when bottle feeding calves milk replacer is 1) how often 2) how much. These are the most important factors because every aspect of calf’s health can depend on it.
How often is bottle feeding calves milk replacer done? Should the calf be bottle fed twice a day or should the calf be bottle fed more than that like three to four times a day?
When bottle feeding calves milk replacer it should be done twice a day only. Once in the morning and then again in the evening. Ideally you would want it to be every 12 hours apart but this is not always possible. If you were bottle feeding calves milk replacer at 6 am and 6 pm great, but if do to available time it was 6 am and 7pm that would be Ok. You just want to get the feeding times as close to 12 hours apart as you can.
How much when bottle feeding calves milk replacer?
In general a 50 to 100 pound calf at birth to to week old can be fed 2 4 pint bottles a day. It has been my experience with bottle feeding calves milk replacer for numerous of years and almost every different breed type from milk stock to beef breeds that 1 four pint bottle twice a day is ideal for every calf.
Of the hundreds of calf that I have bottle fed, I have only came across two that required more milk than the 4 pint bottle at each feeding and less than 6% of required less. With bottle feeding calves milk replacer less than 4 pints at a time is easy to know, the calf will only suck what it needs to be full.
Calf starter feeds should always be fed along with milk replacer. It improves the heath by limiting bacteria growth that can fed off the milk replacer.
When bottle feeding calves milk replacer you do not increase the amount of milk replacer fed as the calf grows. The calf adjust it’s needs by eating more starter feed. As the calf grows you place more solid feed for the calf to eat.