Just wondering in advance. Don't even have cows yet. Any advice is apreciated....whatever questions you asked me, I need help with. My husband is very against a milk cow ( I REALLY want one), but is open to raising some for beef with his family, but he is wondering how long we would have to raise (and pay to feed) them, so he can figure out if it is cost effective. We would be raising 3 cows for 6 families, he isn't looking to make money from it, as long as he at least breaks even. How much should it cost to buy a calf? What breed should we get? Is picking one the same as selecting a milk cow, or do you just take what is there, because all you want to do is get them fat?
I'm suspecting you'd rather eat meat than fat -- so you want a calf with a lot of natural muscling. You can make any animal fat but you can't put muscle on an animal that genetically just doesn't have it.
Beef calves can run from 12-16 months at butchering if grain fed to 24+ months if solely grass fed or run on poor quality hay/pasture.
Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex, species. Number affected vs number in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....
We just butchered a 12 mo Jersey/Holstein cross steer. Yum, yum good.
Home to Fern (Jersey), Paprika (Shorthorn/Angus heifer) Pierre and Melvin (steers); Candy, Star (horses); Louie (Doberman) Gypsy (LGD mix); 4 cats & a variety of chickens.
RIP to these special ones:
Belle & Emma (Jersey) Brody (Doberman) Lady (Holstein) Poco (QH) Skittles (pony)
The least expensive and most effecient way, imo, is 1)get a milk cow 2)get 2-3 very young calves to go on her (or just 1-2 if you want to milk) 3)let her raise them to 5-6 mos of age, wean them (and get 2 more). 4)feed out your calves on grass, good hay or some grain to 12-18 mos of age (depends on age and size).
Calves that have had a start on a cow will be larger, healthier and more robust faster than bottle fed ones. (again my opinion) This allows you to keep her in milk (and milk once a day), which gives you all the dairy products while raising your beef. I don't know that 1/2 calf is enough for a family unless it is just a couple, no kids. Or if you raise a large breed (beefmaster, simbrah, angus, etc). If you raise dairy calves for beef they tend to take a little longer and do not have the same amount of meat--they are dairy after all, different genetics. Are all the families willing to help pay for the calves and the cow and feed, etc, up front? If so that helps your initial cost, be sure to write a contract and enlist them to help with farm chores that is part of keeping a calf! (spread manure--free fertilizer!, fix fence--think curious george!, give vaccines, dehorn, trim hooves, etc) If they are not really interested in helping, then they need to pay you for the work you will do. Good luck!
Live fully. Love life. Go play outside. It works for me!
frauline214: oI am new to forum. I have a jersey/beef cow cross who is due to calve shortly. I plan on adding other calves to her after she calves. This is a first time freshener and she has been raised to let me milk her. Any suggestions how many calves I can add?
Mar 2, 2014 19:10:43 GMT -5
squarant: have only highlands. sorry
Mar 12, 2014 23:03:51 GMT -5
frauline214: okay hope some one is here my cow had her calf last night not sure how to tell if baby is getting milk
Mar 14, 2014 14:39:41 GMT -5
Soma Gosala: Does someone know where I can buy A2 Jersey semen ?
Mar 15, 2014 17:26:33 GMT -5
birdsongmilkmaid: Most AI companies test their bulls for beta casein type. Semex lists the type right on their website. If the company you are purchasing your semen from doesn't, send them an email and ask for a list of the beta casein type of the bulls that they offer.
Mar 17, 2014 2:42:11 GMT -5
betsytaylor: Sureshot Cattle out of Longmont Colorado offers A2/A2 straws.
Mar 20, 2014 1:46:34 GMT -5
Jes: HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING EVERYONE!!
Mar 20, 2014 9:23:42 GMT -5
Guinevere: It's 3 a.m. WHY am I still awake?
Mar 27, 2014 3:20:17 GMT -5
wyomama: Partly because you are sitting at the computer instead of in the bed.
Mar 27, 2014 10:04:00 GMT -5
ramblinrose: I love this forum! You guys are udder-ly awesome!
Mar 27, 2014 16:22:24 GMT -5
Guinevere: ROFL! That could be part of the problem, I reckon.
Mar 27, 2014 16:35:07 GMT -5
sydneyknits: Goat temp 105. No nasal discharge. Just kidded three days ago. Not eating well. Gave asprin
Mar 29, 2014 13:59:08 GMT -5
nodakjersey: Please comment on my latest post! PLease!
Mar 29, 2014 23:26:16 GMT -5
lew92: Just a note: Use the 911 area for emergencies. This is more of a chat area...
Apr 1, 2014 9:39:33 GMT -5
madameecho1: Brand new to the site, and jersey cow and bull will be arriving today! Cow is 2.5 years old and 5.5 months preggers with first calf. Any suggestions greatly appreciated...
Apr 5, 2014 10:01:02 GMT -5
treatlisa: Welcome!! You will get more activity if you start a thread of your own. Good luck with your new ones!!
Apr 5, 2014 14:23:00 GMT -5
YounkerHomestead: I am sooo glad I found this site! I don't know many people in my area interested in owning a family dairy cow. I am really enjoying reading the threads from like minded people Good luck to everyone calving!
Apr 8, 2014 12:27:00 GMT -5
dextergal: Ya ikr?!? The people on here are really sweet also!
Apr 8, 2014 23:29:49 GMT -5
Janene: Hello folks! Don't forget to look through the Tree of Knowledge! Loads of information there with photos in some sections!
Apr 13, 2014 18:38:44 GMT -5
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'