Originally Posted by haypoint
Sounds like you are expecting to have a saleable calf and get milk to drink and make cheese. Right? yes, that is the goal.
Marketing a half full sized, half mini something, part beef, part dairy might be difficult. Are you thinking you'll be selling a beef type animal? With very little information to go on, I'm going to stick my neck way out and say the guy you got her from has little idea what breed combination she is. If she is more Jersey than you were told, then birth weight becomes critical. But breeding her to a Jersey, when she actually is quarter or half Holstein, gets you a calf that is way smaller than if you'd bred to an Angus.
A little of this breed and a little of that breed destroys the individual breed standard that breed associations developed over hundreds of years. There is a good degree of predictability in that.
Should I assume that you know what a Free Martin is and that she isn't?Yes, I know what a "free martin" is and no, she isn't.
The mini or low line cattle is ,IMHO, just a fad. Money can be made if you are willing to do a bunch of marketing. But even within that audience, it is either a tiny cow or not. I don't see any demand for half mini-Hereford, quarter Angus, quarter some combination of a milk breed.
Many first timers kill their first calf. Too much milk. No electrolytes on hand. Scours tablets not given early enough. Untreated pneumonia. It is a learning curve that the calf pays for with her life.I always have Electrolytes and scour tablets on hand, as well as injectable Penicillin, I raise sheep, and goats and if you have ever raised either of them, you know, " they look for a way to die." I also have been in rescue for farm animals for over 10 years now, so I have several other medications on board, hopefully ready for any emergency.
Angus do not produce a ton of milk. Angus generally are harder to milk. How disappointed would you be if you could only get a quart of milk, twice a day? You have time for that? I'd get the milking stanchion set up and feed her in it every day. There is no good way to know if her milk production will follow the Holstein (if that breed is in there at all) DNA or the Dexter/Brown Swiss/Jersey/whatever DNA. I started her feeding in her stanchion as soon as I got her home, and as she eats, most days, I have hands on her rubbing all over, including her udder area.
A new calf in October in Indiana is fine. But a two month old calf in December might be a bit harder. A four month old baby in the bone chilling February snow storms will require some good weather proof housing.Daisy has a wonderful little cabin that is draft free.
Sound like you are having a blast. It may not matter the value of the calf. It may not matter how much time you spend coaxing a bit of milk from your Daisy May. What matters is that you are enjoying this adventure.