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Cattle For Those Who Like To Have A Cow.


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  #21  
Old 12/24/08, 01:19 PM
 
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Great thread here Topside. Evne though we do not buy calves. I will give my penny's worth.
First off like most said have meds on hand before hand. Pencillin, pnuemonia specific injectable, sulfa based drug and a coccidiastat.
If your in a climate that has severe weather changes in temp have good housing. In real cold climate a calf coat does wonders. We use coats even in cold housing inside.
I will add more with time
Bob
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  #22  
Old 12/29/08, 01:22 PM
 
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Good info Topside. I have another thing to add, as silly as it sounds, make sure you have a bidder's number before the auction starts. Although it would seem obvious a person needs a number, I have seen a lot of folks at auctions bid on and win things and when asked for their number didn't have one. Delays things, the crowd dislikes it and auctioneers absolutely hate it.
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  #23  
Old 12/29/08, 06:30 PM
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Thanks 65284, I wrote the thread in hopes that it helps someone. If the thread helps only a few owners and calves then it was surely worth the time. You also have a good point, get your bidding number and enjoy the show....Topside
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  #24  
Old 12/30/08, 12:58 PM
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Good Thread Topside!

I'd like to jump in here as well. Although I don't raise the huge numbers you and Myersfarm produce, I usually raise twenty or so per year and have had pretty good success.

I can't reiterate enough your thoughts on calf selection and the things you mentioned to look for.
Here's my methods:
-pick out the calf(s) that I'm interested in prior to the sale. (if I don't get there in time to preview the calves, I don't buy calves PERIOD!)
-win the bid, load the calves, and head toward the homestead ASAP.
(one note: As I'm loading the calves, I give them all a 3cc shot of Baytril.)

Now, I'd like to add my preventative measures for once the calf is at home and in the pen.

-I don't immediately stick a bottle in their mouth.(as is usually the first thing a new calf buyer does out of sympothy for the begging, crying calf.)
It's important for first time bottle calf raisers to realize the feeding instructions on the MR bag are the volume feeding rate for a healthy, normal sized calf with their feet on the ground good and a clean bill of health. A calf will keep on sucking the bottle until they are completely and totally filled to the brim which most always ends in the scours.
-The first feeding they get is a 1qt bottle of water and electrolytes.
-8 hours later, they get 1-1/2 qts of MR and electrolytes mixed 50/50.
-12 hours later, 1-1/2 qts of MR 75% and electrolytes 25%.
-12 hours later, 1-1/2 qts of MR
(this gradual introduction to MR or fresh cow's milk is only if there is no apparent signs of scours.)
-If I do see signs of scours, I treat it with electrolytes solely. (remember, yesterday the calf got a shot of baytril as a preventative measure against pnuemonia, shipping fever, and scours.)
-Too often, a first time calf raiser goes to the local feedstore only to have someone sell them a bottle of scour boluses (which do have their place) and starts shoving them down the animal's throat.
-Most of the time, what we call scours isn't actually scours. It's just loose bowels and should be treated with liquid replacement.
-The boluses usually contain oxytetracyclene which is a broad spectrum antibiotic and the natural bacteria in the animal's digestive sytem is compromised. (after all, when our children come home from school with diarea or upset stomach we don't start giving them antibiotics until the symtoms persist or we see the need for medical treatment as prescribed from a doctor. We treat them to 7-up or gatorade to keep them from getting dehydrated.)
Remember, if you see liquid out, you need liquid going back in.
-If you even think that the calf's bowels are getting too loose, start feeding them 4 small feedings instead of 2 larger ones. I realize this might be impossible for someone who works a day job but do the best you can to keep the animal hydrated 24/7 without over or under feeding.
-I always keep feed, (sweet grain consisting of oats and corn is my personal choice) water, and hay out to the calf at all times.
-The calf is getting all the fat and protein they need from the MR or fresh milk so I see no need of buying an expensive calf starter right at the start.
-I always separate the water and feed buckets far enough apart that the calf isn't able to dribble feed into their water bucket when switching from one bucket to another.
-I always thoroughly clean the water and feed buckets daily. (all the left over feed, (and there will be a lot of it for the first week or so) gets fed to the chickens.) Wet, nasty feed will sour in the bucket and could help the critter to get sick.
-I do the same with the hay. What doesn't get consumed gets discarded.
-AWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS look for signs of dehydration. ( I like to see the calf with a moist nose and very alert eyes and perky ears)
-a kind of sick, lethergic calf before you leave for work can be a near death unreversible calf when you get home!
-Most generally, after about one to two weeks, a calf that is eating and drinking well becomes another one of the chores and requires very little more than dropping a bottle in it's hanger and coming back to pick it up once it's finished. The first few days are the most critical. Just keep a good eye on them.
-Once a calf is totally cleaning up the amount of feed that would equal 3-4% of their body weight daily and eating hay and drinking water I wein them. This consist of one week of 1/2 the volume of MR and then I go to one week of once a day bottle at 1/2 volume. After this, I quit them cold turkey and turn them into larger pens with like sized calves that have access to water, hay, and minerals free choice.
-I hope this helps and I'm quite certain there are other ways to get the job done. It's just what works for me.
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  #25  
Old 12/30/08, 02:34 PM
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Super Info Francismilker, hope the mods cut and paste some of this knowledge into a sticky, as a quick reference....Plus anyone else please join in....Topside
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  #26  
Old 12/30/08, 05:15 PM
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I don't go to an action place to buy my Jersey bull calves, I go to a farmer just a few miles from me and for 40 to 50 bucks I can get a nice healthy already eating grain at 6 days old, and have a wonderful Jersey steer in 2 years well not really 2 years, I like to send them at about 16 months and the steaks are oh soooooo tender, and with over 400 pounds of beef in the freezer at a time, is just fine, with me. I don't buy Holsteins because of their price and also in LESS then a year ready to butcher is just tooo much meat for me, so I will stick to the Jerseys which is sweater to eat then Holstein anyways.
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  #27  
Old 01/13/09, 09:41 AM
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Bumping this up
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  #28  
Old 01/13/09, 03:24 PM
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Thanks Roseanna, I sent a PM to Ken regarding a sticky...
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  #29  
Old 01/13/09, 06:25 PM
 
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I don't know from the different shots ya'll give your calves. we've been lucky with ours I guess. We were real careful to keep they're stall clean. The Mrs. made sure to boil the new nipples in a little sugar water before she used them. She uses a little black molasses on her fingers and then the nipples to get them to sucking. We started off with a diluted mr and a taste of molasses and then a bottle with warm water and molasses for the first few days. We also go with several smaller feedings the first few days and by the end of the week we're at twice a day, full mr. We like to handle them a lot when they're little, they seem to be less skittish if we touch or brush them while we feed.
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  #30  
Old 01/19/09, 03:19 AM
 
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Yep FarmerWilly, that tough Love Stuff, really works for us too. We got lucky on our first Jersey Cross, she lived and looks great now 9 weeks old, i am sure we can improve on the expense side, this was a learning curve lesson. We like the process of seeing them grow , and these heifers are so sweet, don't understand how some people mistreat them at Auctions etc. We are not PETA folks but no reason to abuse these gifts from Heaven, we are entrusted with them for good use . Thanks TopSide for Starting this thread , great info needed .Would like to see some Holistic opinions on treating calves, we mix Western and Herbal ,Homeopathic, -- Slippery elm bark powder with Yogurt has worked well for Scours mixed in the MR-(milk replacer)- we had to give our's a shot as well and probotics which helped our calf's digestion -making them ,"Want to Live", as our Vet stated using Betamine with B-12- helped ours pull out of lethargic conditiion-perked her up - the attention we gave her tamed her as well. I am sure having full time jobs would be difficult, without someone to watch the Calves- its a full time job , if you want to do it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmerwilly2 View Post
I don't know from the different shots ya'll give your calves. we've been lucky with ours I guess. We were real careful to keep they're stall clean. The Mrs. made sure to boil the new nipples in a little sugar water before she used them. She uses a little black molasses on her fingers and then the nipples to get them to sucking. We started off with a diluted mr and a taste of molasses and then a bottle with warm water and molasses for the first few days. We also go with several smaller feedings the first few days and by the end of the week we're at twice a day, full mr. We like to handle them a lot when they're little, they seem to be less skittish if we touch or brush them while we feed.
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Last edited by Farmsteader; 01/19/09 at 03:40 AM. Reason: so someone can understand with added tip
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  #31  
Old 02/10/09, 07:46 PM
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what are the pros and cons of medicated all milk protein replacer? TSC has 25# bags of non medicated and 50# bags of medicated. It would be nice to get the 50# bags.
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  #32  
Old 02/14/09, 08:19 AM
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The following is an interesting article on calf care. It contains some very good points.

http://www.rd1.com/web/content?in_se...9&in_page=5814
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  #33  
Old 02/14/09, 09:26 AM
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Cotton Picker, that's an excellent article...thanks for posting.
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  #34  
Old 02/16/09, 12:15 PM
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You are most welcome Topside.

I thought that I would add this from the thread you started in regards to the article.

Here's another interesting link for a DIY calf feeder. It has the McCarville contact info, as well as, another place in Missouri.

http://www.ibiblio.org/farming-conne...y/nzbarrel.htm

Oh, and here's another article by some guy named Ken Scharabok..... (That name sounds familiar for some reason)

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Bucket......-a083553792
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  #35  
Old 02/18/09, 06:26 PM
 
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Chart for Scoring Respiratory Diseases

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Found this chart to be quite interesting, and possibly very useful.

http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/dms/fapm/...ring_chart.pdf

I would have to say, that if a calf is at a level 3 for any symptom described, that I would be treating it, though. Not just if it had a total score of 5 or more....

Here are a couple more sites with a TON of calf raising information

http://www.atticacows.com/orgMain.asp?sid=

http://www.calfnotes.com/
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  #36  
Old 02/18/09, 10:49 PM
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this article from the above mentioned website was of particular interest:

http://www.calfnotes.com/pdffiles/CN138.pdf

I just read in the AVMA journal that there was a study done on adult dogs given bovine colostrum and they had markedly improved stool quality and digestion. Why wouldnt calves benefit as well? Turns out they do!
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  #37  
Old 02/22/09, 08:28 PM
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jw the prices on fed out jersys, in the diffrent areas.
THX: James K
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  #38  
Old 03/03/09, 07:42 PM
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Calf tip

Hi all, here's the short version. Bought my last group of calves and as usual feed them goats milk, except this time I mixed 100% milk replacer with the goats’ milk into 50/50 blend. Well here is what I learned: All four calves had very loose poo for the first seven days. Of course I blamed it on traveling stress, vaccinations, anti-biotic precautionary shot and whatever else I could think of. The four never had scours, just very loose poop. Finally I couldn't take it any longer and shifted to straight goats’ milk. Well overnight all four hardened up and life has been grand ever since the change. Word to the wise don't feed this volatile mixture. The calves will thrive, but just don't stand behind them...In fact I named one "Squirt" for obvious reasons. I will copy and paste this learning experience onto the bottle calf sticky, without photos....Hope all is going well in your neck of the woods,,,,Topside
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  #39  
Old 03/07/09, 11:07 PM
 
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Umbilical Hernias

I can't remember who asked about the checking of the abdomen/cord area of calves in the auction ring while bidding, but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents worth. At the auction that I went to, a few bidders asked for the guy in the ring to check the calves for umbilical hernias that he thought he might have seen from the stands. Maybe that is what they were checking for in your instance as well.
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  #40  
Old 03/14/09, 01:02 PM
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Homesteaders: if you're thinking about buying your first calf soon how about investing a little extra money and purchase one of these. Best investment you could ever make for you and your special calf. This item only cost $10 more than a standard bottle and nipple, plus it will last forever. Just thought I'd pass on my opinion...Topside

I buy mine through Valley Vet....$21.95 for the one nipple milk bar.

Sale barn/Bottle calves - Cattle
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