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  #1  
Old 12/27/11, 09:12 AM
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Jersey Bulls

At what age do Jersey bull's temperaments start changing?

We have several Jersey cows and not being able to find a bull to borrow or a vet to do AI, we bought a bull last year. He is now 3 years old or so. We've bred him already and will be moving him down here from a friend's house this week. I'm wondering about when they change because thus far he has been the quietest most laid back bull I have ever seen, although we absolutely never take him for granted, take unnecessary risks or even go in with him if it can be helped, but I said the day he starts changing is the day he goes in the freezer. But I was kind of wanting to know about what age they start changing? I said as long as his temperament holds, I'll keep him, but I do watch him very carefully and I never allow the kids near him at all. We take the same precautions with him that we do with the pigs for safety's sake. I don't trust him at all. But thus far he has not given us a lick of trouble.

Any guesses on age that I need to think about getting rid of him?

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Old 12/27/11, 10:03 AM
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I recently had to get rid of my bull because he turned on me. He was around 1 1/2 to 2 years old. Luckily all my girls are currently bred but I'm going to be in a bind this spring. I don't have a replacement. He had just hit the stage where he stopped looking like a scrawny teenager and he really looked like a bull. He had just started getting some good size on him and really filling out when he turned. Anyways, if he's 3 and still not showing any signs of aggression I would say you are good to go. That's not saying that there won't be some change in circumstances that lead him to change his behavior but at 3 he should be done growing and pretty much set in his ways.

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Old 12/27/11, 10:11 AM
 
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Rookie question but can I assume that it is only the actual bulls with the bad reputation? We are considering getting some bottle Jersey calfs from a local dairy and then banding them at some point. Jersey steers for beef shouldn't be agressive, right? I have a choice between strait Jerseys or Holstein/Jersey crosses. Thought the strait Jerseys might do better for us since we are going to try almost all grass fed.

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Old 12/27/11, 10:30 AM
 
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Bulls usually begin to show bad traits about the age of four go to sale barn and you see a lot of them in this age range. The dairy breeds are handled (usually) more than beef breeds and people tend to forget this and get hurt, It seems the Jersey is #1 because when small they are so lovable and people make them pets.
This past summer my halter broke gentle 4 1/2 yo bull decided over night that I did not belong in pasture (no I did not lead him he was shown by a young lady). He chased me around truck,I got him back to holding pen shipped him to sale. End of story you NEVER trust a bull.

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  #5  
Old 12/27/11, 10:40 AM
 
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CoachB, we have raised many Jersey steers never had a mean one, we band all our bull calves as soon as both testes drop this is usually first few days after birth. Less stress than cutting at a later age but the steer seems to gain slower than a bull calf of the same age and breed. And to us we feel the safety for all is well worth it.

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Old 12/27/11, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn amolenaar View Post
CoachB, we have raised many Jersey steers never had a mean one, we band all our bull calves as soon as both testes drop this is usually first few days after birth..
Thank you! I figured that was the case but wanted to make sure as we are newbies to cows and will be getting three or four in the spring.
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  #7  
Old 12/27/11, 11:19 AM
 
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I would buy a bull calf right now, keep the bull long enough that you believe that the bull calf will make it, and then ship the bull. That way you eliminate the potential problem and have a ready made replacement. If your cows are close to calving keep the bull long enough to rebreed and then ship.

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  #8  
Old 12/27/11, 01:52 PM
 
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CoachB, do you know if the dairy will be selling more? Trying to find one for spring, hopefully will succeed with it this time. Lost last one to freak accident, if it happens again, neighbor will be buying me a full sized steer!

6e, also make sure you have a very strong fence, sometimes keeping the kids out isn't enough. A mad bull can go right through most fences. I would probably do the raise and replace thing, too

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Last edited by CarolT; 12/27/11 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 12/27/11, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CarolT View Post
CoachB, do you know if the dairy will be selling more? Trying to find one for spring, hopefully will succeed with it this time. Lost last one to freak accident, if it happens again, neighbor will be buying me a full sized steer!

6e, also make sure you have a very strong fence, sometimes keeping the kids out isn't enough. A mad bull can go right through most fences. I would probably do the raise and replace thing, too
thank you for the tip. He usually does not stay here. He is usually housed at another farm, but will be coming here for a couple of months or so to breed and then sent back to the other farm. There are no kids at the other farm, so that's why he is kept there. But all the same, we absolutely do not try to "make a pet out of him" nor do we trust him. We tried taking the cows down to the bull, but Sweetie, my Jersey cow wouldn't breed and started losing a lot of weight. Brought her back here and she's looking better, but thinking we need to bring the bull here instead of upsetting the girls.

I thought about the breed and replace thing, but it is so hard to find Jersey bulls of any size around here. All the bull calves sold are little bottle calves and it's so expensive to get them up to size to breed and they're such a pain in the neck in the mean time. There is only one Jersey dairy that I know about and it is close to 3 1/2 hours away.
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Old 12/27/11, 02:30 PM
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Ever thought about using a Dexter bull?

Mine is six years old and still mild mannered. Has thrown some nice looking bull calves (steered) from the neighbors Jersey.

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  #11  
Old 12/27/11, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Rookie question but can I assume that it is only the actual bulls with the bad reputation? We are considering getting some bottle Jersey calfs from a local dairy and then banding them at some point. Jersey steers for beef shouldn't be agressive, right?
I have raised four bottle steers over the past few years. The Jersey steer "turned" at only 8 months old - he was evil. He was slaughtered that week. And at 2 years, one of the Milking Shorthorns charged my dad and played "hide and seek" around the chicken tractor for 30 minutes before giving up. He also ran down and stomped one of our hens to death.

I've come to believe that anything can trigger an animal at some point (for example, the MS slipped in the mud and got mad, and began snorting and pawing the ground, then charged) - never turn your back, and always carry a stick.

The other two steers were very mellow and kind.
And the two cow-raised calves (one steer, one bull) were/are mellow and very respectful of humans.
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  #12  
Old 12/27/11, 04:58 PM
 
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3 is as old as I would keep a Jersey bull. Have seen too much of 'em at that age and older.

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Old 12/27/11, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6e View Post
I thought about the breed and replace thing, but it is so hard to find Jersey bulls of any size around here. All the bull calves sold are little bottle calves and it's so expensive to get them up to size to breed and they're such a pain in the neck in the mean time. There is only one Jersey dairy that I know about and it is close to 3 1/2 hours away.
Do you raise calves on the cow? If so it would be pretty easy to graft a day old onto a cow and in my experience they are much easier to raise this way.
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  #14  
Old 12/27/11, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tinknal View Post
Do you raise calves on the cow? If so it would be pretty easy to graft a day old onto a cow and in my experience they are much easier to raise this way.
We did this year because this heifer's teats were SO tiny I couldn't milk them and thought the calf would help stretch them out a bit for me. I probably won't do that again since that calf if wild as a march hare! LOL
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Old 12/27/11, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by postroad View Post
Ever thought about using a Dexter bull?

Mine is six years old and still mild mannered. Has thrown some nice looking bull calves (steered) from the neighbors Jersey.
We did have a Dexter bull.........for about 2 months. He was, by far and large, a bigger pain than the Jersey. The lady we got him from told us how sweet he was, and he was ok to work with, but a tad testy and then on top of it, he got out constantly. He would jump every fence and end up in the neighbors pasture after jumping their fence and would hang out with their steers. LOL I kept asking him if he realized they were all steers and not cows. He was clearing 6' fences. Should have entered him as a jumping bull. I don't know how these ranchers keep those HUGE Angus bulls behind 4' barb wire fences with cows right across the road.

I may go with a Dexter bull again someday, but for right now, we're sort of stuck.
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  #16  
Old 12/27/11, 07:51 PM
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I guess even within the breeds their are variations. Mine has never given me a lick of trouble.

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  #17  
Old 12/27/11, 09:52 PM
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My bull would have been four in Jan. and he went to the freezer in november. He started getting a bit testy, so I made the choice of him and not me. I have decided to breed to a beef bull next year as I don`t need extra heifers. So just be very careful, and never turn your back. > Thanks Marc

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  #18  
Old 12/27/11, 10:16 PM
 
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6e, it is possible that you won't have any warning.

He might be perfectly fine up until the second that you find yourself on the ground with broken ribs and a horn through your gut. Jersey bulls have the reputation of being the most dangerous and they have a history of being the bull that has killed the most farmers.

Be very careful around him.

You can't find frozen semen? Vets don't normally do AI on cattle. The frozen semen company will have an AI tech and that is who does the AI for you. It's pretty cheap. Much less than the cost of feeding a bull all year.

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  #19  
Old 12/27/11, 10:33 PM
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For those that use your bull for the freezer, is there a taste difference in the meat? I have a 7 month old Jersey bull right now that will go to the freezer in about a year. I'm debating on having a vet castrate him or not first.

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  #20  
Old 12/27/11, 10:46 PM
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in my experience the dairy bulls have a far worse temperment in general than beef breeds.we had a holstein that was the devil in the flesh lol.if he caught you anywhere in the pasture he would charge regardless if he was on the other side of the field,needless to say he didnt stay around long

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