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  #1  
Old 02/05/05, 04:53 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Virginia
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Breeding age for jersey heifer and bull

We have a 4 month old jersey heifer and 4 month old jersey bull. They have been bottle fed since 1 week and each weight over 200lbs.What age should we wean them from the bottle? They are eating grain, hay, and grass (when there is some). When do we need to seperate them so that he doesn't breed her too young? When will he be ready to breed? Is it determined on age or weight? When will she be ready to breed? Is it determined on age or weight? We have read that it depends on size and how well they have been fed. These are pets...need I say more? Yes, we are preparing for the Mean bull that Buford may become.
Thank you...

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  #2  
Old 02/05/05, 05:32 PM
 
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I can't tell you how old for sure, but jerseys mature very young. I would worry about her if they are together over 6 months of age. They sound like they are getting pretty old to still take a bottle. Many calves get weaned from the bottle at 8 weeks. If they still have horns it would be good to have them dehorned before the flies show up.

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  #3  
Old 02/05/05, 09:15 PM
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Our cross bred (Jersey/Norwegian Red) bulls have settled their first animals as early as eight months old (El Tigre) and nine motnhs old (Jason). I cannot remember how young our purebred Jersey bulls were settling, but I do know that Bountiful settled a heifer fairly young and they had been penned together.

We wean calves from bottle to bucket after the first week and then off the milk (replacer) around 6-8 weeks of age. They would do fine if you weaned them now. The idea is that as long as they are eating plenty of grain and hay, they can be weaned. At that point their main source of nutrition becomes the hay and the grain, along with all the water they chose to drink. Keeping it cold water will keep them under control with it.

As far as when to breed your heifer. 15 months of age is ideal. If they calve much before 2 years of age it is pushing it for them. It is doable but the more time you give their body to mature before the added stress of pregnancy, the better. The bull will most likely be very capable and interested in breeding before then. We have had heifers show signs of heat as early as four months of age. Whether they are cycling at that point or not, I do not know.
15 months is maturity for both the Jersey bulls and the heifers.

I have heard that there are farms where they breed the heifers at 6 months of age to calve at 15. They also lose a very high percentage of their heifers and the calves. A heifer bred too young is one case where we will consider purposely aborting a pregnancy. The risk for both mother and fetus is too great.

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  #4  
Old 02/06/05, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
I have heard that there are farms where they breed the heifers at 6 months of age to calve at 15.


I'm worried about Libby-Belle ... she got out and got in with the neighbor's herd. He has an Angus bull running with his cows. She's not quite a year old.

I have no idea whether she was in season or was bred while she was down there. Hope not!!!

My boss on the farm had a bunch of heifers bred too young. They freshened last year. He had them running with a bull, he didn't think they would settle so young. Most calved 2-4 months before they turned 2. They mostly did OK, although I think it stunted one cow's growth ... she just had her second calf, but is as small as a first-calf heifer.
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Old 02/06/05, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow_girl


I'm worried about Libby-Belle ... she got out and got in with the neighbor's herd. He has an Angus bull running with his cows. She's not quite a year old.

I have no idea whether she was in season or was bred while she was down there. Hope not!!!

My boss on the farm had a bunch of heifers bred too young. They freshened last year. He had them running with a bull, he didn't think they would settle so young. Most calved 2-4 months before they turned 2. They mostly did OK, although I think it stunted one cow's growth ... she just had her second calf, but is as small as a first-calf heifer.
Our younger heifers have gotten out and run with Jason. The second time in the last decade or so that dad and the vet have decided that lutalysing to induce abortions (if they were even settled) was the right choice. Jason was definitely breeding at them and they had gotten out because Nessie was in heat.

Wont calved about a month before she turned 2. She was so persistent and we had another cow in heat so we split a straw. Both took and both had bull calves. She is doing fairly well and it is dificult to gauge her size difference because she is the only purebred Jersey in her age group.

About three years ago we had a clean-up Angus bull and some heifers that were too young to breed. They were seperated from the rest of the group but Sandy decided she needed bred. She calved at 20 months or 22 months to an angus bull. *sigh* Calved on my birthday with a good sized dead bull calf. No suprise there. Next year had a twisted uterus and the bull calf dioed trying to come out. Then finally last year she had a successful pregnancy and birth. A beuatiful Jersey bull calf. She knew exactly what to do with it too. She is dry for her fourth calving at the end of April. Edited to add: Sandy has caught up with her peers quite well size wise. They will be six this year I believe.

I know a woman who bought a young Jersey heifer (she did not know it was bred) and that heifer is going to calve at around 18 months. I keep waiting to hear from her. The heifer was very close to calving a couple of weeks ago. I hope everything goes okay.
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  #6  
Old 02/06/05, 10:41 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Four months old and still on a bottle??? Wow, I usually get mine on a bucket by at least 3 weeks. Saves time when you have a lot of calves to feed and they don't suck on each other as long. Nothing's worse than having a beautiful show heifer and have one of her quarters bad from her pen mate sucking on her. Jerseys do mature earlier and I wouldn't have a Jersey bull on my place for anything. That cute little calf grows up to be a mean bull before you know it. I bred my Jersey heifers to come in around 22-24 months depending on their size.

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  #7  
Old 02/06/05, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerdan
Four months old and still on a bottle??? Wow, I usually get mine on a bucket by at least 3 weeks. Saves time when you have a lot of calves to feed and they don't suck on each other as long. Nothing's worse than having a beautiful show heifer and have one of her quarters bad from her pen mate sucking on her. Jerseys do mature earlier and I wouldn't have a Jersey bull on my place for anything. That cute little calf grows up to be a mean bull before you know it. I bred my Jersey heifers to come in around 22-24 months depending on their size.
That is one reason we liked that these crossbreeds can breed them at a younger age. El Tigre was very tall and bred half our herd starting at 8 months of age. We sold him at 15 months when he turned aggressive. Jason (3/4 Jersey, 1/4 Norwegian Red)will be 14 months of age tomorrow and I am still very comfortable working around him. I walked over next to him the other day and was pulling hay out of the bale next to him and he just looked at me. Still a big baby doll. He used to bawl at me when he was younger and out with the heifers/cows. I have only had one time when he was threatening towards me and it was when I came out in the field with a cap on and he had no clue who I was. He was dancing around and all I did was stop moving, tell him he better stop and when he did I would start walking again. We've taken cows right out from under him and he justs looks for someone else.
I raised him and taught him to put his head up for neck scratches and that has helped. He puts his head up when he sees me and not down.
He does push my father around a bit though.
He used to come into the milking barn everytime the cows were brought up and we would tie him and he had no problems with it. Just a big baby doll.

Don't get me wrong, I know they turn in an instant. I don't approach him now unless I need to, but I still coo at him and talk to him.
My father has been tossed in the air numerous times by bulls. They can be very dangerous and really should only be used if they re needed. AIing opens up so many options, but some animals just will not settle to AI and you need live service for them. We have raised purebred Jersey bulls, of course, as well. Londonderry turned aggressive fairly young I believe, but Bountiful was another big baby. We couldn't use him on many of our girls because his older brother's offpsring were in the herd, but he was still very gentle when he was sent to the School farm for breeding. Not sure where those two ended up and how long they lived.
Raising bulls takes a great deal of work as you can't handle them like you do your heifers. Bucks can be just as bad. Cam was sent to the sale barn when he was not only protective over his does, but over the heifers as well. lol
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  #8  
Old 02/06/05, 03:46 PM
 
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Location: Northeastern Ohio
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I have heard of Jerseys starting to come into heat at 5 months. If they are pets get the bull calf castrated before he hits 6 months old. Otherwise you will end up with a) unwanted and early pregnancy in the heifer and b) a nasty bull (Jerseys are said to be the worst bulls) who will have to be butchered before he hurts someone. Steers are far nicer, don't get anyone pregnant, and don't become aggressive bundles of muscle and hormones that will go after you and destroy fences, building, etc.

She will be breeding age around 15 months. They are both ready to be weaned now. Get him castrated and do AI with the heifer if you want calves and milk.

Claire

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  #9  
Old 02/08/05, 11:30 PM
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Jerseys mature at a younger age, and from what I have seem 1 yr 9months to 2 yrs. If the animal is big enough as well, so keep that in mind.


Jeff

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  #10  
Old 02/11/05, 02:11 AM
 
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The bull next door came and wooed my cows. He was 7 months old, my cows are friesian & murray gray. I am amazed he could reach!!!! Calves due in about 4 weeks. BTW the bull is in the freezer now.

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  #11  
Old 02/11/05, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmai
The bull next door came and wooed my cows. He was 7 months old, my cows are friesian & murray gray. I am amazed he could reach!!!! Calves due in about 4 weeks. BTW the bull is in the freezer now.
It is amazing what a bull will do to get an animal bred. Especially when the cow being bred is cooperative. Our land is hilly so if the bull and cow line up just right he can breed them. Settled one of our taller animals at only 9 months. He still isn't very big..almost everything he is breeding is taller than he is by a foot or so. As long as he gets it done, we don't care.
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  #12  
Old 02/19/05, 08:30 AM
 
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breeding age jersey bull and heiffer

had a jersey bull in with my herd, settled on heiffer when he was about 6 months old, but it may also depend on the individual. hope it helps.

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  #13  
Old 02/20/05, 11:41 AM
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rule of thumb always given that i know of is breed them so they will be 2 when they calve, gestation being 9 months so 1 year 3 months. She will prolly have heat cycles before then, and he will respond before then. A jersy bull can be a pain as he gets older, i would recomend shipping him or putting in freezer as soon as you are done with him. even though he maybe a playful sweet feller now, imagine him at over 1000 # raking his horns on you. imagine the bull fighting bull from bugs bunny!!!!

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