Any One Know About Raisng Heifers ??

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Helena, May 19, 2005.

  1. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    Hubby and I have thought about this venture...but since we are goat/horse people we really don't know very much about cattle. But...we were thinking about raising heifers. Either to an age to bred and sell while pregnant or sell as heifers. Is there a lot to learn..can you actually make a few dollars and anything else you can tell us from your experience !!
     
  2. petefarms

    petefarms Well-Known Member

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    Heifers are expensive to buy in upstate NY, $400 for a week old jersey and $500 - $600 for a holstein heifer. You have to watch them close and if you also watch your expensed, you and make some money on them. They will sell at around $1000. and $1500. when getting close to calving. Not the best way to invest your money, but if you are a cow person, its one way to keep livestock on the farm.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Helena, around here there are a number of people that raise heifers for dairy farmers on contract. The dairy will keep the calves in hutches until they are wearned then the contract grower picks the calves up. I am unaware of the actual fees charged but I do know the dairy feels that they are not getting a bargain. The contract person bills the dairy monthly for vet and feed expenses. The heifers remain with the contact person until a few weeks prior to calving when the heifers are returned to the dairy for learn the ins and outs of the milking herd. When the bred heifers return to the dairy a fee is paid to the contractor for his efforts. The contractor's responsibility is to see to the day to day needs of the heifer, adequately feed it to promote a good milk cow and to get her bred (AI) and deliverable to the dairy on time. I think the total costs is somewhere around $1400 to the dairy.
     
  4. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    We started out doing this for the dairy we work for. All in all it was a losing proposition. Most custom operaters have facilties sitting empty from selling their own dairy, so it is a natural transition. In my opinion you need to have a large volume, skill, and written contracts to succeed in heifer rearing. Otherwise just raise a few heifers and resale them as springers. The time and committment is overwhelming for novice raisers. The approach we did best was to get a heifer from each group we raised to start our herd. If you have pasture or hay availible sell or rent it out. If you do give it a try I would raise a couple of beef heifer to resale as bred heifers in late winter. They are hardier than dairy and require less grain, facilities, and attention. Also beef producer are less strict on health requirements and more easily marketed.
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    As petefarms said, heifers are up there. Breeder told us that recently holstein heifers brought $7.25/lb. Jersey heifers that we picked up were less than the holsteins, holsteins a couple months older sold for $1500, while the Jerseys were 500-600. What you want to do is spend less at the beginning, then invest in them wisely, don't pump them with ridiculous stuff that costs $$$$$ and will get you nothing in return. Raising heifer calves isn't hard, and with good feed it will make them grow well. What I fed, and I had daily gains ranging from 1lb to 1.6lbs/day, was haylage mixed with corn meal, then some leafy 2nd cutting grass hay. They grew well, maintained weight, and it gave them a good start for pasture. If I were you, look for calves born from Feb-May, as they will grow better (they grow more during the summer, and spring)..



    Jeff