auction bottle calves???

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by okiemom, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,292
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    What is up w/ people selling skinny half dead looking bottle calves at auction? Not critizing just these babies looked half dead. Do they have a chance of living? Wouldn't the cost of getting them back to health would be high? They were selling around $25-300. Is there a bargin I am not seeing?
     
  2. Sprout

    Sprout Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    The Sunny Okie transplant ground of Californie
    Around here we call those drop calves. Not because they've just dropt from their dam but because they drop like flies. They are a cheap way to get cattle. Our hiefer was a drop calf and she turned out great show quality even. But you need access to a cheap supply of milk, antibiotics, and time. Out freind raises her's on goats milk from her dairy. Calf milk replacer is expensive so I would recomend findind a goat or cream cow dairy. Your average holstein dosen't make the best calf milk.

    One thing I would point out though that ours were picked up directly from the farm and not sent to the auction. I think that method is detestible and you are likley to have all your calves die due to overstress and a major case of shipping fever. If you can trace the calves back if it is the farm that brings them to the auction I wouldn't buy from them but if it is a middle man ask him where he gets the calves from and go see the farm they might be worthwhile.

    Also in addition to time and some knowledge you will need a heart of steel. It is guaranteed that you will loose one or more babies, in fact if you want one steer or heifer buy three. Overall I think we paid $500 for her as a weanling, all care and milk included.
     

  3. cowgirlracer

    cowgirlracer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    514
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Wyoming & building a homestead in Kentucky
    We picked up our first auction calves this year. DH bought 2, and angus x and a beefalo. The beefalo died hours later, and the angus x (Dotty) is doing very weel (fingers crossed). Dotty is just a week old now, so I know it is early. We were able to get some colostrum into her (thanks to Nogreaterjoy8) and she has successfully made the switch from colostrum to goats milk. I have been freezing milk since December, and will eventually run out and she will then have to make the switch to replacer - I think this will be our biggest challenge. She is eating hay along with the goats at feeding time, which I think is encouraging. We plan on going again next week and picking up another bottle calf, wish us luck.

    Anne
    Cowgirlracer
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    Having learned a little I would buy a calf that seemed otherwise healthy, though it would be an individual decision based on each calf. I'd bring her home right away and offer a bottle with my Jersey's milk and be prepared to stay up with her and call the vet if needed. If one is looking solely at numbers, it might be considered unwise, but I have a soft heart :rolleyes:

    I bought my two heifers at an auction and both lived with some intense help and a vet giving advice. One was just a few hours old, the other was probably 2-3 days old. My Jersey raised them and I think that saved the youngest one. She latched on to Karma when we got home in a way that really moved me. Auction started at 1 so she had been there probably a couple of hours and by the time we got her home, it was close to 8 pm and she was hanging her head. It is criminal to separate such a young calf from her mother -for God's sake let them take colostrum for at least a whole day and make it worthwhile for someone to invest their money and time in them. But to wait when the calf is born on auction day, means an additional week and some people don't or can't wait since the calf would die in their hands.

    Local auctions vary. The members of the community and the auction owner make or break the integrity of the auction. Our auction is pretty decent and I've never seen what you have described there but I did bring a weak kid along with her dam and sister- I bought them because their chances were slim :rolleyes:
     
  5. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,938
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Way back on the old Countryside forum, Ken S. had a forumla he took to feed immediately to any calves bought at auction. It had milk, an egg and I can't remember what else in it, but he felt it saved them to give them to that as soon as you can get them into the trailer, and not wait until you got them home. It's been a few years, but maybe I can find it, or he will post it again. Jan in Co
     
  6. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    I bought a 3 day old bull guensey at auction and bottle fed him replacer he turned out great had to put him in the freezer before I went overseas he was 9 months old.
     
  7. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

    Messages:
    1,387
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    IN
    Don't ya just love caring animal owners??
     
  8. Dutchie

    Dutchie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,517
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Pawnee Nation, OK
    Which auction was this at?
     
  9. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,292
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Collinsville but I have seen this at other places too.
     
  10. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    363
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Location:
    Land of the Long White Cloud
    Okiemom Imagine taking a human baby away from its mother and putting it on a truck and dumping it in a draughty noisy place for however many hours with out any food. Its no wonder they look near dead, its no wonder so many die. I think it is disgusting. In NZ it is a criminal offence to transport a calf less than 4 days old anywhere. I would advise you to try and buy direct from a farm, make it part of the deal that you get at least 6 ltrs of day one colostrum to take with you.

    Jan I had a recipe something like that. Milk egg honey and, I think, glucose?
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    My vet gave me this recipe. He calls it "Jet Fuel." One can evaporated milk, one can water, one whole raw egg, one tablespoon honey. He recommends probiotics with every meal.
     
  12. Sapphire

    Sapphire Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    I'm in OK, too. My dh bought one of these auction calves in Tulsa last spring. It was a day or two old and was out in a thunderstorm all night. It would'n't suck for us when we brought it home. We tube fed it for weeks. At one time it couldn't even stand. We made a harness for her to get her on her feet. She got stronger, but still wouldn't suck or drink out of a bucket. Eventually we just stopped tube feeding her and provided her with hay, calf feed and a bucket. After 12 hours she fed herself! She turned out to be a sweetie, but was small for her age. It turned out all right in the end, but we would not do that again. (buy an auction calf)