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Discussion Starter #1
How long do you folks keep calves on milk replacer before weaning? I have been
raising Jersey bull calves off and on for several years. My neighbor has a Jersey dairy farm and gives me these calves as they are nearly worthless at auction.
I have been keeping them on the replacer for at least a month to six weeks, however, he gave me one the other day that was acouple of weeks old that was already weaned. I was amazed but this calf seems to be doing fine on creep feed and dry hay. Since I'm paying over $50 for fifty lb of milk replacer I
would like to wean them as soon as possible yet not risk losing them. Thanks!
 

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I raise these calves too and I am just buying one bag of replacer and
feeding them at the 2 litre level twice a day. For the last week on milk
I plan on dropping them down to once a day feedings. They have calf
creep, hay and water available to them. They are doing just fine right now.
I want to get them on pasture asap.

Gerald
 

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WOW! I'd think that was awfully early to wean a little one. I also think that milk replacer is expensive. I have a Holstein calf that we kept on replacer until her was 10 weeks old...I don't think I'd want to wean any earlier than that...but then, I am of the opinion that the longer you can keep them on the milk, the healthier, bigger and stronger they'll be in the long run. And I'm a sucker for calf eyes!

I'd say that if he looks healthy, is eating and drinking and munching hay like he should be, then just keep an eye on him. If he looks like he may not be gaining like he should, perhaps a week or two more on the bottle will help that a bit.

-Sarah
 

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We keep our Holstein calves on replacer for two-and-half to three months. Just depends on when we have time to move a group out of the stalls and into a pasture. We keep them with their mama for about a day, bottle feed them for a couple days, then get them on a bucket ASAP, because it's so much quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. This is how I have always done it - at least a month on
milk replacer gradually tapering off while providing creep feed and hay. I was just
amazed how well this calf is doing so soon off the replacer. The dairy farmer that gave him to me really operates on a shoe string and does alot of questionable things to save money.
These calves are really a nuisance to him. He told me once that he took several
to the livestock auction in a stock trailer and while he left the trailer parked with
calves he came back to find several more than he started with. Apparently another farmer found it easier to dispose of them this way than trying to sell them! I think they produce superior beef. They do gain slowly though.
 
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