Calf raising-day 1 to 4 wks....?'s

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by savinggrace, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

    Oct 27, 2005

    I would love to hear from larger producers what you think of calf raising services. Specifically, a full service calf raising, pick up at day one, get them started with individual attention, diets modified to the specific calf, vitamins, feed, milk replacer, antibiotics (if needed) all provided. A healthy started calf dropped off at your farm week 4. (or kept up to week 8 for an additional fee)

    % of losses, under 5%.

    Would this be interesting to anyone?

    Feedback appreciated! I am thinking of offering such a service for local dairys.


    My best,

  2. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

    Oct 4, 2005
    Catlett Creek Hog Farm Unit 1
    Most calf raising operations take calves at1- 2 days and raise until 60 days from freshening.They do this on a large scale and buy their supplies in volume. I'm not sure you would be able to compete. Why would a dairy pay you to doonly part of the job? Most heifer raiers are retired dairymen with years of experience. You might work at one of these operations to gain experience and insight. I'm not trying to ridicule your idea but I don't think your current plan would be successful. Good Luck anyway.

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Dec 13, 2004
    New York
    One operation I know of keeps them to 100 days, then returns them back to the farm of origin. I beleive she does this to give them a better start. If it is done, it would need to be done with more than just a few, she probably raises 100-200+. As with any big operation there are discounts, because you buy in volume, so the larger operation will tend to do better than something small. Because your customers are going to be the large 500-1000+ cow dairys, not the small 100 cow on down dairys.

  4. john in la

    john in la Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    I am sorry to tell you I agree with milkinpigs.

    Lets look at it from the dairy farmer's point of view.

    I have 200 calves born every year of which 50 will be cross breeds from heifers and 20 will be lost from calving difficulties.
    Of the 130 left 65 will be heifers.
    I have someone that use to be a dairy farmer so I know he knows what he is doing; that will take all 65 and raise them to 22 months old.
    I need 50 replacements every year. If I do not get them from my farm I have to buy them; or keep cows past their prime.
    He still has his large feed bin so he can buy feed in bulk saving me money.
    He raises only my calves so I do not have to worry about diseases from other dairies in the area getting to my calves.

    Now not to be mean or spiteful; but tell me..............
    Why would I send some of my calves to you for 8 weeks??????????
  5. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Washington State
    Melissa, in this neck of the woods calf raising is a cut throat business where some folks have been threatened with bodily harm for taking away someone else's potential business. You may have a tough go of finding a mentor, but to learn the in's and out's that's where I'd start if I were you. You'll get a good feel for what's expected before investing a lot of time and labor.