Can a Holstein bull cross with anything else?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by buspete, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

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    We are raising a holstein bull calf for beef, he's 4 months old. he lives with the goats and think's he is one of them. I'm not sure if I saw this or not, but I'm pretty sure he tried to mount to doe goat a few days ago. He has not been castrated.

    My wife has come up with the idea of getting a heiffer to raise with him and therefore saving us the expense of buying another calf to replace him when we butcher him, since in theory, he would have impregnated the heiffer.

    (I haven't really applied any thought to this at all)

    My first thought was that to cross a holstein with anything else, it would have to be another big framed cow like another holstein or else the calf would be too big to deliver.

    It seems to me that a holstein heiffer calf would be quite an investment, probably at least twice the cost of a bull calf.

    Is there anything else of comparable size that could be crossed with a holstein? Would it make more sense to just look for a bred heiffer and just continue to raise our bull calf as planned?
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    For the safety of you&yours you would do well to castrate that bull immediately. Many people are killed by Holstien Bulls every year.
     

  3. john in la

    john in la Well-Known Member

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    I think you should read the post by Up North 2 or 3 times to really let it sink in. That is the best advise you have ever been given in your life.

    Now if you were to buy a heifer; she would come into heat long before she was old enough to breed. Do you have a big enough fence to keep a bull away from your young heifer during this time?????????

    Second you would not what to breed a heifer to a Holstein. Most dairy farmers do not even breed their Holstein heifers to a Holstein bull because the calf is so big.

    Now you need to weigh the amount it will cost to keep a cow year round against the cost of a bull calf. I think you will find it cheaper just to buy a new calf each year.
     
  4. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I absoulutely agree with Up North and john in la. Castrate him immediately.
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yep, me too. Its too dangerous to keep a Holstien bull around just to breed one cow. He will get bored.......and will look for distractions for sure. Also, an intact bull is harder to put weight on. They don't "finish" as well as a steer.....they have their minds on other things.
    And he needs to be separated from the goats *immediately*. You can easily end up with dead or injured goats if he is trying to mount them. And steering will not stop him from bothering the goats.
     
  6. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

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    I was born and raised around bulls and handle them daily.I agree with all here.He needs to be cut right away!!!
     
  7. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    A holstein bull up to a year is one thing, but as soon as they go beyond that point, everything goes downhill. Jersey bulls are also nasty, extremely bad temper.


    Now as far as breeding a holstein bull to a first calf heifer? AI is one thing, using a bull when you don't know the Calving Ease of the bull is another. For all you know he could be in the 14-17% range for CE, which means you would get a BIG calf. The DCE plays a role in calving as well. We have had 3 holstein heifers calve in the last couple of months. The first one had a 100lb bull calf. She did have troubles, but this was because she is 10% DCE, bull I used was 8%. I should have used a 6% bull. The other two holsteins calved without any problems. They are 8-9%DCE. This makes a BIG difference. I used 7% on one, and 8% on the other (CE). You can breed a first calf heifer to a bull, but you need to know more about the bull. So using a bull, even aside from the danger for breeding, isn't good because of the calving problems you could have.


    DCE stands for Daughter Calving Ease (I beleive)

    CE stands for Calving Ease



    Jeff
     
  8. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Jeff- Back before the Holstein industry came with calving ease rankings on the AI Bulls, the Norwegians, Swedes, and Finns around these parts bred ALL Holstien heifers to Black Angus for an easy calving and lessen risk of losing heifers. When they had a bull calf, this was an optimum outcome! When they had a heifer, it was not so desirable. They were losing an entire crop of replacement dairy cows.
    We now breed all Holstien heifers to Ayrshire or Jersey to avoid problems, and still get a good dairy cross cow we can milk out of those first calf heifers.
    Understandably as you are pursuing registered Holsteins, this is not an option that will help you acheive that.
    What do you think of the new strategy of breeding all Holstien heifers to Sexed(90% Heifer) semen to insure an easier calving in these holstien Heifers???????
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Going back to the original question on just beef for the freezer a Holstein steer is about as good as them come. There are feedlots in CA which feed out almost nothing but them and something like 80% come out as U.S.D.A. Choice. Cut and then put in the freezer when it reaches 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.

    Were it me, I'd just buy a nice weaned steer at the livestock auction, raise it the spring and summer on pretty well grass along with supplement a bit of corn, then give it, more or less, free corn access for the last 60-90 days in the fall. Have it in the freezer before you need to feed hay.

    Check the stickies above as one is on freezer beef.
     
  10. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    I thought the "let's keep him to breed" idea was a bad one. The "easy" way of going over this with my wife would have been to just confirm the logistical problem of crossing a big framed bull with a smaller cow and calfs getting stuck, therefore telling her that her scheme wouldn't work for that simple reason. (just to cut discussion time with the wife LOL)

    Time got away from me, I had planned on castrating him at 3 months. I'm going to ask the guy that I'm getting my pigs from for "how-to" help with it, he raises Herefords.

    I spent some time last night watching them interact. What had thought was "mounting" behaviour may well have been something else. The goats were playing, running around doing goat stuff, climbing up on the spool etc. and he was running around with them and got tangled up with them several times. He's a lot more clumsy than a goat, and when they stop short he doesn't and ends up on top of them.

    My wife is still hanging on to the idea of a dairy cow sometime in the future. After this guy goes in the freezer, we'll have to study the logistics of that one.
     
  11. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When do you plan to butcher your calf? We raised our first calf from 5 day old to 6months and butchered w/o castrating....he was never mean....my children do most of the bottle feeding :shrug:

    Our new bull calf is 3 weeks(and out w/ goats)....the neighbor dairy man was selling 5 day old heiffers for $100 jersey/holstien.....we thought about getting one but hay is just to darn expensive....for $800-1000 a used milker and calf can be had and just say feed costs $3 a day until first calf(2yrs)....730(days) times $3 or even$1.
    You can get straws of semen (from a local dairy)and have your cow AI-ed.

    I'd try to get chummy with local dairy folk and look in Uncle Henry's.
     
  12. JackDeePeyton

    JackDeePeyton Well-Known Member

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    Mr Buspete

    Glad to hear that you are going to cut that bull. We had one, that the wife just adored and to make a long story short, never got around to cuttin him. Bottle fed him from about 5 days old but after he got about a year old, the problems started and he became to much to handle. Dang near got me on several occasions as well as my wife. Needless to say, after the last go around with him, he was headed over to Cedar Vale Ks to the butcher shop. That was the last time I will ever have one on my property. Best of luck to ya.
     
  13. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

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    For all interested parties:

    The calf is banded!

    I got instructions and a bander from Dale, the guy down the road who has been teaching me all sorts of stuff and we did it today.
     
  14. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear it. :rock: