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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if the answer to this is in here somewhere, I've searched and searched to no avail. My cow's heifer calf is about 2 1/2 months old right now, and I'm wondering if it is too soon to wean her... she's drinking water and eating hay and a little grain and is strong, healthy and growing like a weed. I would like to leave her on her momma longer but here's the deal... the gentleman that I normally get my hay from has been unreachable, and I can't find anyone else around here with the type of hay I need, so to get the hay I need, I'll have to travel farther and pay more. In essence, I could really use the money I'd get from the calf right now (or the hay if I'm able to trade her for the hay) but I don't want it to be detrimental to her. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance! :)
 

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Bottle calves can be weaned @ 6 weeks providing they meet a few factors. I personally wean my bottle calves @7-8 weeks old. I rasie quite a few each year and have never had any type of health problem. With that in mind your calf should be in excellent shape sucking on MaMa all day long, so my answer is wean her. At the same time selling the heifer for hay seems a bit extreme....I'd think of other options, if possible. If she's a dairy cow why not barter milk for hay? Topside
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Topside, she's getting sold regardless, I just don't have the room or the time to keep her. Not only do I not have a use for even more milk, but I only have 2 acres of land right now, and with 40 chickens, a couple turkeys, 2 horses, 4 dogs, momma cow, and currently 7 goats ( know anyone in Wyoming, Utah, or Colorado who wants some goats? lol) I just don't have the room. I wish to all this world that I could barter milk for hay and such, but it's been tough here. If it's not beef cattle no one wants it, and I can't technically sell, trade, or even serve my raw ungraded milk to anyone. And yeah, she's dairy, she's got to be just about the only young Jersey heifer available in the whole danged state lol. I already have a couple potential buyers, so selling her isn't a question, she just has to go, it's only a matter of when. Thanks so much for your response.
 

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If the calf was getting a good amount of grain I wouldn't worry too much. You could always get a bag of MR and feed a bottle a day for a week or two or freeze up some of the cow milk and feed it out for a couple of weeks.
The big deal is the rumen and it develops quickly when grain is fed as a calf.
 

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Last week, when my bull calf was 560# @ 5 months, I put a temporary step-in hotwire between calf and his momma in order to wean him. He's 7/8 Guernsey, and the vet who pulled him said he was 90# at birth, so he's gained pretty well in his 5 months life. He eats hay well, and I don't want him grained because it causes feed cattle to not produce CLA and Omega-3 oils, which I want because our family is going to harvest him probably before next June.
 
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