Cow/Calf pairs

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by topside1, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Sep 23, 2005
    Monterey, Tennessee
    Howdy all!! It's been some time since I needed your opinions and advice, but today let it rip...
    I'm not a big fan of sale barns, but from time to time I drop in, just cause. Each time I eyeball the beef cow/calf pairs. Occasionally a pair is bought and then only the calf is ran back through, to be auctioned again. The separated calves appear to be around 200lbs, actual age who knows.
    So here are my questions????
    1. Should I consider the calf weaned upon purchase??
    2. How long would you pen this animal up for??
    3. Grain, water and hay and slowly release it into the herd??
    4. How soon should it be over it's (mom/son) separation anxiety? Day, week??
    5. I your opinion, is this new idea a mistake? And why?

    Some of you know that I raise day-old bottle calves each year so this type of purchase is a tad scary. Beef calves around here sell for around $200.

    If I buy a dairy calf for $100, plus 70.00 in milk replacer and factor in all the extra work plus possible sicknesses, well I think you get the picture...Please write soon I'm itching to buy one or two. Tennessee John
  2. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

    Jul 6, 2005
    I know lots of people who either buy the mother/calf, then run the calf back through; or run the mother back through; or buy pregnant cows, wait for them to have their babies, then run both back through. Seems to work for them. Good luck. Bye.

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    I suspect what is happening is the auctioneer makes the decision the cow and calf will bring more separately rather than as a pair. This, in all likelihood, means the cow is going to slaughter. At 200-pounds a calf is pretty well depending on milk for a supplement/taste only. It should then be fully use to eating forages/hay and consuming water on its own.

    There is going to be an intial blast of 'mom isn't here anymore', but they should get over it within a couple of days. Just let them bawl it out of them.

    At 200-pounds someone else has already proved it will be able to take care of itself.

    Personally, I would keep it separated from the herd until spring grass. Good hay, clean water, access to outside and some supplemental grain should be all it needs.

    However, will note they do seem to do better when they have a buddy in with them.
  4. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2003
    Ouachitas, AR
    There you go buy 2. :)
    Seriously I would think you would come out about the same cost wise and a calf raised on it's mother a couple of months is going to do a lot better than one raised on a bottle. It will save you a huge amount of work. I would keep it penned at least a week, let it get used to you and so you can keep a close eye on it. They will holler for a LOOONNNGGG time which is the only downside.