Hey All, I have a quick question about cow/calf management and I was wondering if any of you could help me. I grew up on a mid-sized commercial dairy farm which I hope to soon take over. I would like to cut the size down to about 100 head when I get it. For now, it is run like the majority of dairies in that calves are seperated from their mothers soon after birth. I would like to stop this practice and go back to a more "natural" way of allowing the cow/calf to remain together. I plan on having a seperate barn for mothers and babies. I know Johnes is a real concern for most dairies and that it can go undetected for years, but I can't even remember the last time we brought in a cow from somewhere else it has been so long. I am willing to take this risk. So my question is, what are the other drawbacks that I have not yet considered? Do any of you do this in your dairy herd? If you do, how long do you allow the cow to raise her calf before you seperate them? I would like to eliminate the use of calf hutches altogether on my farm and let nature take its course. The only bottle feeding I would do is colostrum at the beginning as I want to make sure that the calf is receiving enough. Any monetary loss from keeping cow/calf together is not much of a concern in my case. I look forward to hearing advice you may have. Thanks in advance!