Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
220 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a small herd of beef cattle (4 head total). I am wanting to raise a calf for slaughter, I have thought about getting a bottle calf and feeding it out, but I got to thinking if I just bought a jersey cow and bred it to the polled hereford bull we use and let the cow raise the calf without messing with the bottle and probably have a better chance of having the calf survive. My question is, since it is a dairy breed will she still need to be milked even with a calf on her? I admit, I don't know much at all about dairy animals. But I thought maybe that would be a more consistent route to have beef in my freezer all the time, instead of trying to raise bottle calves. Thanks for any advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Dairy breeds will hit a point where they produce more than a calf can handle. It's in the genetics. Why not stick to beef breeds and raise the calf on his natural mom?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
why bother with a dairy animal or bottle calves when you have a herd of beefers?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
220 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I had considered doing just that, I wanted to use all of my beef calves for sale so I can build my herd up, but I might just hold back a bull calf one go around. Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,344 Posts
you will get more beef on less feed and less time with a beef breed the dairy breeds are just that bred for milk; though completely edible the meat won't be prime and with a jersey less of it .I milked a brown swiss for years and raised her beef crossed calf for my beef. not a bad deal all the dairy products you needplus a beef to fill the freezer but you have to be willing to milk the cow
 

·
My name is not Alice
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
It isn't like the cow's bag is going to explode all over pasture from too much milk like an over inflated water balloon. So the cow can handle it, physiologically.

But if your thinking and motivation is, "Ill have a dairy cow to milk later down the road after the freezer is full"--don't. God gave cows 4 teats for a reason. And as far as I can tell, the reason is because a calf will beat the crap out of that bag and the 4 teats, leaving one blind, one the size of an overripe cucumber, and two doing just well enough to carry a calf at age 10. Dairy cows, in difference to beef cows, should have those four quarters treated like a movie star. No calves allowed. Otherwise, you'll end up with a dairy cow in a beef cow's world, which isn't very productive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
What I'm doing at present with my mostly-Jersey cow is turning her in twice a day with her own calf and two Holstein bull calves I bought. Fifteen minutes morning and night is all she spends with them. In three months I may wean the bull calves and let the cow's heifer calf run with her, but Abe is right about what happens to the dairy cow's udder when a calf runs with her all the time. I had it happen to one of my cows. So that is a risk I will be taking, if I choose to do it that way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,079 Posts
It isn't like the cow's bag is going to explode all over pasture from too much milk like an over inflated water balloon. So the cow can handle it, physiologically.

But if your thinking and motivation is, "Ill have a dairy cow to milk later down the road after the freezer is full"--don't. God gave cows 4 teats for a reason. And as far as I can tell, the reason is because a calf will beat the crap out of that bag and the 4 teats, leaving one blind, one the size of an overripe cucumber, and two doing just well enough to carry a calf at age 10. Dairy cows, in difference to beef cows, should have those four quarters treated like a movie star. No calves allowed. Otherwise, you'll end up with a dairy cow in a beef cow's world, which isn't very productive.
Good observation.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top