Day Old Calf Prices?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Haggis, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I have mentioned before that our long term plans would include raising a few day old Fresians bull calves to weaning age and then selling them to help offset feed costs on our little croft; well our Jersey Lucy is drowning us in milk so our long term plans may be sped up a bit.

    We're selling some milk (this was never in our plans), and we're giving enough to our kids to make them start to avoid us, so something has to change. Dorsey is due to freshen again in April and we'll really be drowning if we don't get something going to us the milk.

    There are just a few dairy farms around here and before visiting them I was wondering if any of you gentlefolk could give me an idea of a fair price for "day old" bull calves that had had colostrum, and for those that have not.
     
  2. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Haggis, I assume that "Fresian" is synonymous with "Holstein"?

    Around here, bull calves usually go for $85-100 a cwt. And since a calf weighs about 100 pounds, you can expect to pay about a hundred bucks!

    You could also raise hogs on that extra milk. Spammy Jo, our pot-bellied pig, loves it!
     

  3. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Haggis,
    Last week, Holstein veal calves (typically a couple days old) sold from $1.20 to $2.00/lb. at the local sales barn. (That's down here in SE MN.) The ones I saw sell were from 85-105 lbs. The top end has been up over $2.00/lb. in earlier weeks.

    Since you're up on the Range, I don't know what the strength of the market is there, but I looked at the prices from Bagley (realize that's over in Clearwater Co.) and they didn't report any prices for Holstein bull calves.
     
  4. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Up to $2 a lb?!?!?! No kidding?!?!? :eek:

    I just checked the UPI website and at the auction closest to us, steer calves were going for $75-105 cwt.

    http://www.uproducers.com/index.cfm?show=10&mid=22&pid=17

    I don't think UPI has any barns in your neck of the woods, Haggis, but at least this will give you some idea of the range.

    I wonder if prices are higher this time of year because a fair percentage of calves don't make it due to the cold?
     
  5. Jim in MO

    Jim in MO Well-Known Member

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    Down here in Mo the prices are still up as well. For day old dairy calves (if you can find them) they are going for $150.00 and up for bulls and forget heifers at the moment because they're keeping them. I'm hoping that the prices come down some in the spring so I can pick a couple of heifers.
     
  6. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    Heifers will run 500.00 plus for about 100lb calf. How about raising a pig or 2 on the milk ?
     
  7. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    At $1 to $2 a pound for calves that one "buys on Monday, medicates on Wednesday, and buries on Friday" it does make a pen full of pigs look attractive, but I suppose that if a fellow goes slow, starting with a couple of calves and a few pigs, it would't be too bad.

    We picked up another 8 gallon a week customer today for our milk. We are being drawn down a road that I did not intend to travel with this milk sale thing. It's odd, one gets a customer who tells a friend, who tells a friend, and the next thing one knows they are in the raw milk business. At this point I don't know how to stop it other than just being "Joe Jerk" and telling everyone to scram.

    This will bring us up to selling 26 gallons a week of our 50 plus gallon production. I had rather feed the milk to calves or pigs who always show up on time for their milk, and are not likely to complain about anything.

    Thanks for the price updates.
     
  8. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You might be better off looking at Jerseys rather than Holsteins. We sold three Jersey/Norwegian Red crosses mid December. The oldest(2 weeks) one, traiend to a bucket brought $5.00. The other two brought $18.50 and $22.00...the school gets about $28.00 for tehri Jersey bull calves. Aparently people couldn't tell what we were selling. :rolleyes: Those crosses are going to get much larger than any purebred they purchase.

    Jerseys generally bring in less because they take longer to finish and they are smaller.
    We haven't sold any for more than $25 off the farm here and we always give them the same start our heifers get.

    The only time our local Sale Barn brings in more for a bull calf than the larger sale is if there was a cold snap in early spring. All those beef farmers who lost calves are looking for something quick to make up for it and will bid up healthy Jerseys.
     
  9. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    at auction bobbies are goin about 200 bucks but we have found a dairy here that sells them for 125 and they have had 3 days collostrum and some even a week old, weve had good luck . we need 4 more since im milking 2 jerseys and getting way to much milk. yes i am selling to when i had to intentions. we make cheese and feed to pigs. chickens and pigs both like whey as well. I would love to get some of those 25 dollar bobby cavles got any more????
     
  10. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Around here a day old heifer calf, dairy heifer calf ranges from $200 to $700. Im talking 85-100lbs..


    Edit: If I were you, call and ask a breeder if he knows of any farms selling calves, it might be an idea to spend a few extra bucks to go to a farm and get a calf. It is what we did, and im glad we did. Why? This guy over the hill bought one at the market for $250 or so. He put $800 into the animal, it got sick.

    Jeff
     
  11. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    I end up paying about 100-150 (NW WI) for a calf (bull) that is about three days old. I pick the calf up at the dairy farm where it was born and bring it home myself.

    I get leads from our local feed elevator as to has good calves and who to avoid.
     
  12. Tom McLaughlin

    Tom McLaughlin Tom

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  13. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Last evening I wrote "We picked up another 8 gallon a week customer today for our milk. We are being drawn down a road that I did not intend to travel with this milk sale thing. It's odd, one gets a customer who tells a friend, who tells a friend, and the next thing one knows they are in the raw milk business. At this point I don't know how to stop it other than just being "Joe Jerk" and telling everyone to scram." I got to thinking this was a really stupid, ugly, and heartless thing to write or even think. These good folk are helping me support my cattle and I should be thanking them big time.

    I guess it just makes me feel uneasy to have so many folks coming 'round everyday. I spend most of my time alone or just with Herself; and the Grand-Darlings on week-ends. Sometimes I feel like a hermit at Grand Central Station.

    Herself and our kids all make butter and cheese at this point. Some are starting to make icecream, and most of the kids make flavored milk for the bairns: strawberry, chocolate, and Lord knows what all. (We got a call this morning from a laughing daughter, the one with the cancer struggle, and she was on about how that her 16 month old daughter was lickng the spoon being used to dip the cream off the top of the milk while mommy was making butter.)

    The bakers among the daughters will lay back a gallon or two of milk and let it clabber for biscuits, cornbread, and insanely good gravy.

    There's a dairy not far from here that is planning an upgrade from 100 cows to 200. I'm going to drive over and see if we can cut a deal on some day old Fresian bull calves, or even raising some of their heifers to weaning age for them; for a nominal fee of course.

    If we are just managing to get rid of the milk from one newly freshened cow and one nearly dry cow, what will we do in a couple of months when the nearly dry cow freshens? Reckon I'd better have a plan in motion.
     
  14. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Haggis, You let them people know that the milk they buy is for animal feed only don't you. One good thing about a pig, he won't sue you, and he don't take as big a hole to bury as a calf does. Whoops, that's two things.
     
  15. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    I think in Minnesota raw milk sales are legal as long as you restrict it to selling on-farm and don't advertise.
     
  16. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We raised a bull calf on goats milk over the summer. I bought from a holstein dairy 1 mile away. "Cowboy" cost $65. And if I bought two it was for $100. There auction pick-up day was Mondays and Cowboy was born Tues. and farmer kept him till Sunday and gave him colostrum (adamant request from me).
    We raised him 6 months to 450# and the meat is phenomenal!

    Hoping to get a Jersey girl soon and do the same as you are...good luck...look for a reasonable farmer nearby...he may even trade a free bull calf if you'll raise up a replacement heifer for him or maybe part of a hog....
     
  17. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    For all I know the folks who buy milk from me are using it to made milk paint; at least that will be my story should anyone in a suit ask.

    Mom's Dairy v. State of MInnesota is still in the works but so far it is legal to sell milk off the farm; and no I don't advertise. These good folk have sought us out.

    28 gallons at $2.50 per gallon per week sure helps on the feed bill, and the milk I give the kids helps with their grocery bills. It just makes me uneasy to have folks around all of the time.
     
  18. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    I am in the same boat. i know exactly how ya feel. I dont wanna make cheese every day. but im not one for pop in guests either lol. the 2 main ones arent bad, i dont worry bout babys toys bein all over with them, but the other lady i feel like i have to have every thing polished. and of course its for animal use only.
     
  19. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    That is a good price Haggis, because if you broke it down to how much per cwt. It would come to 29.10 or so...



    Jeff
     
  20. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why not designate specific milk pick up times for your customers? Say 2-3 days a week at 3-4 pm or whatever works for you. At least then you know when to expect them.

    Tracy