holstein/jersey cross

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by harplade, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. harplade

    harplade loving life on the farm

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    louisana ( bush)
    We're new to cattle and are thinking about buying two heifers in the hopes of breeding and letting them be nurse cows for a couple calves purchased from a dairy. Is this a very difficult thing or not so hard? We raise goats but need advice on cattle.

    Thanks,
    Harplade
     
  2. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,869
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    Sounds good as long as the cow accepts the purchased calves and produces enough milk for her biological calf and the imported calves...The amount of milk should not be a problem even for a first freshener. Be prepared for AI, renting a bull, each year.
     

  3. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,484
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    You can get nearly any cow to accept orphan or add-on calves. Some will readily take anything you put on her with almost no effort. Others will fight the calf intensely, and will have to be restrained to let the calf nurse. You may have to do this for several days up to several weeks. You never know how each cow is going to be until you try her.
     
  4. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I've tried to foster calves on a cow about a half dozen times with zero results. Most cows simply won't accept a calf not her own. Now if you get a heifer and put a second calf on her with her first freshening, then she may come to think it is just second nature to nurse two or more. On some cows you may have to put into a headgate or head catcher and than wack her rear with a paddle when she tries to kick off a new calf until she eventually makes the cause and effect link.

    As noted after a couple of days the calf should basically take on a smell from her own milk.

    A lot depends on the aggressiveness of the calf itself. Some will continue to try to nurse dispite being kicked off repeated. Others may give it one try and then not bother anymore.

    Note above comments on having to get the cows rebred each year. One technique is to simply buy a likely looking bull at a livestock market about a month and a half after they freshen and then take him back after they no longer come into heat (say four months total). Difference between purchase and resale is basically the bull rental charge.

    Old story I've heard. One family had a milk cow they would walk about a mile down the road to someone who had a bull. After a couple of years she would stand at the gate with her calf when she come into standing heat. They would call the neighbor and tell them the cow was on her way. They would let her out and the neighbor would let them in. When she was bred she would stand at their gate ready to come home.
     
  5. harplade

    harplade loving life on the farm

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    louisana ( bush)
    HI, thanks for the advice. We've done the fostering babies with goats, and as you said, some take more readily and others need the milking stand and grain to let the baby suck. Hadn't thought about purchasing a young bull. How young can they breed?

    Thanks,
    Harplade
     
  6. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Really depends on being tall enough to reach the cow properly.

    Personally keep a bull to breed to cows wouldn't be cost effective. You would only need him for about 20 minutes a year if they are the right minutes.