jersey steer

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by delta, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. delta

    delta Guest

    I am considering keeping a Jersey steer as a pet. He would come from a family with two Jersey milk cows. He would be allowed to stay with his mother until weaning. He would be handled and cared for like a pet as his mother is a pet. They hate to sell the bull calfs for meat so I offered to take a bull calf if I could get some info on steers as pets.

    When is the best age to geld the calf? What is the least tramatic method? Will a vet anesthetise the calf if I request it? Can a steer become aggressive? Will he be OK to live with other animals ie: goats and a donkey?

    I have been unable to find the answers I want on any website. I guess not many people keep steers as pets!
     
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    When is the best age to geld the calf? -- You can do it now. Just borrow an elastricator pliers and bum an elasticator band from someone who raises cattle. An elasticator is a thick rubber doughnut-type band which is stretch by the pliers. The band is places over the scrotum, both testicles pushed into it and the pliers released, leaving the band between both testicles and body. Since the blood supply to the testicles and scrotum has now been cut off, they will wither and fall away in a couple of weeks. I've done it on numerous occasions and there doesn't seem to be any pain to the animal if done properly.

    What is the least tramatic method? -- See above.

    Will a vet anesthetise the calf if I request it? -- When they stop laughing - yes. No reason you can't do it yourself or ask around for someone with experience to do it for you.

    Can a steer become aggressive? -- Jersey bulls (dairy bulls in general) have the worst reputation for being unpredicable. They can be like kittens for a long time, then kill you one day. When you remove the testicles you will essentially stop production of the male hormones so, yes, it should be gentle. However, no guarantees.

    Will he be OK to live with other animals ie: goats and a donkey? -- Yes. Cattle don't like to climb stairs so you many not be able to make a house pet out of him though.

    On size, expect him to top out at about 1,000 pounds as a 2 1/2 to 3-year-old.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     

  3. Now would probably be the best time to cut your calf. If you wait until the calf gets too bullish and then decide to cut him he will become what we call a "stag". Stags are steers that were gelded late and look somewhat like a bull and they have the same tempermant as bulls.Especially dairy bulls inparticular.Not good pets.
    Banding would probably be the best way to go. It's not painful...the worst part for the calf is being restrained to get the procedure done.
    You could probably go out and buy a tranq if you are worried that your calf might expierience pain through the procedure. Maybe a little discomfort but he should'nt go through immense amounts of pain.I would consider having a vet do this for you.
    I show steers in my 4-h and in my expierence I've never really had one get aggressive towards me. When you raise them from from calves they become very fond of you...kind of like a dog...they lose all fear of you whatsoever. Which could be a bad thing, when that steer gets the idea that he want to "play" he will butt,kick,jump, or do whatever,he's gonna do it no matter if you like it or not...he wants to "play." That could be very dangerous especially when he just might top out at being a 1200lb Jersey steer. I suggest when you get this calf you should always be cautious they are very powerful and strong animals. As far as being raised with other animals. He should be fine. Good Luck!
     
  4. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Uhhm, yes. He doesn't have to be aggressive to hurt you. A half-ton puppy-dog in a playful mood can do a lot of damage, particularly one that comes equipped with horns. He is going to come equipped with cattle instincts, he's basically going to react to you with the instincts he has, and cattle do a lot of pushing and shoving to establish their place in the world.

    How about a nice kitten? Maybe a canary? Stuffed toy panda? Pet rock is good. Heck, live a little. Splash out. Get a whole HERD of pet rocks.
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Be sure you think this out.

    You are going to have two Jersey milks cows, both of which need to have a calf each year to stay in milk production. In ten years, that means 18-20 calves, with about half of them being bulls. What do you intend to do with all of them?

    Have you thought about what it will cost to feed your 1,000 to 1,200 pound pet during the winter? Have you considered they really need to be wormed and vaccinated each year?

    If you are new to Jerseys watch out for milk fever. If they go down after calving call the vet immediately.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  6. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

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    Milk fever - what's that? Is this more inherent in one breed or another, a feed induced thing (switching to quickly, wrong feed...?)?

    I hear bear cubs are cute too, wonder if they make as good as pet as a full grown bull. :haha:

    Bill
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Milk fever is most common in high producing dairy-breed cows, Jerseys in particular. When they calve they come into milk production so quickly it draws calcium out of their body - notably the blood. Thus, a mineral inbalance (notably calcium and, I think, magnesium) occurs. It is readily treated if caught in time. The fever portion isn't correct as it is not a fever (high temperature) in that regard.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  8. I have a couple Jersey steers headed for the freezer. We are a small family farm so they are "pets" so to speak. They have names, we pet them daily, etc.

    HOWEVER...they are look over the fence kind of pets. I can and do go in with them but, other than feed treats, etc there isn't much one can do with a Jersey steer for a pet.

    Have you considered Dexters? They are a "Mini" cattle breed. If you're wanting a pet, that might work better...

    As for keeping with Goats, Sheep, Etc. When it's feeding time, it doesn't work. They're bigger, they know it and the smaller animals won't get the feed they need. We tried it for quite awhile and the smaller animals suffer. Also, when what goes in one end comes out the other, in the tight winter keep warm quarters the little animals get real full of cow dung in a hurry.