on getting a veal calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by mpillow, May 28, 2004.

  1. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I called local dairy who gets rid of his unwanted bulls each Mon. and I am going down to pick one out....He says between $50 to $100 depending on size they are 3-5 days old had colostrum and doing well.

    Is the price right? No growth hormone Holstein 100%. We want it to raise on excess goat milk and he was telling me that goats milk is EXCELLeNT for them. This will be a milk only veal calf to 3-4 months.
    He is only 1-2 miles down the road so transportation withthe price of fuel is a huge savings as well.

    Advice and suggestions appreciated!
     
  2. JanH

    JanH Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where local is for you...but that's a darn good price!!! Snap it up and RUN!!!! :haha: You might consider "watering down" the goats milk...half and half or at least 3/4 milk 1/4 water. Goats milk is richer than cows milk. Also with the age make sure you have everything you need to treat scours should it happen (electrolytes, scour pills, etc). Make sure the navel is dry...this calf will be a little older and a little better to handle stress of moving. If you get more than one be sure they're in separate pens ...some will "nurse" on the navel of the pen mate and it can cause problems. (big reason dairies have calves in separate pens until weaned.) They'll bring $90-100 at the auction - at least here in IL - but selling off the farm he doesn't have the hauling or comission - and again less stress on your calf. Watch for bright eyes - avoid picking one that the eyes are "sunken in".
    Good luck!
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We are in Maine.

    I went and looked at them. The one(holstein) I liked was $65at 2 days. He also said he could sell a guernsey bull calf for 20-30$.

    I had also heard of watering the milk. I have stalls in my barn approx. 4ft x 8ft. 2 stalls have nannies and kids. Is it okay to put him in the other? They are fenced and trimed with wood type stalls. And his stall would be "downhill" from my does.

    Advice?? Thanks!!!
     
  4. JanH

    JanH Well-Known Member

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    That'd be a good area to put him in. Good price on both...many don't like the yellow fat of guernseys. My dad always talks of a guernsey we had (I was too young to remember) that was mean and nasty...says he was good eating though. :haha: Nothing wrong with Guernseys. The calf - either - would have good room in 4X8. After about 10 days offer a small secured pan with a creep grain in it.
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you so much JanH!

    Just one more question (I hope :eek: ). My impression was that in order to achieve the highest quality veal that nothing other than milk should be offered. No I'm not a gourmet cook and I do want him to be healthy but is grain necessary and if so what protein percent 14% sweet or just corn?

    I think we'll be getting at least the holstein by Tuesday. :cool:
     
  6. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We brought "Meatball" home today. I gave him a bottle 1pint goat milk, 1&1/2pint water and half package of "deliver" electrolyte replacer....he sucked it right down, wagging his tail, and the goats were looking at him as if to say "you be one butt ugly goat" :haha:

    He is just a bit smaller than some of my full grown nannies. My 3yo said "that not goat mahh, that cow moooo!" it was cute :D
     
  7. I raise 5 or 6 calves every year on goats milk----whole, unadulterated goats milk!!! Why water it down? Especially if you are going to make the poor little guy a veal calf. Mine get a gallon and a half of goats milk, grain, hay or pasture depending on the season. Weaned at four months, they are as big as the calves raised on our cows. You may end up with one of those pot bellied scrawny looking things if you just feed him watered down milk and nothing else! There is a reason why veal calves have to be pumped so full of antibiotics and such.
     
  8. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We raise calves on goat milk too, and I had a dairy barn vet tell me in no uncertain terms to NEVER WATER THE GOAT MILK DOWN!

    Milk has to curd in the stomach in order to be digested -- if you water it down, it makes it awful hard to curd up, and *that* makes them scour.

    What we do if they have been on replacer is to mix it half and half a few days until they are on full goat milk.

    We just picked up 5 more calves last week :)

    Tracy
     
  9. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    He seems to be doing well.

    I have been watering it down but will gradually increase to full milk. We have very creamy thick Nubian milk. I also have a Toggy and her milk is thinner but I'm not milking her at the moment (she has 2 bucks to feed).

    I'm giving him just under a 1/2 gal of milk mixed equal with water over 3 feedings....I will just keep increasing concentrate and amount steadily. Right now we still have 10 days of weaning kids left and so only about 3/4 gal a day available for the calf. But soon to be 3gal minimum....maybe I could get a second calf then.
     
  10. JanH

    JanH Well-Known Member

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    Why water it down slightly...because goats milk is richer than cows milk....and sudden digestive upset can cause problems. Vets...like people...differ in opinions cause I've had several say cut it 3 parts milk, 1 part water.
    But beyond that, whole milk *can* be cut without problems. I once worked on a large dairy (1,000 head milking) and as part of it raised the calves. The milk was mixed half and half with warm water. By the above they should all have had scours but that wasn't the case. I was feeding 100 calves at a time...under instruction the way they wanted it done...and all grew happy and healthy. Those sold for vealers got the same thing....and if switched suddenly from that to whole goat milk I'd sure be looking for problems.

    Each to their own...but it can be done either way.
     
  11. Jan, we raise all of ours on whole goat milk, and I very, very, rarely ever get any with scours.

    If I am buying them from the sale as I usually do, then I have a bag of replacer that I mix half and half for a few days and work them up to whole milk....as you said, it is a sudden switch over that causes problems and that's what we avoid. I have 5 on whole goat milk right now, and they look really good.

    I have a friend who raises calves on FREE CHOICE whole goat milk! Their growth is unbelievable, and she gets amazing prices on them. I didn't think it could be done, but she says it sure can, you just have to start them off slowly.

    Sounds like your particular way is working for you, so good deal!

    Tracy