I have a 7 week old Holstein/Jersey bull. I would like to raise him without antibiotics and on pasture. I'm not sure if he needs to be fed feed or if pasture and hay is enough. Any suggestions on raising all natural cattle?
Raising a calf without antibiotics is no problem, unless they get sick. You can give your calf his shots when he's a little older to guard against illness. Check with a vet for what vaccines you need for your area.
I don't grass feed my cattle, but I do understand the nutritional requirements of the animals. Your pasture needs to be good enough to meet those needs. If your pasture is in poor condition, or does not have the right plants in it, you might need to consider feed at least while he is very young and growing.
We tried raising pasture fed calves and we just didn't like the taste of the meat. It is nutritionally better from all the data that I have read, but the flavor is different. What we do is calve in early spring, wean in December and then feed some grain and hay through the winter. I like to have them go onto pasture at 600 to 700 pounds and then in October or when we bring them in off pasture grain them for 90 days. They normally weigh around 1100 pounds by the time we butcher, have some fat on them, but not too much. You end up with a lot of the pasture feed qualities, but have better flavor. It is quite a bit cheaper to run calves on pasture than to feed them hay and grain and a lot less work.
I raise longhorn cross calves and have not had to use any antibiotics on them, If you raise them right and don't bring in any animals from off the farm they will be fine.
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!