raising unweined beef or dairy steer on goats milk

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Faith Farm, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Faith Farm

    Faith Farm Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2004
    I placed this post on the goat forum for a goat keepers advice so
    pardon the duplication here.

    Does anyone have experience raising unweined beef or dairy steer
    calves using dairy goats for milk? This spring I may purchase a few dairy
    goats to feed some beef steer calves I plan to purchase locally.
    An article I read in the Stockman GrassFarmer "Dairy Goats Raising
    Dairy Calves" explains how this is done. Starting 150# Steer calves
    next spring on goats milk until they are old enough to put out on grass
    then selling them in the fall @ 600#s is an interesting concept.
    Any thoughts?
  2. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Yes I've heard of it being done with success, but have never done it myself. I hear thecalves do ok. It seems easier to me to get a jersey , breed her to a beef breed and graft another beef breed calf onto her. Or another dairy breed.But I don't know, I've never done either. Either way it would seem healthier/cheaper than buying milk replacer.
    Pretty helpful, huh ;)

  3. cowboyjed

    cowboyjed New Member

    Nov 26, 2005
    I have a cow that is 9 years old that was raised on goat milk and milk replacer
    seems to work fine, you just need to moniter the volume they get so they dont scour
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    I have a friend who is an animal lover. He has about a dozen mixed breed goats. He had an old white nanny that would adopt a calf. Every summer when she freshened he would go to the sale barn and pick up a holstein bull calf that needed medical attention for almost nothing, then nurse him back to health with medications, and let him nurse the nanny. After a couple weeks in a pen with her he would let them both out on pasture. It was a sight to be driving past his house when this calf that always got great big by fall, down on his knees sucking his little white mama.
  5. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    New York bordering Ontario
    I raise quite a few Holstein bull calves on cull dairy cows. If I have a cow freshen with a bull calf and she's got mastitis and/or less than three quarters, I just let the calf go with her instead of running her through the parlor. These calves get a lot of milk for a long time and they grow like weeds. They don't scour unless they've been separated from Mama and gotten back under the fence into the milk herd whereupon they squirt white for awhile. :) Not diarrhea, just over loaded on milk. They clear up as soon as they are back with Mama and not getting so much at once again. I guess what I'm saying is any calf raised on a cow (or goat) would do better than anything on milk replacer. I"ve had twins before, one raised by hand, the other by Mama, and it's a remarkable difference. If you could get bull calves cheap and put them on a goat, it seems like you'd get a remarkable savings in cow vs. goat upkeep and do quite well.

    Uncle Will, I'd have liked to have seen the goat/calf pair!!