Hey guys! My names Lacey, and I'm getting two bottle calves next week and I'm hoping to get advice about raising them! I'm getting a jersey/Holstein cross heifer and a jersey bull. So I'll definitely be reading up in the dairy section of this forum!
Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of cattle!
Do you know where these calves are coming from and if they are started on colostrum etc?
Also it helps to know if the heifers a twin or not. Twins can very often be freemartin (sterile) if twin to a bull calf. Since your planning on breeding it's helpful to know this.
Keep vitamin B and probiotics on hand. Also keep a thermometer set aside for the calves. Temperature can tell you A LOT!
Stay away from soy replacers. Stick with milk based replacers.
Less is more when feeding calves. Don't over feed. You want them begging for more when they finish their bottle.
Have a good calf starter in front of the babies asap along with a small stemmed hay.
Read lots (which your doing) Ask lots of questions (we're happy to answer) and enjoy them babies!
Where can you get small stemmed hay? Can you get it at feed supply stores, or could you get it from people that grow hay to harvest and sell? And is the only difference the fact that the stems are shorter?
Your looking for a thin stem. Easier for them to chew on. Feed store may have a finer stem grass hay or a local hay barn if you have one around. Also yes maybe someone bailing on their own property. Just something thin so it's easily chewed on. The nutrition will more come from the calf starter so don't fret on how much nutrition is in the hay at this point. Just something to learn and chew on.