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Farming is not a get rich scheme. In fact it's not a get rich at all scheme. You can make a decent profit for your work. That's it. By the time you figure in labor and supplies, you will do okay, but you don't do it at the expense of the animal. Healthy animals always make you a bit of money. Just a bit though.

The only reason to work with bottle calves is because you like the calves and cows. You can make better money with less work elsewhere.
 

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We have a Jersey/Angus steer nursing on a momma cow. He gets all the milk he wants and she's got plenty of rich milk. (He's probably getting a couple gallons a day) He's still not filled out like our beef cows. He's definitely not bony., but he's not got the muscling on the buttocks and ribs like our beefers of the same age.


(well, at least the beef calves that we just sold. I wish I'd gotten pictures of the calves before we sold them, so I could compare them to one another)

You do have some good looking calves. I hope you get a good price for them. Unfortunately, around here at least in our market, you just can't get the same price for a dairy type calf as you can with a beef breed. (bonus points for having a black coat.)

If you find out that the beef/dairy distinction costs you, you may want to consider marketing beef directly to consumers, especially if you are able to source organic feed. You can get a decent cut of meat from a great many breeds of young steers. I have a friend who loves Holstein meat.
 

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Rene, it is nutrition and genetics that produce the calf. If you fed a good angus steer and a good jersey steer side by side, you would be able to distinguish between them. A lot of research goes into milk production and a lot of research goes into beef production.

And when you butcher the steers the difference becomes even more dramatic. Things like conversion rates of feed to beef become more apparent. Actual ratio & size of prime cuts becomes apparent. Other qualities like marbling also become more apparent.

And if you have a steak from both the jersey and the Angus side by side on two plates and you eat them, you can tell the difference.

The buyers for feed lots & and packing companies will easily distinguish between the breeds and the purchase price in comparison will reflect accordingly.

Feed costs must be minimized to make a profit. I would dehorn them as well.
yup. We butchered a Jersey steer after having angus and angus crosses for years and we were SO disappointed in the meat. Jersey steaks were much smaller and tougher. And there were'nt as many.
 

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Well I spoke to work where I get my calves from and I explain to them something was happening before I got the little boys loaded on my truck . So they are assigning to me on looking after cows about to calve and giving colostrum that first 24 hours in the field to make sure that they all get what they need
At least on my shift where I work in the middle of the night it's only me and I can see 28 that they got a good start
Do they have access to all the clean, cool water they need?

Do they have shade?

In my experience, heat is harder on calves than cold. As soon as you notice scours, tube them with electrolytes. They can pull through the scour issues as long as they stay hydrated.

You can also get a sulfa bolus from the vet.

Keep calf pens as clean as possible and isolate sickies ASAP.
 

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Colostrum just means that their immune system is going to be terribly handicapped. They will not have immunity to stuff that other calves will be able to fight off. Also, a young cow will have poorer quality colostrum than an older one. Cows that are heavy producers may have lower quality of colostrum because it is more dilute.

Electrolytes restore the salts and minerals. Kind of like Gatorade or Pedialyte for someone with a stomach bug. They also (IMHO) absorb more liquid. It keeps them from dehydrating as fast.

When I say tube them, I mean if they won't suck it from a bottle, you need to put a tube in their throat to force feed them the electrolyte. We've saved plenty of calves like this. Sometimes they get too weak to suck anything or have not interest, so we don't give them any choice. I've gotten really good at inserting the tube.
 
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