Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

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Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 pm

I see on Craigslist that dairies often sell dairy calves and dairy crossed calves for little money. I see dairy bull calves for as little as $25 each. The dairy cross calves are usually more.

I was curious. Has anyone used a nurse cow to put a few dairy or dairy cross calves on and then sold the calves?

I realize that dairy cattle will not sell as well as beef cattle, and the dairy cross will sell a little better than straight dairy cattle, but it seems they are so cheap that they could make money.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Cada22 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:43 pm

You will lose a few here and there and will see some increased feed costs then most likely take a beating at the stockyard when you go to sell them. Might work if you can build a local market for farm raised beef. Will still take a slight cut in selling price if going this route too.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:32 am

That has been done "forever". Not sure if anyone on this forum does it. But, it has been done, and is still being done.
You need to be pretty good at keeping newborns alive - not so easy with sale barn dairy calves, but lots of people do it.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Farm Fence Solutions » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:31 am

When my wife and I were just getting started, we would keep as many as 75 bucket calves at a time. It's a lot of work, and you have to stay on top of any problems, or they'll lay down and die. It is possible to make $ on them, but I think the guy/gal that owns them after weaning is the one to make the money. If you can get them straight from the dairy, and avoid the sale barn, it will greatly improve your bottom line......no matter if it's red or black.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:56 pm

I know many of you have heard of this before, but this is a good idea. They cross Jersey cows with a Limousin bull to get good beef cattle.

I see this cross is being sold for $250 per bull calf. I wonder if the heifers would be good for breeding?

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/grd/d ... 47898.html


It seems Wulf Cattle developed this idea. http://www.beefmagazine.com/cattle-gene ... nefit-both
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Ky hills » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:45 pm

I did raise dairy calves on nurse cows for a while. At the time I could get calves straight from dairies, they typically were healthy and did ok. The cows can be a range from easy to work with to pains in the rear to accept new calves. I usually tried to have 3-4 calves on a cow, and wean them in 2-3 months and start over, it was generally easier if they had their own calf, sometimes if the calf was a Jersey, it was small and could be left on the cow longer.
I did however go back to bottling during the last couple years of the calf raising, it just seemed easier than having to deal with kicking cows and wrestling with calves to get them to nurse the cows.
I did think that it made some money with around 80-100 calves a year. One thing that helped me was that at the time dairy heifers had quite a bit of value, and I was able to get heifers as well as bulls. Then was able to turn around and sell the heifers back to the dairy, or if they didn't want them there was a dairy auction option.

I would caution that it is risky when buying dairy calves, as lots of them don't get adequate colostrum, and are transported across several states and then advertised to sell. I have lost several calves from those kinds of deals.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:58 pm

Bullitt wrote:I know many of you have heard of this before, but this is a good idea. They cross Jersey cows with a Limousin bull to get good beef cattle.

I see this cross is being sold for $250 per bull calf. I wonder if the heifers would be good for breeding?

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/grd/d ... 47898.html


It seems Wulf Cattle developed this idea. http://www.beefmagazine.com/cattle-gene ... nefit-both


It works for WULF for many reasons, the foremost being that they have market for the steers. They don't run 5 or 10 through a sale ring at a time. They are the largest supplier of Limousin influenced cattle into the food chain in this country. Don't make the mistake of thinking that it will work just a well or even the same for someone on a smaller scale. Crossing beef with dairy is nothing new, WULF just found a way to capitalize on it.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:12 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:
It works for WULF for many reasons, the foremost being that they have market for the steers. They don't run 5 or 10 through a sale ring at a time. They are the largest supplier of Limousin influenced cattle into the food chain in this country. Don't make the mistake of thinking that it will work just a well or even the same for someone on a smaller scale. Crossing beef with dairy is nothing new, WULF just found a way to capitalize on it.


Thank you.

As I wrote earlier, I know dairy cattle or dairy cross cattle will sell for less than straight beef cattle.

It makes sense that it works better on a large scale.

What does anyone think about using the Jersey X Limousin heifers for momma cows? A black Angus or black Limousin bull could be bred to the heifers to produce the black calves the market likes. I think this would produce some nice cattle, and it could be started cheaply by buying heifers at $250 each. For $3,000 a person could buy a dozen heifers and then grow from there.
Last edited by Bullitt on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:20 pm

You could certainly breed those Limi X Dairy heifers to a calving ease Limi or Angus bull. I have zero experience with the cross as mommas though. The fact is though, you will continue to sell the offspring at a discount for at least a couple of generations to breed the dairy look out of the calves. If you are selling at a stockyard, be prepared for a dock on price. It really comes down to quality VS quantity. You may be better off buying a few head less of some good F1 beef bred females that have a documented history from a known seller than buying some unknowns for a bargain. What is the end game of your program? Do you want to get to the end game faster or cheaper?
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:30 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:You could certainly breed those Limi X Dairy heifers to a calving ease Limi or Angus bull. I have zero experience with the cross as mommas though. The fact is though, you will continue to sell the offspring at a discount for at least a couple of generations to breed the dairy look out of the calves. If you are selling at a stockyard, be prepared for a dock on price. It really comes down to quality VS quantity. You may be better off buying a few head less of some good F1 beef bred females that have a documented history from a known seller than buying some unknowns for a bargain. What is the end game of your program? Do you want to get to the end game faster or cheaper?



You are probably right that starting off with a half dozen good beef heifers would probably make more sense than using a dozen dairy cross heifers.

I know buying heifer calves is not the fast way to go about building a herd, but it is the cheapest way I know of.

I like the Black Baldies. I think Hereford heifers crossed with an Angus bull would be good. Then the heifers produced could be put back in the herd and bred to the Angus bull to keep the calves mostly black, as the market likes. Black Baldies seem to sell well everywhere.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:40 pm

Bullitt wrote:
Boot Jack Bulls wrote:You could certainly breed those Limi X Dairy heifers to a calving ease Limi or Angus bull. I have zero experience with the cross as mommas though. The fact is though, you will continue to sell the offspring at a discount for at least a couple of generations to breed the dairy look out of the calves. If you are selling at a stockyard, be prepared for a dock on price. It really comes down to quality VS quantity. You may be better off buying a few head less of some good F1 beef bred females that have a documented history from a known seller than buying some unknowns for a bargain. What is the end game of your program? Do you want to get to the end game faster or cheaper?



You are probably right that starting off with a half dozen good beef heifers would probably make more sense than using a dozen dairy cross heifers.

I know buying heifer calves is not the fast way to go about building a herd, but it is the cheapest way I know of.

I like the Black Baldies. I think Hereford heifers crossed with an Angus bull would be good. Then the heifers produced could be put back in the herd and bred to the Angus bull to keep the calves mostly black, as the market likes. Black Baldies seem to sell well everywhere.


True to a certain extent in regards to the baldies. I am in NW WI, and here, any white will get you a dock at the barn. Solid red or black sell well, but pretty much anything else will take a hit. The only people in our area who have shorthorns, Herefords, commercial baldies, etc. either sell on the grid/under contract for fats, or make most of their money in seed stock and can justify the hit they take on sale ring marketed calves. I think some good F1s are a great option for a person new to the game. Just let your area markets and overall plan for the herd dictate what specific cross to start with and how to build on it.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:50 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:
True to a certain extent in regards to the baldies. I am in NW WI, and here, any white will get you a dock at the barn. Solid red or black sell well, but pretty much anything else will take a hit. The only people in our area who have shorthorns, Herefords, commercial baldies, etc. either sell on the grid/under contract for fats, or make most of their money in seed stock and can justify the hit they take on sale ring marketed calves. I think some good F1s are a great option for a person new to the game. Just let your area markets and overall plan for the herd dictate what specific cross to start with and how to build on it.



Yes, it would be good to hit the sale barns in any area to see what is selling well.

From what I have been reading here lately, it seems the North is the least forgiving on cattle breeds. The South is more excepting of Brahman-influenced cattle like Brangus because they handle the heat better in the South, whereas they cannot handle the cold well so are not accepted in the North. A person here said Brahman X Hereford that make tiger stripe calves is popular in Texas. And I know Black Baldies are popular in the South.

So it is solid black or solid red in the North, but without Brahman influence. I am guessing you see a lot of Angus and Limousin there.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:03 pm

Probably more Angus (red and black) influence than anything. Some of the biggest Limi breeders in the country are up her in WI and MN, but they have a more select following and less breed based marketing compared to Angus. The rare time we send one of our Limis through a sale barn, they usually top the area sales for the week, not just day. Having said that, we breed for a mainstream look. Most people can tell they are Limis, but they don't have the super round hip and fine bone many people associate with the breed. We have Red Angus, Black Angus, Limis and the Lim-flex composites. We shoot for an animal that has breed character, but fits the modern market and can compete in the ring. This is a group of fall born Red Angus sired calves out of our Limi cows.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Stocker Steve » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:09 pm

Bullitt wrote:What does anyone think about using the Jersey X Limousin heifers for momma cows? A black Angus or black Limousin bull could be bred to the heifers to produce the black calves the market likes.


A cross of dissimilar breeds will usually give you a wide range of outcomes. So yes, it will work if you can and do sort enough. My guess is you will need to cull over half the heifers to get the kind you want.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:46 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:Probably more Angus (red and black) influence than anything. Some of the biggest Limi breeders in the country are up her in WI and MN, but they have a more select following and less breed based marketing compared to Angus. The rare time we send one of our Limis through a sale barn, they usually top the area sales for the week, not just day. Having said that, we breed for a mainstream look. Most people can tell they are Limis, but they don't have the super round hip and fine bone many people associate with the breed. We have Red Angus, Black Angus, Limis and the Lim-flex composites. We shoot for an animal that has breed character, but fits the modern market and can compete in the ring. This is a group of fall born Red Angus sired calves out of our Limi cows.
Image



Those calves look good.

Are you saying the red calves do as well in the sale barn there as black calves in general, or do you just have outstanding red calves?
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