Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:54 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
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.


This may be what another member was trying to warm me about when he asked, why reinvent the wheel?

Starting out with the Jersey X Limousin heifers would almost be like creating a breed. As you said, the calves would have to be culled hard to really improve the herd. As was mentioned, it is probably much easier to just buy quality heifers/cows to start with rather than breeding several generations to get quality cattle and good prices.

It is always a trade-off -- time or money. Spend more money upfront for quality or spend more time developing quality.

I am just exploring ways of doing things.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby BRYANT » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:06 am

They say them dairy cattle are the best beef you can eat and will grade prime more often than beef cattle. You might do well to raise them bull calves up and sell them to people to put on Angus cows or any beef breed as for as that goes. I don't know that they would help my old culls much, because they are pretty much hopeless with as much Brahman as they have in them.
Just a idea may be worth trying. ????
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby dun » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:04 am

Through the years we have started 2 herds with dairy bef cross heifers. We used Lincoln Red, Gert and Angus bulls (AI) and the calves didn;t get docked. The cows never performed well on range condtions and not much better on pasture unless supplemented.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby farmerjan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:07 am

Bullit; where are you located? the biggest thing is are you going to have a dozen or so calves to sell at a time or are you going to have 50 that you can market them for their "special" qualities. What sells in your area?

I will try to keep this short but everyone knows I get into explanations. Here in Va black is king and black baldies are very good. Anything red, limis, our red polls, and including red angus, takes a hit. Char crosses that are smokey WITH A BLACK NOSE will do nearly as good. Shorthorn, straight herefords, straight char with the pink noses, speckled calves, will take a hit and GOD FORBID it has any ear on it......dum de dum dum.....
Dairy steers will run .80 to 1.00 a lb year in and year out. Dairy crosses will do maybe a little better but if it has the "fineness" of dairy, especially jersey, then it is considered dairy. Due to the large number of dairy farms, holstein steers have their niche and some former dairy farmers do well feeding out holstein steers. Still, they are dairy.

I have several dairy and dairy x cows. I like my dairy and milking cows, and have been involved with dairy most of my life. We also run a commercial beef farm and have mostly angus and crosses and have some herefords, some red cows, and char x and even a few speckled park. We sell a few sides of beef and always use our "odd" colored calves for beef.

Right now I have 4 dairy cows as nurse cows in the barn ; a jersey, an old guernsey, and 2 that are 3/4 jersey 1/4 holstein. the jersey has 2 good teats and has 2 calves, and an attitude problem that has determined this is her 2nd and last time as a nurse cow; the guernsey has 2 (and a third one partly on her) calves on her; one of the 3/4 jerseys has 3 good teats and has 3 calves on her. The other 3/4 jersey has 3 - 4 month old calves on her and she comes in because she is a first calf heifer and can use extra grain, and takes the 3rd calf from the guernsey and it nurses her also. I am weaning her 3 older calves and this cow will let anything nurse her; so she shares the one with the guernsey, and I caught 2 of my bottle babies also nursing her. So as soon as I move her 3 older calves I will let her feed whoever she wants. I also have 3 "bottle babies". And as I said, I have caught 2 of them stealing off the nurse cows while in the lot during the day.

You have to have a market for the calves; or understand that you will get less for the calves. But, I figure it this way; and this is just a general average on an average year. A good beef cow will produce one calf. At 500 lbs, that calf is worth say 1.50 lb. S750.00. Costs in the neighborhood of $450. to keep the cow. These are average figures..... So if you are lucky you make $300. over the cost of keeping the cow. Take out death losses, all other stuff, add another $100 in costs, so you make $200 per calf.
My nurse cow has a beef cross calf. Weaned at 400lbs at $1.00 lb that is $400.. She raises 2 additional calves. Same deal, weaned at 400 lbs @ $1.00 equals $400. each. She has produced $1200 worth of calves. I paid $50.00 each for the additional calves, so $100. She gets grain for the first 4 months so an additional $200 to feed her. So, it is costing 450 plus 200, plus 100 for 2 additional calves. If you figure the additional 100 for various extra costs that is $850. on the cow and she has produced $1200 worth of calves so I am making $350 per cow....
My thoughts are that 2 calves pay for expenses and the third calf is profit.
This is figuring on the average to low side of returns for the calves when weaned. Any pure jersey calves will sell as good as a holstein in the spring at 500 lbs or so for people who know jersey beef and want something to run for 6-8 months on their back few acres and put in the freezer. I get 1.00 lb for jersey steers right out of the pasture. More when I sold jersey beef delivered to the butcher. But then you are dealing with the "john q. public" and that can be a pain.

Any 1/2 dairy 1/2 beef heifers I raise up for cows. They will milk and raise a real nice calf. Bred beef the calf usually will look pretty beefy ( it is 3/4) but occasionally they will show more dairy. Some of the 1/2 dairy cows will have too much udder and I will put a second calf on them and grain them some for 6-8 weeks til the calves get going real good and so the cow won't lose too much condition. Then she goes on pasture with the rest of the beef herd and the 2 calves are hers. They will often wean at 4-500 lbs, and so will bring 800 to 1,000 for 2 calves at the 1.00 lb. Anything more is just gravy.
If you like fooling with dairy cows like I do, it is a way I can have my milk cows and not be stuck into a 2x a day milking or going full dairy and all the b.s. that is in the industry. I breed some AI so can get dairy calves out of my better cows and 1/2 beef out of the others. There are some that have lousy dispositions, some that once you get an extra calf or 2 on them they are their calves, and don't mess with them; and some that will let any and all that want a meal to suck.

I get my calves DIRECTLY off a dairy/dairies and I know they have had colostrum. Yes it helps that I am a milk tester and have sources. But, many dairies around here have someone that gets all their calves. Pay a set price, big, little, twins, the buyer takes them all. It averages out and the dairy farmer doesn't have to deal with making a trip to the market and all the hassle. Most dairies that you develop a relationship with will make sure that the calves get a feeding or 2 of colostrum, because you will spread it around if they sell sickly calves that always die.

There are other little tricks to the trade but this is long enough for now....
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Dogs and Cows » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:57 am

farmerjan wrote:Bullit; where are you located? the biggest thing is are you going to have a dozen or so calves to sell at a time or are you going to have 50 that you can market them for their "special" qualities. What sells in your area?

I will try to keep this short but everyone knows I get into explanations. Here in Va black is king and black baldies are very good. Anything red, limis, our red polls, and including red angus, takes a hit. Char crosses that are smokey WITH A BLACK NOSE will do nearly as good. Shorthorn, straight herefords, straight char with the pink noses, speckled calves, will take a hit and GOD FORBID it has any ear on it......dum de dum dum.....
Dairy steers will run .80 to 1.00 a lb year in and year out. Dairy crosses will do maybe a little better but if it has the "fineness" of dairy, especially jersey, then it is considered dairy. Due to the large number of dairy farms, holstein steers have their niche and some former dairy farmers do well feeding out holstein steers. Still, they are dairy.

I have several dairy and dairy x cows. I like my dairy and milking cows, and have been involved with dairy most of my life. We also run a commercial beef farm and have mostly angus and crosses and have some herefords, some red cows, and char x and even a few speckled park. We sell a few sides of beef and always use our "odd" colored calves for beef.

Right now I have 4 dairy cows as nurse cows in the barn ; a jersey, an old guernsey, and 2 that are 3/4 jersey 1/4 holstein. the jersey has 2 good teats and has 2 calves, and an attitude problem that has determined this is her 2nd and last time as a nurse cow; the guernsey has 2 (and a third one partly on her) calves on her; one of the 3/4 jerseys has 3 good teats and has 3 calves on her. The other 3/4 jersey has 3 - 4 month old calves on her and she comes in because she is a first calf heifer and can use extra grain, and takes the 3rd calf from the guernsey and it nurses her also. I am weaning her 3 older calves and this cow will let anything nurse her; so she shares the one with the guernsey, and I caught 2 of my bottle babies also nursing her. So as soon as I move her 3 older calves I will let her feed whoever she wants. I also have 3 "bottle babies". And as I said, I have caught 2 of them stealing off the nurse cows while in the lot during the day.

You have to have a market for the calves; or understand that you will get less for the calves. But, I figure it this way; and this is just a general average on an average year. A good beef cow will produce one calf. At 500 lbs, that calf is worth say 1.50 lb. S750.00. Costs in the neighborhood of $450. to keep the cow. These are average figures..... So if you are lucky you make $300. over the cost of keeping the cow. Take out death losses, all other stuff, add another $100 in costs, so you make $200 per calf.
My nurse cow has a beef cross calf. Weaned at 400lbs at $1.00 lb that is $400.. She raises 2 additional calves. Same deal, weaned at 400 lbs @ $1.00 equals $400. each. She has produced $1200 worth of calves. I paid $50.00 each for the additional calves, so $100. She gets grain for the first 4 months so an additional $200 to feed her. So, it is costing 450 plus 200, plus 100 for 2 additional calves. If you figure the additional 100 for various extra costs that is $850. on the cow and she has produced $1200 worth of calves so I am making $350 per cow....
My thoughts are that 2 calves pay for expenses and the third calf is profit.
This is figuring on the average to low side of returns for the calves when weaned. Any pure jersey calves will sell as good as a holstein in the spring at 500 lbs or so for people who know jersey beef and want something to run for 6-8 months on their back few acres and put in the freezer. I get 1.00 lb for jersey steers right out of the pasture. More when I sold jersey beef delivered to the butcher. But then you are dealing with the "john q. public" and that can be a pain.

Any 1/2 dairy 1/2 beef heifers I raise up for cows. They will milk and raise a real nice calf. Bred beef the calf usually will look pretty beefy ( it is 3/4) but occasionally they will show more dairy. Some of the 1/2 dairy cows will have too much udder and I will put a second calf on them and grain them some for 6-8 weeks til the calves get going real good and so the cow won't lose too much condition. Then she goes on pasture with the rest of the beef herd and the 2 calves are hers. They will often wean at 4-500 lbs, and so will bring 800 to 1,000 for 2 calves at the 1.00 lb. Anything more is just gravy.
If you like fooling with dairy cows like I do, it is a way I can have my milk cows and not be stuck into a 2x a day milking or going full dairy and all the b.s. that is in the industry. I breed some AI so can get dairy calves out of my better cows and 1/2 beef out of the others. There are some that have lousy dispositions, some that once you get an extra calf or 2 on them they are their calves, and don't mess with them; and some that will let any and all that want a meal to suck.

I get my calves DIRECTLY off a dairy/dairies and I know they have had colostrum. Yes it helps that I am a milk tester and have sources. But, many dairies around here have someone that gets all their calves. Pay a set price, big, little, twins, the buyer takes them all. It averages out and the dairy farmer doesn't have to deal with making a trip to the market and all the hassle. Most dairies that you develop a relationship with will make sure that the calves get a feeding or 2 of colostrum, because you will spread it around if they sell sickly calves that always die.

There are other little tricks to the trade but this is long enough for now....


That was short??? :D
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby farmerjan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:24 am

Yeah, kinda short for me :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby WalnutCrest » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:59 am

We have a group of Aubrac sired calves coming out of a Jersey dairy here in a couple of months.

Bulls for young beef and heifers for possible recips.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:40 am

farmerjan wrote:Yeah, kinda short for me :lol: :lol: :lol:


It was good information. It seems you have to search for good nurse cows, and then if nurse cows are purchased, raising drop calves would be a long-term project.

It would be much easier if the calves could be purchased from the dairies at two months old when the calves can eat hay.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:43 am

WalnutCrest wrote:We have a group of Aubrac sired calves coming out of a Jersey dairy here in a couple of months.

Bulls for young beef and heifers for possible recips.


There is another way to use the heifers -- implant them with embryos.

How much does it cost per embryo? Do you implant them yourself? What breed of cattle do you implant?
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby WalnutCrest » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:16 pm

Bullitt wrote:
WalnutCrest wrote:We have a group of Aubrac sired calves coming out of a Jersey dairy here in a couple of months.

Bulls for young beef and heifers for possible recips.


There is another way to use the heifers -- implant them with embryos.

How much does it cost per embryo? Do you implant them yourself? What breed of cattle do you implant?


We use Aubrac semen on Jersey cows.

The resulting bull calves are sold as young beef and the heifers are retained for development to be recip cows.

We raise fullblood Aubrac and Mashona cattle and F1s (each direction).
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Bullitt » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:03 pm

WalnutCrest wrote:
We use Aubrac semen on Jersey cows.

The resulting bull calves are sold as young beef and the heifers are retained for development to be recip cows.

We raise fullblood Aubrac and Mashona cattle and F1s (each direction).



Maybe I do not know all the lingo. I was thinking recips was short for recipient cows, as in recipients of embryos.

What are recips?

I had to look up Mashona cattle. It seems Mashona cattle share some similar traits as Brahman cattle.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:18 pm

Bullitt wrote:
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?

I like to think we have outstanding calves, but in reality, good reds do just as well as good blacks here. I have several customers that buy/lease bulls from me prefer a red bull, be it red Angus or red Limi.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby WalnutCrest » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

Bullitt wrote:
WalnutCrest wrote:
We use Aubrac semen on Jersey cows.

The resulting bull calves are sold as young beef and the heifers are retained for development to be recip cows.

We raise fullblood Aubrac and Mashona cattle and F1s (each direction).


Maybe I do not know all the lingo. I was thinking recips was short for recipient cows, as in recipients of embryos.

What are recips?

I had to look up Mashona cattle. It seems Mashona cattle share some similar traits as Brahman cattle.


You're (sorta) right.

A heifer (or cow) isn't a recip until the embryo is implanted and sticks.

Until then, they're just heifers and cows.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby farmerjan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:53 pm

It would be nice if a dairy would raise the calves up to weaning and eating good. But realize that staight dairy calves CANNOT just be turned out on grass or fed just hay from weaning to about 5-600 lbs. The bulls/steers will be pot gutted, and do very poorly because they have been bred for so long to need higher protein and supplements in order for them to grow well. The heifers will have poor growth and not be able to reach their potential as a milk cow. Once I wean, they will get some grain and good hay or pasture until they are near a year. Then the jerseys will do pretty good on just grass. But they still will never gain like a beef breed animal that has been developed and encouraged to "rustle their own grub".
Realize too that the hardest part of raising a dairy calf is the first 3 months. And the most costly. And due to that and many having space restrictions, few dairies will raise up their bull calves. Those that do, figure that they will keep them until they are in the 7-900 lb size. Most do it to "pay the taxes" as they say. Then the steers will go to someone who will either graze them up to 1200 and then finish them, or they will go directly to a finisher who will put them on feed.

Getting good nurse cows is the trick. Not all cows will take other calves. I find that the ones I raise from calves often are more accepting than the ones I have bought. But not always. My guernseys tend to be more accepting, but these last few 3/4 jersey 1/4 holsteins have been sweethearts. Up until this last jersey, I have had pretty good luck with them. I did not raise this one but bought her as a bred heifer with a bad quarter for cull price. She had been bred AI and had a jersey heifer, so I got a good deal. The heifer has recently been bred, so am hoping to have better luck with her. I also try to get all my nurse cows to accept being milked by hand in case I need to do so for any reason. It makes it a little easier to get them to let the calves on them because they are used to being fooled with.
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Re: Dairy and Dairy Cross Calves Raised for Beef

Postby Stocker Steve » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:38 am

farmerjan wrote: Getting good nurse cows is the trick. Not all cows will take other calves. I find that the ones I raise from calves often are more accepting than the ones I have bought. But not always. My guernseys tend to be more accepting, but these last few 3/4 jersey 1/4 holsteins have been sweethearts. Up until this last jersey, I have had pretty good luck with them.


If you were trying to buy "sweet heart" nurse cows -- would you look for older cows, or HoJo crosses, or ?
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