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tncattle

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Talked with a farmer on the phone today that is buying Angus/Holstein calves at about one week old from a local dairy for $50-$65 each. He bottle feeds them and then gets them started on grain/pasture and sells them somewhere around 500-750 lbs. depending on the market. He didn't say before his cell phone died but I assumed they were bull calves. Is that a common thing for dairies (that spelling doesn't look right) to have Angus/Holstein crosses?
 
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tncattle

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Red Bull Breeder":39zl3c3v said:
Yep. Have got angusx herford x and charX from dairies before.

did you have much success doing it? Or was there too much cost involved in getting them to selling weight?
 

tom4018

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Been a while since we have done any dairy or dairy cross calves but have been doing several beef calves for the last few years. Some of these calves come from area farmers that have twins or lost cows and so forth and others have been bought at the stockyards. We have bought several were they sell a pair and someone buys the cow for slaughter then sell the calf.

We keep a spreadsheet on them, averaged selling at 520# and it has been costing about $200 to raise them. We are not set up to buy feed in bulk loads so my feed is sosting me about $50 a ton more. I could do a little better if I could cut my feed cost. We have averaged about $115 a head profit including or death loss.
 

regolith

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Yes, it's common to cross dairy to beef. Dairy farmers do it to aid calving ease or add some value to their calves - lots of people rear them too.
Bulls generally make a reasonable price. Heifer beef crosses you can hardly give away most years, likewise if there's Jersey in the mix.
 

linbul

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Yes, it's our major business here.
Thus, if a dairy farm is crossing their Holsteins with a beef bull/semen, they are selling all calves out, including heifers. They usually breed their best milking cows with dairy semen for replacements, so don't expect the beef crosses to be with greatest milking genetics and/or feed efficiency. When we get heifers, our most profit is when we keep them and make 3-way cross: angus x holstein heifer terminal bred to limo.
As for the bull calves - if you get them in summer/fall, you could get through the winter with much less feed, they are ok even with straw and just some hay and grain. Don't expect winter weight gains though. Then feed them on grass untill the fall and you get some 500# and more. The winter/spring crop is not worth the effort and we usually ship them for veal at 6-7months old.
The most problem with dairies is they dont have one calving season and you have to deal with calves at many different ages at one time. So, if you are going on large scale operation, you would need much more labor force than with beef cattle.
As for the profit - if you have access to beef seedstock and the initial funds for getting a beef herd, don't mess with the dairy crosses.
Just my experience.
 

backhoeboogie

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Day old holstein heifers were bringing $800 and up. Bull calves were still pretty cheap. Most dairies quit crossing because of heifer prices. Why would they cross breed and have a heifer worth $150 maybe? I haven't priced heifers since the milk price bust.

Mostly I buy brangus heifer calves that are split from an aged cow when they are sold as pairs and no one bids. If the heifer calf has shortened ears, I don't take her. My nurse cow calves with a half brangus calf each year. The steers are usually black and make a lot of money. The heifers both natural and grafted are added to the herd.
 

TexasBred

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Use to know an old dairyman that never retained any replacement heifers so he ran red brahman bulls with his dairy cattle. Instead of getting 4-5 dollars a head for a holstein bull calf he'd get $200 for that lively brahman/holstein cross regardless of sex. Once he kept about 100 of the brahman/holstein cross heifers just to experiment with. Raised them to maturity, bred them and milked them. Didn't peak out as high in milk as the holsteins but had a very high butterfat and protein and didn't drop as much in milk when the summer heat hit. After 2 lactations he'd calve them out one more time, haul them to the sale and get "top beef pair" prices for the pair rather than packer cow price the holstein would bring.

He latter switched to brangus bulls and had a waiting list a mile long. Right now you can hardly give away a holstein bull calf down here.
 

mnmtranching

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Last Winter I could have taken all the Holstein bulls I wanted FREE. The Angus cross he would take to the Sale and get $50 for them.
All of this guys cows were bred Holstein but the bred heifers he buys are often bred to Black Angus.
 

angie1

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tncattle":38d32kvx said:
Is that a common thing for dairies (that spelling doesn't look right) to have Angus/Holstein crosses?
It is plenty common here, as well as someone else mentioned angus/jersey cross. I think it is as regolith said: "Dairy farmers do it to aid calving ease or add some value to their calves". I, personally, would not buy straight holstien, but would take a cross in a pinch. They holstein gives them some grow (as far as frame), and the beef crossed in helps them survive through my tender, loving care. :help: They sold fine for me in the fall. They are for sure leggier than the beef babies, but it all works out in the end. I haven't kept them to finish.
 

HOSS

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There is a dairy farmer in my area that has a big operation. He doesnt keep any females so he breeds all his holstien cows to black angus bulls and sells the calves by the semi-load to a feed lot somewhere out west. It is alot better money than selling the straight bred bull / steer calves.
 

LoveMoo11

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When my grandparents dairied we had a couple of cross calves that grew up to be milked, and they did pretty well. The reason we had crossed the dams was because they wouldn't settle through A.I. and we had a bull there for our Angus cows and just threw them in there to get taken care of. A lot of people buy just plain old dairy bulls for beef, so I would think a beef/dairy cross would be even better.
 

Texas Gal

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TexasBred":1xglv01v said:
Use to know an old dairyman that never retained any replacement heifers so he ran red brahman bulls with his dairy cattle. Instead of getting 4-5 dollars a head for a holstein bull calf he'd get $200 for that lively brahman/holstein cross regardless of sex. Once he kept about 100 of the brahman/holstein cross heifers just to experiment with. Raised them to maturity, bred them and milked them. Didn't peak out as high in milk as the holsteins but had a very high butterfat and protein and didn't drop as much in milk when the summer heat hit. After 2 lactations he'd calve them out one more time, haul them to the sale and get "top beef pair" prices for the pair rather than packer cow price the holstein would bring.

He latter switched to brangus bulls and had a waiting list a mile long. Right now you can hardly give away a holstein bull calf down here.

years ago I bought some brahman/holstein bottle heifers from a neighbor. Their kids raised them over the summer. I've still got one of those gals left - she's 18 or 19 years old & still raises a good calf. The heifers out those cows and an Angus bull were/are probably the best mommas we've ever had - great udders w/ small teats, plenty of milk but not too much, and, most importantly, can make their own living in the lean years as well as in the good years.
 

andybob

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Most commercial herds here that do not breed their own replacements, commonly use Hereford bulls on Holstein and Fresian cows. The bull calves are barley fed to 18 months, the heifers have a ready market as 'Black Herefords'
which are bred to Angus or Limousin bulls for a terminal cross, the Angus sold as 'Barley beef' under the Aberdeen Angus society assured scheme.
 

Rustler9

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My parents started a herd years ago from dairy cross heifers that they bought and bucket fed. Most dairies around here will use a black low birth weight bull or even a Hereford bull to breed their first calf heifers. We used to get the calves from a couple dairies, band the bull calves and sell them in the fall, keep the heifers and breed back to whatver beef bull we were using at the time. This gave any replacement heifers 1/4 dairy blood, usually Holstein and this gave them plenty of milking ability. These made some good mama cows.
 

dun

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Rustler9":1bniwi50 said:
My parents started a herd years ago from dairy cross heifers that they bought and bucket fed. Most dairies around here will use a black low birth weight bull or even a Hereford bull to breed their first calf heifers. We used to get the calves from a couple dairies, band the bull calves and sell them in the fall, keep the heifers and breed back to whatver beef bull we were using at the time. This gave any replacement heifers 1/4 dairy blood, usually Holstein and this gave them plenty of milking ability. These made some good mama cows.
That's how we started upteen years ago too. Part of the problem with it is the forage base. We were on irrigated pasture and those half/quarter holsteins did fine and made great cows. With the dryland pasture here they don;t fare very well.
When we started back up again here we wetn with pure beef breeds, I don;t have the years to raise that many generations of aniamls to get to the point that the dairy (it gets killed at the salebarn) character is bred out of the calves.
 
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tncattle

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Here is a bend in the story, I went and met the guy this morning so my 3 yr. old could bottle feed one and this guy is brand new to it! He has NO EXPERIENCE doing this! He has a decent business plan and some good mentors that live very near him but his first 4 calves are Holstein bull calves. Two of them are 1 week old and the other two are 2 weeks old. He hasn't cut them or banded them yet, he told me the vaccinations he was going to give them (should he already have done that)? He has them secure with good bedding in a barn but not secure from predators! His goal is to get around 10-12 every 3-4 weeks and sell around 10-12 each month when they reach around 700 lbs. He said he thinks he can start selling in about 8 months and keep a rotation like that. He also said he will not take anything else but all black calves and no more Holsteins. I asked him what he thought he would have in a 700 lb. calf when he sold it and he said about $180-$200 and thinks he can sell them for about $450-$500 each at 700 lbs. Yes, he has asked me to go in this with him but I'm very leary about this cause I've never done it and neither has he. I think sickness and death are going to be a bigger factor than maybe he thinks. Will a all black Angus/Holstein 700 lb. steer bring .70 a lb.? I know they will be leggy.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Best ones we had were the charx made black baldies in most cases. The people you get them from makes the most difference in getting good healthy calves to start with.
 

alftn

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Had a Hols. cow crossed to a Shorthorn bull, the steer grew to about 1800 pounds.. Very large animal, made great beef and his red and white hide was beautiful... I had it tanned and it hung on the wall for years....
 

OLF

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alftn":hjlh5dkv said:
Had a Hols. cow crossed to a Shorthorn bull, the steer grew to about 1800 pounds.. Very large animal, made great beef and his red and white hide was beautiful... I had it tanned and it hung on the wall for years....

I think they call that an ox. :D
 

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