Best Beef Breeds for Adding a Second Calf Per Cow?

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Bullitt

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I was wondering which beef breeds produce enough milk to graft a second calf onto each cow.

Are there any beef breeds that can easily raise two calves at the same time?
 

Ky hills

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Agree with M-5, Charolais can be heavy milkers. I have always thought of Simmentals and Gelbviehs as being known for milking ability.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Body condition is the one thing I'd be concerned with...you want a good easy keeper to go along with that.. And sometimes those heavy milkers can be hard keepers.2 leaches at a time can take a toll on their condition..good moderate framed simm would be good...
 
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Bullitt

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M-5":aji6itr1 said:
Charolais comes to mind as heavy milkers

Charolais would be good. Yellow Baldies from a Charolais X Hereford is popular. I wonder if Yellow Baldies would do well?
 
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Bullitt

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Ky hills":2p3fpk0b said:
Agree with M-5, Charolais can be heavy milkers. I have always thought of Simmentals and Gelbviehs as being known for milking ability.

Charolais is the most common of those three breeds here in Texas. I do not see Gelbvieh cattle for sale in my area.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Hard to beat a good crossbred,, if you venture outside of one breed. The Brahman F1 would e the ticket.. A good Tiger could have one tugging on each quarter.. If she can stay together...
 
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Bullitt

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ALACOWMAN":uj76n7po said:
Body condition is the one thing I'd be concerned with...you want a good easy keeper to go along with that.. And sometimes those heavy milkers can be hard keepers.2 leaches at a time can take a toll on their condition..good moderate framed simm would be good...

Yes, heavy milkers must eat more. The added feed cost is something to consider.

I think a second calf would just need to be on the cow for three months or so, so I do not think body condition would be reduced much if the cows are provided good hay and minerals.

The idea would be to have a herd of cows and have them calve at about the same time. Then buy the same number of bottle calves as number of cows in the herd. This way twice as many calves could be raised easily. Say you have 30 cows. Using this method you could easily raise 60 calves.

It would take some time and effort to graft the calves onto the cows. I also realize that the right cows would be needed to accept the calves.

I see many Jersey X Angus calves being sold cheaply. And there are many dairies in the area where I live. If these calves can be purchased for $50 each, that would be $1,500 for 30 calves.

If those calves are raised until they are say 600 pounds and sold at $1.25 a pound, that would be $750 per calf. For 30 calves, that would be $22,500. That would be $21,000 profit for those 30 bottle calves, not considering feed/mineral costs and vaccination costs.
 
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Bullitt

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ALACOWMAN":t7npx1nu said:
Hard to beat a good crossbred,, if you venture outside of one breed. The Brahman F1 would e the ticket.. A good Tiger could have one tugging on each quarter.. If she can stay together...

People in the South keep saying the Brahman X Hereford to produce the Braford is one of the best. From what I have read, only some Brafords are striped. Is that correct?

I see Brafords for sale just down the road from me priced at $2,200 per heifer. It might be good to buy some Brafords and keep adding Brafords to the herd each year. I see weaned Hereford heifers here priced at $600 each. Add a Brahman bull and I could breed my own Brafords.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Stripes depends on the Brahman used.. The colors Not a factor weather they perform better..just a name... I had a few I raised that had a faint tiger pattern and had more Hereford color pattern...tigers are F1s..a true Bradford is 3/8-Brahman. 5/8 Hereford
 
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Bullitt

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ALACOWMAN":3defbifz said:
Stripes depends on the Brahman used.. The colors Not a factor weather they perform better..just a name... I had a few I raised that had a faint tiger pattern and had more Hereford color pattern...tigers are F1s..a true Bradford is 3/8-Brahman. 5/8 Hereford

Okay, thanks. I was thinking of the cross, not the breed.

I think starting with Herefords is probably the easiest and cheapest way, and Herefords are very versatile for crossing with other breeds.
 

MRRherefords

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Bullitt":2bzpalt6 said:
ALACOWMAN":2bzpalt6 said:
Stripes depends on the Brahman used.. The colors Not a factor weather they perform better..just a name... I had a few I raised that had a faint tiger pattern and had more Hereford color pattern...tigers are F1s..a true Bradford is 3/8-Brahman. 5/8 Hereford

Okay, thanks. I was thinking of the cross, not the breed.

I think starting with Herefords is probably the easiest and cheapest way, and Herefords are very versatile for crossing with other breeds.
Including Hereford. ;-)
 

Lazy M

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Bullitt":1erusikm said:
ALACOWMAN":1erusikm said:
Body condition is the one thing I'd be concerned with...you want a good easy keeper to go along with that.. And sometimes those heavy milkers can be hard keepers.2 leaches at a time can take a toll on their condition..good moderate framed simm would be good...

Yes, heavy milkers must eat more. The added feed cost is something to consider.

I think a second calf would just need to be on the cow for three months or so, so I do not think body condition would be reduced much if the cows are provided good hay and minerals.

The idea would be to have a herd of cows and have them calve at about the same time. Then buy the same number of bottle calves as number of cows in the herd. This way twice as many calves could be raised easily. Say you have 30 cows. Using this method you could easily raise 60 calves.

It would take some time and effort to graft the calves onto the cows. I also realize that the right cows would be needed to accept the calves.

I see many Jersey X Angus calves being sold cheaply. And there are many dairies in the area where I live. If these calves can be purchased for $50 each, that would be $1,500 for 30 calves.

If those calves are raised until they are say 600 pounds and sold at $1.25 a pound, that would be $750 per calf. For 30 calves, that would be $22,500. That would be $21,000 profit for those 30 bottle calves, not considering feed/mineral costs and vaccination costs.
In theory this does sound like a clever way to make some extra money. In practice this is the worst idea I've ever heard. Getting a cow to accept a new calf can be VERY difficult and with certain cows impossible. The best luck I've had is if the cow's calf dies you skin it and tie the hide on the graft calf. You may have better luck with dairy cross cows, but I'd bet dinner that if you tried this idea once with several, you'd never attempt it again.Good luck.
 

Ky hills

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Lazy M":2nsr6ylp said:
Bullitt":2nsr6ylp said:
ALACOWMAN":2nsr6ylp said:
Body condition is the one thing I'd be concerned with...you want a good easy keeper to go along with that.. And sometimes those heavy milkers can be hard keepers.2 leaches at a time can take a toll on their condition..good moderate framed simm would be good...

Yes, heavy milkers must eat more. The added feed cost is something to consider.

I think a second calf would just need to be on the cow for three months or so, so I do not think body condition would be reduced much if the cows are provided good hay and minerals.

The idea would be to have a herd of cows and have them calve at about the same time. Then buy the same number of bottle calves as number of cows in the herd. This way twice as many calves could be raised easily. Say you have 30 cows. Using this method you could easily raise 60 calves.

It would take some time and effort to graft the calves onto the cows. I also realize that the right cows would be needed to accept the calves.

I see many Jersey X Angus calves being sold cheaply. And there are many dairies in the area where I live. If these calves can be purchased for $50 each, that would be $1,500 for 30 calves.

If those calves are raised until they are say 600 pounds and sold at $1.25 a pound, that would be $750 per calf. For 30 calves, that would be $22,500. That would be $21,000 profit for those 30 bottle calves, not considering feed/mineral costs and vaccination costs.
In theory this does sound like a clever way to make some extra money. In practice this is the worst idea I've ever heard. Getting a cow to accept a new calf can be VERY difficult and with certain cows impossible. The best luck I've had is if the cow's calf dies you skin it and tie the hide on the graft calf. You may have better luck with dairy cross cows, but I'd bet dinner that if you tried this idea once with several, you'd never attempt it again.Good luck.

I agree, it's a good idea in theory, but not something I would attempt anymore. I used to raise baby calves on nurse cows, mostly dairy but a few beef x dairy too. Some did ok others were hard to deal with.
One year when I had registered Charolais we had a calving disaster, and lost several calves, we tried to graft calves onto some of the cows so we wouldn't loose plum out on them for the year, and they were heavy milking cows. We were working with 4 or 5 at once and it was a chore even with them being very gentle cows.
 

Bigfoot

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If this question is hypothetical, I say brahma plus almost anything. If it's serious, you are going to be a very busy person. Perhaps, even disappointed at times.
 
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Bullitt

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In theory this does sound like a clever way to make some extra money. In practice this is the worst idea I've ever heard. Getting a cow to accept a new calf can be VERY difficult and with certain cows impossible. The best luck I've had is if the cow's calf dies you skin it and tie the hide on the graft calf. You may have better luck with dairy cross cows, but I'd bet dinner that if you tried this idea once with several, you'd never attempt it again.Good luck.[/quote]


You may be right. A guy may end up pulling out his hair trying to graft calves to cows.

You gave me an idea about rubbing the scent of one calf onto another so the cow thinks it is her calf. The calves would have to be switched a few times and then both calves could be put on the cow at once.

I suppose it would be best to try it with a handful of calves and see if the calves could be grafted on the cows. It might be easier to buy a few Jersey nurse cows and graft a half dozen bottle calves onto them.

Sometimes things are much harder in practice.
 
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Bullitt

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WalnutCrest":2usi7g43 said:
We are trying something ... we have a small group of Aubrac x Jersey calves conning now. The first two hit the ground yesterday.

Can you post pictures of the calves?

Why did you decide to cross with Jersey?
 

farmerjan

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Bullitt; The idea is hypothetically great. The actual practice is a WHOLE NOTHER BALLGAME.......

I do this with dairy nurse cows because I like my dairy cows and in today's climate, having a small dairy is the fastest way to go broke. Milk prices are not good, regulations are something of a nightmare, and the big milk companies don't want small farms anymore.

Trying to graft a second calf on a beef cow is looking to get the calf killed in 99% of the cases. It is hard enough to get a calf grafted on a beef cow when hers is born dead or dies shortly thereafter. Yes, the smell is one thing. I do skin the dead calf and put it on a replacement calf and it often takes me several days to get the cow to really "want" her "new baby".... Granted some are really good about taking one when they haven't had their dead one to fuss over. But for the most part, it is not easy. It is not just the smell of the hide, but also of the milk that goes through the calf. You have to get the cows milk into the calf so that when he poops, the manure also smells right to the cow.

Some cows are "color-blind", some will not take a calf that is a "different color" or say spotted or something. Been there done that.....

Also, to leave the grafted extra calf on until it weighs 300 lbs is a good 4+ months. That cow is going to use up her body reserves in a hurry producing enough milk for 2. For the first 3 months, the cow is "milking the fat off her back" as the saying goes. She is mostly in a negative energy balance. That goes for both beef and dairy although it is often more pronounced in dairy and they are fed "out the wazoo" to get them to come into production and peak. Ask anyone who has a cow that has twins. She might do a bang up job with the twins; but they are USUALLY both smaller due to the milk not being enough for 2. Sure, when we have twins, and the cow has a good deal of milk, and the constant nursing of the calves will stimulate her to produce more.... they have done well, but each will wean at 100 or more pounds less than if there was only one. Sure, you get more total pounds.... a set of char x heifer twin calves weaned at a total of just under 900 lbs. And they were nice but smaller than the heifers off some other cows that were singles. The cow also dropped alot of weight.

I also supplement with grain any cow that has twins and takes care of them both. More input. And these are both hers to start with and has taken them from the get go.

I have one jer x hol first calf heifer that raised 3 up to about 350 lbs each and they were really starting to pull the weight off her. So, I was bringing her in for some extra grain and she took over 2 of the bottle calves I had. So, now she is raising them as I completely weaned her 3 off. I have another that is 2nd calf, that has raised up 3 to nearly 300 lbs. They are eating hay and grain real good too. Lost a nurse cow that had 3 smaller calves on. So I am now putting the 3 small calves on her and then letting her 3 bigger calves in the pen to "clean her up" and to start the weaning process and then she will raise up these 3 smaller ones. Didn't plan that but since she will take them, It saves me going back to bottle feeding. Have one cow that took me 2 weeks and a good stout stick to give her a crack every time she kicked at the extra calf on her. It still only sucks her from the back. She is a beautiful jersey, who only came in with 2 quarters this time and it is her last time.

I had 5 that calved, in the barn at once, til the one died. 4 calved within a month of each other. I cannot IMAGINE trying to deal with 20 or 30. These cows are used to be handled and coming in for grain and being restrained at the feed bunk.

You don't switch the calves. You take her own calf away, then at feeding time, you put them both ( or 3) on her at the same time. She is glad to have her own calf and tolerates the other one(s) because of the relief of the pressure on the udder. After a few days, most are pretty good about it. They are also liking the grain they get to bury their nose in too. There are alot of tricks to it, but it takes A LOT OF TIME to get them situated.
 

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