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Best time to buy bottle calves

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Hereford2

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Hi I'm wondering what time of year is the easiest , cheapest to buy Holstein or Jersey bull bottle calves?
 

M.Magis

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Never noticed any particular time of year being different than the others, it's all market driven.
 
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Hereford2

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Ok I'm wondering on availability in the summer? Or if that just varies by region?
 

M.Magis

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I would think most dairies would have calving spread out evenly throughout the year. Thats just my assumption.
 

farmerjan

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Dairies in this area are now on a fall incentive program that DFA came up with to try to get more milk in the fall for "school contracts". They are penalizing any milk production over a base amount in the spring. So farmers are now trying to shift their breeding to more calvings in the fall. But many are still trying to keep it evened out thoughout the year. Calves tend to be more in demand when the weather is nice, in the spring/warmer months for kids to not have to go out in 0* weather to feed a bottle before school.
Do yourself a favor and go to a dairy or two and see if they will sell directly off the farm to you. Saves them some commision, and time to haul calves to market. But the biggest thing is the calves will more likely have had a feeding or two of colostrum, and will not be exposed to all the germs that travel around the stockyard/sale barn. If they have calves they might be willing to sell you some directly. I have not bought a calf from the stockyard in years and have greatly increased my survival rate.
 

skyhightree1

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farmerjan":32q8oixn said:
Dairies in this area are now on a fall incentive program that DFA came up with to try to get more milk in the fall for "school contracts". They are penalizing any milk production over a base amount in the spring. So farmers are now trying to shift their breeding to more calvings in the fall. But many are still trying to keep it evened out thoughout the year. Calves tend to be more in demand when the weather is nice, in the spring/warmer months for kids to not have to go out in 0* weather to feed a bottle before school.
Do yourself a favor and go to a dairy or two and see if they will sell directly off the farm to you. Saves them some commision, and time to haul calves to market. But the biggest thing is the calves will more likely have had a feeding or two of colostrum, and will not be exposed to all the germs that travel around the stockyard/sale barn. If they have calves they might be willing to sell you some directly. I have not bought a calf from the stockyard in years and have greatly increased my survival rate.

For sure on the survival rate...
 

skyhightree1

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Hereford2":c0wizqfy said:
Hi I'm wondering what time of year is the easiest , cheapest to buy Holstein or Jersey bull bottle calves?


All depends on your location.. However, market value vs cost/work in fooling with them im not sure how many I will fool with this year.
 

farmerjan

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With the cost of milk replacer, plus the time etc., bottle calves are definitely not cost efficient. The main reason I get them is to put on nurse cows. Sometimes I have to bottle feed if I have an opportunity to get some before someone comes fresh. But, although I used to raise 10-20 a year on bottles to sell, not anymore. GOOD milk replacer is $60 to $75 a 50 lb bag. Minimum of one bag, usually closer to 2 per calf to get them grown well to weaning. Plus grain and good quality grass hay; not counting your time. Weaned 300-400 lb calves are only bringing $.75 a lb. I am talking holsteins. Jerseys are not worth that here. I eat Jersey beef so am not against it. The practicality of costs and returns means they are just not worth much. Right now, around here, holstein bull calves are worth $75 to $150, and jerseys are maybe $25.
 

Luckiamute

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Hereford2":243yaj6s said:
Hi I'm wondering what time of year is the easiest , cheapest to buy Holstein or Jersey bull bottle calves?
Out here in the Pacific Northwest it is usually late fall and winter if you're buying through the livestock auctions. Prices are usually at their highest around now and continuing for the next several months. But as someone pointed out, it is market driven. The law of supply and demand.
 

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