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OGF 1

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So my wife and I have started a meat business from our farm over the last 2 years starting with hogs and eggs this year adding pastured poultry and have had a lot of pressure to offer beef!
I have been putting it off due to lacking fencing and just not being quite set up. Needless to say we've caved to the pressure and just ordered out first 4 calves off a dairy farm that are Holstein angus crosses should be born sometime the next few weeks
I know they're bottle calves but we're goat people and aren't newbies to bottle feeding so that doesn't really bother us
My questions include so much, like has anyone had good luck with Holstein angus crosses?
Can I run them on a self feeder after weaned or would I be better feeding grain in a trough every day?
They won't have a crazy amount of pasture
But we raise really nice alfalfa hay
Any thoughts or pointers?
We raise all our own feed including corn spelt and hay so that cost will be lower
 

ez14.

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Going to need to make sure you have them on a high quality starter feed first. And if you're making your on feed you will need to know the protein content and the requirements for the age and size of your animals.
 

Son of Butch

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Holstein angus crosses make good beef.
Start teaching them to eat right away by offering 18% texturized calf starter from the get go.
weaning at 8 weeks = 200 lbs and grain self feeders usually don't come into play until after 650-750 lbs.
No grass or hay until after they're 7 weeks old, feeding roughages too early, before the rumen is developed enough
to properly digest it, just leads to 'hay bellies' and slows growth/performance.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Welcome to the boards!
SOB - not doubting what you way. I have seen many bottle calves with huge pot bellies.
Interesting though, our normally raised beef calves (cow/calf pairs), the newborns start eating hay almost from day one.
Why don't our calves get pot bellies. They eat lots of hay, now grass.
 

TexasBred

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":a1u7zov9 said:
Welcome to the boards!
SOB - not doubting what you way. I have seen many bottle calves with huge pot bellies.
Interesting though, our normally raised beef calves (cow/calf pairs), the newborns start eating hay almost from day one.
Why don't our calves get pot bellies. They eat lots of hay, now grass.
If it is eating and digesting pellets, corn and oats, small amounts of grass and hay won't be a problem. Like Jeanne's my calves are laying in the shade ruminating at 3 weeks of age. Folks need to spend a bit more time watching young calves and learn from it.
 

ez14.

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TexasBred":20t3k3j1 said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":20t3k3j1 said:
Welcome to the boards!
SOB - not doubting what you way. I have seen many bottle calves with huge pot bellies.
Interesting though, our normally raised beef calves (cow/calf pairs), the newborns start eating hay almost from day one.
Why don't our calves get pot bellies. They eat lots of hay, now grass.
If it is eating and digesting pellets, corn and oats, small amounts of grass and hay won't be a problem. Like Jeanne's my calves are laying in the shade ruminating at 3 weeks of age. Folks need to spend a bit more time watching young calves and learn from it.
Though what SOB is the recommend way to raise dairy calves (actually it's 3 months at least around here)
 
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OGF 1

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Thanks for all the input so far!!
Do any of you have any experience with spelt?
We stumbled on it by my grandpa who raised it for horse feed and we have loved it since we started raising boer goats
We find our spelt testing in the 14-15% protein range and does very well ground in with our hog ration as well my hope is to grind it with corn then supplement with maybe like Kent 34 when we get further along that is
 

TexasBred

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ez14.":27ofq8jg said:
TexasBred":27ofq8jg said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":27ofq8jg said:
Welcome to the boards!
SOB - not doubting what you way. I have seen many bottle calves with huge pot bellies.
Interesting though, our normally raised beef calves (cow/calf pairs), the newborns start eating hay almost from day one.
Why don't our calves get pot bellies. They eat lots of hay, now grass.
If it is eating and digesting pellets, corn and oats, small amounts of grass and hay won't be a problem. Like Jeanne's my calves are laying in the shade ruminating at 3 weeks of age. Folks need to spend a bit more time watching young calves and learn from it.
Though what SOB is the recommend way to raise dairy calves (actually it's 3 months at least around here)
ez it's what the books say but it's an old book too. Sometimes you have to observe and take advantage of every tool in the box. Rule of thumb use to be feed them one bag of milk replacer and wean. We use to wean at 4-5 weeks and they were eating calf starter and grass like crazy. (holsteins)
 

Son of Butch

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I don't know anyone raising bottle calves on pasture, laying in the shade ruminating at 21 days and weaned at 28.
But IF that's the way it's done in your neck of the woods... all the more power to ya. :)

I'd rather be safe and conservative when developing babies in confinement than push the envelope and lose one.
We just had a 1st time poster on here looking for legal recourse bcs the 'weaned' calves he bought died 2 weeks later.
 

TexasBred

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Son of Butch":2xpn6k8q said:
I don't know anyone raising bottle calves on pasture, laying in the shade ruminating at 21 days and weaned at 28.
But IF that's the way it's done in your neck of the woods... all the more power to ya. :)

I'd rather be safe and conservative when developing babies in confinement than push the envelope and lose one.
We just had a 1st time poster on here looking for legal recourse bcs the 'weaned' calves he bought died 2 weeks later.
You need to get out more Butch. Everybody isn't like you. We had about a 2 acre pasture for bottle calves. They were raised in individual hutches for two weeks adn released into the 2 acre area. Many times there would be over 100 in the area. The minute you walked out there they all came running for their bottle. They would eat feed off and on 24 hrs. a day and graze as they wanted to. It was nothing in the middle of the day to see a majority of them laying in the shade ruminating. For what it's worth one year we lost 3 out of over 400 bottle calves. As for the poster wanting legal recourse he might need to be reminded "Let the buyer beware".
 

ez14.

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TexasBred":1oppdgr4 said:
ez14.":1oppdgr4 said:
TexasBred":1oppdgr4 said:
If it is eating and digesting pellets, corn and oats, small amounts of grass and hay won't be a problem. Like Jeanne's my calves are laying in the shade ruminating at 3 weeks of age. Folks need to spend a bit more time watching young calves and learn from it.
Though what SOB is the recommend way to raise dairy calves (actually it's 3 months at least around here)
ez it's what the books say but it's an old book too. Sometimes you have to observe and take advantage of every tool in the box. Rule of thumb use to be feed them one bag of milk replacer and wean. We use to wean at 4-5 weeks and they were eating calf starter and grass like crazy. (holsteins)
has a lot to do with management I suppose. I read an article saying it's possible to wean as early as 21 days but the extra labor it required made it rather unpractical
 

TexasBred

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ez14.":28vmydys said:
TexasBred":28vmydys said:
ez14.":28vmydys said:
Though what SOB is the recommend way to raise dairy calves (actually it's 3 months at least around here)
ez it's what the books say but it's an old book too. Sometimes you have to observe and take advantage of every tool in the box. Rule of thumb use to be feed them one bag of milk replacer and wean. We use to wean at 4-5 weeks and they were eating calf starter and grass like crazy. (holsteins)
has a lot to do with management I suppose. I read an article saying it's possible to wean as early as 21 days but the extra labor it required made it rather unpractical
Any system for raising bottle calves requires intensive management, attention to details, acute observations and a willingness to go the extra mile.
 

backhoeboogie

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Grafting calves to nurse cows is the way to go for me. Like TB said, it is intensive for a week or so. I try to stay away from dairy calves unless I am getting a new nurse cow prospect. I have had crosses turn into nurse cows. They may only take one or two calves but they earn money.

There are way too many doggies at the sale barn. Calves have not been fed right and their belly tells the tale. Stick legs and big guts won't bring much. I tend to go a bit longer than most but each calf is different in my opinion. If they are aggressive at feed and grass, you can get nutrition in them and get them off of that bottle.
 

OwnedByTheCow

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If you want to offer them hay they will eat it when they are ready to eat it. Getting them on a good protein grain is important if you are not going to have a lot of pasture. How long are you planning on keeping them?
 
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