Holsteins...?

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iowafarmer97

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Alrighty..... I'm new to this whole forum thing but I guess I'll give it a shot. I am 15 years old from Iowa. I currently own 1/2 of a 5 cow angus herd which is about as much as I can support on pasture here. I would like to raise some Holstein bull calves this summer. I'd like to buy a group of 8-10 and bottle feed them for 40-45 days, then wean them onto calf starter for a few months. Whether I feed them out or sell them as feeders this fall will depend entirely on corn prices this fall. What kind of drugs do I need to give them? What should I keep on hand in case of emergency? What is everyone's experience with bottle calves? Any advice you can give me would be super. Thanks. :)
 

denvermartinfarms

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I feed alot of baby calves and lose very few, i will give you some idea's and hope some of them help. First if you buy baby calves you need to bottle feed them 60 days atleast before weaning, get them on a good calf starter grain at about 1 week, don't be afraid to use some of the better antibiotics like baytril if they do get sick, Don't keep more than one calf in a pen together, if any way posible buy all your calves at the same time that way you don't buy a few get them going good and then bring more sickness home to them, have a tube feeder around and learn how to use it, keep electrolites on hand, blackleg them at about 2 months then do it again 2 weeks later, band or cut, and deworm with a oral or injectable dewormer. This is a start, there are alot more thing you should know, but this is more than i knew when i started.
 

ChrisB

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Only thing I would change is that I think you should try and wean them sooner, usually around 6 weeks of age if you can get them eating enough calf starter at that time.

In addition, no hay or forage until at least a couple months old, if giving hay at that time limit the amount. Once transitioned from calf starter, keep corn mixed with a protein supplement in front of them.

Don't try to raise them like you would a colored calf or you will get docked when selling them as feeders as they will have too much frame on them. Most feed companies will have a dairy steer program with recommendations, check into several of them that you have access too.

Good luck.
 

cowgirl_jenna

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First off, its good to hear a younger person is interested in raising cattle :clap: ! Some good advice has been given by the previous posters. Where are you getting your calves from? If you could, I would try and buy them from one or two dairy farms in your area. By doing this you reduce the amount of pathogens they are exposed to vs buying them at a sale barn individually. If you find a farm to buy from, ask them what kind of vaccinations or routine they do to the heifer calves they keep. They will know what pathogens are the most detrimental from their herd. One other bit of advice I would have is to feed a good milk replacer especially in the colder months. I currently live on a beef farm, but grew up and am still involved some with my parents dairy farm. This seems to have been a big improvement over the years as researchers discovered what components need to be in milk replacer to keep calves healthy. Anyway, good luck!
Jenna
 
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iowafarmer97

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cowgirl_jenna":13wnxr9w said:
First off, its good to hear a younger person is interested in raising cattle :clap: ! Some good advice has been given by the previous posters. Where are you getting your calves from? If you could, I would try and buy them from one or two dairy farms in your area. By doing this you reduce the amount of pathogens they are exposed to vs buying them at a sale barn individually. If you find a farm to buy from, ask them what kind of vaccinations or routine they do to the heifer calves they keep. They will know what pathogens are the most detrimental from their herd. One other bit of advice I would have is to feed a good milk replacer especially in the colder months. I currently live on a beef farm, but grew up and am still involved some with my parents dairy farm. This seems to have been a big improvement over the years as researchers discovered what components need to be in milk replacer to keep calves healthy. Anyway, good luck!
Jenna
I'm getting the calves from my uncle's dairy, so he'll give me some nice healthy calves that have had colostrum
 

E in PA

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:welcome: I agree with what the others have said. Especially buying from one or two farms. Try to keep it to just one. A couple of other things, try not to haul them from to far away, the closer the better. Feed them the same milk replacer they are already on as long as its not soy based. I band them and feed one bottle of electrolyte as soon as they get home. Then they get one bottle of milk replacer twice a day. I have a calf starter feed available at all times. Once they start eating 1-2 lbs of feed a day I cut back the bottles to one a day until the bag of replacer is gone. One 50 lb bag usually gets them to weaning for me. That's what works for me. Good luck.
 

denvermartinfarms

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I just feed a calf 50 pounds of replacer, but i work it to where they are weaned at 60 days, for me my calves end up better if i don't wean them less than 60 days, but if you can do it at 6 weeks and get by that's great.
 

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