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Raising calves on "waste" milk

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Anonymous

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A week and a half ago, my Jersey gave birth -- she is now drowning me in milk! I'm feeding her calf and a 3 1/2 week old orphan crossbred beef heifer -- and still have over 4 gallons of milk daily to deal with! So at this point, I'm pouring milk down the drain, and I hate to throw away what could be used.

The vet was out Tuesday to see the calves and suggested getting 2-3 more calves to feed to use up some of the extra milk (he was quite adament about staying away from sale barns, he suggested contacting a dairy). He seems to think that I could pay all of the cow's feed bills by raising calves to sell at 8 weeks, on the extra milk that we are currently throwing away.

My question is, is it feasible to do so? Will the return on the calves be enough to at least make up for the time involved and what little cost they would have incurred? I'm not worried about covering the cow's feed bill -- she'll eat the same whether we're using all the milk or not.

Thanks for any information

Ann
 
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Anonymous

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We used to raise pigs on the surplus milk, if it sours it doesn't matter, they even seem to prefer it. We also raised several hundred calves a year on the surplus, pigs are easier.

dunmovin farms

> A week and a half ago, my Jersey
> gave birth -- she is now drowning
> me in milk! I'm feeding her calf
> and a 3 1/2 week old orphan
> crossbred beef heifer -- and still
> have over 4 gallons of milk daily
> to deal with! So at this point,
> I'm pouring milk down the drain,
> and I hate to throw away what
> could be used.

> The vet was out Tuesday to see the
> calves and suggested getting 2-3
> more calves to feed to use up some
> of the extra milk (he was quite
> adament about staying away from
> sale barns, he suggested
> contacting a dairy). He seems to
> think that I could pay all of the
> cow's feed bills by raising calves
> to sell at 8 weeks, on the extra
> milk that we are currently
> throwing away.

> My question is, is it feasible to
> do so? Will the return on the
> calves be enough to at least make
> up for the time involved and what
> little cost they would have
> incurred? I'm not worried about
> covering the cow's feed bill --
> she'll eat the same whether we're
> using all the milk or not.

> Thanks for any information

> Ann
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
I could see it feasable, what I would suggest is raising the calves on the milk then selling them for veal. Or if not, raise them as background calves. At the dairy I am currently working on, they sell any male calves for $200.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
> A week and a half ago, my Jersey
> gave birth -- she is now drowning
> me in milk! I'm feeding her calf
> and a 3 1/2 week old orphan
> crossbred beef heifer -- and still
> have over 4 gallons of milk daily
> to deal with! So at this point,
> I'm pouring milk down the drain,
> and I hate to throw away what
> could be used.

> The vet was out Tuesday to see the
> calves and suggested getting 2-3
> more calves to feed to use up some
> of the extra milk (he was quite
> adament about staying away from
> sale barns, he suggested
> contacting a dairy). He seems to
> think that I could pay all of the
> cow's feed bills by raising calves
> to sell at 8 weeks, on the extra
> milk that we are currently
> throwing away.

> My question is, is it feasible to
> do so? Will the return on the
> calves be enough to at least make
> up for the time involved and what
> little cost they would have
> incurred? I'm not worried about
> covering the cow's feed bill --
> she'll eat the same whether we're
> using all the milk or not.

> Thanks for any information

> Ann

Ann, I have two jersey's for that reason. Jersey's make the best nurse cows. I have been getting 3-5 day old calves for 50.00-75.00 a head. If you can keep the calves alive and avoid the scours for the first week or so it can be a profitable hobby. Have you been milking the cow out by hand or has she been letting the calves nurse her? If you set up a place where you can give her some grain and get the calves nursing her I bet it would not take long and she would just let 4 of them suckle her.

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trin

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how many people use nurse cows and do you ever just let the calves run with the cow. how much is reasonable price for nurse cows
 

randiliana

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trin":htzh85yn said:
how many people use nurse cows and do you ever just let the calves run with the cow. how much is reasonable price for nurse cows

We use a nurse cow. Last year we just let her run with the calves. Pasture was really good, an Alfalfa/grass mix so we knew she was getting plenty of energy and protien. Otherwise you would likely want to grain the cow. She raised 1265 lbs of calf, and is bred back to calve at the end of April. We paid $700 Cdn for her (she was a fresh 2 year old Holstien) and sold the 3 calves for over $500/each. So she more than paid for herself the first year ;-). The biggest problem you will have with a nurse cow is getting her bred back, and getting her to where she will accept the calves you put on her.

The older cull dairy cows (culled on production) are the best buys, as they will usually accept anything, however, they will probably not last for long. Younger cows take a bit more work to get them to accept, but you have a better chance that they will stay around for a few years. Whatever you do make sure the cow you plan to buy is HEALTHY. The last thing you want is to introduce some disease (such as Johne's) into your herd.
 

trin

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randiliana":3jycjfq7 said:
trin":3jycjfq7 said:
how many people use nurse cows and do you ever just let the calves run with the cow. how much is reasonable price for nurse cows

We use a nurse cow. Last year we just let her run with the calves. Pasture was really good, an Alfalfa/grass mix so we knew she was getting plenty of energy and protien. Otherwise you would likely want to grain the cow. She raised 1265 lbs of calf, and is bred back to calve at the end of April. We paid $700 Cdn for her (she was a fresh 2 year old Holstien) and sold the 3 calves for over $500/each. So she more than paid for herself the first year ;-). The biggest problem you will have with a nurse cow is getting her bred back, and getting her to where she will accept the calves you put on her.

The older cull dairy cows (culled on production) are the best buys, as they will usually accept anything, however, they will probably not last for long. Younger cows take a bit more work to get them to accept, but you have a better chance that they will stay around for a few years. Whatever you do make sure the cow you plan to buy is HEALTHY. The last thing you want is to introduce some disease (such as Johne's) into your herd.

did you put another set of calves on her after she raised the first four. should i stick with holstein cows or will jersey or brown swiss work also
 
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