Best time to buy bottle calves

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Hereford2
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Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby Hereford2 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:09 am

Hi I'm wondering what time of year is the easiest , cheapest to buy Holstein or Jersey bull bottle calves?
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M.Magis
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby M.Magis » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:47 am

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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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby Hereford2 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:56 pm

Ok I'm wondering on availability in the summer? Or if that just varies by region?
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M.Magis
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby M.Magis » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:51 pm

I would think most dairies would have calving spread out evenly throughout the year. Thats just my assumption.
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Hereford2
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby Hereford2 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:52 pm

Ok thanks!
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Stocker Steve
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby Stocker Steve » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:45 am

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


When temp is -30 F :nod:
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farmerjan
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby farmerjan » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:58 am

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.
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jehosofat
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby jehosofat » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:22 pm

Never, is the best time for me.
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skyhightree1
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:10 pm

farmerjan wrote: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...
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skyhightree1
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:11 pm

Hereford2 wrote: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.
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farmerjan
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby farmerjan » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:18 pm

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.
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Re: Best time to buy bottle calves

Postby Luckiamute » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:06 pm

Hereford2 wrote: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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