Ideal Nurse Cows ?

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cow pollinater
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby cow pollinater » Wed May 17, 2017 8:53 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
Why don't they use beef semen on some cows, rather than sell springers below cost?

Some do. The original beef on dairy cross in the US was designed based on production testing the entire herd and breeding the bottom third of the herd to beef bulls to keep those cows from producing dairy heifers but every time either the beef or dairy market changes people change their protocol until it turns into a confusing mess.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby cow pollinater » Wed May 17, 2017 9:00 pm

I set up two two tit jerseys to AI for a guy today that were raising two whopper calves each and holding condition nicely. I think if he wanted to work a little harder he could raise four each fairly easily but he'd have to pull calves off half way through feeding time and switch.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Wed May 17, 2017 9:58 pm

So I can sell my cows for $1200+, buy back dairy springers for $1200, and they will each raise four calves!!!

How can a beef cow compete with that?
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Wed May 17, 2017 10:10 pm

cow pollinator wrote:The original beef on dairy cross in the US was designed based on production testing the entire herd and breeding the bottom third of the herd to beef bulls to keep those cows from producing dairy heifers but every time either the beef or dairy market changes people change their protocol until it turns into a confusing mess.


Seems like dairy was on about a 4 year cycle - - financially one up and three down.

Based on the fertility issues in some dairy breeds, and the odds of an up year for milk, I would have beef semen in the tank.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby RanchMan90 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:35 am

Stocker Steve wrote:So I can sell my cows for $1200+, buy back dairy springers for $1200, and they will each raise four calves!!!

How can a beef cow compete with that?

It looks good on paper. I was buying $400 baby calves last spring when 3 wts were $3 a lb, then they fell to $2 a lb. Still profitable but not a home run. $250 baby calves look like they will work this spring selling as $2 a lb 3 wts :2cents:
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby farmerjan » Thu May 18, 2017 8:43 am

Okay, yes some dairy farmers do use beef semen on their lower end cows. Most that are on DHIA testing know at a glance who their bottom cows are. Surprising, the calves often do not bring much more than a straight holstein bull calf. The beef/dairy cross heifers are often bought to raise up to make beef cows. But, the dairy cross calves do not grow as uniformly as straight holsteins, they feedlot guys don't like to mix them in with the dairy steers, they have a more angular build than straight beef...so they are like a 6 sided peg that doesn't quite fit in a 4 sided or an 8 sided hole. They are great to graft on a beef cow that has lost her calf and can often go through the sale with other straight beef calves in a pen when they are smaller, but the differences get more pronounced as they get some size to them.

Sure, Steve, you can sell a $1200 cow, buy back a $1200 dairy springer and raise 4 calves.....BUT you have to buy 3 of those calves to put on her so have at least $500 more in that equation....AND I don't know of anywhere here close that the calves off that springer will be bringing anywhere near the $2 lb for 3 wts .... because the dairy calves will bring maybe $.80 lb..... add in your time to get the calves on her, maybe one dies, extra grain to keep her production up to feed 4 at a time, at least in the beginning, and I don't think you will make more and maybe not as much. Plus she will lose condition for the first 3-5 months making enough milk and probably won't breed back right away.... sooooooo.....big money??????
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Muddy » Thu May 18, 2017 9:04 am

Stocker Steve wrote:So I can sell my cows for $1200+, buy back dairy springers for $1200, and they will each raise four calves!!!

How can a beef cow compete with that?

Good luck with finding beef calves to graft on the milking cow. Dairy X beef calves didn't bring much at most times and I've seen straight Holstein feeders brought more $$$ than the beef x dairy feeders.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Thu May 18, 2017 9:31 am

Dammmm another get rich quick scheme all shot to be nice...
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby RanchMan90 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:49 am

Stocker Steve wrote:Dammmm another get rich quick scheme all shot to be nice...

The key to it is number of turns. I only leave mine on the cow for 6 weeks. Say each calf only makes $150 net profit x 4 calves= $600 profit per turn. 8 times a year= $4800. That's not much profit per cow but helps to keep the lights turned on.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Thu May 18, 2017 10:22 am

Turns are good, but I am thinking more of a green season deal grazing 3 titter Jersey(s). I think you could gross $10/day/cow w/ 3 calves and no death loss.

Avoiding steins is good. I could start with my 3 to 4 beef spring bottle calves that come from twins and other problems.

What do you think about buying short bred cows and reselling some of them as springers?
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby RanchMan90 » Thu May 18, 2017 10:49 am

Stocker Steve wrote:Turns are good, but I am thinking more of a green season deal grazing 3 titter Jersey(s). I think you could gross $10/day/cow w/ 3 calves and no death loss.

Avoiding steins is good. I could start with my 3 to 4 beef spring bottle calves that come from twins and other problems.

What do you think about buying short bred cows and reselling some of them as springers?

I think your numbers are spot on. I always keep a few light breds around for people looking for a gentle nurse cow. It's a lot of work but primarily what my skeleton herd is made up of. If I had more time I would have more of them.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:31 am

Done with grafting onto beef cows for the year, so now learning how to work with a dairy nurse cow. She is a 3 titter HoJo. Much better mannered than a beefer, but hard to look at from the rear.

Common bred dairy heifers are running less than $1/lb here, and about $100/head less than fall calving beef cows. Open dairy heifers are about $.65/lb. Is there value here -- or just burger?
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Till-Hill » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:27 am

Steve should be able to find bred dairy heifers bred to Angus bull for about same money, if you have a calving pen with head gate I'd think few days after her calf is born you could start bringing in other calves. I want to do it with putting embryos in, just don't have the spot to do it. Falls would be way to go keep them up close to the buildings and feed the heck out of them.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:32 pm

I have one pen w/ head gate and I am going to build at least one more.
Seems like stall barn cows are OK with being confined in return for some grain.
Sounds like buying a good nurse cow is a crap shoot, so you have to buy them right.
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Re: Ideal Nurse Cows ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:33 pm

Till-Hill wrote:Steve should be able to find bred dairy heifers bred to Angus bull for about same money, I want to do it with putting embryos in, just don't have the spot to do it.


What are open dairy heifers selling for in your area?
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