Jersey heifer calves

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby vclavin » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:36 pm

MF135 wrote:
regolith wrote:That's great Valerie. I just presumed 'along the fenceline' meant on the ground which can be a bit risky for coccidiosis particularly, if it's on the farm.

I'm a-thinking MF135 should give us his guess on what those babies weigh.

Found another premature Jersey calf today - not the greatest start to calving this year. This one wouldn't have been more than 10 kg and I thought it had to be a full month early, though it had a full coat. Went and checked and... fifteen days from now he was due. He weighed next to nothing.


She said she was feeding 6 pints a day. Recommended for 100lb calf is 8pints. Those calves are closer to 50lbs than 75. The bottom calf Prolly closer to 45. I've had 3 day old calves drinking milk. No need for a bottle.

When we bought them, they were on a contraption bolted to a fence that the lady poured milk into and they sucked it from a nipple that was attached to that contraption.
Please explain why they would be better calves if wean so early, I really don't understand other than maybe cheaper not having to buy milk replacer.
Thanks guys
Valerie
PS. THe dairy was feeding them 8 pints a day each.. I dropped it to 6 .. first to make sure there were no scour problems from moving them and vaccinating them ... next, hunger makes them look for more food ... grass and then the grain . I don't wish to wean until I know they are really eating good and gaining properly to make really good milk cows. We are in the process of training them to lead which is getting pretty easy now, just might come in handy later.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby MF135 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:34 pm

Calves will perform better on feed than on milk replacer. The sooner you can get them to eat 2lbs a day, the sooner you can take them off milk. I would take them off grass immediately! They can only consume so much food daily. Filling their bellies on a low energy grass will prevent them from filling up on a high energy feed and will only lengthen the time it takes to get them weaned.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby vclavin » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:00 pm

MF135 wrote:Calves will perform better on feed than on milk replacer. The sooner you can get them to eat 2lbs a day, the sooner you can take them off milk. I would take them off grass immediately! They can only consume so much food daily. Filling their bellies on a low energy grass will prevent them from filling up on a high energy feed and will only lengthen the time it takes to get them weaned.

I don't feed high energy feed, never. We only feed high fiber feed, the grass also has red and white clover.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby hillsdown » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:29 pm

MF135 wrote:Calves will perform better on feed than on milk replacer. The sooner you can get them to eat 2lbs a day, the sooner you can take them off milk. I would take them off grass immediately! They can only consume so much food daily. Filling their bellies on a low energy grass will prevent them from filling up on a high energy feed and will only lengthen the time it takes to get them weaned.


Do you raise calves that are from a dairy breed or do you raise dairy calves ? There is a difference in how they are raised.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby MF135 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:30 am

vclavin wrote:
MF135 wrote:Calves will perform better on feed than on milk replacer. The sooner you can get them to eat 2lbs a day, the sooner you can take them off milk. I would take them off grass immediately! They can only consume so much food daily. Filling their bellies on a low energy grass will prevent them from filling up on a high energy feed and will only lengthen the time it takes to get them weaned.

I don't feed high energy feed, never. We only feed high fiber feed, the grass also has red and white clover.
Valerie

That's silly. A high fiber feed is "high energy" relative to grass. Dairy breeds have a higher nutrient requirement than beef breeds. Continue to feed those jerseys a high fiber feed and allow them access to grass and you will have youself some nice pot bellied doggies. Dairy replacements need to be fed a concentrated mixture that's atleast 74% TDN and 18% CP. Call your local co op or feed store if you don't believe me. All dairy mixes will be "high energy".
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby regolith » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:08 am

Potbellied like these grass-raised calves, ye mean?

Image

Image

Could you answer HD's question. I'd like to know what sort of calves you raise.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby TexasBred » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:25 pm

Heifer rations should be balanced to ensure adequate growth rates, to maintain proper body condition, and to achieve desired height and weight. Overfeeding heifers to the point that they get fat can cause breeding problems and calving difficulties. Feeding a ration that is high in energy but low in protein to heifers before they reach puberty can cause fat infiltration of the mammary gland, which inhibits development of mammary secretory tissue and thus impairs future milk production capability.

Once a calf reaches 200 lbs. a 16% ration is adequate and doesn't need excessive energy. (High grain or fat levels) Many feeds contain a high level of soyhulls, and are thus "high fiber", but also highly digestible at around 77-80% TDN depending on the source of your information, so lets don't call high fiber feed "silly". Lactating dairy cows will need a ration with the energy level kicked up as well as adequate protein, but more importantly "adequate digestible fiber".
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby vclavin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:25 pm

TexasBred wrote:Heifer rations should be balanced to ensure adequate growth rates, to maintain proper body condition, and to achieve desired height and weight. Overfeeding heifers to the point that they get fat can cause breeding problems and calving difficulties. Feeding a ration that is high in energy but low in protein to heifers before they reach puberty can cause fat infiltration of the mammary gland, which inhibits development of mammary secretory tissue and thus impairs future milk production capability.

Once a calf reaches 200 lbs. a 16% ration is adequate and doesn't need excessive energy. (High grain or fat levels) Many feeds contain a high level of soyhulls, and are thus "high fiber", but also highly digestible at around 77-80% TDN depending on the source of your information, so lets don't call high fiber feed "silly". Lactating dairy cows will need a ration with the energy level kicked up as well as adequate protein, but more importantly "adequate digestible fiber".


Thanks TB, that info really helps.
Valerie
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby MF135 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:41 pm

TexasBred wrote:Heifer rations should be balanced to ensure adequate growth rates, to maintain proper body condition, and to achieve desired height and weight. Overfeeding heifers to the point that they get fat can cause breeding problems and calving difficulties. Feeding a ration that is high in energy but low in protein to heifers before they reach puberty can cause fat infiltration of the mammary gland, which inhibits development of mammary secretory tissue and thus impairs future milk production capability.

Once a calf reaches 200 lbs. a 16% ration is adequate and doesn't need excessive energy. (High grain or fat levels) Many feeds contain a high level of soyhulls, and are thus "high fiber", but also highly digestible at around 77-80% TDN depending on the source of your information, so lets don't call high fiber feed "silly". Lactating dairy cows will need a ration with the energy level kicked up as well as adequate protein, but more importantly "adequate digestible fiber".

I didn't suggest a ration that was low in protein. I said 18% CP. By definition, any feedstuff that is over 70% TDN is considered high energy. So like me, you also just suggested a high energy ration. It will be nearly impossible to feed jersey heifers to the point of being fat, much less fat enough to develop "fat infiltration of the mammary glands. " So again I'll say it-- trying to develop heifers of a secretion breed on a low energy ration is silly.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby MF135 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:10 pm

regolith wrote:Potbellied like these grass-raised calves, ye mean?

Image

Image

Could you answer HD's question. I'd like to know what sort of calves you raise.

I'm not sure why you posted these pics, I though we were only talking about dairy breeds?? You even have the jpeg titled "crossbred calves"?? Keep all those calves on grass and watch how far behind the dairy calves end up.

I've raised dairy calves using both a calf fed system with zero roughage and I've raised em on a high energy feed and grass. I've also raised holstein heifers as dairy replacements using the latter method. I just don't expose them to grass until AFTER I have em weaned off milk replacer.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby chippie » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:29 am

All grass is not created equal. Grass has different nutritional value depending on location & soil.

So you really can't compare.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby regolith » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:00 am

I'm not sure why you posted these pics, I though we were only talking about dairy breeds?? You even have the jpeg titled "crossbred calves"?? Keep all those calves on grass and watch how far behind the dairy calves end up.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Those calves are now in-calf heifers due to calve from the 23 of this month. Did you... er... miss the fact that I'm a dairy farmer? They're Jerseys, Holsteins and crosses between the two. The herfxholstein with half a head in the frame doesnt count.

It is possible to fatten Jerseys to the point that they lay down fat in the udder, as TB mentioned. And I would imagine it's even more important to *not* do so when they're a dairy breed whose future depends on maximising milk production.
A lot of dairy farmers do shed their calves and keep them off grass until eight weeks old. It's just not the way I do it, nor does it give a better result. My calves go onto grass at 3 - 4 weeks old except for the youngest that are born in fine weather and have access to grass straight away.

Chippie is right also - and management has a big impact as well. I don't put my calves onto long grass, or make them clean out a paddock, till about 5 months old. They rotate ahead of the cows, picking out the best.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby TexasBred » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:20 am

MF I suggested using a high level of good high quality soyhulls but made no mention of the TDN or energy level of the complete feed. A feed with a 70% TDN would not be considered "hot" but is adequate. You also suggested a high protein 18% feed which is fine for a starter but once weaned 16% if more than adequate and 14% will often work. My point is that feeding a feed with the soyhull content elevated, thus raising crude fiber levels is much less antagonistic than feeding one with little or no fiber, high grain content and excessive protein. We want to grow calves, not fatten them. A calf given access to grazing (beef or dairy) will be ruminating before he's 30 days old. Watch'em !!!!
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby vclavin » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:02 pm

TexasBred wrote:MF I suggested using a high level of good high quality soyhulls but made no mention of the TDN or energy level of the complete feed. A feed with a 70% TDN would not be considered "hot" but is adequate. You also suggested a high protein 18% feed which is fine for a starter but once weaned 16% if more than adequate and 14% will often work. My point is that feeding a feed with the soyhull content elevated, thus raising crude fiber levels is much less antagonistic than feeding one with little or no fiber, high grain content and excessive protein. We want to grow calves, not fatten them. A calf given access to grazing (beef or dairy) will be ruminating before he's 30 days old. Watch'em !!!!

TB, my feed is only 12% protein ... is that OK along with the grass. I have noticed the first 2 are now gaining around the hip bones, "pins" I think they are called? The youngest is kinda munching grass and barely nibbles the feed.
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Re: Jersey heifer calves

Postby hillsdown » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:25 pm

vclavin wrote:
TexasBred wrote:MF I suggested using a high level of good high quality soyhulls but made no mention of the TDN or energy level of the complete feed. A feed with a 70% TDN would not be considered "hot" but is adequate. You also suggested a high protein 18% feed which is fine for a starter but once weaned 16% if more than adequate and 14% will often work. My point is that feeding a feed with the soyhull content elevated, thus raising crude fiber levels is much less antagonistic than feeding one with little or no fiber, high grain content and excessive protein. We want to grow calves, not fatten them. A calf given access to grazing (beef or dairy) will be ruminating before he's 30 days old. Watch'em !!!!

TB, my feed is only 12% protein ... is that OK along with the grass. I have noticed the first 2 are now gaining around the hip bones, "pins" I think they are called? The youngest is kinda munching grass and barely nibbles the feed.
Valerie


I like to use 18% dairy ration calf starter until they are weened then they go on a 4H ration and full access to hay or grass.

My dairy calves at the dairy were raised differently, they were in hutches until they were weened, they were given a bottle twice a day of real milk ,gradually brought up to 6 pints each feeding then gradually brought down until weening at around 3 months. They were given 18% dairy ration calf starter and nice leafy 2nd or 3 cut hay. Once weened they were moved to a group pen where they were given a TMR ration of barley silage ,hay and calfstarter until they were 6 months old , then they were moved into another pen where they were given a lighter TMR ration until they were moved into the breeding pens where they would be watched for heats and AI'd ,can't remember the % TMR as that is where Mr HD would take over feeding them .

Haven't been involved in the actual Dairy operation in many years so new studies may have changed the way things are done now ,but I will tell you that it worked for us and many others who classified their herds.

I would say go with your gut Valerie, you will soon know what they need just by looking at them and how they are growing.
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