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Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:17 pm
by Fire Sweep Ranch
I have a friend that is thinking about purchasing a jersey cow that currently has a 5 day old angus calf on her, and she is 7 months bred to an angus bull. Would he have to pull that angus calf off the cow before she calves, and if so, how far ahead of her due date would he need to? He is hoping the jersey can raise the angus calf until 6 or 7 months, or weaning, so he does not have to feed the angus calf so much.
He is getting the cow for free for feeding out the angus calf to 1200 pounds, does that sound like a good deal? I am not a dairy person, so I am asking for him since he came to me.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:29 pm
by Rafter S
Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:I have a friend that is thinking about purchasing a jersey cow that currently has a 5 day old angus calf on her, and she is 7 months bred to an angus bull. Would he have to pull that angus calf off the cow before she calves, and if so, how far ahead of her due date would he need to? He is hoping the jersey can raise the angus calf until 6 or 7 months, or weaning, so he does not have to feed the angus calf so much.
He is getting the cow for free for feeding out the angus calf to 1200 pounds, does that sound like a good deal? I am not a dairy person, so I am asking for him since he came to me.


I haven't fooled with nurse cows in a while, but your friend should be able to add one or two more calves along with the angus that's on it now if he wants, especially if he's willing to feed her. I've even heard of people keeping a set of calves on a Jersey until they're about 3 months old and eating feed, then pulling them off and doing the same with another set. Anyway, I'd think that as long as he gets the calf (or calves) off of her about 3-4 months before she's due she should be fine.

I don't have any thoughts on whether or not it's a good deal.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:27 pm
by M.Magis
How would leaving the current calf on her affect the colostrum for the new calf? Or would it not?

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:31 pm
by branguscowgirl
Would he have to pull that angus calf off the cow before she calves, and if so, how far ahead of her due date would he need to?

I would say yes. Because it will consume the colostrum that is made for her biological calf. I believe that the colostrum is set several months ahead of time, so double check me on that.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:37 pm
by Rafter S
M.Magis wrote:How would leaving the current calf on her affect the colostrum for the new calf? Or would it not?


Leaving calves on a nurse cow would affect the colostrum just like if you left a calf on a range cow until she had the next one. That would also pull the cow down, and the new calf wouldn't amount to much.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:46 pm
by cowmilker
If that cow is due in two months I'd have pulled that calf off of her already.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:00 pm
by branguscowgirl
M.Magis wrote:How would leaving the current calf on her affect the colostrum for the new calf? Or would it not?

M.magis the cow begins producing colostrum during the last few months of her pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Then it only last for a short period of time after giving birth. (Only a limited supply is produced.) By leaving another calf on her, that calf will consume all of the colostrum leaving none for when her biological calf gets here. Sounds like the damage may already be done.
I do not know how to explain it any simpler than that.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:13 pm
by Tim/South
The cow is 7 months bred. She needs time to dry up and rest. Pull the angus calf and put it on a bottle. I bet you can see every rib on the nurse cow from 100 yards away.
You can put the calf back on the jersey in 2 months if you desire. She will make more milk than one calf can handle. if she is fed a little.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:27 pm
by bigbull338
the calf needs tobe off her now.she is heavy bred right now.so she needs 2 months to rest.she has to have clostrum milk for her calf when its born.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:41 pm
by milkmaid
The cow needs to be dry now. 50-60 days dry prior to calving. Is she confirmed pregnant? If not, have her checked before drying her off...

Getting a free Jersey cow in exchange for feeding a calf to 1200 lbs is not a good deal. Sounds like he wants the calf finished, and besides the things that can go wrong for the calf between now and then (14-18 months away), the 800lb-finish time usually costs about $500. The birth-800lb time is going to be the cow's feed cost for 6-7 months plus calf feed. Not worth a free Jersey IMO.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:38 pm
by Rafter S
I'm sorry. Somehow I completely missed the part about the cow being 7 months bred. I apologize, and agree that the calf should be pulled off now.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:05 pm
by Fire Sweep Ranch
milkmaid wrote:The cow needs to be dry now. 50-60 days dry prior to calving. Is she confirmed pregnant? If not, have her checked before drying her off...

Getting a free Jersey cow in exchange for feeding a calf to 1200 lbs is not a good deal. Sounds like he wants the calf finished, and besides the things that can go wrong for the calf between now and then (14-18 months away), the 800lb-finish time usually costs about $500. The birth-800lb time is going to be the cow's feed cost for 6-7 months plus calf feed. Not worth a free Jersey IMO.


Thanks for confirming what I suspected. Along with the fact he is going to have to bottle feed a week old calf if he has to pull it now. Milk replacer is very expensive!

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:52 am
by M.Magis
branguscowgirl wrote:
M.Magis wrote:How would leaving the current calf on her affect the colostrum for the new calf? Or would it not?

M.magis the cow begins producing colostrum during the last few months of her pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Then it only last for a short period of time after giving birth. (Only a limited supply is produced.) By leaving another calf on her, that calf will consume all of the colostrum leaving none for when her biological calf gets here. Sounds like the damage may already be done.
I do not know how to explain it any simpler than that.

Thanks, that's what I thought. Just wanted to confirm.

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:04 am
by bigbruh
My vet told me that colostrum isn't produced until the calf is born

Re: Nurse cow question.

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:05 am
by TexasBred
bigbruh wrote:My vet told me that colostrum isn't produced until the calf is born

I would ask to see his credentials. :shock: :shock: