Nurse cows

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5S Cattle
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Nurse cows

Postby 5S Cattle » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:28 pm

What are nurse cows and bottle calves going for in your area?
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farmerjan
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Re: Nurse cows

Postby farmerjan » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:46 pm

Here in Va, the dairy industry is suffering such a difficult time that there is no good answer. Good decent dairy cows are going for less than $1000 a head and there are few to no buyers. So someone wanting a nurse cow would pay less than $1000. There was a jersey heifer, springing, that brought $475 last week at a sale, a friend told me. SAD. Any dairy cow has the potential to be a nurse cow. I prefer jerseys, or guernseys for the higher butterfat. And crosses, usually with the other part being holstein.

Dairy baby calves, mostly holstein bulls, are in the $75 to $150 range. There are more dairy x beef baby calves around now than there used to be, and they will bring $100 to $200. Proportionately they are high compared to the value of the cows. I try to buy all my baby calves directly off a farm so I know they have had colostrum, and have not been exposed to all the germs and "bugs" that are in the stockyards. If the dairy farmers continue to struggle and some more to sell out, then baby calves will be fewer and may go up in price.
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5S Cattle
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Re: Nurse cows

Postby 5S Cattle » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:43 am

I have a guy offering me a nurse cow for $1100, I called some buddies that run the sale barns and it looks like bottle calfs are running 200-250. I really would like to pick up the nurse cow but might just let her dry up for the prices I can get bottle calves for.
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RanchMan90
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Re: Nurse cows

Postby RanchMan90 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:57 am

5S Cattle wrote:I have a guy offering me a nurse cow for $1100, I called some buddies that run the sale barns and it looks like bottle calfs are running 200-250. I really would like to pick up the nurse cow but might just let her dry up for the prices I can get bottle calves for.

Wouldn't be much point in buying her to dry her up imo. Takes near $300 to buy a bottle calf here, can buy a bit bigger calf that will go on grain for $400.
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farmerjan
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Re: Nurse cows

Postby farmerjan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:16 pm

Agree with RanchMan90. Why buy a nurse cow to dry her up. If the sell down of dairies hits due to low milk prices and their inabilities to service debt, there will be a tightening up of the baby calf market with fewer being available and the prices will go up. Due to the greater number of dairies in this area, I guess our baby calf market is better and cheaper. I cannot see me paying $2-400 for a calf, but will see what happens in the future. If you can buy a weaned calf for $400 there isn't much point buying a nurse cow unless you are wanting some milk for the house as well as a couple of calves to nurse her; the point of a nurse cow is to raise calves, but if the calves cost near what a weaned calf costs, there is no point in spending that amount of money on a baby calf that is more likely to get sick and possibly die, than a weaned calf.
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