Raising calf on a holstein

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Hardin Farms » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:32 am

Here is a picture of the holstein that calved last week. This picture is the day of calving.

Image

and this one is at 36 hours

Image



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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Son of Butch » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:35 pm

Hardin Farms wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:32 am
Image
The color shading of her udder and black tail with a white tail switch tells me she's a crossbred,
perhaps 3/4 holstein 1/4 Swedish Red? The others straight holstein.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Hardin Farms » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:11 am

Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:35 pm
Hardin Farms wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:32 am
Image
The color shading of her udder and black tail with a white tail switch tells me she's a crossbred,
perhaps 3/4 holstein 1/4 Swedish Red? The others straight holstein.
Certainly possible. The only thing i know is that they came from a Bobby Jones Dairy Farm somewhere in TN or KY.

She has shown good maternal instinct, which is something i worry about with cows coming from a dairy farm. The calf has been hidden for a week, just caught glimpses here and there. Yesterday she had her out with the rest of the "herd". The calf was extremely energetic and actually wasn't as "leggy" as I initially thought. She is going to show some strong Hereford characteristics.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by farmerjan » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:53 am

Many of the crosses with jersey will have a reddish tint to their color. The white switch is pretty common with most holstein crosses. I have had several hol/jer crosses that are black and white but with more irregular "spotted" type white rather than the larger white areas of a holstein. But then, have a few that are out of mostly black holsteins, that have little white, more a brownish black coloring. Most all swiss crosses that I have dealt with, and had 2 farms that raised both hol and swiss, and had quite a few crosses; they were mostly a brownish tint black, mostly had black switches on their tail, some had the lighter circle around the muzzle. Once more mature would tend to hold their weight better than a hol x jersey. That hereford cross will beef up nice and doesn't look like they will milk too much although she has a nicer udder than I would have suspected if they were that thin.

I think you got an exceptional deal, under the circumstances. Unless you lose the rest, you will make some money, have a start on some decent crossed beef animals. They won't be perfect, and the dairy will come out for several generations, but many of us have gotten started with animals like this. If one or two are good and friendly, then you can also milk some for the house.

One thing to think about is if you keep heifers and mix them in with the dairy cows, you may run into some problems with the ones with horns. They seem to get a little aggressive with horns after the non-horned ones. Some never do. But most of mine that have had horns, will start to get after other non-horned cows, and they don't seem to get that way until they are 2-3 years old. They can be dehorned, by a vet, but if you do it, wait until fall/winter so flies are one less thing to deal with.

Congrats on making a smart deal and a good start.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Hardin Farms » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:23 am

farmerjan wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:53 am
Many of the crosses with jersey will have a reddish tint to their color. The white switch is pretty common with most holstein crosses. I have had several hol/jer crosses that are black and white but with more irregular "spotted" type white rather than the larger white areas of a holstein. But then, have a few that are out of mostly black holsteins, that have little white, more a brownish black coloring. Most all swiss crosses that I have dealt with, and had 2 farms that raised both hol and swiss, and had quite a few crosses; they were mostly a brownish tint black, mostly had black switches on their tail, some had the lighter circle around the muzzle. Once more mature would tend to hold their weight better than a hol x jersey. That hereford cross will beef up nice and doesn't look like they will milk too much although she has a nicer udder than I would have suspected if they were that thin.

I think you got an exceptional deal, under the circumstances. Unless you lose the rest, you will make some money, have a start on some decent crossed beef animals. They won't be perfect, and the dairy will come out for several generations, but many of us have gotten started with animals like this. If one or two are good and friendly, then you can also milk some for the house.

One thing to think about is if you keep heifers and mix them in with the dairy cows, you may run into some problems with the ones with horns. They seem to get a little aggressive with horns after the non-horned ones. Some never do. But most of mine that have had horns, will start to get after other non-horned cows, and they don't seem to get that way until they are 2-3 years old. They can be dehorned, by a vet, but if you do it, wait until fall/winter so flies are one less thing to deal with.

Congrats on making a smart deal and a good start.
I'm excited to see how the Hereford cross grows off. I know the bull that sired the calves is an excellent bull. Throws well muscled cows, albeit a bit short when bred to angus cows. That's possibly a good thing with these cows though. She is milking very well, but her udder doesn't seem to be hard or sore for her. Teats aren't swollen and have a good shape to them. I'll keep an eye on that.

I think we did too. It's hobby for my little family that has always made some money. We got the opportunity to buy this land and needed some cattle to put on it without spending too much money. I have 3 kids and a wonderful wife who stays at home with them, so the cattle are more than business right now. The Swiss cows are extremely gentle and milking is something we have talked about once we get the facilities to handle them.

The horns are going to go this fall when things cool down a bit. I don't know which method we will use to do it, but we will de-horn them. They do push each other around a bit, so I think it'd be in out best interest to go ahead and do away with them.

What would be your preferred cross for the second generation heifers? Knowing theyll be half Hereford, would you go Angus? I want to keep as much black in them as i can.. It just does so much better at the sale barns around here. We will only be selling the steers for now. Keeping the best looking heifers.

Thanks for your input on everything!

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by farmerjan » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:45 am

I would either go angus, or a good black limousin bull. There are easy calving limi's around. Even a black simmental, but calving problems could be a consideration for something with dairy in it for first calf heifers.
Yeah, we are in a "black cattle" area too and the reds get docked. Don't mind when we get a red heifer born as we just usually keep them for replacements.
I have a vet dehorn any older cows. Uses a nerve block so it isn't as painful, uses a big pair of dehorners, does the bleeders and stuffs cotton in the holes. Shot of antibiotic. We watch for possible infection for a few days and they seem to do fine. When the animals all have horns, they tend to respect each other better, but I've got one that became a raging witch with her horns and she got a real comeuppance when they were taken off and she didn't have them to use anymore.

Have a longhorn heifer that I left the horns on. Never had used then as more than a shake of the head, "don't get too close" thing. I often see her going head to head, literally, with several heifers she grew up with in playing pushing contests, and when they are done, never tries to hook them. She has taken a dislike to one of my hol x cows and will try to corner her in a tight space, but doesn't bother her in the field. Gets along with all the angus and she is my "lawn ornament". She does not like dogs in the field though and that is fine with me.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Hardin Farms » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:00 pm

I'll probably stick with Angus since I've got a pretty good source for good stock at my fathers farm. I'll definitely check into the Limousin and Lim Flex bulls, i know a couple guys running them.

I'll check prices to de-horn them. We have done it ourselves on my dads farm, so it may be something we do if i can purchase the anesthetic. They haven't bothered us yet, but they do better at the sale barn without horns as well.

We have a problem with coyotes around here. We have thinned them down a good bit, but occasionally youll here them pretty close. I don't think we've ever had a calf taken by one, but have thought about putting a jack in the pasture to help protect the cattle.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by farmerjan » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:40 pm

If you feel comfortable doing the horns than go to it. I hate it. And get literally very sick on the disbudding/dehorning with the hot iron.
Hornless cattle sell better here too except for any that go in the kill pen. Then they tend not to care as much.

Have run both donkeys and llamas. The llamas seem to be better at protecting the calves, often being the "babysitter" for them. The llamas do good with the sheep too. But I have seen pictures where a donkey will literally stomp a coyote to death. We had one that was great, another that was so-so. Love to hear them though.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Hardin Farms » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:36 am

Little update on baby "Gina". She'll be 3 weeks old tomorrow. What do you guys see in her so far? She's not as "framey" as i ecpected her to be..
https://photos.app.goo.gl/GMUCSVEwNRt3QSG77

Her dams bag is full, but not problematic...

Million dolla question....... any tips on putting some weight on momma cow while the calf is nursing? She got really pulled down a week prior to calving and the first week after, but she seems to be moderating her body now. She has plenty of grass to eat, any supplement recommended? By the looks of her dung, shes getting adequate protein.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by alisonb » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:49 pm

Gina is filling out nicely. Is it just the photo or is her navel swollen?

If you know that mother is getting enough grass then supplement with a multi-nutrient block...will be good for all the cows. Have they been dewormed?
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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Hardin Farms » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:12 am

I think its mostly the picture.. It doesn't look like that in person... Or at least it didn't last night when we went to check on the cows.

We started using this mineral that is sold locally..

X-TREME Livestock Minerals
16:8 BEEF MINERAL
VITAMIN-MINERAL SUPPLEMENT FOR CATTLE

Guaranteed Analysis
Calcium, Min....................................16.00%
Calcium, Max...................................18.00%
Phosphorous, Min..............................8.00%
Salt, Min...........................................15.00%
Salt, Max..........................................17.00%
Magnesium, Min.................................3.50%
Sulfur, Min..........................................0.50%
Cobalt, Min........................................10 ppm
Copper, Min...................................1250 ppm
Manganese, Min............................3300 ppm
Iodine, Min.........................................40 ppm
Selenium, Min....................................26 ppm
Zinc, Min........................................2700 ppm
Vitamin A, Min........................100,000 IU/LB
Vitamin D3 , Min.......................25,000 IU/LB
Vitamin E, Min................................50 IU/LB

May be just me, but it seems they spend more time grazing than before we were using it.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Buck Randall » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:26 pm

Dairy cows need grain in order to maintain or gain weight in early lactation. There just isn't enough energy in grass to support them while they're milking.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by Son of Butch » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:40 pm

Dairy cows need grain to reach peak milking potential. Without it their milk production will drop,
so adding grain for a dairy cow raising 1 calf will only compound the too much milk problem.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:18 pm

I've done the same in the past with Holsteins from a local dairy. I bred them to an angus bull. They are raising their calves just fine in the field. I do not milk them but they have so much milk pouring out of them that there are literally puddles all over the field. The dogs are enjoying that.

I also in the past got 2 jerseys from a dairy that were about to calf, both heifers. They calved and I picked up 2 more 3 day old bottle calves to give the excess milk to. I learned a couple things. Its hard to train a cow to be a nurse cow so I quickly gave up after almost breaking my ankle getting kicked too much. I then tried milking them which I quickly realized with 2 cows is really hard work so I just fed the bottle calves milk replacer...failed on that project.

I have also found that the feed has to be different when im feeding my Holsteins or my jerseys. They seem to get skinny faster when they have calves. I give them about twice as much grain as I give my pure bred angus mamas. They just seem to need it more. But they have all given me really big jet black calves when bred to our angus bull.

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Re: Raising calf on a holstein

Post by backhoeboogie » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:47 am

I still keep a nurse cow. They can be a pain. I buy beef splits from the sale barn and graft them onto the nurse cows. One of mine accepted every calf I ever gave her, except one. She would not accept one and I had to bottle feed it.
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