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dearanna777
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Bottle calves?

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 I've been seriously thinking about getting some bottle calves to raise then sell as stockers. I'm 16 and have to juggle school and work,but I think I could get an awesome profit doing this. How much money could I potentially get? Do y'all have any tips or ideas? What's the best milk replacer to use?  Thank y'all! Smiley Happy  

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Re: Bottle calves?

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@dearanna777 wrote:

 I've been seriously thinking about getting some bottle calves to raise then sell as stockers. I'm 16 and have to juggle school and work,but I think I could get an awesome profit doing this. How much money could I potentially get? Do y'all have any tips or ideas? What's the best milk replacer to use?  Thank y'all! Smiley Happy  


Anna, this involves quite a commitment. These callfs need to be fed every 12 hours, 7 days/week.

Adm has a good milk replacer, don't get that crap from rural king. Mix it about 3/4 as strong as they tell you. Nutrena has a good starter feed. They will start to eat after just a few days. I would suggest using buckets instead of bottles. Water has to be warm. I would also give them SMZ pills for 3 days to help with scours. Each calf should be penned separately for feeding for at least 5 weeks. Be nice if they could get outside during the day, helps alot with scours. By the time you wean them, 7-8 weeks, you will have close to $100/head if milk, feed, and vet. They will then need to be banded and dehorned, doesn't cost much if you can do it yourself. By the time they weigh 300-350lb you will have about $120-130/head plus the price of the calf. This depends on death loss and how much of the vet work you can do yourself. Have no idea what you can get for the calves in your area.

 

Good luck. But remember, these calves are 100% totally dependent on you, as I said, a big commitment.

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Re: Bottle calves?

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Just what 3020 said, but I might add, go to a local feed mill, and see if they make a 'starter grain' for calves.   This is mostly oats, with a little rolled corn and alfalfa pellets, and just a touch of molasses.   Don't overfeed this, start them off with just a handfull at feeding time.   This will cost more up front, but will pay off in the long run, if you are feeding them to 500# or more, as they will wean off milk replacer much quicker, and onto ground hay.   DO NOT skimp on the quality of hay, until they are around maybe 350# or more.

If you are going to sell them @ 300-350#, you don't need to mess with the starter grain, and the hay.   Anyone who buys a calf that size should be equipped to move them to the next ration themselves.

In the past, we've made about $50 a calf, to 350#, and $100 a calf, getting them to 500# or so.

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Re: Bottle calves?

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I got started in the cattle business with bottle calves. I bought four heifers, raised them to maturity, breed them to my dad's angus bull and sold them back to the dairy when the came fresh. I got to keep those calves. I raised the steer to feeder and sold him. I keep the heifers. I did this for maybe three or four years until I was in high school. At wich time I felt I didnt have time any longer. It was kind of enjoyable and a way to get into the cattle business with out spending much money. Not sure I would want to work that hard for the little profit that seems to be available if you want to do it to generate a income source.
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Re: Bottle calves?

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Hey Buckfarmer,

 

So you sold the dairy back the newly fresh 2 yr old Holsteins.      The heifer calves you kept are half Holstein/half Angus so I'm thinking they are out of commission as far as dairy milkers and will be going for beef.    Would they make a good beef mother cow?

Or would you just feed them out for slaughter?

 

Thanks !!

 

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Re: Bottle calves?

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I kept them for cows. They made good beef cows. By the time I bread them back to usually angus bulls the calves were only quarter holstein. So they were black or baldy and sold pretty well as feeders. Those half Holstein cows did get pretty hungry through the winter. But their calves never went hungry.
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