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hugho

23 Posts


Posted - Apr 11 2019 :  07:58:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Daisy popped out a baby bull for her firstborn. Bad luck. So it's going to be veal or a steer and I guess will be milk fed until the pasture comes in. Still 24" of snowpack. Veal has such a bad name from the inhumane vealmills I read about on the internet so I would think there would be a demand for humane pasture fed veal. Question is to castrate or not? when to butcher? How long to keep giving milk? whether and when to add hay or possibly some grain or just go straight milk and grass hay? Several local ranchers have offered me free bull calves but that seems like too much work! We don't have a barn yet and the heavy snowy winter has damaged some of the fencing. Anyone have any ideas?

Daisy, our Jersey
Kunekune pigs
St Croix Sheep
Free range chickens, Icelandics,Buffs, arucanas,buckeyes

maryjane

6710 Posts


Posted - Apr 11 2019 :  1:05:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you think you need a herd bull, I've harvested at age 5, hamburger only, and it was excellent. If you want cuts of meat, you should band your little guy and then harvest him anywhere from 12 months to 2 years. I'm going to band Linus within the next month--he's not quite a week old. I've tried incision castration and by far, I prefer banding.

I try to let my little folk get milk for four months which is when they say they have fully developed rumens. By then, I've administered all their vaccines. I slowly diminish their milk supply starting at about 2-3 months (by limiting their time with mom).

You have to make sure they have adequate alone time away from mom so they don't have to compete with her for hay and can nibble on "solids" on and off all day. I like to see them nibbling on hay within the first week or so. As they get more interested in it, I start to separate them from momma more and more so they "eat" something other than milk (low hanging fruit). They can really get after that udder and play with those nipples out of boredom (hard to have healthy nipples when they're getting chaffed constantly). It's our job to manage all that for her.

https://heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=37355

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6710 Posts


Posted - Apr 13 2019 :  08:10:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's Linus this morning, getting right in next to his mother to eat alfalfa hay. His nose is covered in alfalfa leaves and he's serious about standing at the feeder to eat like the adults. It's time for me to begin separating him an hour here and there so he can eat his fill. He's 10 days old.


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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hugho

23 Posts


Posted - Apr 15 2019 :  11:47:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks MJ. I'm a little laid up from a minor injury and still haven't milked Daisy. am waiting for the tube stanchion thingy because just a head restraint doesn't cut it. She ripped off her halter and is not interested in having it back. Might need general anesthesia!. I will plan on banding the fella as you suggested which is what we do with our sheep. I am going to try out my milk cooling idea I mentioned and will send details if it works. Regards.

Daisy, our Jersey
Kunekune pigs
St Croix Sheep
Free range chickens, Icelandics,Buffs, arucanas,buckeyes
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