1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Raising Jersey Bottle Calf?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by DairyGoatz, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. DairyGoatz

    DairyGoatz Out Of The Brooder

    92
    1
    43
    May 28, 2013
    North Carolina
    Hello, I just got my first calf during the weekend, he was supposedly 4 days old from a dairy... I was wondering how much I sjould feed him? I've been giving him 2 cups milk replacer with 2 cups milk from our goats and 2 eggs (small) three times a day, does that sound right?... also I was wondering what the best time to band him was? I'm having a hard time finding any information.

    One more thing, I know Jersey bulls have a bad reputation, I was wondering about a steer as a Ox, how is they're temperament?. Thank you
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

    4,905
    586
    286
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    I haven't raised a calf but I highly recommend you find the relevant info rather than wing it. You sound like you're doing ok, but I'd back off the eggs a bit, and definitely find the right info ---- maybe the dairy you got him from will help? Generally the milk replacer bags will have the info on them for dosage.

    Overfeeding is at least as deadly as underfeeding, often more so, and incorrect feeding is also just as bad. If you don't know what to feed him you're likely to give him pulpy kidney or some other ailment which you can lose him to. As far as I know, the raw eggs are fed as an alternative to colostrum; he might have gotten some colostrum but continued consumption of raw eggs will be an issue for many ruminants. Some others don't seem to have an issue with it though. But it is animal protein and he is a herbivore; at this point in his life the only raw animal protein he should be having is unhomogenized and unpasteurized milk, or a milk replacer with probiotics in it. I'd think you can raise him on raw goat's milk but best to check up on that.

    What sort of milk replacer are you feeding him?

    Also, I'm not sure he'll make a good ox. When you say 'ox' I think 'bullock' or draught animal, used to work; maybe you just mean a steer? As in, desexed to fatten to be eaten? Sorry, I don't understand exactly what you mean there.

    A Jersey though isn't going to make a great worker if that's what you've planned for him. But that's not to say he won't be any use whatsoever.

    I am not a fan of desexing unless for medical reasons, so personally I wouldn't desex him if he were mine. Good bulls remain good despite having testicles, and bad bulls remain bad whether or not you remove the testicles. His temperament depends a lot on how he's raised, but also on his parentage. While his mother probably contributed some trusting mentality patterns to him, there's every chance his father didn't, since the breeders of Jerseys have been remarkably slack when it comes to making sure good genetics are only bred when matched with good temperament. Many other livestock breeders make sure of this combo in all breeders, male or female, but commercial Jersey breeders have been a bit too focused on yield, in my opinion. Some of them keep 'battery bulls' which have a life rather like a battery hen, which is not conducive to sanity and sociability.

    While he might remain calmer if you desex him, he won't grow properly; the sex hormones also have influences on the bone structure and general vitality, so I'd wait until he's older if you're planning on using him as a worker. If he's just a pet it shouldn't matter too much.

    But from what little I know of banding, it's much better done sooner than later; in fact I think there's some sort of law against doing it later in life due to the sheer amount of pain it causes. I was present when a ram lamb was banded at a few months old and he was definitely in agony. He threw himself around and smashed into things and rolled madly. Not advisable. If you wait until he's older to get better growth on him, then a different and more expensive castration method would need to be used --- I think; I don't know how it goes where you are.

    Anyway, best wishes.
     
  3. DairyGoatz

    DairyGoatz Out Of The Brooder

    92
    1
    43
    May 28, 2013
    North Carolina
    Thank you for you're help. I'm afraid I don't know the dairy he came from, the person we got him from gathered young bulls from several different dairies so I doubt she knew where he was from, and she won't answer our calls now. The formula we have right now recommends 2 quarts twice a day, but that seems a little much for his size.

    I've read about the overfeeding being dangerous so I try to keep him slightly hungry, also to encourage him to eat hay and such. I'll stop feeding the eggs if you think it's a good idea. We only have 1 milk goat right now so she can't supply all the milk he needs, but I have read that babies on natural milk do much better than ones raised solely on milk replacer.

    We're currently giving him UniMilk as it's what the previous owner was feeding.

    Sorry I didn't make that clear. We would like to work with him, hauling logs or plowing in the summer, we won't work him constantly, he'll be more of a pet ( though that wasn't the plan! He's just to darn cute :p)

    I'm not sure what the best thing to do is as far as castration, because we do plan to get a cow and if our male goat in rut is anything alike I don't think we can handle a bull :sick ... If we late until he's older and surgically castrate him, what age would you recommend?

    Thank you very much.
     
  4. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,772
    372
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    He can be castrated at any time. If you want to use him for an ox, you might google oxen and get on an ox forum. There are some out there. It is important that he be castrated though. Dairy bulls can be very dangerous and Jersey bulls are among the worst. I do not know why. If you don't want to use him for an ox, you can always eat him. Jersey fat is yellow rather than white, but Jersey beef has an excellent flavor.
     
  5. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,772
    372
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    I have no idea where you are getting your information on the temperament of bulls. You obviously haven't worked around them very much. Dairy bulls are unpredictable and dangerous and it doesn't matter much how they have been raised and handled. Beef bulls are a different story. Many of them are relatively easy to manage. If you raise a dairy bull, like a Holstein or Jersey, and treat him like a pet when he is mature, be sure your will is made out and your affairs are in order.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X2! My husbands customers are mostly dairy farmers, only a few still keep bulls for breeding, most do AI. These dairy bulls are so often just downright dangerous and a pain in the backside at the best of times. Just a real hassle to have around. If you want to raise him as a steer then I'd get him castrated sooner then later.
     
  7. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,772
    372
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    You are absolutely right. Just a comment. I once borrowed a Jersey bull for a few weeks to breed my two cows. He liked me. No, I never went in with him, but he did something I thought was very odd. He would reach through the fence and take my forearm in his mouth and just hold it. He wouldn't jerk it, or pull on it, or try to lick it, or bite down on it. He would just gently hold my arm. He never tried to do that with anyone else. Just me. I have never had any other bovine do that and I have always wondered why he did. Anybody else ever hear of such a thing? I asked the bull's owner and several farm vets about it and they all looked at me like I had three heads.
     
  8. DairyGoatz

    DairyGoatz Out Of The Brooder

    92
    1
    43
    May 28, 2013
    North Carolina

    I find it odd that there is such a difference between Dairy and Meat (not just cattle, our young dairy buck is giving my a lot of trouble lately).
    So if we DO decide to keep him and use him as a part-time Ox, what would be a good time to alter him before he becomes to big but still has good muscling?...

    I actually have to more questions I forgot to ask. The first one is how to get him to stop bunting the bottle, he's already knocked off the nipple and I have to be careful how I hold it or he'll hurt me, I don't want him doing that when he's 3 months old. Second, I know people ride cattle like horses, what about Jersey's?... If they seem to be to much trouble we might raise him up then trade for a dairy/beef breed.
     
  9. DairyGoatz

    DairyGoatz Out Of The Brooder

    92
    1
    43
    May 28, 2013
    North Carolina

    That sounds, erm , slobbery but sweet. What happened to that bull?
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Nope, never heard that one before! I don't know but he obviously had quite a crush on you, lol! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by