Somebody GAVE me a cow. Need ideas.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by azelgin, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Never look a gift cow in the mouth?

    OK, here's the deal. Somebody has given me a 15 month old Jersey hefer. She's not a reject, but a pretty good looking girl. Mom was a small Jersey standard, breed to a small Jersey bull. I have a chance to buy a small (less than 1000 lbs.), three year old, proven Jersey bull, for $500. Next option is to haul my hefer to the bull and pay a stud fee of $75 + feed, while she stays to be bred.
    I have the room and facilities for the bull, if I should decide to buy him and bring him home. By the time I figure in my fuel, feed, mileage, etc., to get the cow bred, I figure I'll be in the venture closer to $200. Should I buy the bull, use him for the breeding and then send him to the butcher instead? My cost for the bull would work out to around 35 cents a pound live weight, by the time I deduct some of the expenses that I would have spent for breeding services. Will he taste ok, being that he is three years old? I really can't use him for stud services where I live. Too far for people to travel. I really live out in the sticks.

    As of now, I'm into this adventure $0. I'm hoping to keep the whole operation low budget.

    Any ideas?
  2. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    No farmers with a bull near you? I know she is a pure breed but her offspring don't have to be unless you are hoping to get some little pure bred heifers from her. After we sold our bull and we needed a bit of bull service a neighbor let our cows visit. We brought over a couple hundred lbs of feed and that was paid in full. Dad brought his tractor over to help him do something or the other too but that was just being friendly. When the gals were done we just led them back home. They never even had to go in a trailer. Just a little walk across the field. Maybe someone near you would be helpful and cheap.
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Man, I wish I had that problem, we've been looking for a good small milk cow for two years now.

    I agree with HeatherLynn, if you are just gonna eat the calf, you don't need purebreed. It would be even better to use a small meat breed.
  4. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    Someone gave you a free heifer? What do you know of her background? Was she a twin? There are a lot of questions to be answered here. If she is a freemartin, she is only good for meat.

    For what it is worth, given that she is a fertile female, I would go with the $75 stud fee. Bulls are more trouble than they are worth in small operations. That is my opinion on the subject.

  5. Terri O

    Terri O Songster

    If your heifer is able to reproduce cant you just have a vet out and do AI? There might be somebody near you that would sell you a straw or two of semen and inseminate your cow too. Then you can go with whatever kind of bull you wanted. Much cheaper and less hassle than taking your cow somewhere. Also there is nod chance that she will get hurt during transport or breeding.
    Find out some history the OP said, if she is a freemartin she will most likely not settle. Terri O
  6. arabianequine

    arabianequine Crowing

    Apr 4, 2010
    The vet can tell you if she is sterile or not and it is cheaper if you take her to them. My little jersey dairy bull is a doll and would not hurt a flea intentionally. Depends how they have been raised and trained like any other animal. Although still a big animal so anything is possible. Have horns removed will help you can have it done at any age by your vet.

    Good luck!
  7. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    ok, I'm curious, and never heard the term. What is Freemartin?
  8. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    From my experience as a ranch hand, any cow or bull is controllable, but Jersey bulls have an attitude!
  9. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    The term 'freemartin' started to be used in Slap Neck, Arkansas in 1901, when 'Martin Hifer', known as 'Free Calf Martin', and later just 'Free Martin Hifer', tried to give away all his sterile Jersey calves. He told all his neighbors that they could have a 'great she calf' to breed replacement calves for their herd, for free and palmed off about a dozen calves on them before they cottoned on to his scheme.

    Some say the term arose a few months later, about the time when ole Martin was jailed for fraud, after finally giving the sherrif a 'Free Martin' calf, and 'freemartin' was what one less literate townsman wrote on his placard when they picketed the jail.

    In the years that followed, Slap Neck became known the world over for its 'Free Martin Heaver Plate', which consisted of two fried eggs and Texas White Hot Dog wrapped in a tortilla and drenched in tomato salsa.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010

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