|The cattle that roam our family farm.|
I believe she said you could get male or female, guess it depends on what he brings. I don't recall what age she said they were but she did say they would need to be bottle fed at first.
Wanting nothing more than to dive right in to the homestead life, I'm thinking this might be a great learning opportunity for the whole family. Of course, not knowing much about raising cattle, I did what any other Gen X dad would do to learn something...I went to YouTube.
I say this half joking because obviously your best knowledge will come from experienced people in the field. Asking local farmers and feed store employees are the best sources. But for people like me who are moving from city to country, we may not know exactly where to start or who to ask. YouTube has turned out to be a terrific avenue for seeking information and it is accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection. It can be accessed 24 hours a day and you can even leave questions in comments or read comments other folks have posted to learn just a little more. If you don't know how to do something in your new environment, try searching YouTube and see what you can find.
|Not THAT kind of "calf raising"!|
This time I found a video by Du-Brook Dairy narrated by Kelly Dugan. She says to feed the calf milk once a day after the age of 50 days old. Then at 70 days, it gets weened. Once weened, the calf gets a "medicated crumble" for about two weeks.
Thanks to drugs.com I was able to figure out what a "medicated crumble" was and how to use it. Realizing that there are numerous types of medicated crumble, this particular page details Corid 2.5%. From what I can tell, this is a feed to be given either for suspected health issues or as a preventative. Instructions are listed for dose according to animal weight. Interesting!
Since Kelly didn't say what to feed BEFORE 50 days old, I kept searching for information. Dr. Guy Jodarski (Veterinarian) suggests feeding one gallon of whole milk day and night to Holsteen sized cattle, Jersey sized cattle get three quarts day and night. Wow, that'll get pricey. I bought a gallon of milk just a few days ago and it was $4.49/gallon. That means we'll be paying $9 each day for each calf in the beginning.
He also mentions giving them a few ounces of kelp for grain each day which helps with rumen development.
|Steve Frank's method of straddling a calf|
Dehorning is something I haven't figured out yet. It appears to be necessary in herds but seems like not so necessary if raising one or two on a small farm. Dr. Mark Hardesty, DVM, explains how the process of cauterizing works. There is also dehorning paste. The purpose appears to be to both protect the cattle from each other and to protect the caretakers as well. Also called disbudding, it should be done sooner rather than later in life.
If you want to brand or mark your cattle, an Allflex video offers a few alternatives such as visual ear applicator or digital EID tags. These allow the owner to track herds with traditional visual ear tags or computer software. There is also heat branding and freeze branding.
That's all I've had time to research for today. I'm sure there are internet friends out there that can add some really good advice based on the experience they have learned by raising their own cattle. Hopefully, somebody is going to assure me that I don't need to spend $9 a day on milk for two months???
So, how 'bout it? Will you share some of your experience with me?
PS, I've updated The Clan page if you want to see pictures of my gorgeous girls.