DairyBusiness
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: nurse cows?

  1. #1

    Question nurse cows?

    hello all!
    I just joined in the forum and need some advise about useing a nurse cow. I have been raising jersey beef for about 10 years, buying young bucket calves and raising them on a grass fed program. I have always heard and liked the idea of getting a nurse cow instead of bottles and artificial milk replacer. I finally found and purchased a jersey cow this week. She is 7 years old and in her 6(?) th pregnancy.
    My questions are...how many calves can i expect her to raise? (was told she milks about 60lbs /day). How do i go about getting her to accept and mother the extra calves? how far apart in age can the calves be? also, i'd like to stay grass fed, but will she need grain to be able to produce enough milk for the calves?
    I have a young bull calf that was born august 2008. Could I use him to breed her back? (is he old enough?)
    I plan to leave the calves on her for 6 months or more, alowing her to calve again next may. Thanks for any help!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    519

    Default

    I'm guessing at this but I reckon she could raise about 2-3 calves. She doesn't need grain but work on about 50 lb peak and then settling back to 25-30 lb later if she is fed well. She can get pretty much all she needs from grass, just as long as you provide enough of it.

    Keep the ages of the calves within a few weeks otherwise the oldest may dominate the udder. You may have to get the cow in a bale or stall and put the calves on her for the first few days. The younger you buy the calves the better. And it is best to buy them all together and introduce them all at once otherwise she will have favourites. Once the calves know how to drink from her they will start feeding aggressively. Let her smell and lick them after feeding before you let her out of the stall. If this isnt working squirt her milk onto the calves and let her lick them. Sometimes it helps to keep them separate the first few days to make her want them as she gets a tight udder.

    Jersey bulls will hit puberty early but I would generally wait till 12 months old before using a bull for breeding.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Default running bull with nurse cow

    breed back nurse cow

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If i use my yearling bull ccalf to breed back my nurse cow, will i be able to run him along with the calves she is nursing or will i need to separate cow/bull from calves? i plan to breed back at 90 days to maintain MAy calving so the babies will be 3 months old when i am ready to breed. Both cow and bull are Jersey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    499

    Default

    I would strongly recommend you NOT keep a jersey bull unless you have facilities for him. A mature jersey bull will be a good deal less manageable than a wounded grizzly bear.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    519

    Default

    The calves won't hit puberty until around 6 months old so by then the cow should be in calf (if not there is something wrong with her).

    Re keeping a jersey bull, in general you should be alright with him as a yearling, possibly even to 2 years old. But after that don't bother.

  6. #6

    Default bull for breeding nurse cow

    the bull calf i have was born june/july of 2008. he is a bucket calf i have raised/ just have not steered him yet. The plan is for him to breed my nurse cow in august, then i will definately make him a steer as i have only the one cow and can't see keeping/manageing a mature bull for only one cow. Also I have heard the Jersey bulls can get rather a handful and don't want to get into that kind of management problems.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SE Oklahoma
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Any luck getting your cow bred with the young bull?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •