Samantha Morgan wrote:Most of the bottle calves available around here have been with their mother only 1-2 days...and then they are sold (in some cases at least) not directly from the Dairy but from a sort of calf-middleman - so there's not much picking and choosing on our end. I guess by the time we could potentially get them, they are between 2 to 8 weeks old, and there's no point in feeding colostrum from a kit.
If a calf does seem to have pneumonia, do you do anything about it?
If we ever do decide to breed our own cattle, we are definitely interested in Dexters, so good to know about the dexter jersey quality meat...but at this point Im not interested in that. Maybe one day!
Lorinne Anderson wrote:I suspect the calf that failed was sickly from the start, and slowly went further downhill as time went on.
I'm thinking the trick would be developing a relationship with the producer of the calves you are interested in; be it by email, a club, the pub, whatever. That would get you on site, so you can evaluate the environment, and likely get you cooperation with a calf that spends at least a few days with Mum, to ensure the colostrum angle is covered.
I would also take the time to ensure you have a good vet (research now) and get any new calves evaluated the day you pick them up (swing by the office for a welfare check). One thing I did not see mentioned is deworming, or parasite control. If you have a multi species grazing set up this could be an issue with transference between species.
Husbandry is most critical with babes, navel health, temp checks, etc., should be monitored and logged, daily, at least initially, until you are more familiar with what "normal" looks like.
Pneumonia in calves is often a side effect of other conditions (gut) and bloat or displacement puts pressure on lungs. This may not have been misdiagnosed - it could have appeared later.
Chatting with the 4H organization or kids who raise calves MIGHT be your best source of info!
William Bronson wrote:This is fascinating stuff!
I don't ever an on raising cattle but the logistics of it are interesting.
You mentioned two calves for $80.00 and that made me think, given the high cost of beef especially these days, I wonder if buying them and immediately having them slaughtered would make economic sense?
Their carcass weight and the butchering fee would determine that answer, I suppose.