I’ve been looking for information on raising my own calf or two for beef. Do you have some suggestions on what I need to do? I’ve raised my own chickens and turkeys but want to raise my own beef now. I know you buy calves at auction, what should I look for? So many questions.
Several issues past (Issue #120, November/December 2009) I wrote a lengthy article on raising calves on a bottle. I’d suggest you read the article. You can buy calves at the auction barn but it’s much better to buy them from a local farmer. At an auction, calves trade “germs” readily and you often bring home calves already exposed to diseases such as scours (severe diarrhea) or pneumonia. When feeding your calves, always buy the best milk replacer available, which is also the most expensive. Cheaper replacers contain soy instead of milk-based protein and are not as digestible and will often cause calves to scour, which can be deadly. When calves scour, which bottle-raised calves often do, immediately take them off of milk replacer and instead give a bottle of mixed calf electrolytes (I like the one with gel as it soothes the calf’s digestive tract at the same time.) Only give the electrolytes until the calf’s stool is almost normal. At that point you can begin mixing milk with electrolytes and get the calf back onto milk. Again, read the article; it’ll help you out a bunch. — Jackie
Saw my first Orioles today! Do you have your grape jelly out? Seems kind of cool for them to be here.(SE Minnesota, around Rochester)
Yes, I do, plus three feeders with “oriole juice,” too. I love the orioles and they have such a pretty song too! — Jackie