weaner steers

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11 years 7 months ago #33676 by casey
weaner steers was created by casey
Hi
I am townie that is new to the lifestyle life. We have bought a couple of weaner steers and want to be sure we are doing right by them. We have plenty of grass for them but are wondering if we need to supplement their feed.
They are about 5-6 months old but seem a bit skinny. May be normal, not sure.
Can anyone point me to any threads or websites to know how to rear them.
Cheers

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11 years 7 months ago #446257 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic weaner steers
Hey Casey, welcome to the site - just good grass should be enough :) they will grow like topsy.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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11 years 7 months ago #446259 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic weaner steers
Welcome casey, and good luck with your new lifestyle.
If you google calf rearing there will be lots of information, as well as what you pick up from here.
Firstly the condition of your weaners will depend on their breed and how much milk and supplementary feed they have already had.
If they are dairy breeds or beef/dairy crosses they may well look 'skinny' even if they have been well fed.

I'm just wondering when you say they are 5-6 months old, meaning they were born May/June doesn't fit in with the normal dairy calf season of being born July/August-however they may be autumn born calves from a town supply herd.
There again they may even be from a small beef herd-so until we know their breed/type it is hard to tell.

There are plenty of supplementary calf feeds out there-like the lucerne based ones like Fibrepro and Fibrestart and a range of Moozlee type products and calf weaner and grower pellets.
If you have plenty of good quality grass that should be all they need, unless they are smaller and younger than you were told and/or are definetley undernourished and skinny at this stage.
Photos would help!
There is some good calf rearing info on this site if you look under Lifestyle file-cattle

Here are some links to calf rearing sites
www.nrm.co.nz/index.php/pi_pageid/63
www.crt.co.nz/Help-Advice/Publications/calf-rearing-guide/

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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11 years 7 months ago #446266 by cheeseboard
Replied by cheeseboard on topic weaner steers
Hi Casey do you know if they have been de-wormed? Just a thought if they have not could cause them to be a bit skinny.

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11 years 7 months ago #446279 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic weaner steers
Lack of adequate feed is usually much more responsible for animals being skinny. The effects of parasites are often secondary to not being well-enough fed!

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11 years 7 months ago #446280 by casey
Replied by casey on topic weaner steers
Thanks for the replies. I think they were born August. They are fresian/jersey cross so I guess they are from dairy cows. Didn't know the breed until we had bought them. We have just got them to grow on for beef so we will see how they go.
Thanks
Tom

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11 years 7 months ago #446283 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic weaner steers
Hi Casey

the cross of friesian/jersey is all dairy breed.. no beef breed in there, so they will look like coat hangers..just have a look at a dairy herd and the girls have angles all over :) .. next time try a dairy/beef x.. and black white faced is frisian/hereford and they will have more beef around thier frames.. the friesian is a BIG framed girl..
never the less, they will still be good eating...as steers i would have thought 2 years would be the time to homekill...
just make sure they have plenty of good grass and clean water, that they have been wormed .. and they will grow.. no need to spend money on supplimentary feeds at this time of year, just hay in winter if you run out of grass..

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11 years 7 months ago #446289 by Cinsara
Replied by Cinsara on topic weaner steers
If you want to make them friendly a bucket of treats is VERY useful. You can buy a bag of meal or multi nuts (or sheep nuts or what ever they're called these days) and just put a handful into a bucket and gradually teach them to eat from it. They may well know what a bucket is already so get them used to you standing near them when they eat from it. Once they are used to you shake the nuts in the bucket and say c'mon boys, and they will come running. This is so handy if you need to move them into yards or change paddocks etc.

>

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11 years 7 months ago #446295 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic weaner steers
Your calves should have a white NAIT tag in the right ear. You should have got an AHB form from the person that you bought them from. That form might have the number of the tags, otherwise you need to go out and catch the calves and read the tag numbers of each of them. You will need someone to write while you call out their numbers. You must then phone NAIT, or use their website, and record that you have received these animals.
See the NAIT forum.

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11 years 7 months ago #446677 by katieb
Replied by katieb on topic weaner steers
go to your vets & ask for some pottles to take some poo samples then collect fresh samples & take to vets & ask them to test for worms & to reccommend a drench suitable for them if they need it which is likely

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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11 years 6 months ago #448838 by casey
Replied by casey on topic weaner steers
Thanks for all of the replies and info.
we are new to all of this and have recently lost one of the two calves. We had to have him put down. He began coughing a lot and breathing really heavy. We got the vet out anf he said it was pneumonia. He gave him a anti flam, a booster, and antibiotics. We continued the antibiotics for another six days. The vet only gave him a 50/50 chance. He seemed to improve for a few days and then went down hill fast. We seperated him out from our other calf and the two bulls that we are grazing on for a friend. Now the bulls are coughing their guts up and breathing heavy. The owner has been told that it is lungworm but it looks just like what the calf had. The other calf is fine so far.
A bit of a rough intro to lifestyling eh!

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11 years 6 months ago #448842 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic weaner steers
Unfortunately, until you know everything then the animals do have a rough time. Unfortunately for my animals, I've only had 22 years experience, so don't know everything. But I do know lots more than I did, so the animals don't die as often as they used to.
It would be very wise to give the animals a lungworm drench. Drenching orally has been shown to be more effective with gut and tape worms, but I don't know if it is needed for lungworms.

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11 years 6 months ago #448872 by jimminette
Replied by jimminette on topic weaner steers
We've been lifestylers for 3 years now and held off doing anything major for the first year. What I did do in the meantime was make friends with the farmer next door and helped all I could and asked questions. I learnt so much in that time that has stood me in good stead. It certainly taught me what cattle and crosses to look at to get the result I wanted e.g. meat or milk.

Get to know your locals and listen to them. They know what the land can hold and they certainly know who is who. A lot of farmers out there are only too happy to pass on knowledge but by the same token if you ignore them they will just leave you to it and you will loose valuable help that you could well do with at times. They could certainly help with your current problem and also advise you on future purchases.

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