Hi and does anyone know where we can get a couple of feeder calves? :)

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7 years 10 months ago #38123 by Boyd
Hi guys,

New to the rural lifestyle but settling in well I think :) Loving it :)
We're after a couple of feeder calves if anyone can help? We live in Helensville. Thanks!

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7 years 10 months ago #492299 by muri
Have you looked on trade me? Put notices up in the local shops, talk to RD1 etc. Be aware if you are wanting them for meat, not to buy dairy calves

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7 years 10 months ago #492305 by Ruth

muri;497185 wrote: Have you looked on trade me? Put notices up in the local shops, talk to RD1 etc. Be aware if you are wanting them for meat, not to buy dairy calves

That's too vague: do you mean not calves which have dairy sires? They'll all have dairy dams.

Welcome, Boyd. :)

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7 years 10 months ago #492322 by stephclark
hi Boyd...
are you wanting to raise a couple of calves ( ie bottle feed ) or are you after calves that are off milk and eating grass? ( weaners )..

if you are after bobbies ( 5 day old, need milk for about 12 weeks )..why not approach one of the dairy farmers out your way.. just make sure the sire was a 'beef' bull ( commonly Hereford ).. the black and white Friesian cows you see the paddocks x'd with a Hereford bull.. will produce a reasonable black/white face calf.. good eating and or resale ...

the only thing wrong with dairy calves is they eat the same as a beefy animal, take just as long, and produce less meat by comparison..
There are people that swear by Jersey Beef for example, other would say they wouldn't touch it because the fat is yellow..etc etc..

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7 years 10 months ago #492323 by max2
[8D] We love angus sire x jersey mother meat. Currently eating a jersey mother x hereford x. Very delicious.

Welcome to the world of being able to grow your own meat and try different breeding combinations. Long may it continue!! [^]

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7 years 10 months ago #492325 by Boyd
Awesome thanks guys. I have been looking through Trade Me but was told if we were after a 'bobby' (thanks stephclark :)) not to pay too much given it's around $200-250 in milk/feed to raise. What would you say is a good price for a bobby?

We have a flock of Arapawa's too - incredibly good mothers!! I can't believe how quick the lambs grow! :)

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7 years 10 months ago #492326 by stephclark
hiya.. personally.. I wouldn't start with bobbies..they are time consuming ( twice daily feeds for at least 3 months ) and a lot can go wrong with them as they are so young..Scours being a common complaint..they can go down hill realy fast from dehydration.. so be prepared to learn how to tube them to get fluids and electrolytes etc into them..
after the couple of bags of milk powder per head, there will be the moozly, drench,tags,vacs..oh and if its a bull calf, the all important 'ring'..

a friend of mine buys direct from the farmer for about $175-$220 per head.. but she has milking cows, so doesn't buy in powder.. she sells the weaners for around $375-450 ( heifers are cheaper than steers )

also on TM.. gosh only knows what sort of start they have had..
buuttt.. if you do go the bobby route..make sure the embilical cord is dry and the hooves hard.. at least then you know they are about 5 days old..

many an unscrupulous dealer will try to flog off a younger calf that has a belly full of warm water and has had no colostrum from mum.. the little thing has no chance

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7 years 10 months ago #492332 by max2
As long as you have yards and good fences, I would go for weaners. Just be aware people and agents will say something is ''angus'' when indeed it is a cross. That was my first mistake! :o

Where is your local sales yard? Mine is Tuakau and they have the store market every thursday. I think it will pay for you to go along and watch, record prices for breeds etc. It should be in a per kilo price and you will see all sorts.

I also say weaners for pretty much the cost of bobby calf (they range in $$ by huge amounts and also demand on the day) plus milk powder (over $100 a bag) plus calf supplement meal, plus keeping them somewhere warm and dry and enclosed so they are easy to catch very quickly adds up to weaner pricings.

Cut your teeth on something a tad older and remember they are predicting a dry summer again this year, so don't overstock.

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7 years 10 months ago #492334 by stephclark
excellent max2... Boyd.. Kumeu sales on Monday ( from Memory )..
the yards are on sh16 at the westgate end.. cant miss it..
and its a fun and educational day out too..

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7 years 10 months ago #492336 by muri
Steph the kumeu yards are closed, Pukekohe is now probably the closest.
I second the idea of getting weaners, you pay quite a lot for weaners relative to yearlings but this is not the time of the year to be buying weaners.
Ruth, yes i suppose you are right, people doing beef cattle wont be selling off feeder calves but keeping them to weaning age.
There are a number of stock agents in the area, their names should be in local phone books etc as I dont want to recommend one

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7 years 10 months ago #492346 by max2
Pukekohe sales are on Saturdays too. They sell all sorts but you must have cash on the day (no eftpos facilities) or a pre-arranged chq clearance with them.

Tuakau bobbies are on Monday.

Yes there are weaners about, calving doesn't seem to stop these days but then the prices change with demand. I have seen good calves head off to the dog tucker truck and a fortnight later, the same are getting well over $100.

go figure!

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7 years 10 months ago #492369 by Boyd
This site is great - thank you all! It's fantastic to get straight "unloaded" advice from those with experience. We've got extended family on the land but they're sheep people :) We thought we'd run a couple of beefies in rotation but I think you're right, we might start with weaners first. I was thinking it could be something the kids could get involved in, but there's plenty of time for that :).

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7 years 10 months ago #492373 by muri
Actually Boyd, I did forget but we are getting a couple of extra feeder calves next month who would probably need only about a month of feeding and might be suitable for you?

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7 years 10 months ago #492397 by max2

Boyd;497265 wrote: This site is great - thank you all! It's fantastic to get straight "unloaded" advice from those with experience. We've got extended family on the land but they're sheep people :) We thought we'd run a couple of beefies in rotation but I think you're right, we might start with weaners first. I was thinking it could be something the kids could get involved in, but there's plenty of time for that :).


Have you thought about getting an incubator and letting the kids try hatching fertile eggs (chook or duck)? We have one going at the moment which has just started hatching and my 16 yo still gets her kicks out of seeing the new chicks hatch.

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7 years 10 months ago #492547 by LongRidge
Feeding calves on milk or milk powder is fine for children to do when the calves are 4 days old. But at 5 days and older they are far to boisterous for a child younger than about 14 yo and heavier than about 50 kg. The other really huge problem is that they become very tame, so it can be difficult to eat the animal.

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