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Feeding jersey steers

Discussion in 'Feed, Forages and Pastures/Rangeland - Cattle' started by dwbonfire, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Nov 4, 2013
    dwbonfire

    dwbonfire Ridin' The Range

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    I have a jersey bull calf that I am planning to make a steer shortly. He is a good size calf so far in difference to the other one I got with him (who recently passed for reasons unknown)
    I know jerseys are not primarily a meat breed, but heard the steers are good to raise up for a smaller beef cow. I am limited on pasture, especially this time of year until the summer comes back around, so he will be eating coastal/Bermuda round bales, or sometimes some mix grass hay or fescue. I feed the Producers Pride all-stock pellet to most the animals around here, but for now they are on the Calf Starter. I am trying to find the best feeding guidelines for what I am raising him for. Can I switch him over to the all stock pellet yet? He is 3 months old. How much feed is recommended per calf? I find it hard to measure feed in lbs. I generally go by 'quarts'. What else can I do to keep him steadily gaining weight and get the best possible finishing weight on him? I know we are a long ways from that but I want to be feeding him right so he grows to his best potential. I was told sweet feed is good, but I try to stay away from sweet feeds other than top dressing to get an animal interested in feed. I have read the molasses is really not a natural ingredient in animals diets.
    Any tips from people who have raised jerseys for beef would be appreciated! This is my first time! Thanks! :)
  2. Nov 4, 2013
    larryj57

    larryj57 Overrun with beasties

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    I have 5 Jersey steers I have raised from bottle babies. The plan was to sell 3 of them and butcher the other 2.
    They are 1 year old this month, with the rate of growth and amount of work I have learned my lesson, I have them on 20 acers of good grass pasture, this time of year they have free access to good hay, they can eat all they want. I feed 4 guarts of calf finisher per calf once a day. If I butchered the largest calf today I might get 300lb of meat. (MAYBE 300 if I'm lucky)
    they have all been healthy no problems on that end, the deal is they are dairy breed and putting weight on them is not cost effective for me.
    Next year I'll put out a little more on buying a beef breed to finish out. NO more bottle calves!!!!
    These are just my thoughts I see where some people love the Jersey for a meat calf, to each his own.
  3. Nov 4, 2013
    Baymule

    Baymule Loving the herd life

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    Based on what larryj57 posted, dwbonfire, what about butchering your calf now instead of dumping feed in it over the winter. I know the object is to raise healthy meat, but you have to consider the cost as well. How much do you have in this calf now and how much $$ hay will it eat in a week, how much $$ feed? Multiply this by how many weeks/months until you have grass again. You might be ahead to shoot it and butcher it now. If it is not really big, you could process it yourself and save the kill fee and the 60 cents a pound to cut and wrap it.

    How many weeks of grass do you have a year? You might consider getting a Jersey calf in early spring and raising it until the grass is gone, then butcher it. Tender. Yummy. :love
  4. Nov 4, 2013
    dwbonfire

    dwbonfire Ridin' The Range

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    for sure what I should have done. unfortunately I came across a great deal for the calves at the wrong time of year. I think I will let him get a little bigger, but you may be right to consider butchering him sooner. if I do this, is there anything I can do to really plump him up and get some size on him quick? I know they are much different than feeding pigs of course, I have pigs too, but I guess im looking for the same idea as really fattening up a pig quickly to butcher.
  5. Nov 5, 2013
    Bossroo

    Bossroo Loving the herd life

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    Since this a dairy breed ... trying to fatten it up at this age will only produce mostly kidney fat, which is not desireable . I would cut my losses and butcher it now and invest my money to buy feed for the hogs. Next time, spend a little more and buy a beef breed calf.
  6. Nov 5, 2013
    Azriel

    Azriel Overrun with beasties

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    OK, I have to jump on here and disagree with butchering that calf now. A 3 month old Jersey calf is most likley not going to weigh much more than 250-300# and you would be lucky to get 100# of meat from it, at that age they are all bone. Now I don't know where you are at, but 1 ton of a fairly good hay shouldn't go much over $200-$250 and I can't see 1 calf eating more than a ton over the winter. Then if you use 1 50# bag of feed a week your looking at about $60 a month, so to grow him out till spring grass you will have about $500 into him. Once on grass you can grow him out pretty cheep till next fall and have a nice 800+lb steer to butcher and get 400+ lbs of meat. That means you will fill your freezer for under $2.00 a lb,not to bad a deal.
  7. Nov 6, 2013
    larryj57

    larryj57 Overrun with beasties

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    I have been throwing feed and hay at mine like crazy, not to mention the 20+ acres of good fescue/orchard run grass they are on. They are 13months old,I would guess the heaviest one is aroung 600 lb on the hoof wich will probrally bring in about 350-400 lb of useable meat. I wish they were 800 lb.
  8. Nov 7, 2013
    dwbonfire

    dwbonfire Ridin' The Range

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    well I feel like im in a tricky spot because if I butcher now, im not going to get anything off him. there is nothing to him yet, I feel like it would be a waste almost. id like to at least give him a few more months to grow some and make a decision if needed. I know im going to put more money into him than I wanted to or planned. I have him on the producers pride calf starter, but I found a like-feed at southern states called Jump Start. Its 5+ dollars cheaper a bag, and I was told by the man is about the equivalent of calf starter and that's what he would feed to a dairy steer intended for beef.

    I am expecting an angus/dexter cross calf one of these days, so I am really hoping I get a bull calf and can grow him out as my beef and just sell the jersey and cut my losses on him. I think my angus/dexter will grow better than the jersey even though the age difference, does anyone else agree id be better to keep him rather than the jersey?
  9. Nov 7, 2013
    Bossroo

    Bossroo Loving the herd life

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    Yup ! You will be many MANY $$$s ahead of the game .
  10. Nov 8, 2013
    larryj57

    larryj57 Overrun with beasties

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    IMG_6726.JPG picture of calves at 1 year old, as you can see plenty of grass but not much meat on the steers. Live and learn

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