Among all of the different types of livestock, learning how to raise
calves properly is the most difficult and most expensive of them all. It
takes a long time before the calf becomes suitable for the market, and
you have to take care of it very carefully once they are separated from
their mothers. But even though taking care of calves demands a lot of
work and a huge investment, the profits that you can gain from selling
the animals can make everything worthwhile.
And to help in making things a bit easier for you, here are some tips on
how to raise calves that you can expect once you start raising your own
herd of calves:
The time it takes before your calves are ready for the market will
depend on the type of meat that you plan on selling. If you want to sell
veal, then the calves need to get processed before they reach 6 months.
For baby beef, the calf needs to be between 6 months to a year, if it
goes over a year then it is considered as ordinary beef. If you are
planning to sell veal or baby beef, then you need to adjust the type and
amount of feed so that they get fattened up just in time.
There are different methods on how to raise calves for meat. One that is
getting a lot of attention these days is the organic method of cattle
farming. This method does not advocate the use of any artificial
supplements and medication when raising the herd, they are usually fed
only fresh grass and grains. The problem with this kind of cattle
raising is that it is very difficult to make the cows reach the ideal
weight without using supplements, and because they are not given any
antibiotics, most of the cattle that get sick usually succumb to the
It may sound strange, but stress can affect the growth rate of the
calves. You should provide the calves a warm and dry shelter for your
calves to sleep at night, and they also need a lot of soft hay to lie
on. When the calf is newly-separated from its mother, you will need to
feed it with commercial milk from a bottle until it is old enough to
feed on grains; you also need to teach it how to drink from a water
bucket once it is weaned off the milk.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind on how to raise calves is
that you also need to keep a close eye on them regardless of how many
there are. Early detection of illnesses and parasites will not only make
it easier to heal the affected calf, it will also prevent the spread of
the disease to the other members of the herd. Keep tabs on their growth
rate and weight on a regular basis, and if you find something wrong
immediately call your veterinarian.
Learning how to raise calves properly may be a tedious process, but once
you see that your herd is growing up to healthy, it can give a sense of
satisfaction that you will not get anywhere else.
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