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Up to 3!

April 11th, 2009 at 04:39 pm

Well, as you know, I'm starting to feed baby calves to try to earn some money on the farm. I started out with a Holstein bull calf (a milking breed) that I bought for $80. He was about 2 weeks old and already eating out of the bottle.

Well, a few days ago, the farmer that has been helping us out had a calf that was about a month and a half old that he had been bottle feeding all that time, and had recently started feeding grain. This is a good Angus heifer calf; the only reason he was feeding it was because it was a twin and the mom wouldn't take both. Nice big calf. I paid him $200 for it. We will probably keep feeding her until we wean the other cows and just stick her in with the group currently on cows. There shouldn't be any noticeable difference between her and any other calf nursing on a cow, and we should get paid more with her in the group than trying to sell her by herself.

For these two, I just have to mix up the milk replacer twice a day, morning and night, and stick it in a bottle, and they drink it down. Other than that, I have some free feed grain in a pan and some water, and they are taking care of themselves. The older calf should start just eating grain pretty soon, and the dairy calf will do that in about a month.

We got a call this morning from a friend of DH's who has a feedlot, and a cow that he is feeding had a calf last night. He can't let the cow raise it and he didn't want bother with bottle feeding it, so he gave it to me. (! Yeah!) It had already nursed on the cow last night and this morning, so it had its colostrum, so it was ready for me to take. I picked it up this morning and put her in a different pen than the first two calves. It is a little black heifer, but I don't know what breed. I fed it for the first time tonight, and now I know why some people don't want to bother bottle feeding them! Wow, you are all bent over and trying to teach this little thing to suck on a bottle, and they just don't want to cooperate! You get milk all over you, your clothes, the ground, the calf, everything! I eventually flipped a bucket over and kind of held her against the barn wall and got her to drink half a bottle. Their little stomachs can't take too much, so we'll try again tomorrow morning before church.

Up to three! We are thinking 10 at first, but we'll have to build some separate pens for them because right now we just have them in the corral. We'll need that corral for working cattle, so we'll have to move them somewhere else.

I was at the vet the other day and his wife started talking about a new vet joining their practice. They are providing a house for him, and so they are remodeling it for him. I was kind of joking when I said "you need someone to paint it" because I have done a lot of that for when I sold my last two houses, and she said "yes!" So, I am painting the inside of an entire house for $10 an hour. But, if I need to help DH with something, that is ok as well. Woo hoo! $10 an hour! That is only less than 1/4 of what I was making, but that is $10 an hour more than what I am currently making Smile

I went in again today to get a third bottle for the new calf, and she asked me what I was planning on doing. She offered me a part time job at the vet's office for $8 an hour for the first 3 months and then $10 an hour after that. She might increase the pay and the hours if the new vet works out. I told her that if I found a higher paying job, I would quit right away, and she understood that. I don't know. It would be 8 a.m. - noon, and then I could come home and help DH swath and plant and other farm stuff. I guess it depends on if we can make more on the farm in those 4 hours a day than $40. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I don't know if I should take it or not.

I get to start applying for unemployment insurance next week. yippee, right?

3 Responses to “Up to 3!”

  1. baselle Says:

    Feeding calves that didn't want to be fed... that brings back memories. That was a kids job - we were the right size and the calf was less terrified of us. Smile
    I'd think I'd take that vet job. I think your benefits are greater than the money. Learning a bit about the vet's business will help you with your calf handling, you might (might!) get samples of meds and antibiotics, developing a good relationship with the local vets means you get better customer service should one of your animals have an issue ... and while anything you earn will be deducted from your unemployment, it will stretch out your benefits.

  2. dmontngrey Says:

    I agree with baselle about the vet's office job. The learning experience there should be great! Nice stroke of "luck" getting the new calf handed to you as well. Work - but worth it. Smile

  3. Lost in Thoughts Says:

    I think the vet assistant job sounds really good. You'd be making something at least, and still be able to help DH around the farm in the afternoon. I'm sure there would be a lot you could learn working for a vet to add to your arsenal of information. It's only a half a day job, but it's making the same per hour as the painting you're planning on doing!

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