20 cow herd- not settling

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farmerD44

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Very frustrated- hope someone can help.

Uncle has a 20 cow herd. every single one has come back from breeding twice now. The bull was tested and checked out fine but will be tested again on thursday. He has been having problems with cows settling for about 3 years now and it has gottenworse each year to the point of none settling this year. The herd was tested for the common diseases( vibriosis, lepto,ect.) last winter and were vaccinated this spring for all the above. He summed it up to be a low fertility bull problem. this year- new bull- no settling. Hard to beleive it could be 3 bad bulls in a row. Was told by another farmer in the area that years ago he had a disease in his dairy herd that acted like this. He thought it started with a K- can't find any cattle breeding diseases that start with K.

Any ideas??
 

OLF

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Sorry to hear the bad news. Is it possible they are aborting instead of not settling? Bangs disease? Are they eating some odd vegetation? Moldy hay or feed? Are any neighbors having problems?

I'd get the vet out, that may be an expensive problem real quick.
 

BARNSCOOP

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Did he have all three bulls tested? If so are they tested before you put them on your place or after they have been their awhile? Are you feeding any Whole Cottonseed?
 
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farmerD44

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this last bull was the only one tested. as i said it is going to be tested again on thursday. He has never had any problems like this in over 40 years of raising cattle on the same pasture. I am really worried because we bought his feeder cattle last year and so some of his cattle were in with our heifers. We have not had any more repeat breeders than normal though this year. All they are eating is pasture grass for over a month now. They do drink out of a water hole- so could be a problem there.
 

BARNSCOOP

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I know Lepto has more than one strain and you have to consider that when picking out a vaccine. We also vaccinate for Lepto twice a year because they can be re-exposted by free roaming deer. Had a friend who raises reg.Show Angus that had the whole herd plus several horses get Lepto via deer and they vaccs only once a year. After the bull gets tested, if he's okay, I'd test the herd again and try to get the vet to think outside the box. I would think the watering hole could harbor alot of trouble if they can get down in it.
 

cypressfarms

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Farmer D44,

Exactly what were they vaccinated with? Many combo vaccines require a follow up shot within a couple of weeks.

Have you ever looked at a list of poisonness plants for cattle? One mighty long list.

Your right, this can get expensive quick. Money spent on a vet here is not wasted.
 

BARNSCOOP

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I second Grannysoo. I would also incourage him to call a vet out to go over there history, pastures, vaccs, etc. Then I would test asap for whatever I had to to figure this mystery out. You could have very well total botched your biosecurity with you buying his feeder cattle and putting them in with your heifers, now your at risk for whatever is it that is causing the infertitility in his cows given it is a virus, etc. If he doesn't want to spend the money on trying to find the problem then I would call my vet and have him out to my farm making sure I am not transmitting something throughout my herd. Ignorance is not bliss in this case. I wish you and your Uncle good luck on this one. Post the results and lets us know what's happening.
 

dun

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Could be as simple as the mineral program he uses but it wouldn;t hurt to check them for all of the various diseases that can cause repro problems.
 

bigag03

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D44,

If you were farther south, I would bet the farm on Trichomoniasis. I don't know how prevalent Trich is in Minnesota, but it has become a large problem in the Southern states of the US.

Trich is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause early term abortions. This would explain not showing a return heat, then coming up open. The only known cure for the disease is to give cows sexual rest for 120-150 days, then use a virgin bull (cut the old bull's head off - he can't be cured). Affected bulls will show no adverse signs of the disease but transmit the protozoa to all of the cows in the herd. If you find that this is the problem, there is a vaccine available for cows to help manage the disease.

You can test your bulls by getting your vet to collect samples from a preputial scraping; however this test is not very good and the test should be run at least 3 times before declaring a bull "clear".
 

3waycross

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bigag03":328pqfpx said:
D44,

If you were farther south, I would bet the farm on Trichomoniasis. I don't know how prevalent Trich is in Minnesota, but it has become a large problem in the Southern states of the US.

Trich is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause early term abortions. This would explain not showing a return heat, then coming up open. The only known cure for the disease is to give cows sexual rest for 120-150 days, then use a virgin bull (cut the old bull's head off - he can't be cured). Affected bulls will show no adverse signs of the disease but transmit the protozoa to all of the cows in the herd. If you find that this is the problem, there is a vaccine available for cows to help manage the disease.

You can test your bulls by getting your vet to collect samples from a preputial scraping; however this test is not very good and the test should be run at least 3 times before declaring a bull "clear".

I was gonna say the exact same thing. It sounds a lot like TRICH.
 

hillsdown

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I agree with you both of you about Trich, and you have to test the cows as well because some become PI and will infect even a virgin bull thus the vicious circle will continue.
 

sizmic

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Canine Neospora is something I would check for as well. If that is the case, reguardless of what most everyone says there is a treatment! It worked for me.

Sizmic
 

mnmtranching

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I'm going to say it's the bull. Though strange that he would have 3rd in a row. The only times I've heard of open cows it has been the bull.
Has the guy actually seen the bull successfully follow through the complete act of breeding? Maybe injury? a problem with his hips or pelvis? foot root in a back leg?
I can see a disease causing some abort and other problems with the cows consieving, but just not the whole herd.
It's the bull.
 

3waycross

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mnmtranching":v961dwhr said:
I'm going to say it's the bull. Though strange that he would have 3rd in a row. The only times I've heard of open cows it has been the bull.
Has the guy actually seen the bull successfully follow through the complete act of breeding? Maybe injury? a problem with his hips or pelvis? foot root in a back leg?
I can see a disease causing some abort and other problems with the cows consieving, but just not the whole herd.
It's the bull.

Not pickin a fight but I'm pretty sure if it's Trich and been there a while it could be the whole herd. No?
 

DavisBeefmasters

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Whew...

Need lots more info on this one... and definitely worth the vet coming out to observe the whole program...

- Feeding program
- Plants in the area (pine needles, moldy anything)
- How soon after "testing" the bull is he expected to perform and then how long before checking?
- Exact vaccinations given (1st set of shots, 2nd set of shots, and then yearly boosters)
- Neighboring livestock (what common fencemates does this herd have... neighboring cows, sheep, etc. etc.)
- Herd behavior
- Herd health (overall BCS during breeding season attempts)
- Temperatures during breeding season attempts vs. breed of cattle
- Etc. Etc.

...leave no stone unturned, good luck, and keep us posted with the vets findings.
 

TexasBred

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3waycross":10fct1km said:
mnmtranching":10fct1km said:
I'm going to say it's the bull. Though strange that he would have 3rd in a row. The only times I've heard of open cows it has been the bull.
Has the guy actually seen the bull successfully follow through the complete act of breeding? Maybe injury? a problem with his hips or pelvis? foot root in a back leg?
I can see a disease causing some abort and other problems with the cows consieving, but just not the whole herd.
It's the bull.

Not pickin a fight but I'm pretty sure if it's Trich and been there a while it could be the whole herd. No?

True....just another STD and the carrier probably serviced everybody at least once.
 

BARNSCOOP

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I read up on Trich seeing as how someone said it is a problem in the south. If it is Trich he is looking at then. It looks like you could have a bull bring it into a herd and the cows stay infected until they have done through several heat cycles with out the bull around. The bull however can be given Trich by the cows and they will all in turn keep it going until the bull is KILLED (no other way around it) and the cows are left open for 6 months or so. You always loose your bull and a calving season but at least you can say the cows.
 

hillsdown

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sizmic":32rxrguv said:
Canine Neospora is something I would check for as well. If that is the case, reguardless of what most everyone says there is a treatment! It worked for me.

Sizmic

That is what I was trying to come up with for the last couple of days and couldn't remember it. The new owners of the dairy had this problem coyotes were in the silage pit and made a huge mess of the herd that ate the infected feed. BUT not only did they have cows not settling they had alot of aborted fetus's, as well as cows that never did settle again even after treatment.

Either way it sounds like this herd is in for a long treatment .
 

brenda

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This sounds similar to what we experienced. The only thing new in our herd was a "virgin" bull. First year, we lost 10 calves, either by abortion or too early delivery. Had the bull checked, tests came back ok. Second year, same thing started, cows would breed, next thing you know they were cycling again, aborting, or calves coming not fully developed. In all the years we have had cows, we had never experienced anything like this. Vet could not prove anything one way or another. Lepto was ruled out, but the more I looked into Trich, the more I was convinced this was what our problem was. Another problem, since we have started using live vaccine, we have had more health problems with our animals. Two months ago, lost a healthy young cow right after working her. Just layed down and died. And just last week, lost our herd bull, vet said from pneumonia. So we are going back to the way we use to treat them, black leg, respiratory, keeping them wormed. That's it. With this program, we had no problems, and sure didn't lose them, the way we have in the last 3 years.
 
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