Dead calf ? Suggestions?

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Lrj505

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Bought a young 4ish old cow 3 months ago from sale barn for $750 3rd trimester pregnant. Cow was skinny , she gained weight and had the calf. Calf seemed weak and had sucken blueish eyes. Today the calf died , 2nd day. I am unsure if I should sell her? Give her antibiotics and re breed her? Also noticed her teats were large. I have included pics. Any advice ?






 

kenny thomas

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No need to give her antibiotics unless there is an issue. At the very least let her mend up and gain some weight before you sell. Teats are big but a strong calf should have sucked ok.
 

Lazy M

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Tough call. If you sell you'll prob be out $200, but if you wait and let her get bred you'll wait have to wait almost 2 years before you could potentially wean a calf and make anything at all from her. I'd prob wait a couple weeks to a month, let her dry up a bit and then take your lumps and sell her. Or you could try to graft a nurse calf on her if you can locate one and you have the time,
 

farmerjan

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Either find a calf to graft on her and salvage the lactation; or let her dry up and sell her. Bred cows are fairly cheap, so you cannot justify keeping her, rebreeding her and waiting for another calf that as stated by @Lazy M, you won't be selling for at least 18 to 24 months from now. The sad thing is, buying her late trimester, close to calving, she may not have gotten enough decent feed and the calf just didn't have the nutrition in the womb, to thrive when it was born. Not really her fault, but bred cows are just too cheap to justify putting much into her. I'd be putting a calf on her if she was mine, then letting her raise it, get bred back and go from there.
Her colostrum may not have had any "oomp" to it. Have seen it in dairy cattle, they used to test the colostrum with a meter, and some just didn't have any good anti-bodies in it. But the calf may just not have had much of a chance if he'd been malnourished in utero.
 

Son of Butch

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IF you are going to continue to buy malnourished pg cows make sure you give the calf a shot of BO-SE at birth.
IF you want to rebreed her forget the antibiotics and get her on a good mineral program.
But I'd suggest you cut your losses and send her to market as a slaughter cow.
 

wbvs58

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This could well be a case of BVD. A weak PI calf especially when unknown history from a salebarn cow. The calf could have been infected in utero from the cow catching BVD while about 3 mths pregnant, or the cow could be a PI in which case she would always have a PI calf. To know, take an ear notch from the calf and the cow and have it tested. If you don't want to do that then unload her which ever way you feel morally bound.

Ken
 
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Lrj505

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Bred cows are bringing .47-.52 cents (solid mouths) 3-6 months preg around here. Pairs with bull calf’s 200 pounds bringing $950-$1050. I am thinking a pair with bull calf is actually cheaper. I can sell bull calf in 5 months for $800 Ish.
 

holm25

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Ship her... I’d personally do so before I put too much into feeding... Once that bag recedes in a week or two...
 
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Lrj505

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From now on if I buy a sale barn cow. What shots should I give them ? I give lots of hay and loose minerals. So nutrition is great.
 

wbvs58

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I am surprised that there has not been any comment especially from the original poster on my suggestion of BVD. I believe it is a real possibility it this situation. Is it a case of burying your heads in the sand thinking that it wouldn't happen to me even though you buy cheap bred cows of unknown origins from salebarns????

Ken
 

Katpau

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I agree with wbvs58. There is no way I would keep that cow without testing her for BVD! The original description of the calf sounds like BVD is a real possibility. It only costs a few dollars to send in an ear notch for testing at most local Ag schools. The cow may have infected the calf in utero, but be past the infectious stage herself. Calves that survive until birth, are often weak. Some calves will even appear normal, but be persistently infected (PI). Those calves carry the virus, but may not be affected by it. They can, however, pass it on to others throughout their lives. I would make sure that cow is not a PI cow. That could be one of the reasons she was at the sale barn. Those animals often do poorly throughout their lives. If she tests clean, then you can decide whether you want to give her another chance.
 
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Lrj505

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I am going to have the calf tested. If she is infected would that infect my bull or other cows ?
 
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Lrj505

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I am going to have her tested. If she is infected would it infect my bull or other cows ?
 
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Lrj505

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Saw calf nurse a couple of times on a test that wasn’t swollen. The next day that teat was also engorged.
 

wbvs58

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Chocolate Cow2":2ej0jd01 said:
Can you accurately test a cow for BVD if at some point in her life she was vaccinated for BVD?

There are 2 situations you talking about there.

For a normal healthy cow that may have been exposed to a high risk of exposure to BVD antibody levels would be measured and this will only be a guide. BVD in a healthy cow will only be a transient infection, you will not even realise she has been sick. If antibodies were measured early in the infection they would be normal they only increase as she recovers which she will do to a perfectly normal healthy and safe cow. Yes vaccination with a live vaccine will produce high antibody levels as well so will stuff up the results. This test is best done on a sample of cows to get an idea of the prevalence of BVD in a herd.

The 2nd situation is if that healthy cow just happened to be at a particular stage of gestation around the 100days from memory and if that calf is not aborted then when born will be a persistant shedder of the virus for the rest of its life and it is these that can be accurately identified with a skin notch test for virus antigen. The only exception would be if the ear notch test was done on the healthy cow above while she had the transient infection or freshly vaccinated with live virus, in this case a 2nd ear notch done a month or two later should the be -ve.

You can get a 3rd situation where a calf is infected in utero a bit later in gestation but its immune system is able to overcome the virus but it will be born weak, stunted and some defects but won't show up on an ear notch test.

Ken
 

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