Is this jersey cow close to calving?

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NewMoo

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On the other hand, since you don't know her history, she may have been bred by a larger different breed bull. I would have your vet preg check her. Then you will have an approximate date in case she needs help calving a large calf. You don't want to take a chance on losing the cow for a few $$..
Great point! Thanks!
 
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NewMoo

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@Son of Butch has a point.... if you are committed to keeping her then she will calve when she calves...
But if you bought her as open, then she would not have been over 60 days when you bought her unless the person pregnancy checking was very inept.....or like me, not able to pick it up until 4 or more months... but then I don't go around pregnancy checking cows except for a few of our own if we aren't sure and I know it has been several months since the last possible time the bull got in or something.
@MurraysMutts can tell you all about buying a cow that was skin and bones,,,,, and calved much sooner than she was supposed to because everything she had was going into that fetus.... look up his thread of "think she will make milk"....

I would bet she was bred, probably 30 days or so when she was called open... with the thinness, it will hide a pregnancy. I am assuming you bought her to milk in the future???? Or use her as a nurse cow and raise several calves on?
Please keep us in the loop.... I am betting she will calve in late Oct or Nov.....
Yes, I bought her as a milk cow. $325! I think you’re right about the calving date. I posted recent photos.
 
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NewMoo

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No, but if she calves in October, then yes. :)
Preg check won't change her due date and since you are committed to keeping her, I'd save the expense of a vet call to preg check her and just wait it out.
Jerseys are easy calving and it's not her first calf, so I wouldn't worry too much about her by spending more $
Another question— I am reading about milk fever. How concerned should I be about it? Or, how prevalent is it? I have ordered the calcium solution with IV supplies just in case. I want to be prepared.
 

Buck Randall

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Another question— I am reading about milk fever. How concerned should I be about it? Or, how prevalent is it? I have ordered the calcium solution with IV supplies just in case. I want to be prepared.
Milk fever is fairly prevalent in dairy cattle if no precautions are taken. Jerseys get it more than other breeds. The risk goes up quite a bit with the third lactation and older cows.

It seems counterintuitive, but limiting calcium in the cow's diet for around 3 weeks prior to calving helps. Switch her to higher quality feed as soon as she calves. If she seems shaky or weak, treat with oral calcium. Save the IV for cows that are too weak to stand.
 
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NewMoo

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I’ll
I know nothing of milk fever.

Maybe @farmerjan

I bet she knows!

Any new pics? Is she closer?
I’ll get some this afternoon. It’s been pouring. Belly is bigger but her bag was about the same two days ago. I’m recovering from Covid and haven’t had the energy to drive to the pasture.
 
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NewMoo

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Milk fever is fairly prevalent in dairy cattle if no precautions are taken. Jerseys get it more than other breeds. The risk goes up quite a bit with the third lactation and older cows.

It seems counterintuitive, but limiting calcium in the cow's diet for around 3 weeks prior to calving helps. Switch her to higher quality feed as soon as she calves. If she seems shaky or weak, treat with oral calcium. Save the IV for cows that are too weak to stand.
Thank you! Do I order oral calcium or can I get it at my local feed supplier? I assume it comes in a bolus?
 

Buck Randall

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Thank you! Do I order oral calcium or can I get it at my local feed supplier? I assume it comes in a bolus?
There are boluses and gel tubes. I recommend the boluses. They have a slow release formula that lasts for 12 hours, whereas the gel is quickly absorbed and gone. Most dairies I work with give a bolus to every cow right after calving, and another 12 hours later for high risk cows. If there is any dairy in your area, these shouldn't be too hard to find: https://www.pbsanimalhealth.com/pro...MI09_J6Kq08wIVIHRvBB06dgApEAQYASABEgKpz_D_BwE

Note that they do not fit in a standard size balling gun; you'll need to get one made specifically for calcium boluses.
 

farmerjan

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Buck has given you very good info but then he is a vet so should have that info. I had a jersey that had pre-calving milk fever every year, but she was an older cow. High producer.... easily treated. Had one that would get down after 12 hours or so after calving and we nearly always ran an IV and she would get going and be fine after that. I had one holstein get milk fever once but she was a problem cow in every way there was and I did not breed her back after multiple problems getting her bred the first time and the calving. Had an attitude too so that took care of that.

Normally, giving the bolus or the gel is enough for any that are borderline. Unless you are very good with an IV, and you know what you are doing, you can actually kill a cow giving calcium IV too fast.... I am not very good with IV except in the milk vein, and always use the gel and even some of the boluses....MUCH safer unless the cow is in dire straits.

Have never had that problem in first calf heifers but not saying it can't happen. Many of the dairies I milk test for keep the gel on hand to get them up and going fast.... and their "close up" pre fresh groups are monitored for the type of feed. Yes it seems counter intuitive to limit the calcium pre calving but that is what needs to be done.

My "poor jersey's" get neglected prior to calving in that they get no grain except a mouthful to keep them coming in the catch pens. Then when they calve, they will get grained and as soon as possible, I get them and their calves in, then keep the calves in and let the cows out so they want to come back in. Whether I make them into nurse cows, or I milk them, or do a "share" situation of the calf getting 12 hours and then locking the calf away, so that I can milk after a 12 hour stint away from the calf.... there are many ways to do it; they want to come to the barn and come in. Grain is also a great motivator. Some cows do better with share systems, some will hold their milk because they want their calf... Some will take any calf you want to graft on them, some are pure miserable [email protected]#*ches and will only let their own calf nurse...every cow has it's own disposition. A nurse cow that will take any and all calves given to her is a true jewel.... read the thread by @MurraysMutts on think she will make milk... his auction find that he named "Bessie Mae", has turned out to be worth her weight in gold.

I would not worry with keeping IV calcium on hand.... there are plenty of types of gels that will keep and are easier for a novice to use. If she needs IV, unless you are an experienced cowman, your best bet is to call a vet.
 

farmerjan

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Our local feed stores have oral calcium in gel tubes... straight calcium and a combo one that is cal/phos/potassium? I can't remember what all...but it is more balanced although may not address the amount of calcium needed right off. I have 2-3 tubes on hand in case.... because mine always have problems on the weekend and I find them at 8 p.m. at night it seems. Think I have only given 1 or 2 tubes in the last 5 years....
 
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NewMoo

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There are boluses and gel tubes. I recommend the boluses. They have a slow release formula that lasts for 12 hours, whereas the gel is quickly absorbed and gone. Most dairies I work with give a bolus to every cow right after calving, and another 12 hours later for high risk cows. If there is any dairy in your area, these shouldn't be too hard to find: https://www.pbsanimalhealth.com/pro...MI09_J6Kq08wIVIHRvBB06dgApEAQYASABEgKpz_D_BwE

Note that they do not fit in a standard size balling gun; you'll need to get one made specifically for calcium boluses.
Thanks! I’ll place the order! Trying to be prepared for any potential problem since I don’t know her history.

Also, attaching photos taken today.
 

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NewMoo

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She certainly looks a bit floppy back there.
Any clear discharge yet?

Gosh. She sure looks good!
No discharge yet. I think this is the most anticipated calf ever!

Thanks for the kind words! She’s a gentle gal— let’s me touch her udder and poke her belly. 😀 She knows there may be a cookie afterwards.
 

farmerjan

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I don't think she is as close as you think. I still stand by with saying late Oct or Nov. They will fool you though, but her udder is still too "soft looking" . She is not as loose in the vulva area as I expect in a close up cow.
Don't worry yourself to death over her.....
She is in very good condition and 100x better than when you bought her. You did a good job of getting her into healthy looking shape.
 

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I don't think she is as close as you think. I still stand by with saying late Oct or Nov. They will fool you though, but her udder is still too "soft looking" . She is not as loose in the vulva area as I expect in a close up cow.
Don't worry yourself to death over her.....
She is in very good condition and 100x better than when you bought her. You did a good job of getting her into healthy looking shape.
I agree, her teats haven't filled with milk and she hasn't dropped in the pins, I'd say about three weeks away.
 
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NewMoo

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I don't think she is as close as you think. I still stand by with saying late Oct or Nov. They will fool you though, but her udder is still too "soft looking" . She is not as loose in the vulva area as I expect in a close up cow.
Don't worry yourself to death over her.....
She is in very good condition and 100x better than when you bought her. You did a good job of getting her into healthy looking shape.
Thank you!
 
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NewMoo

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I don't think she is as close as you think. I still stand by with saying late Oct or Nov. They will fool you though, but her udder is still too "soft looking" . She is not as loose in the vulva area as I expect in a close up cow.
Don't worry yourself to death over her.....
She is in very good condition and 100x better than when you bought her. You did a good job of getting her into healthy looking shape.
Thank you! Her bag is still soft and the teats aren’t strutting. I will try to manage my excitement for the first jersey baby. I appreciate your help!
 
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NewMoo

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Buck has given you very good info but then he is a vet so should have that info. I had a jersey that had pre-calving milk fever every year, but she was an older cow. High producer.... easily treated. Had one that would get down after 12 hours or so after calving and we nearly always ran an IV and she would get going and be fine after that. I had one holstein get milk fever once but she was a problem cow in every way there was and I did not breed her back after multiple problems getting her bred the first time and the calving. Had an attitude too so that took care of that.

Normally, giving the bolus or the gel is enough for any that are borderline. Unless you are very good with an IV, and you know what you are doing, you can actually kill a cow giving calcium IV too fast.... I am not very good with IV except in the milk vein, and always use the gel and even some of the boluses....MUCH safer unless the cow is in dire straits.

Have never had that problem in first calf heifers but not saying it can't happen. Many of the dairies I milk test for keep the gel on hand to get them up and going fast.... and their "close up" pre fresh groups are monitored for the type of feed. Yes it seems counter intuitive to limit the calcium pre calving but that is what needs to be done.

My "poor jersey's" get neglected prior to calving in that they get no grain except a mouthful to keep them coming in the catch pens. Then when they calve, they will get grained and as soon as possible, I get them and their calves in, then keep the calves in and let the cows out so they want to come back in. Whether I make them into nurse cows, or I milk them, or do a "share" situation of the calf getting 12 hours and then locking the calf away, so that I can milk after a 12 hour stint away from the calf.... there are many ways to do it; they want to come to the barn and come in. Grain is also a great motivator. Some cows do better with share systems, some will hold their milk because they want their calf... Some will take any calf you want to graft on them, some are pure miserable [email protected]#*ches and will only let their own calf nurse...every cow has it's own disposition. A nurse cow that will take any and all calves given to her is a true jewel.... read the thread by @MurraysMutts on think she will make milk... his auction find that he named "Bessie Mae", has turned out to be worth her weight in gold.

I would not worry with keeping IV calcium on hand.... there are plenty of types of gels that will keep and are easier for a novice to use. If she needs IV, unless you are an experienced cowman, your best bet is to call a vet.
This is invaluable information! I will stick to the gel! I have given plenty shots, milked out mastitis infection (from a bred heifer before calving), and doctored a 1600 lb bull’s infected foot for an entire summer— but no IVs!

I doubt Audrey will take a calf that isn’t hers based on how she treats the other heifers. She was meek for a couple of months and then discovered the power of her horns. Some of the cows won’t back down to her, but the younger ones will. My brother calls her a bully. I don’t think she is. However, I am 100% biased.

I am grateful for the information! Thank you.
 

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I haven't seen her with other cows, but I will concur with your brother. A cow that starts to use her horns is a bully. And she will get worse. I had a cow that had horns and for 2 lactations, 4 + years, was fine. Then she started using them and became a real b#@*h with them. I caught her hooking calves and so that winter when it got cool, she got her come-uppence and we took them off. She sure got a surprise the first time she went to use them and "nothing happened" because there were no horns. In a group of all having horns, there are few bullies. But when there is one with horns, they become insufferable. She will hurt someone.....

I assume that you are up for the daily milking since you don't think she will take calves. If she does not get milked out then she will get mastitis and you will lose a quarter or 2 at the least.... It takes some dedication so you really need to get the mindset of milking. The less grain you give her will help to keep her production down, but they are bred to milk, so what ever her genetic potential is, her system will try to reach it. Less grain will keep it a smaller amount, but they will milk the fat off their back in the beginning..... alot of hay will help but she will lose weight.
 
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