Lost our first cow today...

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Fire Sweep Ranch

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So, we have been breeding cattle for more than 10 years now, and we lost our first cow yesterday. Got to say, it was not easy! Mulan was 7 years old (soon to be 8 ), nursing a Feb Live Ammo heifer calf, and bred back to calve in January to HPF Optimizer. Yesterday morning she was nursing her calf when we went out to bring in a cow to AI (around 6:30), and at 8AM we moved them to the next section of grass (about every 4 days right now they move). Anyway, she was fine. I left to go get a load of hay (1300 pound alfalfa rounds I bought for winter feeding), when I came back with a load (about 1 PM) I saw a black "blob" laying in the field and all the other cattle were in the shade. Went out to check, and there she was, dead but limber still (I picked up her head to verify who I knew it was by the ear tag- it was hot and 88 degrees so no rigor had set in yet). Dang, that hurts!
So I call the vet looking for option to dispose (none out by us, BTW), and he asked if there was Johnson Grass around.This little tuff below, is all that is in there ! The question is, is that enough to kill a cow?
2li9zyr.jpg

I figured she had a stroke or heart attack. , like she was trying to get up but collapsed in the process. I did not want to post her, more expense and what would I learn? Nothing that will bring her back for sure.....
But now I am gun shy about the Johnson grass. It was tall, taller than 5 feet I bet... and they ate the tops off of it. I thought it was only toxic at the bottom?
 

Ol' 243

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Damn, hate that. I am very leary of Johnson grass, cows love it but it scares me. It can kill them in 10 minutes I hear.
 

bird dog

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Doubtful it was Johnson grass judging by its color of the rest of your pasture. Your pasture doesn't looked stressed but if the vet asked about it, then maybe there is other folks having the same problem. Sorry for your loss but things happen. Loosing only one in 10 years is a pretty good record. I would take that anytime.
 
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Fire Sweep Ranch

Fire Sweep Ranch

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TennesseeTuxedo":u1gwivpx said:
Are you in drought like conditions?

Sorry for your loss.

We are dry, but not drought. I called the extension, they said lots of deaths, but none related to the grass (green moss in the ponds, lightening, and perilla mint have been linked to most). The next pasture we are rotating to I took the brush hog today to, just in case. Took all the tops off the tall grass, not much Johnsongrass, but enough to worry me!
Sure is hard trying to burn a 1800 pound cow.... we have used lots of wood and over 5 round bales that are a few years old.

Thanks everyone, when you have a small herd (35 cows), losing one is not easy. Her orphaned calf is adjusting, but not happy. We pulled her up and put her on grain.
 

True Grit Farms

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That stinks sorry about your loss. Can just a little bit of Johnson grass really kill a cow? Its kind of hard to believe that only one cow could have problems.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Fire Sweep Ranch":3l2eumzd said:
So, we have been breeding cattle for more than 10 years now, and we lost our first cow yesterday. Got to say, it was not easy! Mulan was 7 years old (soon to be 8 ), nursing a Feb Live Ammo heifer calf, and bred back to calve in January to HPF Optimizer. Yesterday morning she was nursing her calf when we went out to bring in a cow to AI (around 6:30), and at 8AM we moved them to the next section of grass (about every 4 days right now they move). Anyway, she was fine. I left to go get a load of hay (1300 pound alfalfa rounds I bought for winter feeding), when I came back with a load (about 1 PM) I saw a black "blob" laying in the field and all the other cattle were in the shade. Went out to check, and there she was, dead but limber still (I picked up her head to verify who I knew it was by the ear tag- it was hot and 88 degrees so no rigor had set in yet). Dang, that hurts!
So I call the vet looking for option to dispose (none out by us, BTW), and he asked if there was Johnson Grass around.This little tuff below, is all that is in there ! The question is, is that enough to kill a cow?
2li9zyr.jpg

I figured she had a stroke or heart attack. , like she was trying to get up but collapsed in the process. I avesdid not want to post her, more expense and what would I learn? Nothing that will bring her back for sure.....
But now I am gun shy about the Johnson grass. It was tall, taller than 5 feet I bet... and they ate the tops off of it. I thought it was only toxic at the bottom?
look at the blades, they will be white Powdery looking....
 

wbvs58

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With prussic acid poisoning the mucous membranes go a bright red or scarlet colour. Did you notice the colour of her mucous membranes?

It takes a bit to burn them, years ago we had a lion park near us and they would come and take the deaduns, very handy.

Sorry about losing her.

Ken
 

Bright Raven

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I liked Mulan. Great disposition and nice, big long cow. I also have one of her offspring - Cricket.

She is one of my favorites but you got so many nice cows. Faith, Summer, Elsa, On-nah. I have had Summer, On-nah and Elsa here. Cannot leave out big Hazel. Gem, Bling, etc.

Mulan was a great one but one in over 10 years is beating the odds. I have had cows on this farm for going on 9 years and lost 2.

Condolences. She was a sweet lady.
 

callmefence

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If the Johnson grass was that tall and had seed heads it should be safe. PA will form in young new growth from heavily stressed plants. Nitrates will form in the stalks lower third, of heavily stressed and heavily fertilized plants.

The plant you showed looks grazed. That plant in dry conditions..then receiving rain will put up new green shoots from the base. This is where PA will be at high levels. In these conditions give 10 days of growth. Or even better wait till it boots. A sure sign of adequate growth.
 

NolanCountyAG

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Why would you burn a cow? Buzzards and worms got to eat as well. I'll usually just drag them where I can see them from the road and shoot coyotes off them for awhile
 

Bright Raven

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NolanCountyAG":1q5gdpnx said:
Why would you burn a cow? Buzzards and worms got to eat as well. I'll usually just drag them where I can see them from the road and shoot coyotes off them for awhile

I think Missouri has the same requirements as Kentucky. You can either bury them 6 feet or burn them.
 

FlyingLSimmentals

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Sorry for your loss. I don't figure it was because of the Johnson Grass. Yeah burning them I'm sure takes a good hot fire for a good while. Hard to bury a cow if you don't have the equipment and everyone with the equipment is booked up.
 

danl

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I bought some cyantesmo paper from amazon. Not cheap but sure makes me feel better.
It will tell you if prussic acid present. I tested it on wilted cherry leaves. The strips turned bright blue almost immediately
 

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