old cow? (long)

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Anonymous

What to do with a cow that I think has outlive her usefulness. She is a reg. Angus, 8 yrs old. Bred her in the fall and it seemed to take but this winter she got FAT and was only eating hay like the rest of the cows. In fact, most of the time when I fed the rest their daily treat she would not leave the bale. Well she has not shown any heat signs but also did not calve last month like she was supposed to. Add to that she is the only one in my very large herd of 10 mama cows that has to have her feet trimmed twice a yr.

So what do you all do with a cow like this. I do not want to (and doubt I could) sell her as a breeding cow. I feel that she will probably bring only 20/30 per 100 at the sale barn.

I don't think it is reasonable to keep her, so I am wondering if it would be better to sell her as a slaughter cow or have her slaughtered for the beef and keep it?

thanks.

Roy
 
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A

Anonymous

You’re thinking straight. If she’s not obviously bred it’s time for her to go – even if she is only eight. An eight year old that’s open will only bring slaughter price in the ring (in other words they will steal her from you) but there aren’t many options. It sure beats keeping her around so she can burn more grass or until she gets sick or hurt and you can’t get anything for her.

One thing you can consider if it’s possible where you are: sell her to a local slaughter house. If you have one within reasonable distance you can take her there and usually make a little more. The one we use pays by the pound on the rail, roughly double what you would get on the hoof. It usually comes out a little better that way. The thing to remember is that they will not accept any animal running fever and will dock you a full quarter if she’s had an injection that is still noticeable.

It’s all done on the honor system so you will want to talk with some folks who have done business with them. No scales for live cattle and no way to dispute the docking you. Watch for who is buying dry cows in the ring and ask them where they are going with them.

If you want to eat her, it’s a good thing to grind all but the best cuts. You’ll get lots of hamburger, but at least you know where it came from. We only slaughter calves for our own consumption.

Craig-TX
 
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Anonymous

just a thought... but 8 is not too old for a cow... no matter how old she really is, when they run her thru the ring she will be aged by her teeth, and i have seen 12-14 yr old cows (actual) only age 5.... and i have seen 10 yr old cows (actual) have zero teeth...

there are other things to consider that only you know, has she skipped before? how well she raises her calf... etc

fat and having to trim her feet that often.... maybe you are feeding her too well...

lastly, are you positive she is open?? she could be bred, just less than you thought.... i would palpate and mouth her before i just up and sold her.

good luck

gene

> What to do with a cow that I think
> has outlive her usefulness. She is
> a reg. Angus, 8 yrs old. Bred her
> in the fall and it seemed to take
> but this winter she got FAT and
> was only eating hay like the rest
> of the cows. In fact, most of the
> time when I fed the rest their
> daily treat she would not leave
> the bale. Well she has not shown
> any heat signs but also did not
> calve last month like she was
> supposed to. Add to that she is
> the only one in my very large herd
> of 10 mama cows that has to have
> her feet trimmed twice a yr.

> So what do you all do with a cow
> like this. I do not want to (and
> doubt I could) sell her as a
> breeding cow. I feel that she will
> probably bring only 20/30 per 100
> at the sale barn.

> I don't think it is reasonable to
> keep her, so I am wondering if it
> would be better to sell her as a
> slaughter cow or have her
> slaughtered for the beef and keep
> it?

> thanks.

> Roy



[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Hi! Next time try a Texas Longhorn: they easily breed and raise a calf into their late teens and even twenties. They as a rule calve every year with no complications. It is extremely rare to have to pull a Longhorn calf or to end up with a sick one following calving. Just an alternative "food for thought"....

[email protected]
 
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Anonymous

Not everyone wants to waste their time with longhorns...we're tired of hearing about it.
 
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A

Anonymous

If you truly think the cow has outlived her usefulness, then either sell her or process her for your freezer.

A few questions, though. Was she provided with adequate, free choice, loose mineral? Sometimes when cows seem to fixate on a certain food, they are lacking in mineral. Mineral deficiency can cause a cow not to breed.

Did the bull she was bred to pass a BSE before he was used on the cows this breeding season?

Was that bull used on other cows and did he have testing by the veterinarian for sexually transmitted diseases before being used for breeding this season?

Has this cow been palpated by a veterinarian for pregnancy and for any reproductive abnormalities and/or disease?

She could be pregnant, depending on how long she was with the bull, or if the bull happened to hop the fence a month or two after you thought she was bred. The only way you will know is to have a vet exam. She could also have a cystic ovary.

So, she's fat, either because she's pregnant, or because she is an easy keeper, or because she's not carrying a calf and has no stress on her body. A cow that stays fat on hay alone can be a good cow, depending on the type and quality of the feed.

Feet are a problem, and poor feet tend to be hereditary, so that is an issue you have to think about.

I'm all for culling unproductive cows, but I also try and look at the entire picture and make a fair judgment.

Just remember if you sell her as a cull cow, you're going to take a beating on price - be prepared for that. I prefer to put a cull cow in the freezer rather than "give" her away. But, first, I look at the whole picture and make sure I'm not the problem, instead of the cow.

> What to do with a cow that I think
> has outlive her usefulness. She is
> a reg. Angus, 8 yrs old. Bred her
> in the fall and it seemed to take
> but this winter she got FAT and
> was only eating hay like the rest
> of the cows. In fact, most of the
> time when I fed the rest their
> daily treat she would not leave
> the bale. Well she has not shown
> any heat signs but also did not
> calve last month like she was
> supposed to. Add to that she is
> the only one in my very large herd
> of 10 mama cows that has to have
> her feet trimmed twice a yr.

> So what do you all do with a cow
> like this. I do not want to (and
> doubt I could) sell her as a
> breeding cow. I feel that she will
> probably bring only 20/30 per 100
> at the sale barn.

> I don't think it is reasonable to
> keep her, so I am wondering if it
> would be better to sell her as a
> slaughter cow or have her
> slaughtered for the beef and keep
> it?

> thanks.

> Roy
 
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A

Anonymous

All of the above post provide good sound advise, longhorn exception. I recently sold open fat aged cows (11-13 years old) 1100-1300 pounds for forty cents. That dollars out pretty well. Take that and go buy a young replacement for an extra $300-350. Not a bad swap over the long haul in this case six to eight years. There is truth to the positive effect the sale of cull cows have on even a small cow/calf operation.

If you truly think the cow has
> outlived her usefulness, then
> either sell her or process her for
> your freezer.

> A few questions, though. Was she
> provided with adequate, free
> choice, loose mineral? Sometimes
> when cows seem to fixate on a
> certain food, they are lacking in
> mineral. Mineral deficiency can
> cause a cow not to breed.

> Did the bull she was bred to pass
> a BSE before he was used on the
> cows this breeding season?

> Was that bull used on other cows
> and did he have testing by the
> veterinarian for sexually
> transmitted diseases before being
> used for breeding this season?

> Has this cow been palpated by a
> veterinarian for pregnancy and for
> any reproductive abnormalities
> and/or disease?

> She could be pregnant, depending
> on how long she was with the bull,
> or if the bull happened to hop the
> fence a month or two after you
> thought she was bred. The only way
> you will know is to have a vet
> exam. She could also have a cystic
> ovary.

> So, she's fat, either because
> she's pregnant, or because she is
> an easy keeper, or because she's
> not carrying a calf and has no
> stress on her body. A cow that
> stays fat on hay alone can be a
> good cow, depending on the type
> and quality of the feed.

> Feet are a problem, and poor feet
> tend to be hereditary, so that is
> an issue you have to think about.

> I'm all for culling unproductive
> cows, but I also try and look at
> the entire picture and make a fair
> judgment.

> Just remember if you sell her as a
> cull cow, you're going to take a
> beating on price - be prepared for
> that. I prefer to put a cull cow
> in the freezer rather than
> "give" her away. But,
> first, I look at the whole picture
> and make sure I'm not the problem,
> instead of the cow.



[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

thanks for the input. I guess I really need to take another look at my management. I seem to be having a lot of little issues with different cows that probably indicate that I am doing something wrong.

thanks again
 
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A

Anonymous

dont be too hard on yourself roy, we all have cows that we have some gripe with from time to time.... recognizing it and culling and adding is all part of it...and the more we learn the better we should get at it.... and you dont have to please anyone but yourself... what i like you might not and vice versa... that's what keeps it interesting...

good luck

gene

> thanks for the input. I guess I
> really need to take another look
> at my management. I seem to be
> having a lot of little issues with
> different cows that probably
> indicate that I am doing something
> wrong.

> thanks again



[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Agree, Gene. But raising cattle usually has a long learning curve. I admire Roy for stopping to review and take a look at his operation with the intent to improve things.

> dont be too hard on yourself roy,
> we all have cows that we have some
> gripe with from time to time....
> recognizing it and culling and
> adding is all part of it...and the
> more we learn the better we should
> get at it.... and you dont have to
> please anyone but yourself... what
> i like you might not and vice
> versa... that's what keeps it
> interesting...

> good luck

> gene
 
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A

Anonymous

i agree linda... that is basically what i said, and i tried to encourage him...

> Agree, Gene. But raising cattle
> usually has a long learning curve.
> I admire Roy for stopping to
> review and take a look at his
> operation with the intent to
> improve things.



[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

In many ways the cattle business is exactly like any other business. One way is that everybody hates to face the music and get rid of a loosing proposition. In sales it might be getting rid of a brand that’s not moving. In manufacturing, halting a line that’s not profitable. In management, setting an employee free who is not working out.

In cattle it’s when you have to cull. For me, sometimes it’s when I thought I made a good buy and hate to admit to myself it’s not working out. Other times, no matter how crusty and jaded a cow man is, he still hates to see one of his old nags go. Same for cow women, I’m sure. On the other hand, there’s always that salty mean wench that you can’t wait to load as soon as she weans her calf – ha.

Craig-TX
 
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A

Anonymous

I am late in posting a response to this, but I have not read the rest, so that my opinion would not be biased.

8 years isss not old, however a cow that hass not calved to her due date is something to wory about. Since she is Angus and relativly young for a cow, if you need the meat, I would put her in the deep freeze. However, cow prices are not as bad as you posted, the current price for cutter/canner cows is 34-36$ cwt, but given she is a Fat Angus, I would guess she would bring anywhere from 44-48$ cwt, or more, now I am located in central texas, and do not know the current market price for your location, but you can also look for someone that also want 1/2 a beef a split the animal and sell 1/2 of her to cover your cost of slaughter and cutting.

But of you "Love" ol' Bessy, have her ppalpated and see if she is bred and is just really late. In the event this cow has screw claw, or some other hoof deformaty, I would consult my calving records and consider retaining a heifer from one of your more profitable and fertile females.

Just posting my 2 cents, I love my cattle with all my heart, but it is not fair to other cows that pull their weight and are productive to allow cows that are not to continue eating their fair share, of the grub. It is not a democracy and there is no welfare in my cow patch, everyone contributes or they take a ride to the sale barn, and contribute to the food chain.

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Anonymous

Everybody always wants to badmouth the Longhorns and Longhorn crosses, but I AI'd 43 heifers last weekend for a friend. 2 were 1/4 Longhorn and 3/4 Black Angus -- those 2 Longhorn cross heifers were slightly smaller/shorter than the other heifers, but they both had a much larger pelvis than did their pure Angus counterparts. I must say, I was surprised.

Ann B

> Hi! Next time try a Texas
> Longhorn: they easily breed and
> raise a calf into their late teens
> and even twenties. They as a rule
> calve every year with no
> complications. It is extremely
> rare to have to pull a Longhorn
> calf or to end up with a sick one
> following calving. Just an
> alternative "food for
> thought"....



[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Is it possible you are overfeeding? It can sure cause a lot of hoof problems.
> thanks for the input. I guess I
> really need to take another look
> at my management. I seem to be
> having a lot of little issues with
> different cows that probably
> indicate that I am doing something
> wrong.

> thanks again



[email protected]
 

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