poor cow wont put on weight

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Mar 16, 2004
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hello all , great summer so far up here in the ozarks. I have a 8 yr old angus/holstein that is poor can see about 3 sets of ribs and her hip protrude a lot. she has a very nice bag and raises a very good strong calf 5-550 at 6 months.ive tried supplimenting her feed witha bout everthing i can think of wormed her twice this yr all shot up to date she seems otherwise a very healthy cow just can get any weight on her all other cow in feild with her are very good condition. My ? is this should i cull her this yr are just let her ride again for anothr calf after all that the name of the game is raiseing those calfs
i have a tigerstripe cow that will not fatten up like the others.. but every year she weans a great calf and breeds back on time every year. so, as long as she does that, she has a home at my place..

i have found that sometimes it is that ugliest cow that raises your best calf.

peb":15laiezf said:
she has a very nice bag and raises a very good strong calf 5-550 at 6 months.

She is doing what people expect their cows to do. And it sounds like she's doing it very well. Let her raise a few more calves for you. Keep her daughters for replacements and cull a fat, pretty cow that doesn't raise as good a calf.
Thats just the Holstein in her coming out. Holsteins cant eat enough grass out in the pasture to maintain themselves, they put all their energy into lactation. Thats why most dairies feed their cows some sort of silage or something, to help them meet their energy requirement. If you ever see a fat holstein female, be suspicious. As long as she breeds back regularly I'd keep her.
She's using all her energy and resources raising that good calf. You really need to take into consideration the quality calf the cows are raising before you decide to cull. I'd keep her.. she's worth more to you because you KNOW what she'll produce, whereas if you take her to an auction barn, and she's "ribby" she won't bring much.
In a pasture environment without a significant supplementation program, Holsten X beef cows do generally poorly. Given average quality forage, they alwasy tend to look poor. Frequently increasing the supplementation just increases milk yield without an improvment in condition. Even with a high degree of supplementation, dairy cows being milked have a poor breed back rate. Those the cheat the bucket will sometimes breed back early, but that is pretty counterproductive.
The standard joke with our vet is how poor of a condition is "too" poor condition. We have one Red Angus cow that milks the weight off and I jokingly refer to her as my red Holstein. During August and September she will shed weight till she's just a rack of bones. But she's bred back by then and carrys her calf. After weaning she'll gain 4-5 lbs a day on just pasture and go into winter in good condition and be fat by next calving season. Holstein X beef cows won't ave a very high value at the sale barn if they come off of pasture. But, if she breeds back, raises a good calf, doesn't break down and goes into calving season in good condition, you might as well keep her around until she fails to produce. The worst part is the amount of feed that she will require all year round to do her job. A smaller cow that doesn;t milk as heavy will in the long run be more economical


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