sale barn cows

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daniel.carver

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hi, i went to a local sale barn and bought a cow/calf pair on saturday. i put them in the barn w/clean water,feed,& hay. looked like she & calf were doing good. on the following friday the cow was down & couldn't get up. called the vet and he was able to come out on saturday. He arrived at 3 p.m., looked at the cow, took temp, listened to her lungs. he stated that she had pneumonia, and probably had it for some time. proabably had it previously also. she's going to die. he stated there was no need for medication, that it would be a waste of money. my question is, would/should i have tried to get her up w/ the tractor? this was a lesson on what to look for. the calf is doing fine so far, it will not suck a bottle but will suck milk out of a bucket, and is eating crimped calf starter. i go down into the pens and look & listen to the cattle, i had picked her and a 1st stage cow. i didn't notice any unusual breathing, or a snotty nose. she moved around ok. like i said, chalk this up to gaining experience. Dan
 

IluvABbeef

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This is primarily the reason why cows shouldn't be bought at salebarns. Some may pass off as good, yeah but when you get cases like these and don't know their histories...that is a case of T R O U B L E.

Sounds like she's one of those chronic cases that the previous owner didn't want to deal with anymore (and lo and behold you got suckered in and now have to deal with it :roll: ). So, possibly the best action is get the cow put down, if it's no use wasting your money (and diesel or gas) on her, if she's not gone already.

I don't know what else to suggest...
 
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daniel.carver

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thanks for the reply IluvABbeef, i put her don after the vet left, and buried her. i under stand the risk at sale barns, i've got seven that are doing good. it's just cheaper than going to the paper, where all you see is $1,000 to $1,4000 a head. at the rate i'm going i'll have 20 head by the time i'm 90. i'm trying to feed & provide shelter &vet for what i've got. took some classes. I've got 60 acres in MO w/plenty of grass. again thanks for the help.
 

backhoeboogie

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They go through the stress at the sale barn and it affects their immune system.

There were times when you could leave the sale barn, go to a vet, and get them treated for $25 a head. Most all modern vets tell you to just not buy anything from a sale barn.

The next time you are at the sale barn, see if there is a vet working the sale. Some of the sale barns will have vets to de-horn, innoculate etc. Ask the vet what it would cost to give your cows a shot of nuflour (hopefully 6 cc) and nasalgen. If it is reasonable, have it done immediately. Cheap insurance. Also ask him to sell you some nuflour.

If you can get a hold of some Nuflour yourself, run them through the head gate and give them a shot when you get them home.

A week or so after they have settled, eating well and all is fine, start them on their immunizations. Just make sure that the Nuflour etc has had time to clear their system before you give them immunizations. Give them their booster immunizations two weeks after that. Then they are safe to mix with the rest of the herd.

If they already have fever, Banamine knocks the fever really well.

I lost three head myself back in August. I was out of Nuflour. That won't happen again. Or else I won't buy any cows until I get my hands on some.
 

alacattleman

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daniel.carver":1rw7wn1a said:
thanks for the reply IluvABbeef, i put her don after the vet left, and buried her. i under stand the risk at sale barns, i've got seven that are doing good. it's just cheaper than going to the paper, where all you see is $1,000 to $1,4000 a head. at the rate i'm going i'll have 20 head by the time i'm 90. i'm trying to feed & provide shelter &vet for what i've got. took some classes. I've got 60 acres in MO w/plenty of grass. again thanks for the help.
ive bought from the salebarn before,, but i quarantine and vaccinate anything that come's from there. she may have been a rerun from another barn... my guess is she could have been saved...but we all learn the hardway ive lost a few ropin' calves in the past
 

Joy of Texas

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Sorry for your loss. I do buy a few from sale barns now and then. All them are takened to the vet for a round of shots, dehorn or whatever else my vet thinks they might need. Then they are place in a pasture by themselves for 60-90 days. I keep a pretty close eye on them at this time.
You know that cow could have went to the sale without being sick at all. They are in such close quarters with others .There is no telling what they will pick up.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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IMO about Sale Barn cattle. These items are NOT in any given order or first to last...:
  • 1. Sale barns handle cattle on the way to slaughter house or to people looking for "a deal".
    2. Sale Barn lots are in tight pack and many animals from who knows what sources are commingled.
    3. The seller is not identified (maybe rarely).
    4. The cattle are sold without health, vaccination, de-worming, or lineage records: "Bubba might have bred Bubbette".
    5. Sellers use Sale Barn to dispose of marginal cattle (occasionally decent ones).
    6. Sale Barns are also good venure for a producer that needs quick cash (to pay bills).
    7. Cattle in sale barns over several days holding are already stressed from shipping, confinement, shrink, and are very susceptible to respiratory and other bugs.
    8. Calves at Sale Barn are almost certain to pick up a "bad bug".
    9. While the Sale Barn animals may "appear" healthy and ok, the "bugs" may not have their full effect until you transport them again and the bug has a few days at your place to become virulent.
    10. Sale Barn cattle may include those with: marginal health, attitude problems, unable to get pregnant, poor semen or libido in bulls, poor growth rate, etc.
    11. Sale Barn cattle may also be those that the rancher didn't want to bother with (or spend $$ for) to properly vaccinate and de-worm his/her cattle to ensure their continued health.
    12. Sale Barn cattle may also be those that are in poor condition due to seller's own poor health or ability (or) their chinciness and not spending $$ to feed, care for them properly.

Other issues include even if a buyer is "knowledgable" of cattle, he/she can be misled or screwed with a purchase even after carefully selecting the purchase. A $1,500 animal from a reputable rancher who seriously cares for his/her animals is a MUCH better deal than paying $750 for a Sale Barn animal.

If one buys an animal in poor condition (say BCS of 3 or 4) it could take up to a year to get them back in shape, assuming they aren't comprised by illness, genetics, or other.

Even if a Sale Barn Vet "examines" an animal or "tests it", remember that that Vet is not necessarily YOUR Vet...like having a car dealer's mechanic "certify" the vehicle is in good shape.

I hate to keep running down Sale Barns! On the other hand, it is a gamble even for the best of ranchers to buy from. Sale Barn purchases are NOT for the novice, weekend rancher, or those trying to save a few dollars in hopes of getting their "dream" animals.

Sale Barn sales are "liquidation sales"...not breeding stock sales. Even some breed Auctions have questionable animals.

It's caveat emptor always...
 

CattleHand

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Sounds like you got unlucky on that one. So far everyone has pretty much hit hard on the sale barns. Ive learned everything from my grandpa (he still farms) and he has always bought cattle from the sale barn and from neighbors. Id say it just takes practice and experience and you wont have any trouble at the sale barns. Of course its probably a small sale barn then most have but still once you get the experience of going you get good buys. Hopefully the calf will do well for ya.
 

grannysoo

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Running Arrow Bill":25mh4fmf said:
IMO about Sale Barn cattle. These items are NOT in any given order or first to last...:
  • 1. Sale barns handle cattle on the way to slaughter house or to people looking for "a deal".
    2. Sale Barn lots are in tight pack and many animals from who knows what sources are commingled.
    3. The seller is not identified (maybe rarely).
    4. The cattle are sold without health, vaccination, de-worming, or lineage records: "Bubba might have bred Bubbette".
    5. Sellers use Sale Barn to dispose of marginal cattle (occasionally decent ones).
    6. Sale Barns are also good venure for a producer that needs quick cash (to pay bills).
    7. Cattle in sale barns over several days holding are already stressed from shipping, confinement, shrink, and are very susceptible to respiratory and other bugs.
    8. Calves at Sale Barn are almost certain to pick up a "bad bug".
    9. While the Sale Barn animals may "appear" healthy and ok, the "bugs" may not have their full effect until you transport them again and the bug has a few days at your place to become virulent.
    10. Sale Barn cattle may include those with: marginal health, attitude problems, unable to get pregnant, poor semen or libido in bulls, poor growth rate, etc.
    11. Sale Barn cattle may also be those that the rancher didn't want to bother with (or spend $$ for) to properly vaccinate and de-worm his/her cattle to ensure their continued health.
    12. Sale Barn cattle may also be those that are in poor condition due to seller's own poor health or ability (or) their chinciness and not spending $$ to feed, care for them properly.

Other issues include even if a buyer is "knowledgable" of cattle, he/she can be misled or screwed with a purchase even after carefully selecting the purchase. A $1,500 animal from a reputable rancher who seriously cares for his/her animals is a MUCH better deal than paying $750 for a Sale Barn animal.

If one buys an animal in poor condition (say BCS of 3 or 4) it could take up to a year to get them back in shape, assuming they aren't comprised by illness, genetics, or other.

Even if a Sale Barn Vet "examines" an animal or "tests it", remember that that Vet is not necessarily YOUR Vet...like having a car dealer's mechanic "certify" the vehicle is in good shape.

I hate to keep running down Sale Barns! On the other hand, it is a gamble even for the best of ranchers to buy from. Sale Barn purchases are NOT for the novice, weekend rancher, or those trying to save a few dollars in hopes of getting their "dream" animals.

Sale Barn sales are "liquidation sales"...not breeding stock sales. Even some breed Auctions have questionable animals.

It's caveat emptor always...

Excellent answer.

Everyone gets rid of their "junk" at the sale barn.
 

ddg1263

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You know I am just starting to get some experience at the sale barns. And from what I have witnessed there are some marginal stock that come through there. As the above posters have said you need to have an isolation area to keep them before turning them into your main heard. On my first purchase I bought up some decent yearlings at a great price. I kept them in my coral and for some reason my main heard came to the coral to sniff those new heifers through the fence. Well they all got a cold, and are still to this day cough from time to time. After I breed them I am going to vac my whole heard. So health is a huge issue. On my second purchase I bought a few mama cows, and I picked up one really wild heifer. She would run me out of the ring when I tried to work her. So I had to load her right back up the next week and sold her at a loss. However, on the good side, most every farmer is going to want top dollar for their stock. And often at times they can be just as orniary or problematic. I have come to the conclusion that if you are in the business you have to take the good with the bad and watch what you purchase from anyone you buy from reputable or not. The advantage at the sale barn is that you will pay close to market price for a cow, and if you buy direct, you will usually pay top dollar for you heifer. Either way, you can still have problems, and reading the solutions to those problems from the posters on this board has been more valuable than any sale I have been to!
 
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daniel.carver

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Hi ddg1263, yes this is a great place to learn. This is the first one that i've lost, and i'm reall :mad: about it. Now I find myself questioning myself. I didn't trust my instincts. i've bought good cows at sale barns, I've seen heffers come in that were so nice, w/a bid to match. I like the charloias/cross, I bought a moma cow three years ago, the only problem is that she has a bull calf every time. well twice. I bought a cow for hamburger once. She was a long horn cross, meanest cow i've come across yet, about 6 months later i finally got her loaded after she destroyed a gate & two panels. took her to joplin regional, she was that mean, that I didn't want her for burger!
 

backhoeboogie

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Call me an idiot then. My heifers go to the sale barn to preclude inbreeding, unless I change bulls. They are not junk and they are not problems. All have been innoculated and I have the records if anyone asks for them.

Sometimes I trade hay or other commodities for cattle to help folks out. Other than that, I pretty much buy at auction.

I do know a few horse traders out there that would love to sell cattle private treaty. Some of them advertise in the papers.

You can buy registered animals at the sale barn. Estates are liquidated there and you see nice animals come through at times.

You do see a lot of animals that are destined for slaughter. You should not buy those for commercial cattle.

Anyway, I know a lot of good folks who buy and sale at the local sale barns.

I also know some very good vets who work sale barns. Some of those folks are old school. If they give you their word, it is more valuable than a signed contract.

You can get bad animals from breedes who don't sale at the sale barn. The larger operations have their own private sales pretty regular. They are big enough to do that.
 

dun

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backhoeboogie":vk010eet said:
Call me an idiot then. My heifers ...............

I do the same thing. Our heifers and cows go to the sale barn because they don;t fit our program. They are not junk and they are not problems. All have been innoculated and I have the records if anyone asks for them.
If there's a problem they go to the kill pen. If some moron buys them from there and has problems it's their decision.
 

TexasBred

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Boogie....good post. I do the same thing. Can't remember ever buying a cow from a sale barn that had any problems AND, my cows aren't all that fancy but folks do know when I haul and they know too that they are not buying a problem.
 

backhoeboogie

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TexasBred":yea8w26b said:
Boogie....good post. I do the same thing. Can't remember ever buying a cow from a sale barn that had any problems AND, my cows aren't all that fancy but folks do know when I haul and they know too that they are not buying a problem.

Thanks.

I have made some bad buys - and some excellent ones.
 

donnaIL

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I've bought cows,hefiers and feeders from the sale barn and never had a problem. I have seen some sickly older looking cows, they usually come out last and are always kill cows. I've also seen some folks buy those cows, because I don't think they know what is going on.
 

Angus Cowman

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I agree with ya Boogie it just takes knowledge to buy at the sale barns and alot of that comes from mistakes I have bought cattle at the barns for yrs and I still buy about 75-100 a yr just to winter and fatten them up and then sell in the spring and they go back to the barns then usually
 

TexasBred

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donnaIL":vtp1xxnk said:
I've bought cows,hefiers and feeders from the sale barn and never had a problem. I have seen some sickly older looking cows, they usually come out last and are always kill cows. I've also seen some folks buy those cows, because I don't think they know what is going on.

I guess we just have to remember that we don't know what those folk's plan is for any particular cow.
 
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daniel.carver

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Just wanted to let everyone know that the calf is doing fine. she's drinking a 1 1/2 gallons milk a day and eating calf starter. So far so good. in a couple months I'll take her to the vet for her shots. :D

Thanks Dan
 

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