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thin heifer

dustynbob

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My daughter just bought a jeersey heifer, about 2 years old that is very thin. She has calved adn is producing 4 gallons per day. Milk looks good, and cream is thick adn yellow, normal. she does not have a temp, her eyes are bright, though she looks a littel dehydrated to me today. She was purcahsed at auction one month ago by a cattle farm, used for nurse cow one month and then sold to my daughter. she was vet checked, vet said she just needed TLC according to seller. He checked her for wire, reproductive health, etc.
I would call this cow emaciated, not just thin. She eats some, but won't eat much grain, only a mouthful. She eats alfalfa hay while I milk her.
Any thoughts? Johne's? how do I test her?
thanks
 

JR Cattle Co.

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she was vet checked, vet said she just needed TLC according to seller
Here lies your problem. Did you take the sellers word that he or she had the heifer checked by a vet, or did you actually have her checked yourself? Many people will say what it takes to get rid of a sick animal.
 

kenny thomas

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Well your daughter owns her now so it really does not matter what the seller said you are going to need to get her in better shape. If she is 2 year old and milking 4 gallons a day that might be enough to keep her thin. She has had a hard month, being at a cattle market, arriving at a new home and having a new calf put on her and now moving again to your place.
Other than that take a fecal and let your vet check it for parasites. Does she have scares? With Johne's if she is that advanced she should have scares. Same for hardware. Being wintertime you might just worm her anyway as I bet she needs it. Some B-12 should help make her eat. Are you sure the feed is ok. If she is that thin she should eat.
Looks like she may have found a good home. Good luck with her.
 

regolith

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Have you got an image?

Dairy cattle can run rather light anyway, though there are a lot of conditions (apart from simple underfeeding) that could cause weight loss. Most will also cut the milk yield.

A blood test should show up Johne's.
And bear in mind that if she's never been fed grain feed before, she may not want to eat it. That can be an issue moving grass-fed animals onto a farm where grain rations are fed - there's a learning curve, and some animals never do take the new feed offered.
Could be anything, basically. Plenty of food and worming is a good start. Standing normally? Skin test for dehydration - you should be able to roll an inch or two up off her spine if she's fully hydrated. Dung hard, soft, runny?
 

LoveMoo11

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You can take a blood or fecal test to test for Johne's and a fecal could also tell you about parasites-talk to your vet about getting it done or talk to someone at your state's Animal Health Dept.-they can direct you on what to do. If you really think its Johne's or something like that I would refrain from feeding the milk to any calves as it can be spread through milk. Does she have diarrhea? Dairy cows can be pretty thin while producing but you make it sound like it is more than that, so I would get it checked out.
 
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