Genetics

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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kdougl
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Postby kdougl » Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:10 pm

milkmaid wrote:If you want something that'll cooperate and stand quietly, I'm certain I can find one for you if you're interested in going the Holstein route.


MM,
Thanks for the offer. I might take you up on that.
Do you know how much it will cost?
You mentioned Hall dairy before. Is that the dairy you have contacts with?
It's up by Mud Lake, right?
I will probably also speak to my neighbor and see if he has anything.
What should I look for in a dairy cow to make a good nurse cow?

Doug.
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milkmaid
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Postby milkmaid » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:41 pm

She'd cost you above slaughter/cull cow price... $800 sound fair? if he still has the one I borrowed before she's about 1200lbs, maybe a little under. Not a big cow. 3rd lactation I think, but I'd have to check my records.

If he doesn't have her, I'll be back home in about 14 days after finals are over, and I'll look through the herd for something else that'd work - if you're interested.

Hall dairy is just one I've traveled to with my vet. Ken doesn't part with his good cows very easily... I've tried before. :lol: :P I think I heard a rumor he cut his numbers, got rid of the Jerseys and is only running Holsteins right now. That would be intriguing, b/c he had one milking parlor customized for Jerseys last time I was through there.

Biggest thing to look for is disposition... how easy are they to work with? although sometimes it's hard to tell unless you've spent a lot of time with them, and even then, I've taken on nurse cows that never kicked in the parlor, and they were madder than a wet cat and fought like a tiger when I tried to put calves on. Live 'n learn. LOL. The more maternal they are around any calf they see, the better chance you have of getting one that'll be easy to graft calves on. I've seen dairy cows that would try to adopt almost anyone's calf, regardless of what stage of lactation they were currently in. Don't take on one that's indifferent to calves; been there done that. LOL.

Also-- you need a cow that will milk well when she's off the dairy ration. Some of the bigger dairies will sell a cow that gives 2-3 gallons/day, but the cow is eating 30lbs of grain a day to give that much milk. You need something that can give 30-40lbs of milk while eating 10lbs of grain a day, or you'll go broke feeding her. So if you're talking to your neighbor, better find out what his herd is eating, or you may end up with a cow that won't give a drop when she comes off that hot feed.

And a balanced udder with the floor at or above the cow's hocks almost goes without saying... sometimes unscrupulous folks will try to pass off a cow with a bad udder as a nurse cow, and you basically can't graft calves onto an udder that's 6" above the ground. 2nd lactation cows and older are better, b/c sometimes an udder is OK on a 1st lactation animal, and then she falls apart after her 2nd calf.
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Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex. # affected vs # in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....

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bigbull338
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Postby bigbull338 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:15 pm

a cow that eats 30lbs of grain better be giving 70lbs.or she would be sale barn bound.most big dairies put cows in the dry pen when they drop below 40lbs.an if they not bred they go the sale barn.
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milkmaid
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Postby milkmaid » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:35 pm

bigbull338 wrote:a cow that eats 30lbs of grain better be giving 70lbs.or she would be sale barn bound.most big dairies put cows in the dry pen when they drop below 40lbs.an if they not bred they go the sale barn.


The dairy Doug and I were discussing actually will keep them around even at 20ish pounds/day, and I spoke to the fellow more than once trying to buy a decent nurse cow. He gave me a quote of close to 30lbs/day in grain with the TMR they were feeding. They were basically keeping anything that could walk, eat, and give a cup of milk.
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Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex. # affected vs # in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....

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bigbull338
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Postby bigbull338 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:38 pm

man i dont see how they are making a profit doing that.
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milkmaid
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Postby milkmaid » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:40 pm

I don't know either. They were running about 1600-2000 head last I heard, so perhaps when you're dealing with those numbers and buying feed in semi-loads, you can get by with keeping anything with 4 legs and a tail. :P
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Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex. # affected vs # in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....

More info = better answers.

bigbull338
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Postby bigbull338 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:46 pm

i guess but from what your saying their feed cost is $3 a cow or more.an milk is $20/100.wich means that cow is making $4 a day.an she is going in the hole bigtime.i dont care what size dairy your running cows like that will ruin you.
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