Advice Please!!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Countrygrl3, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    Hey all,
    Im going tomarrow morning to look at a Guernsey heifer, due to calve in January. She belongs to an Amish fellow who raises and sells cattle. So...I was wondering if you all had any advice, I currently own a Jersey, and have been hand milking, so Im not totally in the dark but I dont want to unknowingly buy a lemon :)

    Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks,

    Sue
     
  2. Mama C

    Mama C Well-Known Member

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    Go at Milking time and take her for a test drive! LOL
     

  3. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

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    Have her restrained in a chute or stanchion and check each teat, just as if you were milking her.If a teat feels as if has a hard center, it could be blank -won't milk. Do an all over check especially feet and legs. If her teats seem to be short, youmight want to pass on her.
     
  4. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Does she come with options? ;). Look at her feet and legs, look for posty legs. They dont have to be straight as far as hocks go (hock in). You dont want a heifer with sickle legs, you would have problems later on (legs are horizontal, vs nice and straight). Look over her ribs, see if they are nicely spaced, more or less not right close together. Also her width, check to see if she has nice capacity, vs a tall slim thing that wont have some strength. What you want is an animal with good strength to her, good frame etc. Sounds like im picking an animal for show, however you want an animal that will last for you. Look over her rump, between her hips and pins (close to her butt). Is it sloped some? More or less, a slight slope from her hips to her pins. An animal with a slight slope can calve out easier. The most important thing out of it all, is good F&L, and some size to her, something with width, vs height and narrow.


    Jeff
     
  5. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Insist on having her tested for Johne's! Your vet can do a blood test. It's also possible to do a milk test, you can PM me for more info on the latter.

    A cow with Johne's will pollute your pasture with disease-causing organisms that will live for years and potentially sicken any ruminants housed there.

    She will have a shorter lifespan, produce less milk, and pass the disease on to her calves if they're fed her milk (including colustrum).

    The bacteria that causes Johne's in cows also has been found in the guts of humans with Crohn's disease (which can be fatal) although it's unknown if people can be infected by drinking milk from Johne's-positive cows.

    The paratuberculosis bacteria that causes Johne's has been found in the commercial milk supply AFTER pasteurization! (So imagine how much might be present in raw milk, or home-pasteurized milk, where the equipment probably isn't checked regularly to make sure it's reaching the proper temperature, etc.).
     
  6. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    Great, Thanks everyone!

    I have a list of questions to ask now :) I will let you know how it goes...

    Thank you, Thank you!

    Sue
     
  7. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some Amish oppose vacination, be sure to check if she is bangs vacinated. If she is not it will reduce her marketability, as she cannot go into a commercial herd. (last I heard they need to be vacinated before 6 months of age)
     
  8. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sue,
    Johns seems to be a problem in the States and should obviously taken into account, I have no idea what the bangs vaccination is about but no doubt you are aware of it.

    It's all very well looking for the perfect cow in terms of body and udder formation but they become bloody useless if you can't handle them. I milk 6 cows and no self-respecting dairy farmer would touch most of them. They are for the most part, a cross bred mixture - some straight Jersey, Belgian Blue/Jersey, Hereford/Friesian and Hereford/Fresian/Jersey all of which calve to a Hereford/Simmental/Friesian bull. But they all have one thing in common - I can handle them and they are a pleasure to have in my life. They walk into the cowshed of their own accord and I have to push them out of it, they come to the call including the bull and moving them around the farm involves me walking in front of them and telling them to C'mon. Life with them is a breeze, and while maybe not being the last of the big milk producers they still provide more than my pigs can deal with. So make sure this girl has a nice personality and your going to enjoy the time spent with her.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  9. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Ronnie here, temperament is key. Our first cow had to be hobbled to milk, the first time I was faced with leaving town and having a less experienced person milk her, I knew someone would get really hurt, and I sent her to the sale barn.

    Our girl now was hand raised, the only thing I worry about now is having her whack me with her head when she's chasing flies!
     
  10. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    Hey All!

    Thanks for the replies...We did descide to buy her. She is very pretty, only 2 years old. Slightly wary, not in a bad way, just in a "who the heck are you way?" Im sure that with some TLC she will come around nicely.

    For never having a calf, her udder is quite large. Her front two quarters are very long (definate plus!) Her back two quarters arent as long but definately arent any bing cherries either. She was just pregnancy checked last week, but by now you dont need that, you can already see some knees and elbows sticking out :)

    Willow, she was tested for Johnes and came clear. Thank you for letting me know about that!

    All in all we are very pleased, she is being delivered on Friday or Saturday, so when she arrives and I figure out how to post pictures i will. Thank you all! :D

    Sue
     
  11. Sun-E-View

    Sun-E-View Sun-E-View

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    Another thing you may want to keep in mind is the weather in January. If you don't have a place to keep her warm there is a good chance that she will freshen in with frozen teats, it doesn't happen in 2nd calf or older but with 1st calf heifers it can be a risk. Any temp below 20 degrees above could cause frozen teats. Check on the size of this heifer, is she big enough to calve in OK or will she need to be assisted. What was she bred to Was it another guernsey or something else. Teat size should be taken in to consideration... hand milking or machine. She should be starting to udder up and the bag should be even. What is her overall body score or condition. She should not be too fat or too thin. What shots or vaccinations has she had has she been wormed or treated for parasites? Look at the overall health and care of the rest of the livestock on the farm. Good luck.
     
  12. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

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    Be sure to find out about the sire...........that way you can be prepared for possible calving difficulty.Be careful not to overfeed her you would be suprised howlarge the calf can get if you give her alot more feed than necessary
     
  13. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    She was bred to a Jersey, supposedly a very good sire with good bloodlines, but there arent any papers so i cant be positive. Once she gets here, I will post a picture and you all can let me know how she looks.

    She has had her vacc's, but no worming so that is something I will have to take care of before I turn her out with my Jersey and bull calf. She seems pretty tall, at least to me, but with decent sized hips. But then again, im used to some pretty short and wide Jerseys :p

    Sue