Approximate cost for neglected cow

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by NewEnglandBeth, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone!

    Around the corner from my house is a non profit farm. Recently this farm "rescued" a herd of short horn milking cows. The previous owner was elderly, and just overwhelmed when his wife was stricken with cancer. Anyway, the cows were neglected fairly significantly.

    I visited the farm today and my heart just went out to one girl who is about to give birth. She is absolutely gorgeous, though the poor dear just turns her head away from people when you come near. She was lying down, and just turned away from me when I got closer to her.

    She has a hard time standing or walking due to her hoofs not being taken care of? What would that be about? Would her hoofs need to be cut down? Do hoofs overgrow? The farm workers told me they couldn't do anything for her until they raised the funds. I'd like to contribute to the cow's care, and get her back on her feet.....could anyone guestimate what the costs would be of getting her feet in shape?

    All the rescued cows have hardened poop all over their bodies....they won't let their new caretakers get near to shave them. Anyone have some solutions for this problem also??

    Thank you,
    Beth
     
  2. wewild

    wewild Member

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    See link for hoof problems.

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/90600.htm

    I would imagine they are thin and need nursed back to health. Not to much high protein feed at once.

    It is hard to determine the distress of the animals from the post.

    I feel for the animals and the farm family.
     

  3. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    So these animals have been 'rescued,' and now they're being neglected because the rescuers don't have the resources to care for them, either?!

    Grrrrr ... :no:

    So, Beth, ya got room for a cow?! Maybe you could offer to take her off their hands ... ;)

    Hoof problems can run the gamut from just being badly overgrown (sometimes combined with poor conformation that amounts almost to a congenital deformity) to foot rot to warts. There are professional cow hoof trimmers ... watching them work is pretty interesting (they strap the cow into a device that flips it onto its side!). :eek:

    Antibiotics such as LA 200 are used in the case of foot rot. Hosing their feet also seems to help ... perhaps you could volunteer to do this?

    Also, it's not uncommon for cows to be a little mucky this time of year. They have their shaggy winter coats, too, which doesn't help their appearance any!

    I have an unfriendly cow here too ... Twister, one of my commercial dairy rescues. I've been working on convincing her that people aren't all bad, and I think I'm making some headway ... so it can be done! Go slow and be gentle ... I have found with Twist, it's better to approach her from the rear ... walking up to her head is too intimidating. But she will let me scratch her rump, and now I'm working my way up slowly, until today I was able to extend one arm and rub her withers too. Try this with your girl, she might come around, although if she's hurting she may just want to be left alone, poor thing! At least when she delivers, it will take some of the weight off her feet!
     
  4. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    First, I hope someone is as worried about that old feller whose wife is ill and now has lost his cows. I like cows more than any other animal, but I put people way above them.

    The next thing that is important is how do we know what neglect these animals were subjected to. The Milking Shorthorn is a dairy animal, not beef and especially during lactation, they’ll show a lot of rib and backbone. As for a few turd-balls on their legs and sides; that’s not going to kill them, and they’ll eventually fall off if they have fresh bedding and cleaned up after. Here’s a link to some pictures of Milking Shorthorns: http://www.cmss.on.ca/pictures.htm

    The difficulty walking could be due to laminitis (which can include: hemorrhages, ulcers on the outer sole of claw, abscesses);severe foot rot, or severe heel cracks. With laminitis, she’ll appear stiff when she walks, and lay down whenever possible. Her feet are probably overgrown (too long), which can be laminitis or being confined in manure most of the time without exercise to wear down the hooves. (With these cows, it seems unlikely that the laminitis was caused by too much carbs in their ration/not enough forage or even loading (eating large amounts of grain all at once).

    Hoof trimming here in a large dairy area can be $15 and up per cow and sometimes a setup or travel charge, but most hoof trimmers are not going to come out for one cow. A large animal vet should be able to trim her feet, but if she is real close to calving and has to be transported, this is going to stress her. How close is she to calving? I don't like to put a cow that close to calving on the tilt table. One of the experts running this rescue should have a hoof knife and some Kopertox and be able to at least get a look at the condition of her feet. A footbath with 5% copper sulfate (You can use a Tingley rubber boot) will help. If you give her antibiotics and she goes South, you've got the problem of slaughter withdrawal. You can't give her LA-200 once she has freshened, and even during dry period, it's got a 28-day withdrawal.

    I’m not so sure that rescuing these animals was doing them a big favor. I’m sure you don’t want a whole course on dry cow nutrition, but the nutritional needs of a dry cow are much different than milking cows, and this cow is at risk for all kinds of problems after calving if she is under-conditioned and hasn’t had proper nutrition during the dry period. It would be best if she wasn’t in a pen with a bunch of other cows, and that she received a ration that was predominantly long, dry forage. She probably weighs 1000 lbs. or so, I’d offer her 18-20 lbs. of coarse grass hay (NOT ALFALFA). She should NOT have access to free-choice salt and mineral. Her calcium intake must be limited: an ounce of trace mineral salt and 1.5 oz. of ground limestone would be fine. It would help if she could get a dry cow supplement that contained higher levels of vitamins A, D and E as well as some niacin. A good large animal vet should be able to help with this. If she is within two weeks of calving, she needs to be receiving some some corn and protein supplement as well. Start her at about 3 lbs. of ground shell corn and 1.5 lbs. of 40% protein supplement or equivalent (soybean meal). She could handle 7.5-8 lbs. of this mix a day by calving time.

    I’m worried that these cows have been “rescued” into a situation where they aren’t necessarily going to get the care they need to recover, and I wonder if they wouldn’t have been better off going to a sale barn for canner/cutters.
    If you post an address for this so-called rescue, I’ll send along some funds.
     
  5. wewild

    wewild Member

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    Help me understand this. Ours (beef cows) have access 24-7 all year round.
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    wewald, too much calcium prior to calving can lead to milk fever after partruition. This is more typical among high producing dairy breeds. Usually not a concern with beef cows, but if you do have a cow go down right after calving, it's probably milk fever. Fortunately, IV calcium will fix them right up.
     
  7. wewild

    wewild Member

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    We've been at this a while. Trace mineral is all we provide. I'd say with out looking at the label that it is low in calcium. We haven't expeirenced this problem.
     
  8. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Tinknal nailed it. I don't worry about milk fever in my beef cow herd, but I do change their mineral to a dry cow formulation a couple months before they calve.
     
  9. wewild

    wewild Member

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    We don't.
     
  10. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Luckily Shorthorns are very hardy critters (for a dairy animal). Any cows that can not walk and close to calving are going to be in a world of problems. Pending on what is wrong as mention foot rot, laminitis, lack of trimming, heel warts ( tender growth or raw smelly spot on the back of feet, between toes) some are more easily cured. Just being skinny and flighty with turd balls is not neglect. Some of the supposebly best places have these problems. Have an experienced vet and hooftrimmer come in to evaluate the sitution. Some of these animals might be better of going to slaughter than be forced into rehab.
     
  11. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    http://www.theeducationalfarm.org/

    I'll go back and ask more questions....everyone raised serious concerns. I agree that this farm may have taken on more than they could handle with the rescue of these cows. The first time I read about the cows was three months ago, when the farm acquired them. At that time, the farm was asking for donations to feed the cows throughout the coming Winter months.

    The elderly former owner continually calls to check on his cows. This had to be very difficult for him.

    She is in her own pen, with an adjoining birthing pen. She is quite lovely, all dark brown! I hope all she needs is her hoofs trimmed...
     
  12. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    If a cow with manure on is viewed as neglected then I've never seen one that wasn't. My cows have access to the great outdoors but won't leave the barn 99% of the time in winter. They manure on their fresh bedding and then lay in it with indifference.

    I too would be more worried about the old man and his wife. Sell the cows on the market and give the money to the old man to help with his wife.
     
  13. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    This is the part that really ticks me off-

    http://www.theeducationalfarm.org/csa.html

    That Shorthorn milk will be sold for $6.25 a gallon- aka ~$70/cwt- they got these cattle for free, I guess, if they're "rescues", they got donations for winter feed. These "farmers" have NOTHING invested in these cattle but they can't have a vet look at a lame cow? Not once in the 3 months they've had her could they spare $50? I see on another thread that NewEnglandBeth has been asked to come down to the farm because the cow is having problems calving and what sounds like acute mastitis. Still no vet.

    I'd like to know where all that $$ is going if it can't go into a vet bill. It better be into the previous owner's Dr. bills, but I get the feeling it won't be.

    Never thought I'd say something so PETA-sounding, but this cow is being exploited, along with her previous owner.
    NewEnglandBeth, sounds like you've got a good heart.
     
  14. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    OMFG.

    :eek:

    :no:

    Someone needs to rescue these cows from that so-called "rescue"! :yeeha:
     
  15. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    I am agreeing with everything you all are posting....

    I think I better think twice about really getting involved with this farm.....

    I went down today, to help muck out two stalls....went with my husband and children.

    I got some more background on the cows. Half the herd did have to be put down. They were taken to be slaughtered right from the elderly farmer's barn. According to this farm's supervisor, the manure had piled up to the cows bellies. If that is true, and this is of course hearsay, I would imagine the hoofs are not only overgrown but infected.

    Ok, now I am going to ask you guys a question, and this is only because of my inexperience with cows....but is it ok for a cow to be kept tied up three months straight? One short horn has been tied up in place now for three months there, because she jumped on top of one of the farm hands getting them into the barn.....is that unusual, or cruel, to keep her tied up in place because she is unmanageable, or they can't manage her? While I was there, mucking out some stalls, she never closed her eyes to rest like the other cows, but kept an eye on every person in the barn. The supervisor said she gets very agitated if anyone comes anywhere near her with a shovel, to clean out manure near her. The plan with this one is to keep her, and in the Spring put her out to pasture where she would be fairly isolated from people. They are afraid she would jump on some one else. Why would a cow act like this?

    When we went back today, the farm manager gave me more info...apparently many from the original herd were in pretty bad shape....one two year old had been tied up in the barn, never moving from the corner..... all the cows were bred, with no information on what their nutritional status was prior to being bred....so there is no way of telling what the outcome will be for any of the calves soon to be produced....four cows were bred and are due soon.
     
  16. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Somebody is feeding you some BS. If the cattle had to be put down they would be euthanized not sent to slaugher. If that's what they told you, it leads me to be suspect of the rest of their tale of woe. It works though, a kind hearted person like yourself is willing to try and help them out and maybe even give them some cash. Up to their bellies in manure - I doubt it, that would be like up to their bellies in mud and they tend to become mired and die. Tied up for 3 months, likely not but it makes good story. If the old boy cares enough to call about them daily, I doubt he was abusing them. It sounds more like they bought the cattle and don't have the money they need to look after them. Another reason that this story fails to impress me is that if this sad tale were true, the cattle would have been seized by the proper authoraties and this man would be in court and the cattle would be under vet care. I'd love to speak to this old farmer and hear his story - if he really exsists. I would also like to know how they feel they know this cow has only been bred this one time. Is it hearsay or does it just make a good story.

    Somebody should be turning these folks in to the proper authoraties and let them sort it out cause it does sound like they are being neglected now. I'm just not sure if it's lack of money, intelligence, respect for animals or plain old ignorance.
     
  17. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    There are a whole lot of red lights here.
     
  18. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    I agree. :(

    I found it interesting that their website claims they are opposed to the use of chemicals etc. ... specifically mentioning antibiotics.

    I'll bet some of those cows with sore feet would be awful grateful for a dose of LA200 right now ... :no:

    This is just so frickin sad ...