auction calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Hovey Hollow, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    We bought a calf from an auction Wednesday.
    I tried for weeks to find a calf to buy directly from a farmer. I knew all that we would be able to afford was a bottle calf, and we want the experience anyway. There are never any calves in the paper, only $1000+ cows and bulls. I checked to BB of a couple of feed stores and didn't see anything but horses and goats, etc. How does someone who is new to the area find a calf?
    I thought that the dairy bulls would end up being the least expensive, but at the auction we went to the beef calves were actually going for less so we got an Angus (he's black anyway). He appears very healthy, shiny coat, bright eyes, no scours, straight back, etc. He resisted the bottle for his first couple of feedings, finally got the hang of it today. I'm guessing he is a couple of weeks old. Being a beef breed I am assuming his mom died or rejected him. As good as he looks I am also assuming he got colostrum and was on mom for a while. We got him for $170. I am standing by with electrolytes, antibiotics, etc. What amazed me was that some calves that were obviously sick were going for $140-$150. One calf looked good, but when I was watching her before the auction she was coughing. She went for $300. My husband and I looked like the only ones there that weren't pretty experienced at all this, so what are these old guys thinking? I am a vet tech so I'm pretty experienced at what a sick (zoo) animal looks like, but I figure cattlemen should know better than me what a sick calf looks like. Aren't they taking a really big risk getting something that is obviously sick? I felt like we were taking a huge risk, but I'm hoping with my vet background I can pull him through if he gets sick.
     
  2. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I feel that a person takes a huge risk any time they buy from a sale barn. You have no idea what the seller's operation looks like, how clean their operation is or isn't, what diseases they may have that you don't want. I know of people who have suffered great loss of their own livestock from diseased animals brought home from the sale barn. I also share your shock and dismay over people who will willingly pick the sickly looking animal to save a few bucks. That sickly little beast may be the most expensive thing you ever brought home. I know many people have good luck with sale barns but everything isn't always as it seems so it truly is a buyer beware situation.
     

  3. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I would not have taken the risk if we had any other cattle (or other ruminants for that matter) at home. He is our first calf. Question is when can I stop holding my breath that he will come down with something he was exposed to at the sale? The vet I work for doesn't recommend any vaccines at this time, (too late, and won't work anyway if he had colostrum because mom's antibodies will interfere) so I am standing by with antibiotics and supportive care if needed.
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If the little guy has had colostrum and continues to look bright and healthy, I'd think that in about 10 days, you could feel pretty secure about his chances for survival. You have a good background so you should be able to notice something comming on before it becomes an emergency.
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    After about 2 weeks (holding time from any fair as well), you should be clear. Pneumonia can carry 6-10 days after exposure or so. Sometimes you can get lucky at an auction, and you might have lucked out :).


    Jeff