I have an opportunity to buy a registered Holstein that's being culled from the herd where I work. The auction is this afternoon! She's a 3rd lactation cow who freshened in November. The farmer has been unable to get her bred since, which is half the reason he's selling her. The other half is that her milk production isn't up to par. (Right now she's at 28# at 252 days, down from 39# last month). However, she never empties her udder into the tank -- we always have to strip her out afterwards. So that number is somewhat deceiving. She had mastitis after her last freshening, but I suspect that had something to do with her not always being stripped out adequately. She's cleared up since the latest night milker started, and her cell count at last testing was low. She'd be a wonderful cow to hand-milk, as her teats are big and the milk simply POURS out of them! I've often thought, while stripping her, what a nice homestead cow she'd make. The possibility of infertility scares the snot out of me, though. The farmer didn't go into why she might be having problems conceiving, or what (if anything) he's done to try to rectify the situation. I'm wondering if the fact she is VERY overweight might be a contributing factor? It's not easy in a commercial dairy to manipulate the diet of a single cow ... but I was thinking if I bought her, I'd turn her out for the winter with my neighbor's beef herd, and let his Angus bulls work their magic. Sure, a crossbred calf wouldn't be worth as much, but if I could at least get her bred ... The other sticking point is I'm sure I'd have to give $1,000-1200 for her even at a slaughter sale. I'm guessing she will tip the scales at around 2,000 pounds. (Did I mention she is huge? ) That's a lot of money to gamble ... OTOH, my boss said he paid $2500 for her at a dairy sale. Well, what do ya'll think?!