Jersey not looking so good!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by barnyardfun, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. barnyardfun

    barnyardfun Happy Homemaker Supporter

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    We bought a Jersey cow about 2 1/2 mths ago from what I would call a cattle jockey. I know now a lot that I didn't know then and probably wouldn't have bought this cow but I did at the time. ANYWAY. Bella (the cow) has bad teeth and her hooves are grown out a bit so I assume that she is older, she had milk when we got her but it was like she was being dried up and didn't have a whole lot (about a quart a milking), she looked a little skinny but not too bad, and I just feel in love with those big brown eyes and wanted to give her a better life. Well......she was easy to milk, I guess she was used to being hand milked, but we dried her up because she wasn't really producing anything. She was open when we bought her but has since been bred and is due to calve Jan 31st.

    Here is my problem! She is getting so skinny I can count every rib!! I can not get weight on this cow! We are feeding her two scoops of what they call Baby Beef (that is what we were told to feed her to get weight on her)every day and she has all the green grass she can eat. WHY CAN I NOT GET WEIGHT ON THIS COW??

    I am really getting worried about her. After we figured out that she is older we were going to put a little weight on her breed her and take her back to the sell barn and start with something a little younger. Now I don't think anyone whould buy her. Should I get some weight on her (if I can) and just keep her till she calves and hope she makes it?? Or send her to the sell barn??

    PLEASE help!! I am new to this and don't know what to do!! I know I sound completly stupid and I haven't wanted to post this because everyone would think I had no right having an animal but I really am trying hard and I want to help her. Please any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Has this little cow seen a vet? What have you done for her since you've gotten her? Does she have salt, minerals and such? Have you treated her for parasites, any vaccinations or possibly vitamin shot? If she's old she might just be failing but you need to supply a few more answers. Are her feet bothering her enough that she's not moving enough to get an adequate amount of grass?
     

  3. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with WR, I would call a vet to come out and look at her for age and if something maybe wrong with her. If the vet thinks she will be alright have someone trim her hooves and feed her as much as she will eat. I wouldn't give up on her too soon if the vet thinks she'll be alright.

    Bobg
     
  4. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Has she been tested for worms? If you're fortunate, this is all it is.

    How does her manure look?? If it is really watery you may want to get her tested for Johne's. If she does come back positive for Johne's, please do NOT take her to the sale barn. She'll need to go to slaughter.

    http://www.johnes.org/
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    wr is right, worming is the first step in putting wieght on your cow.

    I don't have a zillionth of the experience of wr, but I do know that if a grown cow is not in milk or carrying a calf, it ought to fatten on the roughest forage if: it has been wormed, has its mineral needs met, can get around to feed, and isn't sick or dying of old age.

    One must remember too that a "fat" Jersey will just about always look like a sack of bones. Ox drovers won't let their mature oxen have free access to even rough pasture because it makes them too fat to work.
     
  6. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We feed our jersey cow cracked corn and she runs for it! We also get bread at the day old bread store and she loves that.... Somedays, her ribs show and other days, they don't. The breed of cow is just that way. Do you have other cows? If not, I would give her 2 big coffee cans of corn in the morning and see how she does with it..... Mine loves bagels and will bump the others out of the way for them.... Ours produces more milk with more protein (corn) and make sure she has the minerals. If you suspect worms, you can buy a pour on liquid at the feed store and we only call the vet out if it's severe. We have cow practioners around here and they're only $25 versus $100 for the vet call. And they've been raising cows personally and have experienced all this too... Where are you? Anything like that there or is there a neighbor with cows you could get to help?

    Good luck with Bella! :p
     
  7. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    I would get her manure tested for worms and parasites and get the vet out to work on her hooves and check her teeth.

    On top of pasture I would be giving her good alfalfa hay and a high protein grain ration (16% is standard for a dairy cow). Other things that I have found work well to get weight on a thin cow (ours looked awful for about a year after she had winter dysentery and lost about 100 lbs) is 2 lbs of Calf Manna a day and 2 cups of molasses a day mixed into the grain ration. I also feed kelp and salt free choice. You need to ease her into changes in her diet, sudden changes will upset her stomaches and cause you more problems.
     
  8. MissKitty

    MissKitty Mrs. no longer OldGrouch.

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    We got our Jersey from A dairy so she was up to snuff with her shots and wormings...She was also 5 months pregnant...
    We had a vet check her out anyway and keep her shots up to date...Also we wormed her and now use Food Grade DE....
    After she had the healthiest heifer calf she was a bag of bones althought she ate like a cow...forgive the pun..lol..That is just tyical of Jerseys...
    We feed alfalfa and bermuda hay...sweet feed and daiy blend...We also make sure she has fresh cool water...
    I would call a vet and get her checked out ...if she has foot problems she may have been founderd...Just a thought...Let us know how she gets...MissKitty
     
  9. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Something that I had forgotten about is that you should look into your water. Occasionally if cattle are drinking from natural water sources, the water can become stagnant and carry parasites. We bought a little Jersey this year and I do know that the man wasn't all that fond of feeding much but she must not have been getting enough water because one day on good grass and fresh water and she literally doubled in size. Don't forget that all grass is not equal, in some cases, grass can literally but up to a cow's belly and have no nutritional value. I do like the idea of calf manna as a bit of a booster and have used it on many occasions but do start with a small ration and increase as you need.
     
  10. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Have her tested for Johne's. If it's Johne's, no amount of worming, high-quality feed and minerals will save her ... and you will have wasted a lot of money trying!
     
  11. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'd agree with willow_girl, Johnes is not something I've actually ever encountered in all the years I've had cattle but I do know that it can be devastating.
     
  12. Scottland Jerseys

    Scottland Jerseys Active Member

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    If this were our cow, the first thing we'd do is take a look at her tattoo in her right ear and you can come pretty close to guessing her age. This is assuming she has had her calf hood vaccination.

    Next we would worm her and treat her for Coccidiosis.

    How is her manure? Have her tested for Johnes. Cows with Johnes will have profuse diarrhea, eat and eat and eat and gain no weight. But Johnes is not the only thing that causes diarrhea, so don't assume anything without testing her. Diet, worms and Coccidiosis can cause diarrhea and those can be fixed.

    You say you're feeding two scoops of Baby Beef, but what's a scoop? We would be feeding her at least 6 pounds a day of 16% or better dry cow feed and free choice of trace minerals. We would add a couple of pounds of whole cottonseed a day to her grain mix for fat and energy. Sprinkle a probiotic product in with her daily grain.

    Trim those feet or have it done in case they are causing her discomfort and preventing her from moving about and getting enough forage.

    Since she's not close to calving, buy some quality Alfalfa hay and offer her some with her meals. Your forage may not be providing her with the nutrition she needs to gain.

    Good luck.
     
  13. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

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    I agree with willow girl. Please have her tested for Johne's.

    I have heard that if you drink the milk from Johne's positive cows, that you risk getting Chrones (sp?) disease. I do not know for sure about this, but I have read lots about there being a relationship between Johne's disease and Chrones in humans.

    They usually do a fecal test for the Johne's. It takes some time to get the results back. Also, the property where the cow was penned at will be contaminated for a period of somewhere around 4 years. During that time you should not keep any animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, etc. on the same ground that the cow was kept.