Need advice and information

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by quailkeeper, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I just found a registered Guernsey 3 year old cow who will calve in March for sale for $750. She is bred to a reg. Guernsey bull. She was a wonderful milker last year maxing out at 10 gallons a day. The guy who owns her seems really nice and is someone who is getting out of the dairy business. My parents and us want to go in halves on her and share the milk. Everything sounded perfect until I asked why so cheap. He said she was the only cow he had that the auction would not take. So I asked why. He said that all of his cows (70 head) were tested for Johnes disease. She was the only one who came up positive, but he immediately had two more tests done and they both came back negative. The auction still would not take her so he said he would sell to me much cheaper than normal. Most of his heifer calves sell for $1300. My question is could the first test be a mistake? How accurate are they? Is this something I should be concerned about? What should I do? I really want a milk cow and she sounds perfect except this one thing. I don't have any cows so there is no concern for her infecting anything I have except maybe sheep? Can sheep catch this or get something else from being around her?
     
  2. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Was the first test a blood test, or a fecal? The fecal is almost 100% accuate (like 99.9999 something). The blood is not quite as accurate but takes less time to run the tests on. The fecal can take as long as eight months before you get the results back because it waits for everything to culture.
    Farms taht can afford it will cull any animal that comes back positive for the blood regardless of whether they are negatvie fort eh fecal. We can't afford to cull like that. We have been testing for about nine to ten years now and have had six positives fecals and quite a few positive bloods. We even had a cow die from it about six or so years ago.
    It is a very serious disease, and her calf, if she is really positive will pick it up and shed the disease.

    However, we have kept our blood positives that turned out negative,a s has the school I have worked at and they have been negative for five years straight now, with a few blood positives that ended up negative.

    We have quite a bit of experience with this and if you want to ask more sepcific questions, pelase feel free to.

    Here is a very good informational site.
    Johne's Information

    Edited to add: Ask him how long he has been testing for Johne's and if he has had any positive fecal tests in the past. If he has been clean for longer than five or six years I can't see much reason for not buying the animal. The bacteria that causes Johne's takes a coupel of years to seep into the ground and it requires a huge amount of the bacteria to infect an older animal (though they have managed to infect clean steers). They are still learning about the disease, which makes it all harder.
     

  3. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Quail,
    Roseanna has given you a lot of good information. I'm not a vet, but I would not buy this cow. Johne's can infect any and all ruminants, so sheep would be at risk as well. There is also some belief that Johne's may be associated with Crohn's in humans.
    Without knowing the type of test (fecal vs. serology) and specifically what type the test was, it is hard to assess the likelihood of a false positive. Do you know whether this cow was in the farmer's herd since birth, or did she come from an outside herd.
    Do you know whether the farmer's herd had had previous Johne's tests? Specifically, if he has been in a Herd Status Program?
    Johne's is a huge concern among U.S. dairymen. Minnesota has a well-established HSP, and we're at Level 4.
     
  4. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    quailkeeper..........i do not want to buy this cow i am in missouri and i think you are in arkansas...could you tell me the color or any marks she might have......so if a friend of mine comes up with her i will know her....i have friends all over looking for me milk cows..dont think they will run her though sell barn but.someone might buy her from your guy then try to sell her to me...thanks john
     
  5. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I called him back and asked about the fecal test. He said that the first
    test was a lactose test (?) or something like that. That is the one that came
    up positive. Then he immediately had a fecal test done and it came back
    negative. Then he had a blood test done (he said the name but I forgot) and it came back negative. So what do you think?
    Sorry myers I haven't seen the cow yet, its in Oklahoma and I thought I would check out the Johnes disease before I looked at her.
     
  6. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    He also said he was in the DIHA? Dairy Improvement and Health Association? Did I guess right :haha: ?
     
  7. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No clue what that first one was. The fecal is the most accurate test out there, right now. I would be more interested in what the herd history is like, though. With a negative blood test as well, I would not rule her out immediately.

    DHIA is Dairy Herd Improvement Program, but that is for testing milk.
     
  8. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I think I am making the guy mad. I have called so many times. When I go to look at her I will ask about his testing history. But I also asked how long he had her and he said since birth. Was the first test one of those test were the detect the bacteria that causes Johnes in their milk? How accurate is that one? I'm sooo glad he had a fecal test done or I would have already given up on her. About how much does one of those cost? IF I do buy her I intend to have another one done.
     
  9. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dad says he would feel comfortable purchasing her based on the information you have. Find out his testing history just to be sure though. :)
    As far as costs for fecals, I have no clue. I would check with your local vet to see about costs. We are in a program (have been for about a decade now), and I believe we only pay the cost of the vet and shipping, but the actual testing is covered by the state.