Newbie goes cow shopping

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by SherrieC, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2002
    I have a chance to buy a jersey(in milk and bred), but I hav'nt the foggiest idea of what to look for in a cow health wise for instance the diseases it should have been vacc for or any identification program or health tests they may need. Any advise appreciated. :worship:
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Vaccines depend on the area you live in, but usually a "4-way" which is for BVD (bovine viral diarrhea), PI3 (parainfluenza3), BRSV, and IBR (respitory diseases), plus Lepto. The product I use is Cattlemaster 4+VL5.

    They also get a 7-way, which is for the clostridal dieseases.

    She may have had a bruccelosis vaccine, in which case she would have a metal tag with a number in her ear. If she has not, it's too late, but not a big deal anymore.

    If you are unsure of her vaccination history, you can vaccinate her again. Be sure to check that the vaccine is ok for pregnant cows. Some vaccines will cause her to abort. I always vaccinate new cows, regardless of what I've been told about them. I also worm them on arrival.

    Your local vet is the one to ask about what vaccines you need in your area.

    You can also ask for a health certificate from a vet. This is usually required if she's going over state lines. That will just mean the vet doesn't see any signs of current illness. They should also mouth her (check her teeth to estimate age and make sure she has a solid mouth). I also insist on a preg check for bred cows. You'd be surprised how many "bred" cows...aren't!

    A health certificate doesn't ensure she'll be a good cow, just that she's not currently sick. You need to look at her feet, her bag and her general condition to see if you think she will be a good cow that has years of working left in her.

    I, personally, will not buy a cow from anyone who mentions trimming hooves. Many people do, but I'm not one of them. She should walk up on her hooves, solidly. Her legs should not stick out or in from the side or back and forth. They ought to be straight under her.

    Her bag should have good shape, with nice teats hanging down. Avoid "turnip teats", sagging bags or anything that looks like it needs a sports bra!

    Her coat should not be rough (unless she's still dealing with winter coat) or patchy. Ears up, eyes bright.


  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Besides her health, since you will milk her by hand, you should sit down and milk her at her regular time to be milked. Some cows can milk very hard. Require hard squeezes to get any milk to squirt out. Others can be fairly easy to milk. If her teats are short enough that you can't grip them with at least your three largest fingers, that makes milking more difficult. If she kicks or stomps around, that is a negative. One you milk by hand should be your friend, not your enemy.