Rescued shorthorn not giving birth well

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by NewEnglandBeth, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    The educational farm just called me, to ask me to spare some time sitting with this rescued cow.

    The cow is six years old, and this is her first calf. The farm workers have no idea why she wasn't bred earlier. They took the cow in with the whole herd three months ago, and she had already been bred.

    She has had contractions for a few days now, with some discharge. The calf is still moving inside her, so hasn't died yet.

    This cow also developed an inflammation in her utter overnight....one of her teats is inflammed.

    The farm won't put her down, but wants to wait a while longer to see what happens with her.

    Is there any advice to pass on to these folks who are trying to keep the animal alive?

    I know it is difficult to pass on advice, especially seeing as no one has really diagnosed what is exactly wrong with her hoofs....except that they are quite overgrown.
     
  2. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

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    Thry've had the cow for three months and haven't trimmed her feet yet? What kind of "educational" farm is this? Rather than calling you to sit with a down cow in labor, they should call their vet. Since they don't seem interested in spending any money on her, the least they can do for the quarter that has mastitis is strip it out frequently to reduce the bacterial population. It sounds like "educational farm" means animal collectors with no funds and no knowledge of animal care.
     

  3. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    ***!!! Go ahead and call the vet yourself. HEck even pay the bill. Maybe these guys need to be reported for animal abuse and neglect!!! First tie her up, or restrain her, and take a thermometer insert it into her anus and get her temp. A digital child one works excellent. Normal should be 101. If it it higher she is running a fever and showing signs of infection. Be worried if it is over 103. As a cow gets closer to calving edema, swelling , will fill the udder vagina, and under her belly. If just one quarter is hot and big strip it out. It should be white or yellowish, not chunky smelly,or watery. Keep her comfortable with hay and water. Really call a vet and humane societey. Here in the Midwest it cost $25 to have the vet come and probably run 150 or less for the total if not really bad. Though these people's heart is in the right place they obviusly have no cattle experience and are doing just as much harm.
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Somebody should act on this gal's behalf. She's likely weak and run down and possibly too weak to deliver on her own (on top of mastitis). By allowing this to go on, these 'caring rescue people' are allowing her to suffer and the conclusion doesn't look very good at this point in time. IF they cared, something more should have been done for her in the beginning. Will they wait till the calf dies inside her and she dies from the resulting infection. I agree with Mary, these people are hoarders or serving their own agenda but they aren't in this for the best interest of the livestock. Shame on them :no:
     
  5. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    From reading the other post, it sounds like part of their agenda is selling Shorthorn milk for $6.25 a gallon. :no:

    Beth please don't think we are attacking you. Bless you for coming to her rescue in whatever way possible, and please keep us posted on how that poor gal is doing!
     
  6. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe they have the experience at all....

    And, whoa....six twenty five is a BARGAIN in New Hampshire for raw milk!!! The local Amway is selling raw milk from a local farm at seven dollars a GALLON!!!
     
  7. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Come on now, guys. Can't you see these Educational Farm people's skills are wasted in the non-profit world? Take away another man's cattle, so you've got no cost for acquiring livestock. Then ask for donations to buy feed (because you're non-profit). Spend your time building website soliciting contributions and getting people to pay up front for milk expected in spring and summer, but don't spend the time or money to care for the animals, because that would just be pesky overhead. Throw in a bunch of talk about biodynamic and organic farming, put in some quotes from that noted agriculturalist Howard Zinn, and sprinkle liberally with talk of how traditional commercial agriculture is bad. I bet the ones running this farm aren't going hungry or in poor health.

    On their site, I like the one photo of some ernest farm worker on a horse-drawn mower, and then look through the website some more and you'll see big round bales here and there. Yep, that's old-timey farming all done with horse-drawn equipment.

    Only thing that puzzles me is how is this sustainable agriculture. Sounds to me like some of these Shorthorns got the deck stacked against them. If you wonder why I often take a dim view of the animal rescuers and some of this organic/heritage breed/sustainable/biodynamic agriculture, this happy horsesh*t is pretty good reason to me. Please show this to people who think these setups are run well and the animals are cared for so humanely.

    I'm just an evil old commercial dairyman who feeds corn and concentrate and uses antibiotics, and I don't have a website full of pictures and self-righteous claptrap, but I know how to care for animals and I do it out of my own pocket. If you don't have the sense or skill to take care of dairy cows, let the pros do it.
     
  8. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    milkstool, we have an equine rescue center that's run very much this way. Oh boy, they started screaming blue murder when they had young horses dying, somebody was systematicallymurdering them. Called the police, demanded an investigation, soaked the public for funds because this had to be a satanic cult at the very least and they needed a reward. Ooops, teehee, sorry folks, the horses died of massive parasite infection and those surgical incisions were brough on by scavengers eating off the carcasses that nobody bothered to have removed. The cost for crying wolf was fantastic, they sold about 30 horses unfit to be with new riders and netted thousands in donations and they mainstream horse people campaign against them regularly but folks still feel good about doing something nice, even if it means keeping dishonest people in business.
     
  9. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    msc, I think what you just did is called a faulty generalization :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  10. SilverVista

    SilverVista Well-Known Member

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    Poor little darlin! If she's been in weak labor for quite awhile, there's also the chance that the calf isn't in position to be born, and she'll just wear herself out squeezing on a calf that can't possibly come out. This is definitely a case for a vet! Or at least a very experienced cattleman, who will probably determine a few details and then call the vet.

    What education is there is watching a diagnosable, fixable situation stagnate until two lives are lost? People who are only able to care for livestock when everything goes right, shouldn't.

    Susan
     
  11. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Your thinking the way organic farming is, is nieve. Some people are very liberal in their ways, and will panic at the sight of saving an animal. You can use antibiotics if the animal is going to suffer, you CAN, and if you do, it can not be milked in the herd. However, if it was a show animal, or your pet, you can still have it on your farm, and there are ways to use the milk, id explain but you seem to know everything there is to know, so you should know the other ways. Organic farming is simple, and many do not get it, and some people have this idea you have to restrict everything. You are one of them, and let me clue you in on it. The basic premise is to not use pesticides, herbicides or hormones, you shouldn't anyways. In fact there are traditional farmers that do not use them, and do well. I know of two, because they do not grow corn silage. The feed has to be grown organically, and it would be nieve to think it is worse than traditional. There are organic farms making as much as traditional farms with milk production.

    The other comment which is fairly petty is the comment about pictures. This one farm we are going to on Monday to look at a brown swiss has a site. He doesn't work on it, but a friend of his did. Every single one of his animals is on that site, all 70 of them. Each animal has its own page. He sells these animals around the world. He isn't organic, but practices it and does well. I find it funny that someone in their 70's, with all this experience can be so nieve. When you commented on all these costs to be certified organic, that was a laugh. One cost per year, and you get 50-70% back.

    But the whole "dim view" of organic farming, ive got a good one. How about a traditional example. Lets see, a free stall barn, with about 100 cows in it with hoof problems, mastitis, frozen teats, etc. That isn't organic, yet problems. That I guess is humane eh? How about a farm with animals, nice animals too, stuck inside, ring worm, and they seem to act lethargic compared to animals outside, in the sun. Thats traditional farming. Funny, traditional farming now adays is not the way it used to be. Organic farming is the way it USED to be, before hormones were developed, etc etc. I am not organic because thats the way I am, it is because it is the way it has always been. A lot of our customers like to buy the hay because they like the fact it hasn't been sprayed etc. Thats another good one, sprayed hay. It is a joke when you put non sprayed hay (preservative) in front of a horse, and then sprayed hay in another corner. Horse looks at it, and prefers the stuff that isn't sprayed.

    But I will agree with you, on one account. If you do not know how to take care of cows, whether it is dairy or beef. You should not bother, some are lucky and grew up around them. Also, some people are good with animals, while some are not. There are also people who have been in the buisness for YEARS, and slack off. Neighbor is in his 60's, and here im in my 20's and do a better job (ive been doing this for 9 years, he has been doing it for 40+ years). Im not saying I know more, but it takes a unique skill to raise an animal. Apparently these people that have the shorthorn, never grew up with cows, and NEVER had prior experience.


    I hope as someone else said to me, people don't go by milkstools rhetoric about organic farming. Research, and think before you speak about it.

    One side note as well milkstool, I dont know if your aware of this, and as it seems unlikely you do not. The organic market is doubling each year. The amount of organic dairy farms in 2003, doubled in 2004. Note the big farms cheating in the article, you brought up organic, so ill bring forth facts. The organic industry is not some small, ridiculous little retarded thing, as you perceive, read some facts man.

    http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/10989625.htm

    This is over in europe, I guess organic is still ridiculous there too :p
    http://www.foodprocessing-technology.com/projects/rachel/
    General organic link
    http://www.agrinews-pubs.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=7965&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=60&S=1
    More stuff.
    http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/producers/dairies.html
    Even more stuff
    http://www.newfarm.org/features/1104/chase_dairy/index.shtml

    I like this part, guess you gotta look down on these too milkstool.

    "In Vermont, the center of the region’s dairy industry, there were three certified organic dairy farms in 1994. By last year, there were 79. Almost all of this growth has come from conventional dairies switching to organic."

    Another bit.

    "Mark and Jeannette support themselves and their two daughters (age 13 and 15) entirely from sales of milk, cheese, veal, beef, and eggs from their 50 hens."

    Interesting, they were traditional till 2000, then began organic in 01, 30 cow dairy, hmmm must be doing a decent job, supporting two kids too. Sure they are making other stuff, but not bad at all.

    For more, do a search online, and if anyone wants to debate this further, im up for a good debate.

    Jeff
     
  12. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    I'll keep on top of this situation, and will most definitely call someone in should the need arise....and I do thank everyone for their input!!! Everyone has been extremely helpful!

    Have a great day! We are about to get a humongous snowstorm up here! hopefully the last one of the season!
     
  13. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Beth,

    Thanks for putting up the contact information for the Farm. If anyone else feels so moved, please donate what you can. Regardless of what you think about the operation, maybe some funds now will help get a better level of care for these Shorthorns.

    Please keep us informed when you have a chance as to whether the cow has calved and how she is doing.
     
  14. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Jeff, I think you might be reading more into our statements that you need. I sure can't speak for Milkstool but I don't think any of us has any problems or issues with organic operations. I keep my operation as close to organic as possible but choose not to become certified because I don't care to have the Canadian federal government running my life and I'm one of few people making money in an incredibly ugly market. I do take exception to these specific people neglecting their cattle and depriving them of basic care and hiding behind the term organic like it's a badge of honor and a license to exploit their animals. No cow on any operation should be run down and this many days into labor without a vet consultation unless the owner has the background and experience to handle the situation. We are stewards of the land and we care for our livestock for many reasons but the bottom line remains the same - our livestock are dependent upon us for their basic needs and their very lives and you sound like you feel the same way about the matter, maybe you just take a different road to acheive that matter.
     
  15. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Jeff,

    Please take a minute and read what I said.

    Only thing that puzzles me is how is this sustainable agriculture. Sounds to me like some of these Shorthorns got the deck stacked against them. If you wonder why I often take a dim view of the animal rescuers and some of this organic/heritage breed/sustainable/biodynamic agriculture, this happy horsesh*t is pretty good reason to me. Please show this to people who think these setups are run well and the animals are cared for so humanely.

    Do you know what the words "often" and "some" mean? I have never defended any operation, regardless of size, that is poorly-run and has persistent herd health problems. Go back and look at my posts. SOME of the several-hundred cow parlor operations have very high cull rates and high rates of laminitis and mastitis, as well as reproductive problems, and these cut into their profits substantially. I have, however, seen several 200-300 cow operations in Minnesota that were well-run and in a couple cases are all-Registered herds. With that said, I'll stand by my statement that I'm amazed by the number of people involved in these organic/heritage breed/sustainable/biodynamic operations that are woefully uninformed about nutrition for calves, bred heifers, and lactating and dry cows. The same holds true for their understanding of animal health and reproductive health in particular. One cow or a thousand, I think it is incumbent for anyone raising livestock to educate themselves about these issues PRIOR to starting up.

    I'll also stand by my comment on the folly of this farm springing for a website and marketing anticipated milk on it while not being able to pay for hoof trimming. Without the health of these animals, you've got no dairy products to market. I understand the crucial role of marketing for those serving niche markets, but I think it's a misapplication of resources to scrimp on health and nutrition. If you disagree, fine.

    You seem to have a burr under your saddle about my questioning the accuracy of your expense forecasts. Fine, you can disagree, but don't put words in my mouth and accuse me of naivete. You jumped all over me for saying that there are costs for organic certification. I never said there are "all these costs," and never commented on the magnitude of the costs, simply stated that there was a time and money cost involved. The way I learned to calculate P/L was that you don't ignore a cost because of its magnitude.

    Likewise, I never called the organic dairy market some small, ridiculous retarded thing. It is small (about 2.25% of total dairy industry sales in the United States), but growing at upwards of 20% per year. The number of certified organic dairy farms is likely growing at a faster rate, but if they are on average smaller operations, then the number of cows in organic dairies or the pound of organic milk produced is a better reflection of the size of the market. So, yes, it is a small market, but certainly not ridiculous nor retarded.

    I understand the economics of dairying, both non-organic and organic, and the bottom line for any producer is to make a profit. If a producer decides that organic offers a better profit opportunities, go for it. Some organic dairies with Holsteins have herd averages of 23,000-25,000 lbs., and that surpasses a great many non-organic dairies, but: (1) I don't know of any organic dairies with 30,000 lb. herd averages and shipping 100 lbs./day of milk; and (2) the objective is profits, not to maxmize production. The exchange in an organic operation is slight reductions in milk production for increases in revenue per lb. of milk shipped and lower costs.

    Organic dairying is not a viable option for me for two reasons: my feed costs would be higher per lb. of milk under the standards for organic certification, and, most important, I rely on sales of my Registered Holsteins for part of my income, and the reduction in milk production under an organic program would put me at a real disadvantage selling in a market where buyers want the best genetics AND elite levels of production.

    I actually have experimented with lots of different feedstuffs in the ration (I haven't fed corn silage to my dairy cows in almost 30 years), I tried BST for three years on one-third of my cows (negligible increase in overall milk production and several of the cows were more difficult to breed back), and I had 150 acres of my cropland in organic production from 1995-2000, but I was only marketing organic corn, oats and food-grade soybeans in 1998-2000. Weed control was extremely difficult, and I was cultivating the corn and soybeans 3-4 times, seeding down rye in the fall to plowdown for weed control. Even without the costs of herbicides and pesticides, and fertilizer, profits were less, largely due to depressed yields. Yields were 45-50% of non-organic on the corn; 35-60% on the beans, and about 85% on oats. Fuel costs rose substantially as my tillage and cultivation passes on a field went from 0-2 to, in some cases, 9. The other major disadvantage of organic grain production comes in marketing the grain. (In many cases, there is only one buyer of organic feedgrains, and the buyer stipulates price completely and contracts for on-demand delivery, so you have to incur drying and storing costs.) Even with the lower operating costs, the organic premium at that time wasn't sufficient to raise profits.

    You are entitled to your opinions on the use of pesticides, herbicides and hormones, but I disagree that these chemicals shouldn't be used anyway. That's a philoshopical statement, not an economic one. If people don't want to consume ag. products from non-organic and GMO, we should have labeling that lets the consumer make that choice. Beyond that, however, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss all herbicides. Roundup (or equivalent glyphosate) and GMO corn and soybeans have significantly altered agriculture. With no-till methods, you can plant corn and follow with a post-emergence application of Roundup. The only pass is for harvest. The savings in fuel expense and equipment is substantial, especially seeing where fuel prices are going.

    The fact that you see weeds in a field that was sprayed with herbicide is hardly evidence that herbicides aren't cost effective. First, no herbicide is 100 percent effective, and second, many herbicides such as Roundup have no residual; they kill what is growing at the time, but not weeds that have not emerged. One approach is to use narrower row spacings so that the crops will canopy more rapidly, starving the weeds of sunlight.

    I recognize that you are not growing beans and corn, so you may not be worried about rootworms and corn borers, soybean aphids and soybean rust, but as an alfalfa grower, surely you must be concerned about potato leaf hopper infestations, especially if you want to take 4-5 cuttings of pre-bloom alfalfa. Scout your fields often because leaf hoppers can devastate a crop of standing alfalfa.

    As for hay treated with proprionic+acetic acid or formic acid used as a preservative, do you understand why this is done? So hay can be put up at higher moisture levels. (Reduces risk of hay being rained on and allows for baled hay that will have less likelihood of mold and significantly less dust.) Do you understand the problems horses have with mold toxicity and some horses have eating dusty hay? Yes, the horses will prefer the untreated hay, that's why you don't offer them both simultaneously.

    In your opinion, organic farming is simple. I disagree here strongly. I don't think any farming, organic or non-organic is simple. It takes constant study and effort to run a successful operation. I don't brag about the type and production of my cows, the fertility of my land, how much money I make and I never said I knew everything about dairying. That's just my take, as I operate in a world in which I have to show a profit to remain in business and I have actually made a profit dairying.
     
  16. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    I don't mean to sound hardhearted, but these people are scam artists. They're operating a business, but they're conning kind souls like Beth to pay their legitimate operating costs (vet care, meds).

    And I have a feeling they're doing this very deliberately ... remember when Beth told us they called her to come down and "sit" with the downed cow? Well, a cow that doesn't like or is afraid of people isn't going to benefit from having someone sit with it. My guess is that they're getting Beth down there so they can play on her sympathies, try to get her to shell out some cash or agree to pick up vet bill. Then, assuming the cow goes on to recover, they can sell her milk for $6.25 and pocket the money ... ALL PROFIT! :no:

    Beth: please put my theory to the test ... tell these people you'll pay for the vet if they agree to give you a bill of sale for the cow. Now, if they're really kindhearted souls who just happen to be financially overextended, they'll gladly give you the cow to ensure she gets the care she needs.

    Why do I have a feeling they will balk at this idea? ;)

    AFAIC, sending these people money will only prop up their operation, allow them to scam more people, and keep those cows in miserable limbo longer. The sooner these people go out of business, the better! The cows then will be sold ... either to dairies that might ACTUALLY TAKE CARE OF THEM, or to slaughter (a quick death is preferable to a slow one IMO).

    I guess this burns me up because, well, ya'll know I do rescue too, but I have never asked anyone FOR A DAMNED DIME! I don't go begging the vet and co-op for discounts ... I didn't try to persuade my boss that he should sell me his cull cows cheap. I pay full market price, and when an animal leaves here, I expect to receive market price for it too, and I have nothing to be ashamed of!

    Also, I have nothing against organics (I garden organically) but it's pretty sad that these cows have to pay in suffering and misery for their owners' convictions that "antibiotics are bad"!

    I'll bet these same owners are quick enough to run to the doctor themselves, and get a prescription for some antibiotics when THEY need it!!!!!! :(
     
  17. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    willow_girl, I agree with you and I've rescued to odd animal myself but I tend to feel much like you do, they will ultimately benefit me, my operation or my family, we are the people who should pay for their care but I also have way too much dignity to be mooching off others. I think these people have a skewed idea of organics, that doesn't mean that animals don't get care or treatment or should be left to die in order to avoid medication and retain organic status.
     
  18. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    If they are a 501(c)3, then they are a non-profit and their tax forms are subject to review and audit. I did a little more searching online and it looks like the farm is run by a woman named Carol Whitson. The web site has an email contact address, if you want to direct some questions that way.

    I wasn't endorsing their methods, but let's keep in mind that none of us are there so we don't know for sure what's going on. It sounds like this Farm started operating in late 2002 or 2003 (not sure), and it is not yet certified organic.

    My feeling is I'll give an amount that' I'm comfortable with. I don't plan to be a regular contributor. In general, my attitude toward charitable contributions is that if they are used for personal gain, then those people will have to stand tall before the man some day, and he'll work it out. If I were planning to give regularly, I'd check it out more thoroughly. Just my $0.02. Since

    I do agree with you, though, Willow, that if they are totally stuck for cash, they should sell down stock until they get a number their donations or CSA subscriptions can cover. I'd rather see 5 cows being well-cared for than 15 getting short shrift. Anybody else interested in emailing these folks and finding out what their plan is, beyond relying on the kindness of strangers?

    EDITED TO ADD: Another option is to make a targeted or earmarked donation give $X but must be spent on vet or feed.
     
  19. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Was up looking at brown swiss today, and he was telling us about 4H kids that come to get an animal and have no clue in how to feed the animal. These 4H kids are willing to buy his calves, at 1000 a pop, as that is is bottom line for how much he charges, expensive little project IMO.


    But I do appreciate your response, and your clarification on what you stated, because parts of it were vague. I realise you said some, and I agree some organic farms rather stay 100%, dont save the animal and it does die (vet was telling us this), and it is unfortunate.

    But costs to make 30,000lbs of milk would be greater, over a cow producing far less. This one farm we went to averages about 11-12,000lbs, or about 40lbs average. He did say he was up to 17-18,000lbs once, but that was when his herd was half the size it is now. His animals he has sold have gone to farms and put out 30,000lbs of milk, but he finds no reason to do so. He also does not push for a higher production because it would cost him more, and profit per cow would be very low. He is making money, vs some of these farms just making enough at current milk prices. He went to a meeting that a local grain supplier had, and that was the consensus among other farmers as well. He also said the DHIA numbers should be based on profit, the person that he said that too that goes to different farms said "you wouldn't see as many on the list"

    As far as marketing animals that are organic vs non-organic. If I raise the animals the same as I have been, and get the solid growth they get, breed them up like others do (ET bull semen or not, it can be used, A.I. is allowed). The animals will have value to them, it is interesting this same guy raises his animals similarly and has some very valuable animals. If people do not buy animals raised organically simply because they think "its organic, naaaa", then thats their loss.

    "Organic dairying is not a viable option for me for two reasons: my feed costs would be higher per lb. of milk under the standards for organic certification, and, most important, I rely on sales of my Registered Holsteins for part of my income, and the reduction in milk production under an organic program would put me at a real disadvantage selling in a market where buyers want the best genetics AND elite levels of production."

    So the one statement can be true if you do embryo transplants, however the place where I bought 4 holsteins, does A.I.. They have some very nice animals, been offered 8k for some of them, and the lady was reluctant at first to sell 1. But did conjure up 6, 4 is all I wanted at 2000 a piece. See, when I bought mine, they are all registered. So my milking herd will be 100% registered, and the ones below them, will be registered. All 4 of those holsteins dams are classified between 85-89. So I have a good base for genetics (been told by several people I bought from the best farms/genetics in the county), and if I play my cards right, keep them fed well (solid weight gain, and growth), I should have some excellent animals. Might be organic, but I will use the very same bulls, that anyone else uses whether it is select sires, or any other source, A.I. is allowed as stated above. Funny part about this, I can stick a non organic animal right next to an organic animal and it flies (rented bull for example). There are odd rules, and one I disagree with is buying animals, a calf @ 3 months, that would be on your farm for 21 months before calving would be 100% organic if fed organic feed for that period. Rules are rules, but some make very little sence, considering an animal only has to be on your farm, from the start (such as the ones I bought), for a year, and fed 100% organic feed for the last 3 months.

    Should be interesting when it all begins, and if I have to ship conventionally, I could do so. But in my case, organic makes sence because for what my grain costs will be, whether it is 350 a ton, or 450 a ton. Locally the price for conventional dairy grain is 250 or so a ton. If I were to figure in what it costs, it is slightly higher. But the fact the conventional market could drop to 13.00, the grain would still be the same. My overall costs would be about the same, my profit would be lower. I figured in a general calculation with the fuel, grain, and power costs if prices did go to 10.00. It left me with very little, scary little. However at 22.00 with organic milk, it left me with a lot more. But I think we can both agree, every operation is different, and some do better than others with their animals and the operation as a whole.


    As far as alfalfa stands etc, ive been in my fields, looking them over, perhaps getting lucky to cut early bloom alfalfa. One big problem that plagues me, weather. Last year there was nice 2nd cut alfalfa ready in late June/July. I planned on baleing it (was cut late May for 1st, this was 2nd, didn't get cut till later on), well it rained and rained, it was chopped late August. Never had bug problems, and im being 100% honest. Never had army worms (elevation helps), only problem we have, is the weather.

    Now with preservative, everyone has their own opinion with it, but all of my hay customers, old and new do not like sprayed hay. Out of all the hay I put up to sell, 99% of it is not dusty. the 1% I leave for any bale stuck in the mow, that had one little bit of green in it because it was the outside row. I dont know, just had a lady try two bales, she was skeptical etc. She asked "can I return hay". I said no, but can make it up to you. Well she took it home, few hours later "Can I buy 200 bales?". Actually she wants to pay for 250, but when anyone does hay, and if you play your cards right (weather), you can put up some good hay, dust free and dodge the rain drops. I do, and my customers love it. I think they like the fact they can feed 1/2 a bale, vs a whole bale due to the size. My bales @ 4.00 a bale, is equivalent to most bales @ 2.00 a bale, and in some cases even more so. Very hard to convince people that they are big bales, but they hear the price and think 2.00 sized bales. But anywho, spray, etc etc. I do think it depends on a lot of things, and Minnesotas climate is different than ours, you guys get bitter cold in the winter, our cold is warm to your cold. You get nasty thunderstorms, we get mild thunderstorms here. You can howling winds, we get breezy conditions. You get some hot weather, while we get hot, but the plains seem to get blasted more than us, likely due to the free flow of air, no mountains.


    I think the best example with the difference in climate/feed. Out west the best alfalfa is made, it is also the area where the majority of grain is harvested, back east alfalfa is hard to make, and made only during the hottest/drought like years. Last year was a perfect example, everyone was stricken with lower than average quality feed, hay wasn't as good, if you chopped early it was good, but not as good as it should be. Corn silage was good, more tons per acre. However some found due to the lack of sun, the overall quality was not as good. It is a big concern I have when I do harvest for when I need some good forage for when I milk. Stuff I have now is good, but not good enough for milking, then again who knows if the forage analysis is off. Was told by someone recently who had theirs done once, alfalfa. It came back with the same energy as corn, and neither he or a nutritionist could figure why it was soo high, almost unrealistically high.


    But back to the topic:


    I would not fund that place, unless the place is run by people who know what they are doing, I see no reason to help it along. What needs to happen is the following, the animal needs to go to a place, and be looked after by someone who knows what is going on. I for one do not like hearing of animals or seeing animals suffer, you gotta think to yourself. How would you feel in that animals situation, would you like it? It is up to us, to care for them, and to go the extra mile if needed.

    If the animals condition does get worse, make a phone call because educational farm or not, they need a reality check.



    Jeff
     
  20. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I went back...the pregnant shorthorn was on her feet, in a pen. She has some clear discharge, her contractions seem to have slowed down. She seemed to have some drooling from her mouth (?). The cows are fed hay only, so I am fairly sure she isn't getting any grain.

    When John, the main farm hand, called me on Sunday and told me about the pregnant cow having difficulty, I think I misunderstood him..... I thought he wanted me to sit with the cow, and when we (my husband and I got there) he and Carol remained in the barn while we visited with the cows. Now, I'm thinking that the main reason we were called was what Willow_girl said....that they want contributions, and are having a rough winter feeding all the animals..... They had my name on their list from my visiting the farm the other day.