What Wrong with our Cows?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by ONThorsegirl, May 22, 2006.

  1. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario
    What’s wrong with our Cows? Beef Cows….

    Normally our Cows are fat and healthy, doing Good. Well this spring we have noticed that 2 of our cows are thinner than the rest, doubtfully looking bred. And they seem to have a bit of the runs. One of the girls is a Limousin/Herford Cross, she is 4 years old. The other Cow is a Holstein/Limo/Herford. She isn’t a very big cow but she does well normally. She is about 7 years old.
    The 4 year old we brought in to the barn yard threw the winter because she didn’t seem to be looking to good, we fed grain and they had hay all the time. She was kept with some yearlings who we were giving grain to. This cow never seemed to get any better and she had the runs, a dark colour not like scours in calves or anything just liquid manure (well it wasn’t the texture of water but still very soft). This cow is normally very good. She raised an excellent calf, very nice calf, and she raised it to a very good weight, we originally thought that she just put so much into her calf that it was draining her. So we took her calf off of her and let her go the winter with just filling their stomach. The cattle have hay, water and salt block out to them at free choice. The Cows normally are in very good shape right now to get ready for calving. We don’t normally grain, but we do feed them a pail of grain every once and a while. When we take them off our farm and onto our rented pasture land they get a pail of grain everyday when we check on them.

    Our Grain is called Coarse Mix Grains, it is Barley, Corn, and Oats mixed together with Molasses. There is no added vitamins, or supplements.

    Do you think our cows are lacking something? If so what do you think would be best to give them? What do you all think is wrong with these 2 girls? The Rest of our cows are good, Fat, healthy, in calve but the look of them anyway, they are in real good shape. It’s nice to see them look so good, but these other 2 girls are upsetting.



    Melissa
     
  2. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,293
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    wisconsin
    when is the last time you wormed or had the worm load checked? This is the only thing that comes to my mind but im just a rookie.
     

  3. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario
    We don't normally worm the cows but every calf is wormed at a year old. We have never had a need to do it before. We are tryiing to set up a worming schedule to get things in a routine now, starting this year to use as a percaution. Whats your worming schedule like?

    Melissa
     
  4. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,293
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    wisconsin
    once in spring and once in fall. How often do you rotate their pasture?
    They pick up worms and parisites from the ground.
     
  5. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

    Messages:
    3,841
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Location:
    KS
    Your description sounds like a chronic condition as opposed to an acute case of diarreha. It is possible they could have a heavy worm load as myheaven suggests.
    However, if the dark colored liquid manure has a distinctive sickly sweet odor to it, you may be dealing with ParaTuberculosis, more commonly known as Johne's Disease. The symptoms are as you describe.
    You could try deworming with an application of pour-on Cydectin product, which handles internal and external parasites, and will keep flys off for a while.
    Given the history you have described, I would have a Vet test them for Johne's Disease. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no cure for this disease, and it is fatal. hopefully your cows don't have it, but I would test and find out.
     
  6. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    Two questions, one when you mention salt block do you mean a while salt block or a brown mineral block? If it's white and there is no mineral source this could be a mineral deficency. Second thing is as mentioned above, I worm ours at least once a year, a large worm load could be keeping these cows from maintaining condition as you describe. You can get pour on wormers, injectable wormers, worming protien blocks you name it. Easiest thing is if you can get within arms reach of them get a pour on and put it on them TODAY.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Edit: What vaccinations do they get? At a minimum ours get blackleg-7 way and lepto-5 way every year for the females.
     
  7. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,049
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ouachitas, AR
    I agree with Upnorth, Johnes disease was the first thing that came to mind from your description. Have them tested asap!
     
  8. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,104
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    TN
    I thought Johne's when I read your post too. You need to get a vet involved asap. Johne's is contagious. It can remain viable in the soil for a year or more. Young cows exposed to it may show no sign of the disease until the stress of their first calving, then get very sick very quickly.
    Johne's destroys the small intestine, making it difficult for the animal to digest food. Hence the diarrhea and weight loss. There is no known cure for the disease.
    There are claims by grassfeeding proponents that if the animal is fed only grass and a good mineral that they can recover. I don't think there's been any official research on that though.