Young heifers look thin & scruffy

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by BJ, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

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    We've got two 10 month old heifers (angus/limo) cross. Both got off to good start with lots of milk from their mother. Since weaning they have not put on the weight we think they should. They look gaunt and have not shed their old hair. We have been feeding grain and alfafa hay along with a big bale of mixed grass & clover. They don't seem to gain weight. We are planning to keep these heifers as replacement stock .... what can we do to improve their condition before winter arrives??????:cow:
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Your description seems to be a classic case of parasites. Get a pour on ivermectin wormer and apply following the directions and apply a second time after the eggs hatch following the initial worming.
    This time of year at 10 months of age the heifers should be fat and slick and should weigh not less than 600 lbs each. I would be expecting to breed them within 5 months and would want them at 750 or more by then.
     

  3. ONThorsegirl

    ONThorsegirl Fergusons Family Farm

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    It does sound like it might be worms but also...
    it is funny you said Angus/Limo, we bred the same cross and the calves were nice looking when small but the heifers as they got older looked thin and scruffy, they never did get all that big, one is so ugly looking, curly hair and small boned. They have been vaccinated and wormed every year but still don't look as good. We wont breed to Angus Again, we no have a Limo bull and that is what we are sticking too.

    Melissa
    I know I didn't help much but thats what we have seen.
     
  4. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

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    All summer we have used a "rub" to help control flies. The pour on we used did contain ivermectin. Do these rubs not leave enough residue to control parasites too? If not, guess we'd better plan on running them through the chute and use pour on directly. We do have vet give deworming shot...but guess we need to follow up with pour-on. What about the de-worming blocks?
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi BJ,
    I go with Agman on this. Calves have little natural immunity to worms and need to be drenched (either oraly or pour on) at weaning with a follow up at 6 weekly intervals as well as being moved on to fresh pasture every two weeks. The worm cycle is approximately two weeks and therefore animals should not be put back into a paddock within that time frame if at all possible. Also calves are very picky eaters so they should go on to the best pasture you have and be moved around as frequently as possible.

    Sorry Melissa, in my opinion it has nothing to do with the breed - or in this case, cross breeding, but more to do with management. As old-fashioned as the Angus may be, they still rate as one of the best beef breeds to own and take the cake for easy calving and good doers even when crossed with other breeds. I use an Angus bull over my dairy cows some of which are cross-bred themselves, and produce very nice calves which grow into equally nice animals.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. MississippiSlim

    MississippiSlim Well-Known Member

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    Look at their teeth. As a cow moves into adolescence they get "Poor Mouth". They lose milk teeth and have a problem cropping grass therefore get poor looking. Or so I have been told....
     
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    This can be so - another reason they should be put on the best grass available. This period is shortlived and deterioration in calves after weaning is still usually caused by insufficient attention to drenching and feed requirement.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    BJ, never would I use an ivermectin product on the cattle rub where I was trying to control flies. I do know that the ivermectin would give fly protection but I do not want the parasites building an immunity to the ivermectin. Small undersized dosages are what creates the resistance to products. This is how crops are developed to Roundup resistance and this is what has happened to ear tags used for fly protection. I strongly suggest that you go to the maximum dosage permissible when treating these animals since they have had exposure to continuous small amounts of ivermectin. Do not use the feed blocks, the wormer in the blocks is not a broad spectrum product.
     
  9. Cravenwas

    Cravenwas Member

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    You should use an ivermectin pour-on or injectable. It controls both internal and external parasites. To my knowledge it does not work as a fly control, and should not be used in an oiler for the reason given by agmantoo.
    What kind of grain are you feeding and how much?
    We feed our heifers oat chop. We start pail feeding as soon as they are weaned and gradually increase the amount till they are eating free choice. The calves also get the best alfalfa hay we have, also fed free choice. Be sure they have free choice salt and mineral as well. If your area has selinium deficcency in the soil be sure your mineral has selinium in it. The last few years we have used protein blocks as well. They usually clean up the first one fairly quickly due to the weaning stress and the fact they aren't eating as much as they should right after weaning. We wean the end of September to mid October. All heifers (and cows) are exposed to the bulls mid March. The heifers weight 750 to 950 (depending on their birthdates) at this time. If we want to keep 15 replacement heifers we will expose 20 to the bulls. Most years we have 5 bred heifers to sell. Occasionally 1 or 2 don't catch and these are sold as feeders.
    We have been raising our heifers this way for the past 12 years and have had very good success. We still have some of our original heifers in the herd today. They are 12 years old and still producing strong heavy calves each year.
     
  10. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

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    Ok...I was wrong...the rub chemicals did not include ivermectin....now we are looking to inject Ivermectin as we have heard that is better than pour-on. We have been feeding a sweet grain and alfalfa as well as mixed grass hay. It's got to be parasites as even the fat heifers are now starting to look thin. Got to get their weight up before winter. So guess we need to start a concentrated feeding effort. How about adding soy meal to their grain....or corn?