Farmerjan's journal - Weather

murphysranch

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Hi FJ. I was watching some reels on FB and noted several farriers there. Many are working on dairy cattle hooves. Is this a standard practice to take care of dairy cattle feet (if so, how often?), or only if there is lameness?
I've watched stones being removed; a 3" screw, two nails; a tooth; and so on. Thanks.
 
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Baymule

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Hi FJ. I was watching some reels on FB and noted several farriers there. Many are working on dairy cattle hooves. Is this a standard practice to take care of dairy cattle feet (if so, how often?), or only if there is lameness?
I've watched stones being removed; a 3" screw, two nails; a tooth; and so on. Thanks.
I don’t know how often cattle need a pedicure, but my vet has a tilt table for cattle for that reason. That thing is HUGE and operates by hydraulic cylinders.
 

farmerjan

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Most dairies that I test on, and others that I know, will have the hoof trimmer once or twice a year. It depends on several things.... if they are in a confinement dairy, no or little pasture with their outside time being on concrete lots or small dirt lots, and they are milking heavily, the concentrated feed will cause the hooves to grow faster and they will also get corns and sore feet from other things... So they get trimmed more often... YEP cows get pedicures !!!!!
On smaller dairies they go out to pasture more often so it seems to help keep the foot softer which allows for it to wear more evenly.... which seems counterintuitive to the concrete ought to wear it down more... but then they are more likely to pick up "trash" in the pasture... just like I seem to find every single piece of wire or nails or something in my tires.... :th:somad. Cows get corns between their toes, they will get something called a strawberry wart, they get foot rot....not to mention getting a rock between the toes or some "foreign object"; most farmers can treat the simple things in a chute and using a rope to hold the cow's leg up... we do it when trying to find out why a cow limps... the big farms often have their own method of trimming and do some of the ones that seem to have a toe that goes unusually fast...
But for the sake of time and expertise, most will get a hoof trimmer to come. Yes, most have a tilt table... and they can sun a good sized dairy through in 1-2 days of steady work... they are in great demand here and usually twice a year is about all one can fit into his regular rotation schedule for an average dairy.

Cows that have some sort of issue can have a wood block, shaped and made specifically for cow "toes", glued on the good side so it raises the hoof off the sore side... yeah they walk a little funny sometimes... but it is basically a "lift" so the sore side gets a chance to heal from whatever... usually having to dig out some foot rot or something... the glue holds for a few weeks, most blocks fall off with no notice... they are only like 1-2 inches thick so not like they are on a stilt on one toe... sometimes the hoof is treated for something... wrapped in a foot wrap and it will either be cut off, or will start to unravel in a few days... mostly for any medicine they use to have a chance to get into the foot tissues, hole where they cut out foot rot, or treated a strawberry wart with an oxytet and want it to get soaked in good for a few days... can't leave it on too long as it will cut down the circulation and will cause issues once it is wet... but it is like wearing a bandaid with some neosporin and keeping it dry for a day or 2... then it gets wet and you change it or leave it off... keeps it clean for the initial treatment to take effect....

To do say a herd of 50 out of the 100 milking cows... costs are say maybe $10 per cow with the travel and set up etc. Most farmers will call to schedule a hoof trimmer when they see a few with long toes and some lameness... and they will single out the cows needing trimming... It is usually in the 1/3 to 1/2 of the herd going through the barn to make it worthwhile. Some also will take a problem cow to their large animal vet where they usually have better facilities... but some will have the vet look at or work on them when at the farm... many times they will be able to do it in the chute... we had the vet use Rompum, and put the bull down (drugged) to work on one of his feet because he was too big to get through the chute.... it was safer for all and it was easy to deal with him while in LA-LA land laying on the ground... It works FAST... and they come out of it fast so very safe in most cases....it is also used in small quantities to calm an animal that has gone off it's rocker from pain or to calm and get to where you can catch or load an animal... like something that is a total nutcase out in the field and you can't get near... have had the vet talk about having to tranq a few over the years......
 

murphysranch

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WOW. Only $10. Its a lot of work per the vids. Thank you for educating me again.

Edited to add: Just watched one of Hoof GP's vids. The dairyman, he said, takes meticulous care of his herd. He knows every animal and every bit of how they feel. Hence, hoof maintenance to keep his investment healthy.

Very cool.
 
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farmerjan

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OOPS... reread it... and said $10 but it should have been $20. per cow.......
If you are talking doing 50+... that is over $1,000 for one day's work. If there is extra work, like blocks and digging out abcesses or something like that... it is extra... Most farmers I know have a hoof trimming bill of $1-2,000 each trip out... I said $10 but .... MEANT to say $20.... and that might be the "before covid" price... I will ask one of my farmers next time what it costs now to do it. You also have to figure that they can do 2-5 per hour if there is no big problem... It is alot of work... but with the table and all, they can put them through there pretty fast... remember, that on top of everything else...
Now you have me wondering just what the price is......
 

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Been a long weekend... and then today I FLUBBED IT.... forgot I was going to do a dairy this afternoon and they called and I hadn't even thought of them... they are great so not a big problem... but it was just dumb on my part... it was written in my work calendar but I haven't looked at it in several days... it isn't on the calendar I keep at the desk...

Lots going on... DS bought a few feeders on Friday evening...(5 or 6) some singles that were cheap... then we took 23 to the sale on Sat... including 3 of the ones he bought as they matched in size some of the ones we were taking... normally we don't do that but since it was a graded sale, it made sense. We had a hodgepodge... the ones that made the graded pen did VERY VERY good... the heifers brought over $2.00/lb... which is more than the ones we were seeing in the 1.70's-1.90's.... granted these heifers were smaller than the ones we had sorted off when Caleb came to help... weighing in the 375-450 range... and the ones they had picked for WVa were in the 450-525 range....
Sold 3 of mine in a group of 5 that brought over 2.00; had a few singles that did okay.....not great but the dairy influence in them really showed... the 2 steers that were on my nurse cow (1/2 hol & 1/2 angus) did okay but they should have gone sooner as they were starting to grow and were at that gangly stage... and the dairy influenced ones do not make the graded pens so it hurts them. We had debated waiting for next weekend when there wasn't a graded sale as they normally do a little better... but I just wanted them all gone.

They sell the ungraded sale up to 6 p.m.... then sell the pens of graded ones, then go back and sell the rest which are normally the heifers after... then the cull cows.... We had 3 red and red white faced steers that made the graded pen and they brought 2.20 (?) or so... they would have been lucky to hit 1.75 at the local stockyard sale here where we sell our black ones.... the coupld of Charolais crosses also made grade and brought way up there also.....

Well, they sold a group of 28 steers that were about 545 lbs... and they brought 2.27.... same size as the ones we sold a month ago for 2.53... so that got DS to thinking that maybe he should go on and replace the steers like he did last year with cheaper ones to take to WVa.... even though he was planning to take the heifers...when he couldn't find any small groups of bull calves to bring home and work into steers to take and make a group.... and sell the heifers since they are getting higher and higher priced... about a 1/2 hour later they were into selling bull calves and he wound up buying 19 in one group and 14 in another group...at 2.22 I think.... and has now decided to sell the group of heifers they had sorted/graded off and take to the sale instead of taking them to WVa.... it is alot of trading around dollars... but in the end, if the heifer prices hold another week or 2 at least...and the talk among the buyers is it will hold for awhile as there just aren't the heifers out there to buy..... we will have about 22 of one size and 5 or 6 of the larger size that they grouped... to take and if they bring at least 1.90.... we will have less than 1/2 in the steers than what he had figured to have in the heifers... and they will grow faster and make more money in the long run. I am hoping he will use the LRP which is like an insurance on the selling price of the steers... we can lock in the amount that they need to bring based on the futures market prices that are predicted for whatever time frame we want in the fall... and if the market crops, we will get paid the difference from what we get and what we have the price insured for.... it is complicated and I have a hard time fully getting it... but it is something that is like a "floor guarantee" of what we will get, and the % we cover is what we choose now... If the market drops, the cost of the ins comes off the top and if they make what we have on the guarantee, then we have to pay for it... nothing up front... that is the best part. It will cost about $20 to $50 per head to insure the price.... and we can do 1, 3, 20, 50 head... no minimum.... and the level we choose to insure like 65% to 95% of the futures price...
So, in order to "hedge our bets" so to speak, I am trying very hard to convince him to do the LRP... say we want a guarantee of $2.00 lb.... and the market hits 1.80 on the day we sell them.... they will cover the .20 difference... and take the cost of the insurance out of the payment... So if we cover 30 @ highest level so it costs $50 per head...that's 1500.... if we get the 2.00 /lb... that is the value of 1 calf (800 lbs @2.00=1600).
If they only bring 1.80 and we are at 95% then they are covered to bring at least 1,90 so we will get paid .10/lb for the difference so that is $80... and the cost is $50 so we will get paid $30 head for the 30 that are covered... OVER and above what we get for them at 1.80 at the sale... it's complicated as it isn't quite that simple... but DS has talked to a couple of guys and they said they have done all right using it in the past... and will use it again....
The fall prices are saying 2.10 plus... but if this economy crashes... it is going to hurt us if it isn't locked in.... and IF things really go south with the rumors of several countries going to the yuan to pay for oil... we are going to be in real trouble...
If we sell the heifers he was going to graze... and has alot less in these steers since we have these heifers to sell to pay down on the cost of these calves... we do have to work them, so will have about $7/hd in them in bands and shots more than if he had bought the steers... but with the heifers bringing in a sizeable amount to help pay down on these they will be fairly reasonable than if we had kept our steers from before...
It is a gamble... but that is the only way to make any money in these things... you have to know the market and play the game....
The 3 heifers he bought on Friday matched some others and he paid around 1.40 for them and they brought over 2.00 the next day in the groups..... they came home on Friday night and went in the barn and got to eat and had silage and hay and water and he wasn't going to take them but then they looked to match a few others so we did and they helped make up the couple of groups... and made money. So that was a plus....

So, that was our day... we brought home 2 trailer loads... total of 41 head after taking 23 up there... he NO SALED 2 steers that they had put as singles... they are both fairly friendly and come right in so he is just going to keep them and take them to WVa.... they won't match anything but they will help to "bring the others in" since they are well trained to the bucket... they just didn't match anything else we have... and they will most likely be beef down the road....

DS and the ex-husband took 4 kids to the dinosaur exhibit this morning , and got home at about 3... DS kept the little guy (Colt) and the ex took the 3 girls home to play together... (they are 9-13 yrs old) and they fed and such at the barn this eve some... then the sister texted that she would come get Colt but did he want to go to eat at the local pizza/sub place so we went there since I was down helping DS when he was selling some hay to some people this afternoon..... I got home about 7:30 from supper, and am going in to take a shower and get my hair washed as it is so dirty from the dust and all working the cows and being at the sales....

Start over again tomorrow... new month....

The vet is coming to spay the heifers on Wed aft.... and then he will be taking the others to the sale on Friday now... so will be sorting through them again to see if there are any he wants to retain since he was going to take most everything that would remotely match to WVa since we really didn't have enough to go... now he can keep a few he was considering if he wants... there are 1 or 2 of mine, and I kinda wanted to keep the one, so think I will.... plus he picked up a few at the sale that will work for the VT group to spay and take up in a few weeks... but I might just sell it if the prices look to stay up...
He will finish feeding out the silage from the bag out back and clean all that plastic up and then will be able to start on the silage in the bunk if the steers haven't gone to WVa by then.... I think he is hoping to not open the bunk this spring but wait for the fall now... we'll see.

Calling it quits for the night...
 

Baymule

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It sounds like a productive weekend. With what you are describing with prices, up, down, insurance, I have a mental picture of your son juggling steers and heifers. LOL Get the money! In my early twenties, I can remember aluminum cans paying 17 cents a pound—and cattle selling for barely above that. That sticks in my mind because I was picking up aluminum cans on the roadside and selling them. Cans were free for the taking, cattle were a lot of work, thought I had the better end of that deal.
 

farmerjan

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YEP, picking up cans is cheaper, easier, and you can come and go as you please. BUT, it would take A LOT of cans to make over $200/head which is what he is hoping these will average out over the course of the summer. Still the cans were alot less complicated... Too bad they don't bring that now....
 
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