Pre-purchase Testing for Family Milk Cow

LMK17

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I am planning to purchase a nice looking young cow with a calf at her side. Before I bring the pair home, I am going to have some disease testing done. I want to ensure the raw milk is safe to drink and that I won’t be buying any problems that can affect the rest of my farm. The cow is Bangs vaccinated, and the herd has always had negative TB tests. Still, I’ll probably get a TB test just for the peace of mind. Johnes makes me nervous, although the herd certainly doesn’t look like it’s affected, so I will likely order a Johnes test. I’m also requesting an A1/A2 beta casein test, as I want to buy an A2/A2 cow.

What else would you recommend I test for?
 

LMK17

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Yes, it is. Still, that's no reason for me not to try and cover all my bases. Anyway, a trained milk cow doesn't come cheap. If I'm going to invest $$$$ in an animal, I want to make sure I know exactly what I'm getting.

Anyway, off the top of my head, those are the big things to watch for. Just want to make sure I'm not overlooking something.
 

Southern by choice

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Goat Whisperer

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I don't have cattle, but I do own goats and test for Johnes.

I personally WOULD test before bring an animal onto the farm. I know here in NC the test is cheap. I think it would be worth it to test anyway.
Yes, you could purchase the animal and then test BUT if the cow is a strong + you are out the $ and have most likely infected your land.
When we bring in goats we buy from tested herds. Once we get the goats to our farm they are tested again, again 6 months later, and then yearly.
 

Mini Horses

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Since they check their herd, asK for:

Has she been checked for Q fever, BVD (bovine viral diarrhea) & BLV (bovine leukosis virus)? When? Some of these can be spread to humans. Most have no vaccine.

If bulls there, have they been tested for trich (bovine trichomoniasis)? When? (A cow can be infected but not tested) It's an STD which can cause cows to abort. Some States require it annually. With calf on side, probably not an issue but, if re-bred...? So, other than AI, when you breed her be sure bull is clean.

Any illnesses? Get background on her calvings, milking,, etc. Of course you have info about her breeding, registration, and so on.

Test milk her at the farm...for her training to b & your comfort in milking her. Teat size, orifices, etc.

I do NOT know about these infections but, recently got a great and interesting book . These are some of the things that were mentioned and I'm passing them along. :D

Nope...goats & horses, only dreams of a milk cow. :lol:+



REMEMBER -- Pictures....:D
 

farmerjan

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You have gotten some good advise from the "goat people" here. We have cattle. Johnes is something I would test for before I brought her home if there is any question in your mind.
Trich can cause abortions in cattle. However, the cow gets over it. The bull does not. He can continue to spread it. So that is the biggest reason to use AI or use a bull that has been tested free from Trich.
I am not overly concerned with the A1/A2 unless you have a problem with the milk. Most all bulls in the bull studs are tested and it is recorded what their casein is. You can breed for A2/A2 in future generations. That would definitely not be a deal breaker if the cow was gentle, easy to milk and otherwise "clean".
Ask what their normal vaccination schedule is. We do few vaccinations, but anything that we do is STRICTLY KILLED VIRUS. I do not like Modified live virus vaccines. We also do some vaccinations when the cows are pregnant and mlv can cause abortions so the mlv vaccines are totally out here.
From what I understand, Lepto is a big problem in Texas, and feral hogs carry it. Now it is supposed to be a "species specific" thing, but have heard from several Texas ranchers with beef cattle that their cows have tested positive for the porcine lepto... so I would be very concerned about lepto. Use any lepto that has the hardjo varieties and use one that INCLUDES hardjo bovis.... HB .
One of the best overall vaccines, all killed virus, is Triangle 10 HB. Also ViraShield 6 + L5HB. They will cover all the major diseases and give protection to the fetus.
You will also want to use a "blackleg" (clostridial) vaccine on the calf after about 6-10 weeks. The dam will give it immunity for the first 6-10 weeks. Black leg can happen anytime, and will kill the calf in short order. Environmental, and that is one that WE NEVER SKIP. Cheap insurance.
I would do the TB if you want; not something I worry about here. I do Bangs vaccinate all my heifers, beef and dairy. Not a big deal, cattle can be sold anywhere. Another "cheap insurance" type of things in my book.
 

Southern by choice

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Since they check their herd, asK for:

Has she been checked for Q fever, BVD (bovine viral diarrhea) & BLV (bovine leukosis virus)? When? Some of these can be spread to humans. Most have no vaccine.

If bulls there, have they been tested for trich (bovine trichomoniasis)? When? (A cow can be infected but not tested) It's an STD which can cause cows to abort. Some States require it annually. With calf on side, probably not an issue but, if re-bred...? So, other than AI, when you breed her be sure bull is clean.

Any illnesses? Get background on her calvings, milking,, etc. Of course you have info about her breeding, registration, and so on.

Test milk her at the farm...for her training to b & your comfort in milking her. Teat size, orifices, etc.

I do NOT know about these infections but, recently got a great and interesting book . These are some of the things that were mentioned and I'm passing them along. :D

Nope...goats & horses, only dreams of a milk cow. :lol:+



REMEMBER -- Pictures....:D

You have gotten some good advise from the "goat people" here. We have cattle. Johnes is something I would test for before I brought her home if there is any question in your mind.
Trich can cause abortions in cattle. However, the cow gets over it. The bull does not. He can continue to spread it. So that is the biggest reason to use AI or use a bull that has been tested free from Trich.
I am not overly concerned with the A1/A2 unless you have a problem with the milk. Most all bulls in the bull studs are tested and it is recorded what their casein is. You can breed for A2/A2 in future generations. That would definitely not be a deal breaker if the cow was gentle, easy to milk and otherwise "clean".
Ask what their normal vaccination schedule is. We do few vaccinations, but anything that we do is STRICTLY KILLED VIRUS. I do not like Modified live virus vaccines. We also do some vaccinations when the cows are pregnant and mlv can cause abortions so the mlv vaccines are totally out here.
From what I understand, Lepto is a big problem in Texas, and feral hogs carry it. Now it is supposed to be a "species specific" thing, but have heard from several Texas ranchers with beef cattle that their cows have tested positive for the porcine lepto... so I would be very concerned about lepto. Use any lepto that has the hardjo varieties and use one that INCLUDES hardjo bovis.... HB .
One of the best overall vaccines, all killed virus, is Triangle 10 HB. Also ViraShield 6 + L5HB. They will cover all the major diseases and give protection to the fetus.
You will also want to use a "blackleg" (clostridial) vaccine on the calf after about 6-10 weeks. The dam will give it immunity for the first 6-10 weeks. Black leg can happen anytime, and will kill the calf in short order. Environmental, and that is one that WE NEVER SKIP. Cheap insurance.
I would do the TB if you want; not something I worry about here. I do Bangs vaccinate all my heifers, beef and dairy. Not a big deal, cattle can be sold anywhere. Another "cheap insurance" type of things in my book.

Wow, there is a lot to look for in cattle. I have wondered about this because I do have this love affair for cattle. Amazing animals I am just intimidated by their size. Very good info guys! As a goat person I don't know anything about cattle, but do know about Johnes.
Apparently many many years ago in our area there was an outbreak of black leg. Our neighbor vet (cattle vet) told us all about it. It was apparently horrible!
 

Mini Horses

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https://www.thepaleomom.com/goat-milk-benefits-a2-dairy/

I'm adding this site for some decent info about A2-A2 milk as I feel it has some clearly stated information, in addition to the technical. We goat people can better understand why the milk we get is often less "bothersome" by those who has milk issues.

SBC -- yeah, I have the love affair with cattle and "want" a milk cow. That said, the goat berries are easier to clean up and the milk is great, with amounts I can handle. :) Still, every time I see the face of a mini Jersey, it just brings the desire back. I am not going there but, will never not want to.:D =D
 
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