Home Crop Monitoring Risks in Purchasing a Pregnant Cow

Risks in Purchasing a Pregnant Cow


When some ruminant farmers ask if I can recommendation their shopping for a pregnant cow, effectively I gained’t actually say is such a unhealthy concept as a result of it’s possible you’ll be fortunate the animal could offer you a excellent end result whereas alternatively, it could become a drawback.

I’ll personally counsel towards it as a result of if a pregnant cow is useless, the that means is that you’ve misplaced the cash that might have been used in buying about 4 to five weaners and since we’re right here to determine how we are able to make earnings from our agricultural investments I cannot recommendation you to take such danger right here at “Agric4profits”.

Nonetheless in the event you should purchase a pregnant cow, sheep or goat, it’s essential to get ample historical past of the animal.

For example, What number of instances has the animal delivered earlier than, has the animal aborted earlier than, what was the earlier reproductive interval and so forth. additionally, be sure to know the explanation why the farmer is promoting the animal.

Is it as a result of he wants cash or is there a drawback with the animal? All of those have to be ascertained earlier than shopping for the pregnant cow.

What Makes a Good Cow?

In fact, in your first few animals, you’re not on the lookout for a show-quality cow.  Nonetheless, you do need one that’s wholesome.  Listed here are a few traits of a wholesome animal:

Eyes:  The eyes must be shiny and clear.  Keep away from shopping for a cow with a mucus discharge across the eyes.  This will likely point out pinkeye.

Nostril:  Likewise, keep away from animals which have copious mucus coming from their noses.  Just a few beads of moisture on the nostril is okay, however the cow or calf shouldn’t be snotty.

Respiratory:  Animals ought to breathe usually.  Panting is regular on heat days however the animals shouldn’t be continuously coughing.  Some coughing could also be regular if the farmer is feeding powdery feed or dusty hay.


Conformation:  Male animals ought to look masculine; females ought to look female.  Keep away from shopping for cows that look “manly.”  They might be much less fertile and even infertile.  Steers ought to have each testicles eliminated.  If one is current, you’ll be able to have a vet take away it, however maintain that in thoughts as you cut price for worth.

Coat:  The coat of a wholesome animal must be easy.  In winter, it’s regular for the coat to be thicker and fuller, however the animal shouldn’t have bald spots.

Learn Additionally: Ruminant Animal Wounds, Causes, Remedies and How one can management it

Risks in Purchasing a Pregnant Cow

Udder:  One of the best cows ought to have 4 quarters which are pretty related in measurement.  A cow with one “dead” quarter can nonetheless produce loads of milk for her calf.  Nonetheless, in the event you plan on advertising and marketing contemporary milk in some unspecified time in the future, it’s possible you’ll not need a three-quartered cow.

Additionally, maintain in thoughts that a three-quartered cow could have had mastitis in the previous and could also be in danger for it in the longer term.

A useless quarter isn’t essentially a deal-breaker for many homesteaders, however it could be a issue that you just maintain in thoughts as you discuss to the farmer.  Dairy cows ought to have well-formed udders which are properly suspended from the physique.

Keep away from beef or dairy cows with poor udder suspension.  Moreover, guarantee that the dairy cow has teats that may work together with your desired milking setup.

Some dairy animals have teats which are too small to exploit by hand.  In the event you don’t have a machine, don’t purchase a cow in the event you can’t wrap three or 4 fingers across the teats.  Weaned heifers ought to have small undeveloped udders with little teats, half the scale of your pinky finger.

Physique:  Beef animals, each cows and steers, must be beefy.  They need to have well-developed muscle tissues in the shoulders and legs.  Their legs must be sturdy, well-balanced, and straight.

Each beef and dairy cows ought to have straight backs that aren’t swayed.  Dairy cows can be a lot slimmer than beef animals, however they shouldn’t seem like strolling skeletons.  They too ought to have straight, robust legs and transfer easily as they stroll.

Disposition:  Keep away from any animal that appears loopy, imply, or wild.  Beef cows are typically extra flighty than dairy animals, however they shouldn’t bolt in the event you or the farmer walks quietly amongst them.  Disposition is very necessary for dairy animals that you may be dealing with on a day by day foundation.

The easiest way to find out what makes a good cow is to take a look at numerous them.  Have a look at numerous footage of cows, each present cows and non-show cows, and begin to decide what commonalities one of the best cows have.

You probably have a farming neighbor, discuss to him and ask him to indicate you his finest cows.  One other great way of training your self is to take courses that many agricultural extension companies supply.

Associated: Impact of Tropical Local weather on Animal Parasites, Vectors and Ailments

To persistently obtain a excessive stage of cow reproductive effectivity, administration is required that outcomes in:

  1. a excessive proportion of cows turning into pregnant early in the optimum conception interval,
  2. being pregnant testing to take away non-pregnant cows or cows that conceive late, and
  3. making certain excessive cow and calf survival via to weaning, throughout which period pregnancies for the following calf crop are established.

The next are among the key components of administration required to persistently obtain excessive reproductive effectivity. Every of those components is mentioned in extra element in different paperwork.

Managing cow situation

Managing cow situation is a key element in bettering reproductive charges. Poor diet is commonly the main explanation for sub-fertility in breeding herds in northern Australia.

In the course of the dry season a lactating cow’s nutrient necessities normally exceeds what she is ready to eat from the pasture. As a end result cows lose physique situation, after which have issue conceiving following calving.

A cow must be in situation rating 3 or above (on a 1–5 scale) at calving if she is to get again into calf once more inside the 85-day window to supply a calf every year (i.e. inside a 12-month timeframe).

Physique situation of the cow on the time of calving determines how quickly a cow begins biking and conceives post-calving.

For many companies, the key methods in sustaining cow physique situation throughout each moist and dry seasons are:

  1. Cattle management (to enhance administration capability)
  2. Pasture administration: applicable pasture utilisation (feed accessible)
  3. Weaning administration (to take away stress of lactation)
  4. Mating administration (to cut back dry season lactations)
  5. Strategic supplementation (to appropriate dietary deficiencies).

Cattle management

Cattle management is primarily a perform of fencing and the capability to muster and deal with cattle as required. The place primary administration will not be passable, higher-order administration corresponding to seasonal mating turns into proportionately harder and fewer environment friendly.

Pasture administration (feed accessible)

Applicable pasture utilisation and ample distribution of good-quality water factors is elementary in managing cow physique situation and reaching persistently excessive reproductive effectivity.

Learn Additionally: Methods to Fatten Ruminant Animals Sooner

Weaning administration

Weaning is vital in managing the time period a cow lactates.  A lactating cow requires significantly extra vitality and protein than a dry cow. Weaning removes the stress of lactation which in flip lowers a cow’s dietary necessities and reduces physique situation loss.

An enormous quantity of analysis has proven that lactation additionally suppresses biking. A cows’ probabilities of biking are improved just because the suckling calf is eliminated.

Managers should time weaning to realize one of the best compromise between weaner progress and lack of cow situation. Astute managers begin weaning earlier than cows begin to slip, and time weaning rounds to minimise the diploma of situation loss in lactating cows. Particular dietary supplements are wanted for younger weaners to satisfy their dietary necessities for his or her progress.

Regardless of well-established folk-lore, analysis additionally exhibits that short-term weaning for 48-72 hours by itself has little or no important fertility profit.

Mating administration

If infrastructure growth permits, seasonal mating will markedly help lactation interval administration and general enterprise effectivity. The important thing goal of seasonal mating is to cut back the interval of lactation in the dry season.

It will protect physique situation, assist wholesome egg growth and ovarian perform for biking, and enhance herd reproductive efficiency. Mating must be timed to limit or get rid of dry season lactations.

Strategic supplementation

Dry season dietary supplements ought to solely be used to reinforce efficient administration, not as a main administration software to handle diet. Below poor pasture situations in the dry season when crude protein (CP) ranges perhaps as little as 5%, the pasture food regimen doesn’t provide sufficient protein to satisfy the wants of a mean measurement lactating cow.

At 5% CP this dietary deficit in protein could also be in the order of 480g. A 30% urea complement will solely provide 172g of protein if 200g per day is eaten. So for lactating cows it’s troublesome to appropriate this dry season protein deficit with a urea dry lick.

For a dry cow it’s simpler to appropriate the dry season deficit in dietary protein, because of the decrease dietary necessities of a dry cow.

Learn Additionally: How one can castrate Ruminant Male Animals, the Risks concerned and How one can sort out it at one of the best age

Holding situation on pregnant and lactating cows retains the ovaries in a prepared state to cycle. If cows are allowed to lose situation it’s typically too costly to get well sufficient situation to warrant any will increase in pregnancies throughout lactation.

One exception is Spike feeding the place an vitality focus is fed to cows throughout late being pregnant for 50 days earlier than calving throughout a interval when cows would in any other case have been dropping situation.

This technique is most economical when utilized to maiden heifers seasonally mated, and the place vitality dietary supplements may be accessed successfully.

Moist season dietary supplements are essential to appropriate main mineral deficiencies, which may impression considerably on feed consumption, progress charges and fertility. The important thing mineral deficiency in northern Australia is phosphorus.

Dietary dietary supplements may help to rectify administration errors, however in most instances, complement effectivity is far larger when based mostly on good administration.

Heifer administration

An excellent heifer administration program is important to enhance reproductive efficiency in the breeding herd. In heifers, age and weight at puberty is extremely variable.

Typically, if well-managed heifers attain 350kg by the top of their first mating, the chance of being pregnant is excessive. Heifers could require supplementation in some years or a particular paddock after weaning in order that they obtain these weights.

As heifers are nonetheless typically rising themselves once they have their first calf, they need to be seasonally mated in order that they calve on the proper time of the 12 months.

Dietary stress is important throughout their first lactation. A heifer that calves on the ‘right’ time for her first calf is far simpler to handle than one which calves out of season.

Being pregnant prognosis

Being pregnant prognosis is a worthwhile software for beef producers and impacts on quick time period profitability via gross sales choices. Being pregnant testing or foetal growing older outcomes will give a sign as to the conception fee in seasonally mated herds, in addition to the calving sample and unfold.

This enables producers to make choices about which cows to cull (e.g. dry empty, late pregnant) and which to determine or segregate. In flip, it assists with choices about retaining extra pregnant substitute heifers or buying heifers or pregnant cows.

In herds the place mating is uncontrolled being pregnant testing additionally permits producers to determine and separate excessive danger cows attributable to calve in the late dry season.


The first infectious ailments that have an effect on reproductive effectivity in north Australia are botulism, vibriosis and pestivirus. Leptospirosis and trichomoniasis are a drawback in some conditions. Botulism and vibriosis vaccination are really useful in most areas.

Prognosis and financially-viable management measures for all ailments must be on recommendation out of your native cattle vet: e.g. vibriosis vaccination is really useful universally in bulls, however solely strategic use in feminine cattle.

Bull administration

A part of the price of producing every weaner is the price of having bulls. North Australian analysis exhibits that no a couple of bull per 40 cows is required (2.5% bulls). Decrease bull percentages allow use of higher-value bulls, however with the proviso that bulls usually are not sub-fertile or infertile.

All bulls ought to go a Bull Breeding Soundness Examination (BBSE) earlier than their preliminary mating. Bulls passing a full evaluation and people that don’t endure damage, illness or mismanagement, typically stay fertile for a few years. Nonetheless, all bulls ought to have an annual check-up earlier than mating, significantly for single sire herds and the place decrease bull percentages are used.

Stress, whether or not it’s brought on by poor diet, relocation, mismanagement of bull teams, or being non-adapted, all trigger sub-fertility. Fertility, and significantly semen high quality, may be considerably suppressed for 2 months or extra till aid from the stress is achieved.

Learn Additionally: How one can deal with Ruminant Animal Ailments

Good managers minimise stress in bulls, significantly in the 2 months pre-mating and through mating. Some methods to realize this embrace:

  • buy and relocate new bulls effectively in advance of mating and acclimatise them rigorously
  • maintain bulls in ahead situation
  • by no means use in extra of 4% bulls
  • cull bulls earlier than they attain 10 years of age.


  1. Purpose for cow situation to be rating 3+ at calving
  2. Keep ample pasture sources
  3. Minimise or get rid of dry season lactation (weaning and mating administration)
  4. Strategic use of dietary supplements
  5. Applicable illness administration
  6. Bull administration (situation and soundness)
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