JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Monday, 14 July 2014

Selling Cull Cows and Vaccinating

We join the females to the bulls in October each year for three months.  We have shortened the joining to make it easier to manage our breeders and also to maintain a high fertility herd.  If the female we join in October is not pregnant at the end of three months she is destined for the meat works.  With profit margins extremely small in the beef industry we have to be as productive as we possibly can and keep a good eye on our "cost of carry". So selling the non-productive female not only provides us with cash-flow but also gives us more grass that means we can run more productive cattle.
For the last couple of weeks we have been taking cows, that were not pregnant at preg-testing, over to the Mareeba Sale.  We take 6 or 7 at a time in the goose-neck trailer.  Anyone in the beef industry knows that cattle prices are at an all time low at present, barely reaching a $1 a kilo live weight, so we put a reserve price on these cows.  Fortunately they have reached slightly better than reserve so we have not had to bring them home.
Today we not only drafted out the sale cows but we also needled our maiden heifers with Pestivirus and Vibromax vaccines.
Vibriosis is a cause of infertility and abortion in the herd. The disease is venereal and the bulls are the carriers if they have been joined to an infected cow. We have not had Vibrio in our herd but we inoculate as a safe-guard measure. Pestivirus (also known as BVDV) causes abortion, ill thrift in young animals, diarrhoea and respiratory disease. We do have Pestivirus in our herd and we have now tracked down the carrier, so she will be sold once she has calved out.

We needle all the maidens twice before joining and every year after they get a booster shot.

The notepad is never far away!  

We call 261 "Patch"  she is extremely quiet and she has had a calf every year but age has beaten her.

Cow 292 wanted to "eat" us in the yard this morning so I'm glad she's going!

We will load these girls late this afternoon.  Curfew is 7.00 pm the night before the sale.

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