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While I am waiting....


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I lost my very favorite cow in the whole world a couple weeks ago. She had a disease that is fairly contaigous, that she likely caught from the dairy where she originated.


My other Jersey cow and my Holstein heifer calf both came from other places, but they have to be tested for the same illness. If they are positive, there is no cure. They must be sold for slaughter, as they can/could pass the illness to our beef animals.


Yesterday, I took a vial of blood from both of my cows and this morning I dropped it off at the vets. Won't have the results till mid-week next week, The killer thing is this. Even if there's a negative result, we will ahve to wait a few weeks to get a definitive result while they test the feces with a culture to be sure. So I'll be potentially waiting for weeks to get the all clear.


If they are positive, then they will have to go.


We will also have to test our fall calves from the last couple years, and sell the ones for slaughter that come up positive.


I'm very nervous about all of this. I think a positive result will make me sick. The Jersey is worht about 1200-1500 right now as a milker. Selling her for slaughter will give me maybe half of that. The Holstein baby (this is the one in my siggie) is my daughter's bottle baby. She loves that cow so much. She'll be heartbroken. We will make our money back on her, but that's not my main concern. Not to mention the exposure of our other valuable beef animals. Positive results in our beef herd could set us back years. 


I'm a wreck.

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Ugh, that is awful, I'm so sorry! My grandpa & dad both raise beef (on a small scale; they usually have about 20 head or so). The waiting is the hardest because there's nothing you can DO. Obviously positive results would be devastating, I always do better if I have a course of action.


I do hope you get the all clear and can get back to your normal.

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Oh farmhand, this is hard, the waiting, caring for the animals. Not only are you facing financial losses (potentially) but also the animal itself. If there are positive results, is the illness too contagious to keep your dd's cow even if she is separated from the beef animals? Or would it be just silly to keep a large animal when it cannot produce either milk or meat?


Praying for negatives results across the board.

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  • 2 weeks later...

well, got the results today.


My yearling Holstein heifer is negative.


My mature milk cow, Blossom, who is just now getting in to the prime milking years, who I trained, worked, and finally behaves right. Who finally has teats long enough to hand milk.


is positive.


Previously, I could get 1200-1500 for her.


Slaughter value?


I'll be lucky to get 800 for her.


Here's the kicker.


Vet says that Valentine, despite her negative, could possibly still have it. She may not have been to the point of the disease where she's shedding the bacteria.




What to do.

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