Now what????

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Simmimom

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Jul 29, 2007
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Simmental heifer (born Jan. 06)  bred AI by her breeder (who averages 85% success) in March.  He was concerned about how little discharge she had.  Sure enough 21 days later she's crying along the fence.  Sent out onto a bull on May 31.  Spent 80+ days out there.  They thought they saw her cycling the first week.  Came home in August.  Saw another heifer riding her a couple of weeks ago so sent in a biopryn sample... test says Open.  Won reserve breed champion tonight (county fair)... 3rd last year in Houston.... daughter is a senior and she was slated to go to the Texas Majors, but figure it will be a waste of time and money.  Do we talk to the breeder? (She wasn't free)  Do some kind of testing?  Send her to the sale barn what?  Oh, she has never been fat!!!!
 

DL

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Has she been examined by a vet? Does she have all the necessary pieces and parts? Although biopryn is a reasonable test in heifers I sure wouldn't ship one based on that test alone. A good repro exam including ultrasound would be a place to start. Do you know the bull was good? (ie are there other pg cows from the same bull). She is coming 2 and not (apparently) pregnant despite AI and exposure to a bull - doesn't bode well for her reproductive future

I AI my heifers 2 times max - if they don't stick (assuming no management errors on my part) after 2 times they go - based on my experience it doesn't get any better - good luck
 

Simmimom

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DL... Just the person I was hoping to respond.  Yes other cattle with the bull are confirmed pregnant.  I was planning on running her in to the vet next week.  He has a bit of an attitude about these show heifers... (doesn't think there is money in them because for most people they are just a two year project) ... and usually you don't see him ( just his tech even when you make an appointment with the vet).  I wish my horse or small animal vet was willing to work on cattle!!!!  What do I say I want done?
 

ZNT

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Rhome, TX
It would not be a bad idea to talk to the breeder.  The breeder may not just give you your money back because she is still open, but will a lot of times offer to take her back and try to get her bred for you.  If the breeder is unable to get her bred, you will often be given the opportunity to get your money back, or replace her with another heifer.

So your first step is to get her checked out with a vet, a new one if you have to, and your second step is to talk to the breeder and see if they can help get her bred.

Good Luck
 

Show Heifer

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Jan 28, 2007
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I sympathize with you simmimom, I had a heifer (OK, I still have her) that I coiuldn't get bred last year, and guess what, SHE STiLL ISN"T BRED!!! Not boding well for your heifer...but....
Have her ultrasounded and checked by a vet. Call the breeder and report to them. And go from there...if the breeder is reputable they will try and make it right, although most associations say in their rules that any show heifer is NOT guaranteed a breeder (huh, what does THAT imply??)
Keep us posted!
 

DL

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Simmimom said:
DL... Just the person I was hoping to respond.  Yes other cattle with the bull are confirmed pregnant.  I was planning on running her in to the vet next week.  He has a bit of an attitude about these show heifers... (doesn't think there is money in them because for most people they are just a two year project) ... and usually you don't see him ( just his tech even when you make an appointment with the vet).  I wish my horse or small animal vet was willing to work on cattle!!!!  What do I say I want done?

oh boy - now that is unfortunate, vet techs can certainly do a lot of things but I would prefer a vet to do a complete reproductive exam - ie you want her palpated, ideally ultrasounded, and it might not be a bad idea to ask him about infectious diseases that can affect fertility - you want to make sure she has all her parts (2 ovaries, 2 uterine horns, 1 uterine body, 1 cervix etc) and that they palpate normal. Also ultrasound can sometimes tell you if she might have a low grade uterine infection that is preventing the egg from implanting. If he thinks she might have a low grade infection (why ?? who knows) I would treat her aggressively with an antibiotic approved for use in cattle for uterine infections. A culture might or might not be worth your while. If everything is there and she either doesn't have an infection or you treat her then I would make sure she has been well vaccinated before you turn her out again (ie give her the best chance) - you want to include lepto including the lepto hardjo bovis. I don't know where you are but some of the U vet schools have repro specialists and if your vet is not keen on treating your heifers that might be an option.

I also think the advise you got re contacting the breeder is good...good luck and keep us posted
 

justintime

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have your heifer checked out by a vet asap. if you don't think your vet is going to provide the service you want or expect, take her a few miles further to another vet. After you have had a complete vet examination, and know whether you  have a heifer that has reproductive issues or not, I would advice you to contact the seller and let him know the details of everything that has taken place since you took possession of her. I think it is only fair for the seller to be kept in the loop, so to speak, and  there is probably nothing worse than finding out you are having problems second hand from a third person. I think it is best to always let the seller know what is happening.  It is just the right thing to do.

I know everything we are told by the so called experts suggests that you should never keep an open heifer. I have on occasion kept an open heifer over to breed in the spring, and have found several catch the first service even though they were bred several times as yearling heifers. One of my very best cows, was open as a yearling heifer. She was good enough that I held her and bred her early in the spring. She caught the first service and had a heifer calf  the following year that topped our production sale. This cow has never looked back since and has consitently produced at the top end of the herd. I really have no idea why she would not conceive as a yearling, but I would have lost an extremely valuable breeding female if I had shipped her to market after coming in open as a yearling heifer. In my herd, they only get one second chance in the spring, and only the very top end heifers have an opportunity for a second chance.
 

shortyisqueen

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Having a good show heifer not in calf is about one of the worst feelings in the world. Like others have suggested, the first thing I would do is get her to a vet (preferably one that deals with purebred cattle - if you can get to one that deals specifically with the reproductive system (does flushing, etc), so much the better). It is best to rule out either reproductive or disease problems right from the start - At least then you won't be wondering.

That being said, if the heifer is not in calf now, it may be a big signal of trouble in her future - Not being able to get in calf as a bred heifer usually means things  are reproductively not quite right. You may get lucky by keeping her over...but usually, you don't.  I think the key is asking yourself some tough questions about your goals with your heifer and your herd. If this is a fertility issue, is that something you are willing to risk incorporating into the genetics of your herd in the event that she does get pregnant in the future. If she had a whopper of a steer calf, you may be home free. However, If she has a heifer calf of saleable quality, you have to consider whether you would want to put someone else in the position you are in now.  Would you be willing to risk selling a heifer calf that you knew had the genetics to possibly be a non-breeder and then having to replace her or refund the money? If you kept her, would you be willing to risk feeding the cow for three years till she has a calf, and then feeding the calf for another year and a half to find out her daughters are infertile as well. Would you be willing to risk the damage to your reputation (and therefore pocket book) if you sold a bull out of her that sired daughters that couldn't get in calf.  As the saying goes, sometimes your first loss is your best one, and at my house, not getting in calf as a yearling heifer on a good ration would be a first class ticket to the trailer. Nonetheless,  If you are raising cattle strictly for the show ring, and feel she could raise the next great market heifer or steer -  thus the only thing you are worried about your cow passing on is her phenotype (it sounds like she is pretty great in this area) -  then reproductive soundness is not your concern and keeping the heifer over  an extra year might be a small risk for you to take.

Best of luck with your heifer and here's hoping its just an infection as DL suggested.
 

shortyisqueen

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Alberta, Canada
Although, come to think of it, Doc Hunsley used to speak of tailhead and vulva placement  (in  relation to being more prone to infection and infertility through the actual make-up of the reproductive tract), so i'm not sure  that just an infection would be  a good thing either...  ???
 

Simmimom

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Jul 29, 2007
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Haven't gotten to the vet yet... fair still going on... but it is in the works.  However, someone approached us about wanting to purchase her today.  We are ethical people... We plan on having the vet check her out prior (needless to say)... do we just lay it all out on the line? 
 

CPL

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Jun 15, 2007
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I agree with the posts. Get a vet out to check her out. Then take his findings and go talk to the breeder. If they breeder is worth anything, he should have some type of guarantee that the calves will be breeders. Good luck.
 

shortyisqueen

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Alberta, Canada
You won't really be able to make a decision about selling her until you get to the vets on this - but, in good conscience,  I don't think I would be able to sell her at all as a breeding heifer, given the trouble you've had with her so far.
 

kanshow

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Kansas
Talk to your breeder....    We had a simmi heifer that we bought.  It was my daughter's show heifer.  She was AI'd, didn't cycle back for two cycles, came in again so we AI'd again.  Once more, she didn't cycle for a couple times.  Then she came in again.  This time we put her with the bull.  She stayed bred 6 -7 months and then calved...obviously the calf did not live.  We talked to the breeder, wondered about ET, etc.  He said not to mess with her but to ship her.  We did and told him what we got for her.  He has given us credit for the entire purchase price minus the packer price to get another heifer. 
 
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