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Empty Suckler Cow - to keep or sell

  • 15-04-2022 1:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 776 ✭✭✭

    I’ve an empty 4year old cow here. LMX black in colour. She has always been tidy. Say 550kgs. She never went in calf last year but I held on to her with the intention of putting her back in calf. While she isn’t over fat right now, she’s after developing a good cover of fat up around the tail head. What I’m wondering if I put her at grass all Summer what’s she going to be like come calving time next February. Will she be too fat and cause me bother at calving? What would ye do?


  • Registered Users Posts: 159 ✭✭Omallep2

    Cull and supplement with a few hundred to buy cow with calf at foot

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,345 ✭✭✭hopeso

    I don't think you'll have any issues calving next year if you keep her, but on the other hand dry cows are worth a fortune at the moment....

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,824 ✭✭✭tanko

    Mart asap if she was mine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,834 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

    Sell her, she did not go in calf last year what makes you think this year we s different.

    Listowel yesterday a 525LM cow that had flesh made over 1100 euro. Friesian cows 500-600 kgs that has a bit of flesh and would come into good cover very fast were making 800-1k. If they had good flesh 100-150 more.

    Slava Ukrainii

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,010 ✭✭✭bogman_bass

    Bye bye!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,463 ✭✭✭funkey_monkey

    Why did you carry her for a year without a calf? Is there anything special about her?

    We had one that didn't go in calf. Boss was going to put her down the road but I convinced him to try her again. We thought she had a cyst as she was with bull but we didn't see anything happening. He must have got her during the night as she was back in calf and she calves again this year too.

    If there is anything special about her, then maybe try again, but if she isn't special in any way or has any fault with temperament udder I'd put her down the road.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,190 ✭✭✭Lime Tree Farm

    Sold a 2015 similar recently. She skipped the third and this year's calving. Had been given a chance as she was 5star. Sold for €2.71/ kg

  • Registered Users Posts: 530 ✭✭✭RD10

    Sorry to boycott, in similar situation- 2nd calver who lost her calf earlier in week, plenty of milk, no real condition on her, she could do with a bit of feeding up. her dam was fresian/holstein so has the dairy background.

    Wud ye sell her now while still in milk and maybe someone might want her or put a calf on her, keep her on over the summer and sell at back end when back in calf again?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,834 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 1,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭Albert Johnson

    Into the mart ASAP would be my course of action. Someone might buy her to rear a calf but it's unlikely given what store cows are making. There's great buying for cow's atm to go to grass, let someone else look at her for the summer and have less pressure on you're own setup.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,372 ✭✭✭squinn2912

    I’m not sure why you would have kept her as long as you have done already after not having a calf if I’m reading it right. If she reared a calf for you like a drop calf then maybe but a year out doesn’t do them much good even in a best case scenario. You would get a price you’d be happy with now and might never get it again for her so she’s more value down the road and let her buy you a nice dinner some evening. Buying one with calf at foot and in calf again would be an option or you could buy a heifer to bull - youre waiting as long but she’s a much younger animal. If it were me I’d be letting her on and picking out a heifer of our own to replace. Yesterday me and my Da took a walk through the cows to pick out ones for letting go. Right now there’s 5 and 3 ready to wean that are good enough to go. Two oul rough bitches that have enough flesh nearly now to go and the others will need 100 days to sort them into something presentable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 776 ✭✭✭Sugarbowl

    Appreciate all the advice. All much on a similar wave length. She was a good little heifer, plenty milk, 5 star etc. will never have a big frame. Yeah I suppose I weaned her in November and sold her calf. It was more wishful thinking by not selling her. I’m just worried now about the fat that’s coming on her so early in the year. There really is no definition around her tail. Just this thick layer of fat. I have plenty heifers so replacements not an issue here thankfully. Should be expecting 1000+ so going on current cull prices.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,834 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

    Cattle can seem to get very far this early in the year. This is mainly due to high DM grass that was growing over the winter that has lowish protein. As new grass comes it protein will increase and animals will begin to grow again.

    I have Friesian bullock out going on 6 weeks now. They got no ration over the winter. There are 10-12 of them FS2+/3-.yiu could hang them. They would not really weight though. I am still tempted though

    Slava Ukrainii

  • Registered Users Posts: 298 ✭✭JohnChadwick

    How long after a cow loses a calf can the cow be sold to factory?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,824 ✭✭✭tanko

    For starters i wouldn’t be bringing any cow to a factory, the mart is the only place for them at moment imo.

    I’d wait at least a week or so until she has cleaned up and isn’t showing any visible signs of calving but i don’t know of any reason why she can’t go straight away at the same time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭Easten

    I'd say it would depend on the cow too. If She has a bag of milk then it would be a waste of time bringing her to the mart. No stockman worth a dam will touch a cow with an udder of milk under her coming into the Summer. A milky cow loosing her calf is a disaster this time of year, they are next impossible to dry off unless you can house them and feed hay or straw to them for a month.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,864 ✭✭✭Grueller

    Unless she calved mud fat. I have one here that is like that. She will be in a dry cow sale shortly and dead the next day. The calf will go through the calf ring.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 1,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭Albert Johnson

    In normal times yes but atm a lot of cows are going for direct slaughter so the above wouldn't be an issue. It's a different story if you intended to graze them for the summer but a lot of those types of cows are being killed currently if they have a scum of flesh on them. I see a lot of what I'd only consider middling store cows going straight to slaughter atm and by all purposes the trade looks set to strengthen further.