Warning: Don't Buy Livestock from This Breeder in Warkworth

More
7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #531653 by permaculture15
Good morning everyone,

It's been along time since I read or posted on lsb, simply because I was busy all summer gardening, tending new animals and entertaining guets from Auckland all summer! I really look forward to winter because I'll be a lot less busy, and I can post and read the forums more often!

I just wanted to warn everyone about a very very bad stockwoman and breeder here in the North. (Contact details removed by Kate - send pm to get the details)

She breeds and sells Dexter x Red Devon cattle and Wiltshire sheep. I bought eight 2 year-old heifers off her 1 year & 3 months ago, and bred them to a leased Dexter bull, upon (her) advice. She said that they were two year olds, but upon looking closely at their tags, we read their birth year, and they were actually 4 year old heifers!!!

The heifers were so overweight (they had come to us like that off her farm) that they had severe calving diffiiculties, so we lost two calves, and three of the cows had to have their calves pulled by a vet and a local farmer. So we only got 5 live calves (and two dead ones)
The vet and local farmers told us that these heifers (now cows) we bought were of very poor physical confirmation and had very dangerous temperaments, so they told us to get rid of these cows asap by sending them to the works.
So we kept the cows for four months to nurse the calves, then weaned the calves (3 bull calves, steered, and 2 heifer calves). Afterward, we sent the mothers to the meat works in Moerewa, and the calves we sold ad Beef Weaner calves through Trademe.

Never agin will we ever have Dexters, and I certainly will never buy stock from that breeder! She totally cheated us, and sold defective stock to us!!!

Please spread the word about her and her bad stock!!! We don't want other newbies and lifestyle blockers buying livestock from her!!!
Last edit: 7 years 1 month ago by kate.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #531655 by Ruth
Salma, did you ask her about the tags and age? Did you check the NAIT details for those tags? I ask only because it is possible that a birth year printed on a tag isn't correct, since someone might keep tags from another year and keep using them. I had some 2014 tags printed in error (by them, fortunately, so I sent them back) but if it had been my mistake, I just would have used them and some of this year's calves would have got them, making them appear two years older than they are.

I don't know the breeder so have no basis on which to defend her nor agree with you, but some of your difficulties were down to your lack of experience. Neither you (I contend) nor we know whether the opinions of the farmers and vet are entirely reasonable, since they presumably gave those opinions after dealing with the cattle under very stressful conditions?

As a breeder, one sends off animals to new homes with the best will and intention and sometimes things don't go very well. How much of this have you discussed with the breeder?
Last edit: 7 years 1 month ago by Ruth.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531657 by permaculture15
Hi Ruth,

It was NOT under stressful situations that the vet said what she said. She came and observed the cows before doing a procedure, when they were standing calmly in the yards, and that's when she told me they were of very poor confirmation. They had to have been more than two years old, because when I sent them to the works, all eight of them had very very overgrown hooves. If I had kept them (instead of sending them to the works), I would have had to call the vet in to trim their hooves.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531658 by permaculture15
And my neighbour said that in his experience of farming beef and dairy cows for 50 years, he has never had a 2 year old cow or streer with overgrown hooves.

Also, another farmer said that from the lengths of their tails they were definitely over 2 years of age.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #531659 by Ruth
You can't tell age from hooves, only from teeth. How many teeth did the killsheet say they each had. Certainly if they had very overgrown hooves, one would suspect their conformation. You showed us photos, but only in belly-high grass.

I had a really dodgy stock agent once who told me you could tell age from tail length. You can't.
Last edit: 7 years 1 month ago by Ruth.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531660 by Rokker
I don't know those breeders, but I just have a couple of questions for you . . .

1. If you noticed they were overweight when they arrived at your farm, what steps did you take to try to bring them into condition, e.g. exercise, feed, etc before getting them into calf?
2. Did you keep on monitoring their feed intake and condition during pregnancy?

The fact that the heifers are a year or two older than you thought has nothing to do with the calving problems. Cows can calve successfully for many more years than yours.

The two most likely issues in your case are overweight due to excessive feed and not enough exercise, and heavy calf. Heifers that have to walk around a lot, especially on hilly country, have better muscle tone and so easier calving than unfit animals. Fat heifers usually produce calves of high birth weights. They often have poor uterine muscle tone and therefore weak labour. It's VERY important to monitor body condition before and during pregnancy.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531661 by permaculture15
I did tell her (the breeder) the full story by email, and she didn't reply me!!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531662 by Ruth

permaculture15 wrote: I did tell her (the breeder) the full story by email, and she didn't reply me!!!

I take it you mean now, after it's all over?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531663 by permaculture15
They came very overweight to our farm, (but I didn't know how to tell a fat from lean cow then; I was such a newbie) and she straightaway told me to put a bull on them, which I did.
They didn't lose weight at all in their pregnancy, hence the difficult calving. Another family member was managing the feeding and was being a bit too liberal with the grass, so they didn't lose any weight but may have actually gained more weight. So after calving, my sister took over their management, giving them only a small strip of grass every day. She planned and stuck to her plan of thinning them out, and it worked on all but two cows, who remained obese.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531664 by permaculture15
Yes, after sending the cows the works and selling the calves for beef.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531665 by Ruth

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531666 by Rokker

permaculture15 wrote: They came very overweight to our farm, (but I didn't know how to tell a fat from lean cow then; I was such a newbie)

So, who told you they were overweight when they arrived?

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531667 by permaculture15
A builder/ ex-dairy farmer who was doing some building for us on our land. But I listened to the breeder and put a bull over them straightaway, as she told me to do so, and I didn't know any better.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago #531668 by Ruth
You bought them as two-year-olds and putting a bull over them at that age is not unreasonable. Pregnant first-time-calvers of that age need only a tiny bit more than cows are usually fed, so managing the fat off them wouldn't have been impossible. That your family fed them too much was extremely problematic. I have some fatty 2-y-o heifers which went to the bull and calved at three and by then they were in nice condition. They're easy to manage if you leave calving until 3-y-o.

What sort of bull did you put over them? I think I always thought they'd come in calf and so the bull choice had been the breeder's, not yours. The genetics of the bull is very important with first calvers.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #531670 by Rokker

Ruth wrote: You bought them as two-year-olds and putting a bull over them at that age is not unreasonable.

I think she mentioned they were actually 4 year olds in the opening post, Ruth. So even more so reasonable and mature to put into calf.

I'm thinking it's probably a little unfair to be putting all the blame on the breeder in this case. I would far rather buy a slightly overweight heifer than an underweight one. And were they really overweight? An ex-dairy farmer's opinion could be problematic, as most Friesian and Jersey dairy cows would look thinner anyway than the animals here that he would have seen.

It's just rather unfortunate in this case that Salma's inexperience put her at a disadvantage. It's all part of learning!

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!
Last edit: 7 years 1 month ago by Rokker.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.150 seconds