I have a question about hair loss in heifers. I bought my first heifer this year (I absolutely love her---she has got a ton of personality!) and everything had been going well (I had a little problem with her not wanting to finish her grain right after I bought her but that is no longer an issue!) but just recently she has begun to lose her fur. The fur started falling out first on her face but now it has gone down her neck and to her back. I have treated her for lice several times and have dewormed her also. Even though I have done all this bald patches continue to show up on my heifer. My horses are shedding their winter coats and I was wondering if my heifer (her name is Daisy Jo) is shedding or if she has some kind of a problem? I feed her a 14% grain and she has a free choice mineral block and I give her alfalfa hay every so often. I would greatly appreciate any advice or info anyone here might have. Thanks!
I don't know where you are located--but I will assume she is shedding. My cow starts shedding in the head, then neck area first. Cows have hair, not fur.
On another note: Cows need hay and/or grass to live, not grain. I do not know if she has hay/grass 24/7, I am just going by what you've posted. Grain is mostly needed for growing babies or lactating heifers/cows. Cattle are similar to horses, but yet the digestion is vastly different. Janene
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I am located in Southern Texas---near San Antonio and I give my heifer coastal hay every morning and evening. She is about 7 months old---should she be off grain by now? Thanks for your information. I thought she might just be shedding but I wanted to make sure.
Post by joncowcare on Apr 12, 2009 14:57:42 GMT -5
Hi Manda, I can only back-up what Janene has said, you need to think about feeding her a diet with fodder [hay, alfafa etc] ad-lib if possible and grain of about 16-18% protein [approx 1.5-2 kg daily]. If it were me I would feed her the 14% grain at 2 -3 kg daily split into two feeds, am and pm. [1.5kg x 2]
As for her hair loss, just a thought, maybe mange or even ringworm comes to mind for the areas of baldness you mention. Treatment wise try 'Stockholm Tar' on the areas, test a small spot first for sensitivity. Is there any chance of a photo please ? Good luck, Jon
Post by joncowcare on Apr 13, 2009 14:03:31 GMT -5
Hi Manda, Thanks for the photo, it's much appreciated ! The baldness is in areas that she could have scratched herself, have you ever seen her rubbing against any posts or rails ? Failing that . . . I'm going to say either lice or mange although you say you treated her for lice what product did you use ? 'Ivermectin' will do for both ! Do you have a magnifying glass ? If so take a look and you'll just be able to see what look like small white dots at the base of any hair near the affected parts if it's lice. If it's ringworm, although it doesn't look dry or scabby enough you'll need something like an anti-fungal or else the S Tar as mentioned previously. I'm just wondering if it's a dietary hair loss, does she have vitamins and minerals in her ration ?
I'm sorry Manda, I feel quite stupid now, I asked for a photo, got it and I'm still none the wiser. I wonder what other members think ? Jon
LOL, Jon, that wasn't Manda's cow, it was Jill in Maine's cow in the photo!
Since we don't have a picture of Manda's cow yet (and I can't tell on Jill's cow) it's hard to say, but I do know that Bandit has been rubbing on anything she can find lately, and has several bare spots around her head and neck area. First it was behind her ears, then in front of them , then on the sides of her neck, cheeks, brisket... I was starting to get worried until I saw how vigorously she was rubbing her head on a dead tree stump. It was an "AHA!" moment for sure! LOL! She's just itchy and I'm not there 24/7 to scratch her, so she does the best she can with the tools she has (stumps and fenceposts).
So that MIGHT be Manda's cow's problem, but I'm not sure how she'd rub the hair off her back. Manda, do you have anything she could be rubbing her back on? Low tree limbs or some such thing?
Hi Everybody! I feed my heifer (Daisy Jo) 2.5 lbs of grain in the morning and 2.5 lbs of grain in the evening. She gets coastal hay pretty much free choice and gets alfalfa hay about twice a week. I used to give her alfalfa hay every day but she began getting kind of fat! She also has a free choice mineral lick. I dewormed Daisy one month ago with "SafeGuard" cattle dewormer and have treated her with lice powder three times over a period of a month. I did try to check her for lice (I dont have a magnifying glass though) and did not see anything. Daisy will certainly rub against all the posts in her pen. She can be VERY itchy! She will let me brush her or scratch her for hours! I dont think she can rub her back on anything though----I keep her pen very clean and there are no trees or low limbs in her pen. Also, I dont think her skin looks irritated. I am not sure how to post an image but I am going to try to find out real quick and post a picture of her on here. My computer is VERY slow and outdated! Thanks everyone for your help! I appreciate it so much!
To me it looks like she's shedding. She's gonna be one of those that change colors between summer and winter. I don't have personal experience with that, but I've seen pics of other members' cows that change color like that - it's drastic!
Anyway, that's what I think. She's fine, just shedding.
LOL, Jon, that wasn't Manda's cow, it was Jill in Maine's cow in the photo! ~Lannie
Oooops . . . Now I feel even sillier !
Oh good, thanks for the photo Manda, hopefully I have the right girl now ! That's a fair bit of hair loss and to be honest I'm still stumped. I think what has been said about shedding could be right on the money, can you feel new hair underneath ? But if you are still unsure . . .
Is there any way you could take a 'scrape' [use a sharp sterile knife] of an afflicted area and take it to your vet for diagnosis ? Get a new envelope and gently scrape some of the top skin layer into it. Most vets should have a microscope and will be able to tell you what the problem is. Good luck and please let us know what the outcome is, I'm dying to know ! Jon
Last Edit: Apr 14, 2009 6:36:03 GMT -5 by joncowcare
Definitely shedding for both cows! Like Wyomama said, some shed gracefully and some loose chunks at a time. My cows look just like them right now. For some reason my oldest cows look the worst! We call Chia " Leopard cow " or " moth eaten sweater " in the spring. She is some slick and gorgeous once she's done though. My feeling is the shedding is probably worse or more dramatic looking in colder areas, simply because they grow a thicker winter coat. Jessika
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Hi everybody! I am relieved to hear that Daisy is probably just shedding. I am able to feel some very fine hair barely covering her skin. I am going to take her to a vet in 2-3 weeks to get her dehorned and I am going to ask him about the hair loss if it has not cleared up by then. I will let ya'll know what the vet says for sure. Since Daisy is my first cow I wanted to make sure that she did not have something wrong with her that I overlooked. Thanks again for all your help!
Post by AJ & Denise on Apr 14, 2009 20:59:19 GMT -5
Maybe that method will improve my hair loss image as well! AJ
2 Family Milk Cows:
1stHeifer born here-"Flo"on 7-13-11
2nd Calf-Heifer ,"Cocoa"
Live on Small Farmstead-5.5 Acres-moved from large City to Rural Hills of Ozarks near Bull Shoals Lake, White and Buffalo Rivers ,Crooked Creek. Have Chickens, and Dogs. We are amazed of the Beauty Blessed to be apart of and enjoy ,We are Blessed .
Post by thedowfamily on Apr 18, 2009 19:06:26 GMT -5
OK...I was freaking out a little tonight. I am also in ME and this is our first cow. She is losing large patches of hair on her face and neck and every time she comes in for milking she itches like crazy on the stanchion. But based on these pictures I guess she is just shedding ungracefully... LOL.
After I noticed how bad the shedding was I started feeling her all over and found a few tiny little scabbed over bumbs. It looks like she has been scratching those spots with her tongue as 1-2 were wet. We use an herbal dewormer. Not sure if that might be something different...there were only 2-3.
She get's about 6 lbs of grain plus 1.5 - 2 bales of field grass hay a day. She also gets some of our fruit and vegi scraps (ends of carrots, some potatoes, apple cores, etc.) and also a sea kelp supplement. I don't have a photo but could take one tomorrow.
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