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Can this work?

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:50 pm
by hillbillyhammer
I will soon be acquiring a jersey crossbred bred heifer that should calve this fall. Never had a milk cow and know nothing about them. I would like for her to raise her calf and be able to get some milk for the house maybe 2 gallons per week. Can a crossbred make this much milk? Will I have to separate the calf from her for a while before I milk her? If so how long? Once I start milking her do I have to keep it up? Can I skip a week if I am busy? She is gentle now and I will be working with her to get her to come into the barn with a little grain as soon as I get her, and I plan to feed her some after she calves if necessary. Can this work? Thanks for the help.

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:49 am
by Aaron
Did this all the time with our milk cows in past. Keep calf penned for 12 hours before milking and your good to go. Leave calf on for the rest of the time that you don't need milk.

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:00 am
by Ol' 243
Sounds like an awful lot of work for 7 or 8 dollars worth of milk per week.

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:34 am
by hillbillyhammer
Ol' 243 wrote:Sounds like an awful lot of work for 7 or 8 dollars worth of milk per week.

243, It may very well be. Main motivation for this is 9 and 11 year old rug rats. I want them to grow up doing this kind of stuff. Whatever work I have to put in is worth it to me. Pretty sure one of them has a hollow leg anyway, that milk consumption will probably go up in coming years.

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:50 am
by Nesikep
If you're Sky, then you need more than just one cow to supply the milk!.. makes owning the cow quite worthwhile.

depending on how much milk you want, you may not even need to separate the calf overnight

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:29 pm
by hillbillyhammer
Nesikep wrote:If you're Sky, then you need more than just one cow to supply the milk!.. makes owning the cow quite worthwhile.

depending on how much milk you want, you may not even need to separate the calf overnight

Nesi if you didn't separate the calf overnight and milked first thing in the morning would a half gallon be too much to ask for? The way I hear it Sky needs one cow for milk, one for making cheese, and one for butter.

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:52 pm
by Nesikep
I think when she freshens, she'll have 2 gallons for you in the morning with the calf on her.. Maybe as the calf gets older you'll have to separate them.. just play it by feel

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:48 pm
by hillbillyhammer
Thanks Nesi, I have seen the videos of you milking out in the open without the cow being tied. I'm betting it wont be that easy for me.

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:30 pm
by Nesikep
Well, not to begin with! If she's a calm cow she'll get there though.

I find if I don't really NEED the milk, and the cow just needs to be milked out but isn't used to the process, I am far less frustrated if I just milk her out onto the ground, she can fiddle, fidget, kick, buck, and whatever and I don't have to worry about the bucket

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:38 pm
by Ol' 243
hillbillyhammer wrote:
Ol' 243 wrote:Sounds like an awful lot of work for 7 or 8 dollars worth of milk per week.

243, It may very well be. Main motivation for this is 9 and 11 year old rug rats. I want them to grow up doing this kind of stuff. Whatever work I have to put in is worth it to me. Pretty sure one of them has a hollow leg anyway, that milk consumption will probably go up in coming years.


Gotcha, I agree with that 100%

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:42 pm
by hillbillyhammer
Image
Well here she is. How bad does she look?

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:17 pm
by farmerjan
I think she is a pretty nice looking heifer. Keep her people friendly, get her used to you touching her all around her belly and her udder long before she calves. Yep, grain works good. I have a method of making sure they come into a certain place and get their heads tied/chained or put in a stanchion and they learn that is the place they need to be for their "job".
Put a halter on her or a neck chain and then you can clip the chain to another short chain ...like a leash....so she knows that this is the place she needs to be.
All according to her "cross" she will make enough milk for both you and the calf probably for weeks in the beginning. You probably won't have to separate the calf in the beginning either. Thing is, if you leave the calf with her all the time, she might not want to let the milk down for milking, but you can get a feel for that. You may want to get a second calf for her to raise, then if you can't get to milk her, the two calves will take care of the milk. Biggest thing with any dairy cow is to find the balance so she doesn't get mastitis. If you go with a second calf and don't grain alot, then she will adjust to what is being "removed" and her production will lessen if she is making alot. If you do go with 2 calves, then taking them away for 12 hours or so....like locking them in a pen at night for morning milking, or penning them away fro the day to milk in the evening, will be the best way to go. If you only have 1 calf, she will probably make too much milk and you will need to milk her daily so she doesn't get mastitis. IT IS ALOT EASIER TO TRY TO PREVENT IT THAN TO TREAT IT. Plus the extra calf can be freezer beef or an extra for them to sell for their work....
I have 5 that I use as nurse cows....feed occasional orphan from the beef cows, mostly just raise 3-4 per cow per lactation plus all the milk I want for the house. Extra milk really raises some nice pigs too....

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:46 am
by hillbillyhammer
Thanks Jan. She is calming down pretty well so far I can touch her head now but that's the only place. I will try to put a halter on her soon. I have been feeding her a little in the spot where she will be milked, so sounds like I am doing good there. I have no idea what her cross is. Her front legs are kinda dark and she carries that bright red wig on top of her head. Do you have any guess as to what else is in her besides jersey?

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:49 pm
by TexasBred
hillbillyhammer wrote:Thanks Jan. She is calming down pretty well so far I can touch her head now but that's the only place. I will try to put a halter on her soon. I have been feeding her a little in the spot where she will be milked, so sounds like I am doing good there. I have no idea what her cross is. Her front legs are kinda dark and she carries that bright red wig on top of her head. Do you have any guess as to what else is in her besides jersey?

Has any one actually confirmed that she is bred or did they just guess at it? See if you can get a pic of her udder from behind. Probably will only be teats but get a pic and post if youc an.

Re: Can this work?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:31 pm
by Son of Butch
hillbillyhammer wrote:Image
Well here she is. How bad does she look?

Looks like she'll make a very good family cow.
Bred to what? Doesn't appear she'll calve before Halloween, but that can change fast. What is her due date?
As Jan mentioned, keep/make her people friendly, you and the kids should be around her in a gentle calm manner daily
for her to learn to trust you.