Dairy Farming

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
K-SHIRES
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General proc. info

Postby K-SHIRES » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:15 am

born2run wrote:J and L...

K-Shires mentioning videos brings this thought up. Do you have a video you have new hires watch as far as milking procedures? I've often thought this would be helpful, maybe even a short Powerpoint presentation that went over the basics as far as prep times, etc.

Believe Hoard's Dairyman offers such materials in both English and Hispanic. Wether or not they fit an owner or herd mgr.'s goals would have to be looked at.
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Dairy sexed semen

Postby K-SHIRES » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:45 am

J and L wrote:K-SHIRES, Milkmaid posed the question about sexed semen and I know that Select Sires is marketing some. You seem pretty familiar with their bulls. I have heard that conception is greatly compromised and therefore heifers are the only practical usage at this time. What is your take on all this.

***Reserve right of further study**
Take at this time is:
1. ) Major studs are taking approach your physician would take, i.e. "UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER" If they have it drilled into your head you will get low conception, say 40%, then you get 75 or 80%, they will look like a hero. If you are a poor manager of resource and get 30%, you probably won't have leg to stand on slandering them or suing them, as they set low expectations.
Major studs with worldwide economic impact don't invest in and present technology that ain't gonna work as a rule. The major automakers have cornered market on that sanguine business strategy LOL.
2. ) As to Milkmaids specific question, why not sorting elite bulls? IMO they can profitably sell all production of a bull like O-Man or Durham, so why incur expense of sorting and lose some salable product in process? Mid-line bulls they won't sell all they collect, so this is strategy to move a bunch of that product and work out wrinkles in production of SSS at same time.
3. ) For heifers the strategy is use SS to ensure a heifer calf .
Reduce calving difficulties of first calf heifers by eliminating large bull calf deliveries. More live calves, less dead heifers, again the stud looks like a hero, and you'll stick by them and buy more product.
4. ) IMO wouldn't use on mature cow that had cystic, utero infection, or poor track record. Would use on healthy normal cows first or second service. Many of them settle as well as Virgin heifers. That's were you have to know your cows.
5. ) When they start sorting breeds I am currently using, ( Ayrshire & Milking Shorthorn ), I will buy it. I see they have ample sources for Holstien, Jersey. One Company just came with Brown Swiss as well. I may get some Holstien and do a trial run, but don't like idea of using a mid-line bull just to try technology.
* Guess that's my take at this time. Reserve right to alter opinion as this saga unfolds, but my prediction is that the Holstien Steer will play less of a role in domestic beef supply as time goes on.
Last edited by K-SHIRES on Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General proc. info

Postby born2run » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:48 am

Believe Hoard's Dairyman offers such materials in both English and Hispanic. Wether or not they fit an owner or herd mgr.'s goals would have to be looked at.


It'd be interesting to see them before I'd bother buying them and tossing them on the herd manager's desk. ;-) He and I had talked about making one specific for that parlor this last summer, and addressing more things than just milking procedures in it. One of the key points we intended to cover was how not to annoy your partner. lol
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Postby J and L » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:27 pm

I agree that the best video would be made by you for your parlor. When we get into our new parlor I plan to make videos of prep, parlor trouble shooting, maintenance, routine cow movement, connecting backup equipment, etc and put them on a computer so the employees have a reference if something goes wrong. It will also be a good way to standardize training. For the couple of days it will take I think it will be well worth the time and $500 computer for employee access (no internet or games!!). Being able to label each segment on the computer makes viewing so easy. If I had to use VCR tapes no one would ever look at them.
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Postby born2run » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:22 pm

Linda...

I like your idea of putting everything on a computer. I've just gradually learned things as I go along. Heck, I learned something just the other night. Boss told me that if a cow ever goes down in the parlor the ATV is by the house and the chain is on the front of the skidsteer. Gives me one less reason for calling them I guess.
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Learnin'

Postby K-SHIRES » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:32 am

born2run - She who learns too much will soon be expected to do everything. LOL.
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Re: Learnin'

Postby born2run » Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:31 am

K-SHIRES wrote:born2run - She who learns too much will soon be expected to do everything. LOL.


That's what it has come to already. :D
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Postby J and L » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:52 pm

Ahhh yes-- learning more means getting to use more... through which you learn more.... and around it goes! I am wondering just what the heck he is telling you to do? Just drag the cow out of the way so she doesn't slow milking down??? 4 wheeler+ slippery floor+1600lb cow+ one person = ???

All our leads know how to gently skidsteer a cow out of a barn and lift a cow with the skidsteer and hip lift and help her to a pen. We have 3 payloader drivers and all the lead milkers know how to help load a cow into the bucket for transport to the pens if she can't or won't walk. Our down cow losses are minimal. The payloader is great for gently transporting cows-- we have a 4 yard bucket on it and a cow fits nicely into it. Everyone here knows to do EVERYTHING possible to minimize damage-- which includes hobbles, halters, tying a head to a leg to prevent movement, etc etc.

But again the more they know the more they get to use lol. I get calls for down cows and always go out to supervise IF I am here... I coach with questions like "what should we do next?" and let them lead as much as possible. It feels great to see them do the drill and know that they are confident in their decisions--- they need to be confident to lead the "boss." I have a large measure of certainty that the cows are handled as well without me as with.
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Postby born2run » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:18 am

Ahhh yes-- learning more means getting to use more... through which you learn more.... and around it goes! I am wondering just what the heck he is telling you to do? Just drag the cow out of the way so she doesn't slow milking down??? 4 wheeler+ slippery floor+1600lb cow+ one person = ???



I'd leave the cow in the parlor, down...if she was out of the way of the index bar, until the end of the shift. At that point I take all the cows back, get the ATV, open up the end door, chain up the cow, have my partner sit on the back of the ATV and drag her outside. I've seen it done more than once, Linda. It ain't pretty but it works.
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Postby K-SHIRES » Sat Apr 01, 2006 8:11 am

We use a 4 inch wide nylon tow strap made for pulling 15000 lb. tractors out. Those kind that stretch out like a rubber band and then retract. Spreads out shock of initial pull and doesn't cut into an animal as a chain can. Just an idea. J&L's method great if have labor on hand. Us small potatoes Dairies, well - what can I say, I work alone by neccessity. A skinny Norwegian can't move an 1800 lb. Holstein very far without some type of mechanical device. We prefer a large row crop tractor, but of course those won't go in a parlor alley, so would have to run a long chain to the strap.........
born2run......If chain is on skidsteer already, jump on it and skip ATV!.................
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Postby born2run » Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:40 am

I like the idea of a strap instead of a chain. It certainly sounds more humane to me. I can't get the skidsteer all the way up to the parlor thanks to the crowd gate; the skidsteer won't fit under it. I can drag the cow to the end of the holding pen and than finish up the job with the skidsteer.
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Postby born2run » Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:22 pm

J and L...

When would you consider having a person work for salary vs. hourly wage? Management only, or your regular milkers?

On that same note, how much would you be willing to pay someone (theoretically of course) who comes in 1 1/2 hours prior to milking, cleans and sometimes doctors the herd, then milks for 5 1/2 hours? I don't have a "title". Basically am just what I refer to as a "low level milker." There's not a lot there that I can't fix or take care of, and I work with no supervision. Just curious as to what you think someone like me is worth? I've had it constantly implied to me that I have it good, but really don't have a clue if this is fact or fiction. :)
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Postby J and L » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:21 pm

Born2run, We have never had anyone ask to be salaryed. My take on that, from people working regular jobs that are salaryed, is that they tend to complain that they end up putting more hours in than they wish to complete their job. If it were me, I would feel safer as an hourly worker unless I had some other "intrest" in the success of the business. I could see even more resentment comming for someone like yourself who cares about the farm and animals just because of who you are due to possible lack of compensation. This is just an impression since we have never really crossed this bridge.

How much are you worth????????????????????
Clearly it sounds like you are worth alot! More than you feel that you are being compensated for? This is truely a question that you need to answer yourself and then work to acomplish that goal. I realize this is a cop out but is the best I can do from my position.

Milkmaid, I made it to Idaho and holoured like you said but no one answered. Nice area with the mountains and all. The farm we were at was nothing like a dairy in the midwest.
Jerry
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Postby born2run » Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:55 am

Jerry...

Recent happenings at work have made me ask this question. I'm a little too upset right now to think of a brilliant yet tactful way to put what I've just found out, so I'll let it go.

Thanks for your reply.
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Postby J and L » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:21 am

Born2run, Sorry to hear that things are not well for you there again. It would be impossible for me/us to know enough details to comment too much or draw conclusions. It does sound like maybe you have some decisions to make? In the end it is yourself that you need to satify. I know a couple of people that spent there early life unhappy with their situation only to end up very bitter at everyone and everything latter in life. That is pretty sad to watch.

Have you considered moving to a day shift? Your dedication may be more noticed and therfeore impact your employer`s idea of your value.
Jerry
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