Cow pics

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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regolith
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Cow pics

Postby regolith » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:55 am

355, Zeus daughter
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Some Red Ribbon 3 and 4 yr olds
185
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Deeno daughter 370
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Did you think I was exagerating when I complain about cows with deformed spines? Charisma daughter, she's open this year but her production qualifies her for another chance, her looks don't.
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Likabull daughter 6 yr old 124
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Haven't had much luck breeding good heifers from this one - she's got two, one was good till she got Facial Eczema the other just isn't very good.

Rocksolid (HolsteinFriesian) x Leda, (Northsea (xbred bull) x Leah (Fjord - Jersey bull)). Lediyah (368) is 4.5/16ths Jersey
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Still a few Friesians in the herd - Fishers Kelvar 8 yr old, 93. She's nothing to look at but my best heifers this year are by a Fishers Kelvar son - Idol (and she's sitting pretty as one of the top producers this year which is *not* normal for her)
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The calves. I guess they're eight months old now.
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Put the dry cows up to the dam today to clean up behind the milkers.
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And invited the milkers to mow my lawn for me. They were very willing to oblige.
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Yes, that is a piece of blue baling twine between the herd and my sweetcorn.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby 3waycross » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:45 am

Great Pictures Regolith.

I like your faux electric fence! :clap:
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Re: Cow pics

Postby cow pollinater » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:54 pm

Thanks for the pics. They look a little different than what we're used to seeing but I think that is as much the feed as it is the cattle. The udders are alot better than some of the NZ genetics that I've seen in the past(I've only seen a few in person and they didn't get much help from mommy).
As far as the cow with the deformed back: Ithink it's the extreme rump angle more than it is the back itself. Her pins and hooks need to flip-flop for her to be correct.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:57 pm

It is the rump angle... the bull has it in his proof and is also low fertility, I think the two are linked but that's just me :-) (Of the five I have from that bull *one* is expecting her third calf next spring, the rest have gone open either last year or this year)
I suspect her mother might have had it too. She's the worst in my herd but there's several others nearly as bad.

I select for strong udders, breeding and culling, and had good luck with the cows I bought initially. I've seen other very good-uddered herds that use Premier Sires but I think they cull hard. Don't forget that my top cows might manage 5,000 litres, about half what you can get from TMR feeding (and the udders of those top cows are as good as anyone else in the herd).
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Re: Cow pics

Postby cow pollinater » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:19 pm

Just out of curiosity, what are your milk and components like from breed to breed plus crossbreds? Do your best producers hold their body condition?
I'm just curious as to how well the different breeds produce under grazing conditions.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:32 pm

I can probably run a comparison of production by breed group later, though this year has been far from average with the feed shortage in the spring and a lot of sick cows, to now when they're in better than average condition and doing really high production with a bit of extra feed input.
Out of interest, I was looking at 93's production when I made that comment about her not normally being a high producer and she was a late calver this year, but has done exactly the same production as she did in her whole lactation last year on another farm where she calved two months earlier.

Holstein Friesian will have higher components than you're used to seeing, Jersey higher still and crossbred fall in between. The F1 crossbred is often capable of the same production as the Friesian with higher components and better health and fertility traits.
As for whether the top cows hold condition - some do some don't. I had a Fjord daughter who did great production and was fat all year round, while Annie and 31 and a few of the other high producers end up having short lactations even though they calve early, because they have to be dried off early to gain weight before calving again. 31 has held her condition this year, Annie may need to be dried off shortly.

The Holstein Friesian doesn't last in my herd. I don't know if that's much of a comment of their performance under grazing conditions because it's well known in NZ that Jersey farmers hate Friesians and Friesian farmers hate Jerseys... very often you'll see the entire minority breed component of a herd up for sale. I don't hate them, but I certainly do cull the Holstein Friesian at a far greater rate than the other breeds, for being open, low production, bad udders, or poor health.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:23 am

Okay, what I did was make three new groups in my database, one for HolsteinFriesian 14/16ths or more n=8, one for Jersey 14/16ths or more n=36 and one for crossbreds F10J6 to J10F6 n=56. Cows that fall outside those breed mixes were excluded - Ayrshire crosses, Brown Swiss crosses, 3/4 bred crossbreds and anything that looked like it had incorrectly recorded parents.
They were herd tested four times since calving and the averages are as follows:

14 Sep 2011
Friesian 21.2 litre 4.9% Fat 3.7% Protein SCC 175
Crossbred 14.7 litre 5.3% Fat 3.6% Protein SCC 71
Jersey 13.4 litre 5.9% Fat 3.8% Protein SCC 131

14 Nov 2011
Friesian 23.3 litre 3.8% Fat 3.5% Protein SCC 647 (2 of the 8 were over a million)
Crossbred 17.5 litre 4.7% Fat 3.9% Protein SCC 78
Jersey 15 litre 5.2% Fat 4.1% Protein SCC 110

26 Jan 2012
Friesian 22.8 litre 4.2% Fat 3.7% Protein SCC 202
Crossbred 15.5 litre 5.3% Fat 4.1% Protein SCC 98
Jersey 14.3 litre 6% Fat 4.4% Protein SCC 144

18 Mar 2012
Friesian 21.6 litre 5% Fat 3.8% Protein SCC 121
Crossbred 16.2 litre 5.9% Fat 4.2% Protein SCC 71
Jersey 14.1 litre 6.8% Fat 4.4% Protein SCC 104

The lower SCC of the crossbreds is influenced by the number of 2 yr olds in the group - 22 of the 58. The heifers have been completely unaffected by the mastitis that plagued the cows coming back from lease and nearly all have had an extremely low SCC on every herd test.
What happened to drop the fat so much in November I don't know? I finished feeding PKE at the end of October and that is the only herd test where they were on grass alone - they started the turnip crop on 22 Dec. At the September herd test they were downright starving getting about 5 kg DM PKE and 8 or 9 kg DM pasture per head per day. November they would have been allocated 17 - 18 kg DM all grass and the production was increasing - peaked/plateaued in early Dec.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby ANAZAZI » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:20 am

Time to put Viking Red into the mix.
Milk in kilos something like holsteins.
Higher solids than holstein, lower than jersey.
Much better cell counts, and less mastitis.
More meat and easier keepers.
http://www.vikinggenetics.com/sv/srb/main.asp
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:28 am

Swedish Red? I asked you about that breed before, is it different from Viking Red?

Anyway, I'm going to see a Shorthorn herd in May I hope, see what I think of them. And I want to keep going with the Brown Swiss, but it can't be a recklessly used outcross because of the calving difficulty.
Ambreed are importing Sorby and a few others.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby ANAZAZI » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:00 am

regolith wrote:Swedish Red? I asked you about that breed before, is it different from Viking Red?

Anyway, I'm going to see a Shorthorn herd in May I hope, see what I think of them. And I want to keep going with the Brown Swiss, but it can't be a recklessly used outcross because of the calving difficulty.
Ambreed are importing Sorby and a few others.


Same thing, just marketing finnish ayrshire, swedish red and danish red together.
They are essentially the same, been sharing the same bulls fathers for some fifty years or so. Norwegian red is also the same breed, but marketed separately.
In these breeds we have selected for birth ease, calving ease, fertility, disposition, meat and growth, resistance against mastitis, solids, cellcount, and so on, not just high milk and conformation like other dairy breeds. Work well for crossbreeding too.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby bigbull338 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:06 am

you have some goodlooking cows an heifers.i have some qs for you,an i hope i havent asked them before.do yall dry treat your cows when you dry them up.an do you use clothe raggs to dry cows udders off,an if so do you use 1 ragg pre cow.do you use teat dipp on your cows before you let them out.an do you dipp the milkers in bleach between cows.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:30 pm

We don't prep cows like you do bb. If the teats are clean the milkers go straight on. For the occasional dirty one I can turn the washdown hose on real slow and wash her with that, if the whole herd needs washed (happens every time it rains because of the state of the tracks here) I get a bucket of warm water and tip teat spray over the cloth and into the water... change the water every two rows and the cloth is worn out by the end of milking.
It's the worst thing you could do with a mastitis problem in the herd, I know... but using the hoses means the cows squirm under the cold water and I get soaked and the water is high in coliforms coming into those hoses to start with, so without then drying them all it can get into the milk.
I don't 'flush' the cups between cows for the same reason - the time it takes, the water is already full of bacteria and even if it's supposedly sanitised by the bleach... just not going to risk it getting into the milk vat.

Every cow is teat sprayed and this year I'm doing whole herd DCT - as a one off, I've never done more than 15% of the herd before and I don't intend to do it again. The low SCC of the heifers gives me some hope that the mastitis isn't spreading via machine contact.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:52 am

Going to use a bit of Ayrshire this year and keep on looking around for the 'ideal' 3rd breed. I see they're doing a bit of bull swapping too, seems like if it's red it goes into whichever red breed you like. Plenty of Brown Swiss left in the AI bank to use and there's a couple of 1/4 shorthorn (Llandoverry Jinny's Empire) heifers to calve next spring.

Regarding the water tap the farm owner turned off on Monday morning which the call-out guy found and turned back on yesterday afternoon... this is how I found the calves late morning today. I knew they'd need to wait for the cows to stop drinking because their trough was a little uphill... but all night?? The water's coming in fast enough but it must have only just started running.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:54 am

Oh, and the 'eye' belongs to 103. She finds the camera more fascinating than the flowing water.
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Re: Cow pics

Postby regolith » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:54 am

Took more pics today, just using up the fifteenth post so I can put them on the next page.

103 I'm pretty sure is the third calf from the left in the first post next to the two Jerseys, 185's daughter. She's one of the heifers I'm planning to keep here and AI next spring, 187's daughter is another and 137 and Leda's daughter makes four. Those are the best of the cows that had heifers last spring, the remainder of the group will go to grazing in May when the in-calf heifers come home.
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