Production Dramatically Dropped

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby I luv herfrds » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:34 am

My milk cows production has really dropped off. Went from 3-4 gallons a day and I figured just around 1 gallon if I'm lucky today.

Been feeding her ground barley, high fat soybean meal, bull developer pellets, cob, 2nd cutting alfalfa and some grass hay plus she is out on pasture.
2 gallons each the pellets and cob. 1/2 gal soybean meal. 3 gal barley. 2 flakes alfalfa and 1/3 bale grass.

It has gotten really hot and dry here, was 102 degrees yesterday afternoon. Picking up a lick tub for her today. Milk is clear. Bag looks and feels fine except for not being as full.

Any thoughts?
Suggestions?
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby hillsdown » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:54 pm

If you can run some water with the hose on her it might help .
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby alisonb » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:38 pm

That's quite a dramatic drop. Is she eating well/normally? What is her temp? Has she got access to shade during the heat of the day?
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby TexasBred » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:14 pm

100 degree weather makes everyone's production drop and she probably has a negative energy balance. Milk will drop dramatically when a cow is cycling but that will only last 24 hours.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby kenny thomas » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:35 pm

How long has she been in milk? Is it time for her to slow down and the weather has just made it happen much faster.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby chippie » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:12 pm

It is probably the heat. Ours have dropped too. My husband reduced the protein in their feed and it is appearing to help them.
What does her poop look like? Our daughter's cow, Star, is really bothered by the heat. When she is overheated, her manure is thin and won't stack much at all. She poops when laying down and is a real mess.

I found this online:

Hot and humid environmental conditions stress the lactating dairy cow and reduce intake of the nutrients necessary to support milk yield and body maintenance
.

Unfortunately I couldn't access the whole article. But I found this.
http://igrow.org/news/cooling-strategies-for-dairy-cattle-in-hot-weather/
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby I luv herfrds » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:30 pm

July 4th she was 45 days post calving. Has access to shade. Poop is very runny and was nasty yesterday. Haven't taken her temp. Cycled July 3rd-4th. Was a real b*tch that day, which is normal for her cycling. Production had dropped by just over a half gallon.

Thanks everyone. Got fingers crossed for cooler weather.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby I luv herfrds » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:21 am

Got over a gallon out of her this morning. It had cooled off pretty good last night.
Cut out the bull developer pellets and alfalfa too; she turned her nose up at it. She ate the cob with soybean meal. Gave her grass hay. She went out to pasture instead of staying around the shed for shade this morning.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby Nite Hawk » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:48 am

Its probably mostly the heat that is causing the drop, but she could be fighting a sickness of some kind too.
Is it possible to put her out to graze in the cool of the evening? Maybe she simply isn't getting enough to eat if she is seeking relief from the heat by sticking by the shed for shade all day.
Did she get bred when she came into heat?? I find that if a cow is bred it will often cause a decent sized drop in production, but not normally as big of a drop as occured with your cow.
Feeding hay instead of pasture will often cause a drop in production as there simply isn't as much water content in hay as fresh green pasture.
I have had milk cows simply not let their milk down properly if they are milked quite a bit earlier in the day than what they are used to. They seem to like routine.
If they drop in production for whatever reason, sometimes it can be hard to get the production back up to where they were at earlier, so don't be surprised even if she comes back up in production if it is somewhat lower than what it was before.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby I luv herfrds » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:54 pm

Nite Hawk pastures out here have dried up so there is no more green grass and we are dryland.

No we did not breed her on the first heat. Got her yesterday though on her second. Hope we caught her right. Getting between 2-3 gallons a day now. She dropped to 1/2 gallon the day before she went into heat.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby I luv herfrds » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:44 pm

Cooled off tonight thanks to a fast moving thunderstorm. Hope she milks good tomorrow. Changing the pellets too. From 18% protein 3% fat to 16% protein with 4% fat. Hope she likes this better. Putting out a barley bale tomorrow.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby Nite Hawk » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:21 am

Hopefully she is climbing back up in her health and production.
Did you happen to change her feed just before she got sick?
I wasn't quite clear on how much grain you were feeding.You said---
2 gallons each the pellets and cob. 1/2 gal soybean meal. 3 gal barley. 2 flakes alfalfa and 1/3 bale grass.
It sounds like you were feeding 2 gal pellets 2 gal cob 1/2 gal soybean, and 3 gal barley.
Am I correct on that?
If so that would be a total of 7 --1/2 gal of concentrates per feeding. which sounds a bit on the high side from what I am used to.
I don't know if there is any connection, but I have seen on a dairy farm that I used to work on, there was an accidental over feeding of grain ( I was NOT involved in the "boo-boo")
and it shut off the milk production just like shutting a tap off, and these were very high producing holsteins that ended up giving only a couple of squirts of milk. When their acidosis calmed down, their milk production came back to normal, or near normal. With the over feeding of grain also came lots of mastitis.
You said you were feeding barley. Barley is a very "hot" feed, which we have fed when fattening 4-H steers, but a local feed specialist told me that when feeding lots of barley one needs to give cattle something that is high is calcium like beet pulp, as barley is low in calcium.
I can't ever recall seeing cattle "steaming" when being fed barely, but other people who have fed it swear up and down that cattle when fed high amounts of barley, literally start sweating, because it is a "hot" feed.
Maybe talk to a local feed specialist at your local feed store, or maybe government ag specialist and see what they recommend for lactating cattle in your area and dryland situation.
Our climate and situation is quite different, so would have different feed requirements than you.
Hope things work out..
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby I luv herfrds » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:30 am

NH fed her the same thing I fed her last year, but this year is warmer and less rain.
Cut her barley back. I did not change the feed until a week ago. Only bull developer the store had. She did not care too much for it.
Got this different pellets going to try today.
She still prefers the cob, barley and soybean meal.

Still trying to find the fan hubby told me about. Going to put an eating steer with her and see if we caught her on this second cycle. If we missed them my vet has 2 more doses of semen for the next cycle.

Thanks for the info about overheating her on the feed.
She was putting out 3 gals a day last year along with raising 2 calves.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby I luv herfrds » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:47 pm

Good news she likes these newer pellets better. Scrafted them down like crazy. Ate aound the other pellets. Got just 1 1/2 gals this moring.
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Re: Production Dramatically Dropped

Postby chippie » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:14 pm

I know that I have said this before, but you should really weigh your feed. We use a fish scale. Hang it from the feed room roof and hang the bucket on it. I use it every time that I change the amount of feed or type so that I know exactly how much the animal is getting.

Pellets weigh more than textured grains. Feeding by volume does not give you an accurate idea of the amount that you are feeding.

Happy that she likes the new feed : )
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