Angus milk cow? Why not?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
Okie Amazon
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Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Okie Amazon » Mon May 06, 2013 2:16 pm

Our Angus bottle baby had her first calf Friday morning (on her second birthday, actually). He is a HUGE (83 pounds) bull calf, but luckily he was properly positioned and we only had to give a little extra "pull" at the shoulders and hips. Now, after this guy starts onto grain and grass/hay, any reason I can't make her my milk cow? She is super gentle and I can do anything with her. We do plan on breeding her back, would milking her for an extended period interfere with that?

Brownie and new arrival "Lazer".

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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby dun » Mon May 06, 2013 4:06 pm

Only catch would be separating them every day so that he doesn;t drink her dry before you get a chance to milk her.
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Putangitangi » Mon May 06, 2013 4:35 pm

We milked a big pedigree Angus cow for three seasons. She lost her calf the first year and proved (while I was trying to save her calf) that she would stand quietly for milking. She was a great milking cow (about 14 liters/day at her best) so I inseminated her with a sexed Jersey straw for a proper milking daughter. Carried on milking the first cow for the next two seasons. Her milk wasn't very creamy, but she submitted to being separated from her calf each evening so we could have the milk in the morning. (She is an EXT daughter, so has a bit of entertaining attitude, but is quite manageable.) She's now back in the main herd again and her daughter is our house cow, with a lot more Jersey cream.

I would start milking her immediately, while he still doesn't require all she can produce, or she'll slip back in what she's giving and it'll be unlikely you'll get as much from her again - although if you only want a bit for the house, that wouldn't matter. We have had cheese-making years, pig-rearing years and so on, so took all the cow could produce. The calves don't seem to suffer, just adjusting their feeding pattern to fit with access. The cow produces to meet demand still, so you have to feed her a bit better than you would a cow with a single calf.

Pen the calf in a safe and solid sort of enclosure right next to the cow, with open gates for her to go and graze if she wants to during the night.

Let us know how you get on! :)
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Loch Valley Fold » Mon May 06, 2013 10:15 pm

We have a dairy farm as well as running a few head of beef cattle (about 20 in total) all our beef cows have been through the dairy for at least 1 lactation some my parents have laid claim to & are still milking them the reason being if they do have a dead calf they can still be milked & earn their "keep" for for that year. What a good friend did was lock the calf up the night before when they wanted milk, take what milk you want than let the calf out to feed.
Keeps us informed on how you get on.
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Okie Amazon » Wed May 08, 2013 9:29 am

I guess there aren't too many beef cattle that will let you just walk up with a bucket and milk them standing in the field, but Brownie is a trooper. I think after a few milkings, she has realized that she is less uncomfortable when I get done. Lazer is mainly emptying the left side front and rear teats, leaving the other side engorged. So at this point, his little belly is staying full and I'm getting a half gallon or so of milk for me. (I'm not milking her all the way down, just enough to lessen any pressure) Should I empty her on his "less preferred" side?
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby chippie » Wed May 08, 2013 11:31 am

Stripping her out should help increase her production. If she were mine, I would strip her out.
She sounds like a cool cow : )
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Putangitangi » Wed May 08, 2013 12:11 pm

Might as well milk her right out on that side.

We don't start separating the calf from the cow until about three or four weeks, from memory, because up until then the calf still isn't up to taking all the cow has between milkings. By the time you reach that stage, you've kept the cow's production up and there's still enough for you and the calf's needs.

This all assumes she has good production throughout her lactation, by breeding as well as feeding. A cow which couldn't even do its own calf well wouldn't be a good candidate. Do you have facilities for weighing your cattle? It would be sensible to monitor the calf's growth rate/weight gain if you're in any doubt, but if it's looking healthy and growing well and she has ample milk, all's well.

Back to one of your original questions: she should come back on heat in the usual sort of time to be put back in calf within three months and you can keep milking her up until you need to stop for her to get ready for the next calf. I use a fairly conservative 12 week dry period; the rest of my herd is beginning to show some udder changes by then, so I figure that's time for her to be left to herself as well.

I really enjoy having a housecow, in these days of overly-processed commercial milk.
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Okie Amazon » Thu May 09, 2013 8:43 am

It just blows my mind that this administration has decided that raw milk is worse than heroin and Must Be Stopped. Door-kicking jack-boot raids on organic food stores that sell raw milk/cheese? Crazy. At least one multi-generational dairy has been put out of business by, despite having NEVER had a single case of milk-borne problem.


The raid: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/25/business/la-fi-raw-food-raid-20100725
The aftermath for Morningside Farms: http://www.inquisitr.com/505262/morningland-dairy-raided-by-missouri-milk-board/
Last edited by Okie Amazon on Thu May 09, 2013 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby chippie » Thu May 09, 2013 9:32 am

There are certified grade A raw milk dairies in Texas. They are allowed to sell at their farm. There is a bill in the Texas Senate about allowing the farmers to sell their product off of the farm.

I couldn't read the article on my phone so I don't know what it says
We milk a cow & use the milk. My husband grew up on a dairy & I've had family milk cows for over 30 years. I would never buy milk from an individual not knowing his or hers sanitation procedures.

A quick question. How do you clean her udder before you milk her?
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Okie Amazon » Thu May 09, 2013 11:49 am

Just a soap and water wash and clean water wipe down.
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Putangitangi » Thu May 09, 2013 4:12 pm

chippie wrote:...A quick question. How do you clean her udder before you milk her?
We started using a few mls of a Chlorhexidine antiseptic in the cow's washing water after our first cow kept getting mastitis. I'd attended a veterinary lecture which included a report of a dairy farmer who'd been found to be causing similar infections in his cows and they'd then reinfected him, causing all sorts of nasty skin lesions and it was that which caused me to wonder what sort of bacterial skin population my milking partner hosts! The cow had had a sub-clinical infection, but detectable on testing the milk, throughout a whole season. We cleared her with antibiotics at the end of that season and she began the next clear. Within two weeks she had clinical mastitis. We treated her and used the antiseptic in small quantities from then on and have never had a recurrence of the problem. The antiseptic in the water is primarily for the milker's hands, to hit the bacteria he was presumably leaving on the cow. I doubt it's a common problem, but I'm glad we nailed it.
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby chippie » Sun May 12, 2013 6:25 am

good advice ^. we use an betadine dip. dip the teats and wipe off before milking, and dip again afterwards. if the udder is dirty, we wash it before hand.

I would be sure to use an antiseptic wash prior milking especially since the calf is nursing and you don't know what is in the ground where the cow lays down.
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby Putangitangi » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:04 am

How are you getting on with your cow?
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby greybeard » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:29 am

I can see the milk jug labels already..............CAM
Certified Angus Milk
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Re: Angus milk cow? Why not?

Postby pdfangus » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:53 am

over the years I have milked a few....they will kick a bit more, and harder and faster than gurnseys or jersys...but produced pretty well....had a holstein once that was a real kicker too...she kicked the bucket over about every third day...
a gurnesy was the nicest milk cow I ever had....

had a holstein x angus once that milked so hard that i had to milk her cause the calf just could not make a dent in it...ended up with four calves on her before I could stop milking her....let her in and out twice a day until all the calves were big enough to compete for a place at the meal line...Then put them all out....had to feed her like a holstein though to keep her from wasting away....
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