What do you like/dislike about these cows?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Loch Valley Fold
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby Loch Valley Fold » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:59 pm

cull order for us would be mastitis (continuous high cell counts), temperament, potential calving problems (if the neighbours limmo bull has gotten in again) fertility, we've had cows that we've the eye taken out due to cancer or injury & they've been fine.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby TexasBred » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:22 pm

regolith wrote:They are all three doing the job on all grass which matters a bit more than general dairyness here - I always reckon, you can cull hard and improve your herd till you get to the top cow, but then you don't have a herd. I've culled heavily on production and health, but I could still pick major faults on most of the cows.
I think 825 is in the top 5% of the herd, hoping to breed on from her and her sister and definitely improve that udder in the progeny.

As long as they are paying their way, breeding back on time and no health problems they will work for you. Might want to consider flushing the best ones.I culled heavy but we also raised ever calf that was born so we had replacements on the way that in theory and most often in reality were even better than the dam. We began breeding strictly for milk production , then began trying to improve feet and legs then on to more fancy udders. Wife did all the matings, breedings and calf raising. (You ladies are head and shoulders above men in those areas especialy ). ;-)
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby regolith » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:32 pm

Image
137's calf, about four hours old. It was really hard to get a good pic, but in this one you can see how the skull is flat on the left side, there's no room in the bone for the eye that isn't present. Without looking closely, if you saw her from the left side you'd only think she was holding her eye closed as they do if it gets irritated.
She's gone now and the voices in my head are still telling me I should have saved her from the truck that collected her.

137's calf with 177, another out-of-season calf that shouldn't have been kept - she was two weeks short of a year old when I started AI, waited for her second cycle & I think she's in-calf now.
Image

Herd test results. The milk was down that day and unsurprisingly a late calver was the top producer this time (usually happens in November, the earlier calvers have peaked in production 3 - 4 weeks before the herd test)
Image

In order of production for that day, 825 was third out of the herd, 216 fourth, 280 twelfth, 137 39th or 40th (I lost count) and 396 4th from the bottom, above 177's mother (who hasn't calved for thirteen months) and two heifers who I suspect were having a bad day because they did much better on the last test.

You really wouldn't like the udders of either of the two cows above 825, TB. 316 (the second cow) has been astonishing me for years because I know what cow she was out of, her mum was never up to much and as ugly as they come. 316 is another big solid crossbred, huge wide udder consistent high production. Almost the opposite to her mother.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby regolith » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:55 pm

Whole herd average production: 19 litres 5.13% Fat 4.02% Protein 1.73 kg MS (Milksolids) SCC 76

825: 28.4 litre 5.3% fat 3.93% protein 2.63 kg MS SCC 29
216: 37.1 litre 3.56% fat 3.31% protein 2.56 kg MS SCC 39
280: 25.3 litre 4.99% fat 4.07% protein 2.29 kg MS SCC 13
137: 19.9 litre 5.68% fat 4.17% protein 1.96 kg MS SCC 120
396: 10.5 litre 5.1% fat 4.07% protein 0.97 kg MS SCC 48

at 40th cow 137 is just under 1/3 of the way down the herd - so 1/3 of the herd produced that much or more at herd test, 2/3 of the herd did less. About 10 per cent of the herd did less than 1.3 kg MS. What they eat is what they were standing on in the photos, plus water and some magnesium/selenium/rumensin as a daily drench.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby TexasBred » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:52 am

regolith wrote:Whole herd average production: 19 litres 5.13% Fat 4.02% Protein 1.73 kg MS (Milksolids) SCC 76

825: 28.4 litre 5.3% fat 3.93% protein 2.63 kg MS SCC 29
216: 37.1 litre 3.56% fat 3.31% protein 2.56 kg MS SCC 39
280: 25.3 litre 4.99% fat 4.07% protein 2.29 kg MS SCC 13
137: 19.9 litre 5.68% fat 4.17% protein 1.96 kg MS SCC 120
396: 10.5 litre 5.1% fat 4.07% protein 0.97 kg MS SCC 48

at 40th cow 137 is just under 1/3 of the way down the herd - so 1/3 of the herd produced that much or more at herd test, 2/3 of the herd did less. About 10 per cent of the herd did less than 1.3 kg MS. What they eat is what they were standing on in the photos, plus water and some magnesium/selenium/rumensin as a daily drench.

Thanks for the numbers. I couldn't read the printout. Not bad at all especially for cattle on grass only. Somewhat surprising that the milk protein is that high but the jersey and jersey/cross probably help that number a bit. Exceptional SSC numbers. Don't think I've ever seen any that low. Almost "too low". Good job.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby Curtis36 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:20 am

Regolith, I agree with you. I would cull on fertility production and temperment way before I would worry about high front quarters. Temperment is huge, especially if its a stanchion situation. My dad has gotten rid of the best cows he's had over temperment and kept the homely looking ones. It's just not worth it.

You've got some nice cows, and the fact that all they get is grass amazes me. I've never heard of anyone doing that here.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby Curtis36 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:59 am

TexasBred wrote:
regolith wrote:Whole herd average production: 19 litres 5.13% Fat 4.02% Protein 1.73 kg MS (Milksolids) SCC 76

825: 28.4 litre 5.3% fat 3.93% protein 2.63 kg MS SCC 29
216: 37.1 litre 3.56% fat 3.31% protein 2.56 kg MS SCC 39
280: 25.3 litre 4.99% fat 4.07% protein 2.29 kg MS SCC 13
137: 19.9 litre 5.68% fat 4.17% protein 1.96 kg MS SCC 120
396: 10.5 litre 5.1% fat 4.07% protein 0.97 kg MS SCC 48

at 40th cow 137 is just under 1/3 of the way down the herd - so 1/3 of the herd produced that much or more at herd test, 2/3 of the herd did less. About 10 per cent of the herd did less than 1.3 kg MS. What they eat is what they were standing on in the photos, plus water and some magnesium/selenium/rumensin as a daily drench.

Thanks for the numbers. I couldn't read the printout. Not bad at all especially for cattle on grass only. Somewhat surprising that the milk protein is that high but the jersey and jersey/cross probably help that number a bit. Exceptional SSC numbers. Don't think I've ever seen any that low. Almost "too low". Good job.

Wonder if the cell count is low cuz their outside instead of laying in a barn or freestall all day? Just my opinion...
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby TexasBred » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:35 am

Curtis36 wrote:Wonder if the cell count is low cuz their outside instead of laying in a barn or freestall all day? Just my opinion...


Always possible but doubtful. 90% of the dairies in this area run their cattle in pastures and still have SCC well above 200,000 and often more than 400,000. Tests that give you SCC by individual cow will often show a cow that just always has a high SCC yet no mastitis even on a subclinical basis. I think Rego's #'s just show that she is doing an excellent job in the area of hygiene with her cattle and using proper methods for ultimate udder maintenance pre and post milking and has probably already culled the old "somatic Sallies" we use to call them.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby Loch Valley Fold » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:08 pm

Bega Cheese suppliers have a 250,000 thresh hold anything over that they get docked at start 5cents/litre if nothing is done than its up to 15 cents/litre they than use a sliding scale where the SCC is averaged out over 13 weeks before the farmer is back off penalty rates.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby regolith » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:33 pm

TexasBred wrote:
Curtis36 wrote:Wonder if the cell count is low cuz their outside instead of laying in a barn or freestall all day? Just my opinion...


Always possible but doubtful. 90% of the dairies in this area run their cattle in pastures and still have SCC well above 200,000 and often more than 400,000. Tests that give you SCC by individual cow will often show a cow that just always has a high SCC yet no mastitis even on a subclinical basis. I think Rego's #'s just show that she is doing an excellent job in the area of hygiene with her cattle and using proper methods for ultimate udder maintenance pre and post milking and has probably already culled the old "somatic Sallies" we use to call them.


The cell count is normal for this time of year - it will go up a little in late lactation but I expect to average 100,000 - 130,000 for the whole season. I don't know what I'm doing right but it's probably a bit of everything. Teat spraying, finding and treating clinicals, culling repeat cases. I'm big on keeping perfect teat condition and add emollient to the teat spray to ensure that.
The milking shed has a lot to do with it & I don't have a lot of control over that.
We get financial penalties for milk over 400,000 here. I think the average for New Zealand is sitting around 220,000. What we do find is that the causes of mastitis are different here than in the UK or US. Management systems are different, yes, but I wouldn't overlook that big expanse of ocean all around us, especially when I read that you guys have antibiotic resistance issues we haven't seen here yet.

Curtis, when I do get mastitis is usually during calving in the spring. If we have a week of wet weather and the cows are calving into mud, I'll get a big cluster of cases of clinical mastitis. The weather clears up and it goes back to normal. I get about as much mastitis as the average farm, but as far as I can tell my thresholds for identifying and treating it are a lot lower - as in, some of what I treat would be categorised as subclinical.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby TexasBred » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:07 pm

regolith wrote: I get about as much mastitis as the average farm, but as far as I can tell my thresholds for identifying and treating it are a lot lower - as in, some of what I treat would be categorised as subclinical.


And this is where you excel. Too many over here simply hang milkers and remove milkers. So much of the milking is done by hired hands (often illegal immigrants) who don't care. All they're looking for is the last cow to come thru the barn. I've seen people with problem cows inthe herd that simply would not treat them or remove them because "I need the milk". How is that for management?
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby bigbull338 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:47 pm

there are ways to get your SCC down an they are time consuming.we used to dry the cows teats off with washclothes 1 to a cow.plus we would dipp the milkers in bleach between cows.an we would also dipp their teats with the best teat dipp.an following that we could keep our cell count down to 300,000.an if it flared up over that we could find a bad mastitis case real quick.if you get slack or lazy on the above the cell count would go up.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby Curtis36 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:10 am

TexasBred wrote:
Curtis36 wrote:Wonder if the cell count is low cuz their outside instead of laying in a barn or freestall all day? Just my opinion...


Always possible but doubtful. 90% of the dairies in this area run their cattle in pastures and still have SCC well above 200,000 and often more than 400,000. Tests that give you SCC by individual cow will often show a cow that just always has a high SCC yet no mastitis even on a subclinical basis. I think Rego's #'s just show that she is doing an excellent job in the area of hygiene with her cattle and using proper methods for ultimate udder maintenance pre and post milking and has probably already culled the old "somatic Sallies" we use to call them.

Ur probly right :) It was just a thought cuz my dad's herd is also on pasture a large percentage of the time and he regulary gets rewards for his cells counts as well, but he also has good udder maintenance.
I didn't know texas had much of a dairy industry, so i'm learning everyday on this site:)
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby bigbull338 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:29 am

curtis we used to have a large number of dairies in texas.just in my home county alone there used tobe 500 dairies.an in a 6 county area 1000 or more dairies.but our county has dropped to less than 100 dairies.within 8 miles of me there used tobe 11 dairies,now theyve all closed down.
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Re: What do you like/dislike about these cows?

Postby GMN » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:51 pm

TexasBred wrote:I would cull all of them. sorry. :(


are you nuts?
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