There's better ways than this to start calving

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
brightspark
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby brightspark » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:41 pm

black mastitis in two yr old 8 weeks be for calving not good at all.
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regolith
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:01 am

brightspark wrote:black mastitis in two yr old 8 weeks be for calving not good at all.


No, that really sucks. Hope it's the last you ever see, nothing good about black mastitis.

Fell asleep again before reaching the door to go night check... all good, 77 had her calf at 5:30 am and 280 waited till noon to provide another opportunity for photos of a milk fever downer cow.
I think that 13 yr old has now gone two nights clear without going down... didn't boost her with calcium this morning so I'll soon know if she's out of the woods or not. *With* boosting her with calcium every morning she went down two nights in a row.

Checked last years records and at the same number of cows calved... then remembered we started ten days earlier this year. With the lack of grass growth and cold wet, it's just as well; be struggling to feed them adequately if they were calving faster.
Better weather forecast; now to get some fencing done and get the calves back outside.
37 heifers calved, eleven to go.
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regolith
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:03 am

This is a reminder that you have a Herd Test due for your herd


That email is kidding right? RIght?
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:54 am

Took this photo this morning. Last October I sprayed out black lily with roundup and then threw down some Italian ryegrass seed I had left over from the Manawatu farm. I also used the seed on damaged patches after any heavy rains last spring. That grass has been standing above its neighbours the whole year and you can see it now, right in the patches where those lilies used to be. It likes the cold.

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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:20 pm

just in case anyone forgot what milk fever cows look like

Annie getting a lift up from the mud
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280 today. See the scuffed grass behind her? She's rolled right over a few times attempting to get up.
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The calving mob this morning
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except for 77 who is too busy with her new calf to move with the group
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84's day old calf
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milking herd yesterday
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and in the evening, a group of recently calved heifers
Image that's Annie's daughter second in from the right.
two nights earlier, waiting to come in for milking
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825's daughter, to a crossbred bull. Might start saying nice things about crossbred bulls if they throw heifers like that. She's a slow milker, the herd test coming up will tell me if she's just slow, or if it's because of too much milk.
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this is the calf with the twisted front legs that was pictured earlier.
It's not fast improvement, but she is straightening out.
Image
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Williamsv
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby Williamsv » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:02 pm

Great pictures of good looking cows and calves. I love the night picture. Nothing is more beautiful than watching cows at dusk. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby chippie » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:13 am

loved your photos. thank you for sharing them. I hope that all goes well for you.
I do enjoy seeing your cows. : )
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby hillsdown » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:49 pm

I have not forgotten what MF looks like but sure as heck I am glad I don't see it anymore :???:

Your little calf is looking really good , I think she has improved immensely Rego . Nice job :D

BTW my hair stylist is leaving next month to New Zealand for a whole year , just to tour around and see the country . They want to take odd jobs as they move along to help offset the costs . I hate that she is leaving, but she couldn't have picked a prettier country to want to travel through .
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:11 am

A year is the way to do it, indeed.
So many take three or four weeks holiday in NZ, because it's a long way from anywhere. But really, you can't see much in that time.
Just sent my mum back overseas and she spent most of four weeks sitting by my fire :D out of the rain... I can't say my house looks as nice as it did when she was here but at least things stay where I put them.

So I never did do that bit of fencing before letting the calves back out to grass. Guess what, I have photos from this afternoon of totally smashed fence and calves all over the place. There's a few options from here but one of them goes something along the lines of "milk early tomorrow, then spend the whole day building fence before feeding the calves". Another is toss them out into a real paddock and hope the two wire electric holds them and that the youngest ones have figured out to come running when the tractor arrives.
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:17 am

Just when I thought my day couldn't get any worse...
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Pulled a Simmental bull calf out of this cow today:
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It wasn't nice. I'm seriously ready to cancel the Simmental straws I ordered for this year. I'm in the business of making milk after all, not pretty dead calves.
Used to use Simmental in Scotland across British Friesian for easy calving - it wasn't the best plan for heifers, but I don't ever recall a cow having difficulty.
The real problem was that 93 went down in the vet race. There's no question the calf was too big and she needed assistance; once I'd managed to get the calf out just far enough to get thoroughly jammed exploration suggested that the reason for the jam was a piece of cow spine centred right over the calf's eye socket :help: which surely couldn't have happened if she'd been standing.
Wasn't able to get her up, but did move her around just enough to allow the calf to start moving again - it was still a very hard pull, the vet turned up in time to hear the calf bawling and halfway out but by the time we got the rest of it through it was a dead calf, and the cow had significant calving paralysis.
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:44 am

Told ya it was a bad day, now my computer won'tletme type p[ropeorly.
That was only the start of the trouble; onthis farm my biggest fearhas alwaysbeen a cow going downinthe vetracebecause there's no easy way tpo get a tractor in to get her out.
Easier than I expected, but still wasn't possible without damaging a few things. I never expected to get anywhere near the vetrace without smashing a wall or railing, but as it turned out it was getting back out again that was the problem. The vet helped, right through till we got 93 hauled out to grass where she stood up. She's been getting up and down a few times since the vet left, but not walking. The vet was concerned that we didn't treat all her grazes from when she was struggling to get up, but it was practically dark by then & I'll check them in the morning.

The vet's recommendation was not pulling calves in the vet race. After a few minutes thought she came up with a solution - to put the cow in the race to get a halter on, then back them out and use the yard gate swung back to hold them against the edge of the pen. The key is that if they did go down, by untying the gate they're effectively 'in the open', and if need be I can get a tractor up to them without risking every gate and railing in the vicinity.
Don't tell the cows, but their fences don't have any electricity till daylight when I can fix the wire back onto its pole.
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:13 am

making new fence for the calfshed run. Been wanting to do this since I got to this farm, now I can drive the tractor straight in through the ugliest tape gate ever seen. New gateway is twice the size of the old one and not butted right up against the shed.
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby Nesikep » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:35 pm

It can always get worse!... When it rains it sure does pour!, hopefully things start to smooth out for you. What did that bull calf weigh?

I like that list picture of the calves :)
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:16 am

Another day, another hard calving :cry:
Cow and calf doing fine - this one was a milk fever I checked after treating and found calf all ready to fall out except the head was turned back with nose pointing down.

I weighed 93's calf this morning Nesi - 45 - 46 kg. She should have been able to have a calf that size, though she is getting on in years, eleven this year.
She can't stand on her own yet; I don't know how she was getting up and down last night. At least she eats out of a trough and drinks out of a bucket; Maya (185) was adamant on harvesting her own food and 93 is now eating the special food I got for her.
185 didn't respond well to the treatment for her pneumonia and died last week. It's amazing she carried on as well as she did all those weeks, the state her lungs were in. The calf I'd fostered on to her for the last few days didn't look too impressed this morning at being hauled out to a paddock to meet another cow... I think she thinks 93 is going to die on her too.
I'm not sure how long it'll be for 93 to get steady enough on her feet to join the milking herd, but I've got calves that can manage her milk if it's going to be a while.
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Re: There's better ways than this to start calving

Postby regolith » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:29 am

oh well, but I get to look at these every day:
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top is 132. The three heifers are half sisters, Andromeda, Gemma and the one without the cups on yet is 147. Gemma (148) did the top production out of the 2 yr olds on herd test and 147 was second.

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Leonie, now four years old. She did well on the September herd test and her daughter Leora (27) did top production of the registered Jersey heifers.
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