HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
dandelionretreat
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HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby dandelionretreat » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:21 am

I am new to owning a cow. I just got her yesterday. She calved about 2 weeks ago and the calf died about a week ago. The previous owners are not interested in cows for dairy purposes. She still has liquid in her udder but I need to know if I can bring her back into milk production? I have had dairy goats for 10 yrs so not new to milking but new to this scenario. I am milking her a few times a day to get her body to think she has a baby. Is this even possible? Thanks!!
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby dun » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:26 pm

That's a pretty long time to expect to get her back into milk. But frequent milkings may bring her back into some milk, just not as much as she should have. She'll need good hay and grain to get her producing very much
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby dandelionretreat » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:33 pm

I do not expect any sort of huge reward, just want to make sure I am not embarking on a completely futile endeavor! I would be thrilled with anything. I have been giving grain and alfalfa along with grass, not a lot, just introducing it for her as she has been at pasture all winter. Thanks!!
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby Nesikep » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:21 pm

What he said.. she won't milk the same as if she had never started drying up, but she might produce a little bit.. Whatever amount you're getting now is probably about as good as it'll get, perhaps a little improvement, but nothing spectactular.. What kind of cow is it?
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby dandelionretreat » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:48 pm

Thanks. Using my experience with goats I am thinking she is past the point? What I am milking out is rather clear, but a bit foamy? She is half Holstein and half Angus. I am thinking the calf she had likely died more than a week ago, maybe 2 weeks? Thanks!!!
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby Nesikep » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:20 am

Probably not much hope there.. sorry
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby dandelionretreat » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:48 am

Well today I did get obviously white liquid, not clear, from one teat!!! Almost full/real milk!
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby dandelionretreat » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:59 am

Update. I built a stanchion, and she is very patient in there! All 4 quarters now giving white liquid, far more milk than clear. I milked into a pot today, not completely milking her out since it is new for her and I do not want to push it. Got over 1/2 a gallon. I think there is hope!
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby Nesikep » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:03 pm

Well, seems like there is hope after all.. don't be afraid to milk her out completely, it'll help the process, and certainly won't hurt anything
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby regolith » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:07 pm

You sound like a very lucky guy.
The clear liquid is a pretty good indication of a cow that isn't lactating... she must have had enough calving hormones still hanging around that she's come back into milk. I wouldn't expect much.
Milk her out properly each time. She replaces what gets taken each day, so it helps her production to milk regularly and completely.
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby dandelionretreat » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:23 am

Thanks! I am pretty thrilled about the progress. The liquid that was coming out originally foamed as it hit the ground so maybe that indicated there was more in there? or the possibility of more. As she has never been milked out (her being new to a stanchion and being milked in general) I was working up to it. Milked twice yesterday as much as I could, almost milking her out, and got a gallon of very golden milk. This am it was a bit whiter!
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby GMN » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:54 am

Does she have mastitis?
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby farmerjan » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:23 pm

How is the milking coming? Just saw this thread so don't know how you have progressed. The more often you milk the more her hormones will be stimulated to produce, up to a point. If you can get a gal to 2 gal a day that would be pretty good since she is half angus, and the length of time until she got milked after losing the calf. Get her bred back and then next time milk her out everytime. There have been studies done on dairy cows that show that 4 x day milking the first 60-90 days will give an increased output of 22% or so over the length of the lactation, even when going back to 2x day after 90 days, compared to the normal 2x day. I have a couple of farms that milk 3x day and they get in the neighborhood of 15% increase over 2x.
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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Postby regolith » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:15 pm

I'd forgotten this thread.

I had one lost her calf just a few days after being dried off - calf was either mummified or stripped by predators within the day, she would have been about six months pregnant.
Three weeks later, I'd noticed her failure to dry down and was completely fed up of buying pasteurised milk while the herd was dry - and decided to start milking her. Got about two litres to start with, she got up to around five litres a week or two later.
She's gone now. Feels like I culled my own mother but I need to allocate feed to productive cows, and while a nice young cow, she wasn't going to pay for her costs until her next calf if I'd kept her.
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