Increasing Production

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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novaman
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby novaman » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:19 pm

With a 7 month old calf she is probably well on her way to drying up. I've had a couple milk cows run as a beef cow supporting a calf. If they have just one calf on them they will be pretty well dried up by the time the calf is weaned at around 7 months. One calf doesn't take everything she can produce so she drops off in production early in lactation. My guess is what little she is producing the calf is taking it all. You can't make a cow produce better once she has dropped way off. She has to freshen again to bring the production up. Good luck
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VC Rancher
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby VC Rancher » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:34 am

For right now, because I am very new at this, I have started doing the following:

1) I have put the cow out to pasture with the calf during the day. Most of the grass is pretty new so the protein should be pretty good.
2) I put the calf in an electric fence pen that I built on the pasture at 4pm so he can be near the cow but not be stressed out...that has worked pretty good.
3) I go out at 6am and milk the cow. This morning it took me 1 hour to get 5 cups of milk.
4) After I am done milking as much as I can or have the patience for, I lead the cow over to the calf and let the calf out of the pen. The calf then immediately starts nursing.

The reason I started doing this is that I am not confident that I will be able to strip the cow and so I let the calf back on to finish off what I didn't take.

What do you think?
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GMN
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby GMN » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:13 am

I think you need to keep the calf away from the Mom at all times and wean it, and if you dont want to do this, then stop milking the cow altogether and dry her up, and still wean the calf from the cow, as it is time for that calf to be weaned. It may beller for a few days, but the cow will do better without having the calf suck on her, get her body condition back to where it shoudl be, especialy if she is indeed bred.
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VC Rancher
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby VC Rancher » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:20 am

I ordered a weaning ring which will come next week. I was thinking that I would do it this way until the weaning ring came just to give me practice and not HAVE to strip her so I can avoid mastitis. Once the weaning ring comes, I will take full responsibility for milking her each day. I feel bad pulling the calf completely away from the cow.

Does this make sense?

BTW, how do I know when I have stripped the cow as compared to her just holding back?

Thanks!
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby GMN » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:07 pm

I think this question is better answered by a beef farmer, I have dairy cows so I do not know, if the cow will get mastitis if she is not giving that much milk as it is, sounds to me she is drying herself up, and the calf is just use to feeding on her, but really isn't getting much to eat. I don't think most people use weaning rings, they just take the calves away when the time is right to wean them
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Dixieangus
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby Dixieangus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:44 pm

keep in mind the weaning ring isnt a weaning tool it is to HELP in the weaning process from what i understand you can only leave it in for no longer than a week....because it then will start to irritate the nerve or something in there.....it is used to put in for like 3 days and keep the cow and calf together then take out and wean this= less stress on calf......this is my understanding of it
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then when the pregnancy test is done and the calves are weaned...
sell the open cows...
don't fret..don't worry about how nice they are...
they are open and not producing a thing...
sell em.
-pdfangus

VC Rancher
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby VC Rancher » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:22 am

I haven't milked before, which is a big factor in this whole problem. She hasn't either, from a human. I got 4.5 cups out of her this morning at 6am after milking her at 2pm the day before and getting 7 cups. That's close to 3/4 of a gallon in less than 24 hours. I kept the calf separated during this whole time.

It took me roughly 40 minutes to get that 4.5 cups this morning. What was puzzling me was that I would milk a teat until I just couldn't seem to get any more, or a very thin stream while squeezing really hard, then I would switch to another teat and do the same thing. I went all the way around with this process. When I finished, I noticed there was still more in each teat and so I did some more for about another 20 minutes, trying to squeeze out everything I could.

When I felt the udder, it still felt like it was still pressured, but I couldn't seem to get any more. I let the cow off the stanchion and released the calf. The calf immediately started nursing and whacking the udder. He started having his mouth covered in milk and I could see it dripping. Very frustrating. The calf did go about twice as long as I have ever seen (about 10 minutes) but after about 5 minutes he spent most of his time whacking her udder. So clearly the cow is holding back, but I could feel her letting her milk down at one point.

Bottom line: I don't know what to make of all this and would like to get into a rhythm.

As a side note, I noticed a bloody mucus on the vent and tail of this cow yesterday, so I am thinking she wasn't bred, even though she was in with a proven bull for two full cycles.

What do you think?
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Dixieangus
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby Dixieangus » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:35 pm

That sounds like a cycle so she may not be bred i would recommend this to see... http://www.biotracking.com/dairy......biotracking is where you pull blood from the tail vein (not that hard) and send it off and they tell you if shes bred or open.....
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then when the pregnancy test is done and the calves are weaned...
sell the open cows...
don't fret..don't worry about how nice they are...
they are open and not producing a thing...
sell em.
-pdfangus

Udderslavery
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Re: Increasing Production

Postby Udderslavery » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:19 pm

Perhaps the cow is not letting down. It sure sounds like that is what she's doing. She needs the stimulation of the calf sucking. This causes her release of oxytocin. Some home milkers let the calf nurse one quarter and milk the other three. Sometimes while the calf is actually nursing. Eventually the cow gets habituated to letting down from the udder washing the milker does before milking.

This thread was a long time ago so it is a mot point now I guess.
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