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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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?

Post by 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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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Post by Katpau » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:35 pm

We have two cows that had still born calves. The first lost her calf on the night between February 15th &16th and the other sometime between the night of February 22nd and the morning of the 23rd. On the morning of February 29th we found a new calf in the first calf heifer pasture who was being cleaned through the fence by a yearling heifer. We located her mother up on the hill and she had prolapsed and died while giving birth the night before. We took it home, got colostrum in him, and the following day we caught the cow that had lost her calf a week earlier. We milked her and got what we could, then fed the calf again. We put the cow in the chute and put the calf on her a few times a day for the next two days. By yesterday she was feeding it and protecting it. I'm not sure how much milk she has now, so we are also offering 1/2 bottle morning and evening. He takes it then runs back to her to nurse.

Yesterday, we went down in the evening to feed, and there was a calf down near the feed barn, untagged, all alone, crying, and obviously unfed. Her tummy was very empty. We had tagged a calf for every cow that had given birth, and the 11 remaining cows to calve in that pasture were all still PG. I guess one of the cows that calved in that pasture in the last couple days must have had a twin we didn't see. The calf was apparently abandoned and she must have followed the herd down when we came to feed hay. Its umbilical was already dry, so it could have been a day or two old. She was so hungry that she sucked anything that got close. She tried to get to the cow that had brought down a new calf that morning, but that one had no time for her and pushed her about 20 feet. We got colostrum in her, although she was likely a little old for the full effect. This morning we caught the cow that calved on the 16th (17 days ago) and put her in the chute. She still had milk, so we put the calf on her. She was pretty good and let it nurse for half an hour. We gave the calf 1/2 a bottle after to be sure it was enough and she took that too. This evening we repeated the process. To my surprise after we let the cow out, the calf went after her again and she let it nurse without pushing it away.

I wish I knew just how much milk the cows are producing. I had always assumed 4 or 5 days was about tops for grafting, but our friend is a Vet who has raised cattle his whole life, and he felt they would come back into their milk. Even if they don't have as much milk as they would have, the calves are still better off with a mother and a more normal life. I'll keep offering a bottle as long as there tummies don't look full.

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