HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

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

Post by farmerjan » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:24 pm

The calves will bring the cows back into their milk although after being without for over 2 weeks she might very well not come back as good as if she was only a couple of days out. One thing we have done with dairy cows is to give them oxy shots for a few days or a week, also to get them to come into their milk.
Used it on a sow for a week and she finally came into her milk.
If you want to try the oxy shot it can't hurt. But the cow might not want to come in for you after a couple of them. Usually we would do it for a week or so. But I think that the calves working on the cows will do as much good. If they will come to you for a bottle to round out the amount they are getting, then I'd do a bottle a day to make sure they are getting enough. I agree that living a "normal life" with the herd is better than a bottle calf.
Good for you to get the cows to take the calves. That's a good sign of cows that are good, gentle , easy to work with cows. You are to be commended for having cows like that.



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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Post by Katpau » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:43 pm

Thank you Jan
The Cow that was 7 days from calving and her grafted calf were let out into a larger pasture with other cows today. Her calf still comes up to check us out but looks in good shape and doesn't ask for the bottle. The other calf on the cow that was 17 days from calving is still in a small area, but the calf looks really good and the cow has fully accepted her. She still follows me around nudging and looking for milk, so I still give her a half bottle AM & PM. Her tummy doesn't look any different than the other calves of the same age on their dams. I'm not really sure she needs the extra. I believe she was unfed for several days after the cow abandoned her for her twin. I wonder if that makes her more paranoid about eating, so she takes everything she can get whenever she can. I think she really likes the fact that the bottle is so easy. She can take it down in seconds. She will usually go to Mom and butt her furiously after she empties the bottle. I can just imagine her thinking "Why is your milk so slow"? She doesn't cry at us or really act hungry until I go in the pen and pet her. Then she starts searching my coat for a nipple. When we first milked each of these two cows, the one that was further from calving actually milked much easier, so I kind of think she has enough milk.

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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Post by farmerjan » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:59 pm

Sounds like you have it down pat......
One reason that the calf that was the twin, and on the cow that was 17 days out, keeps following you around for the milk is that you are imprinted on her more as the source of her milk. Sure, it is easier in the bottle, but you were the first thing that gave her milk without "kicking her or running her off" like the other cows did when she tried to find a meal. So she associates you with being her "mother" so to speak. Nothing wrong with that and it will hopefully keep her a little more friendly too.
I still think that it is really great that the cows took those calves so well after being without a calf for a week, and 2 weeks....
Congrats on a great outcome from a less than good start for both.

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Re: HELP can I reverse the drying up process?

Post by Katpau » Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:59 pm

It surprised me too. I've never had a failure grafting a calf, but I have had it take close to two weeks, and most take at least 3 to 4 days. The two weeks was on a cow that had lost a 3 week old calf to navel ill and had a bottle calf (twin) of about the same age substituted. I do cover them generously with that orphan-no-more calf claim powder. I don't know why or even if it works, but I use it. I think it must help, although I certainly had my doubts when I first opened the bottle and looked at that brown powder. I think the trick to being successful is persistence. I keep them together in a pen about 24 feet by 12 feet, and run the cow into the chute several times a day and put the calf on. I leave the calf sucking for 30 minutes or more each time, or until they quit on their own and lie down. If necessary, I will tie one of the cows feet back, so she can't kick. Often, after a few feedings, the cow will begin to gently talk to the calf while it feeds. You know you're on the road to success when you hear that.

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