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Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Skye, Jul 21, 2006.
What do you do if your cow will not let her milk down unless the calf is nursing?
She will let it down in a few days. Just keep trying to get what you can. Did you just take the calf away from her.
The calf is two months old. I have allowed her to nurse while I milked. Now I have two issues with what I have done. 1. What will happen when the baby is weanad. 2. I would like to start milking once a day. I thought I could milk in the morn and let the calf have her the rest of the day and separate them at night. If mom won't let down then that won't work.
When the calf is weaned the cow will start giving less. The cow is only holding the milk back on you,she is leting it down for the calf. Try miking in the morning while the calf is eating. Get all the milk you want then let the calf have the rest of the milk.
My sis is doing that now. She lets the calf out in the morning just long enough for mom to let down, then puts him back in his pen till she's got however much she wants.
I always just lock the calf up at night then milk while it's nursing in the morning. I let it have one quarter and I take the other 3. Gets interesting trying to keep him off your 3 when he's done with his.
I have completely separated the cow and calf. I milk the cow out in the morning and in the evening I just let the calf in with the cow long enough for the calf to nurse out the cow. This method has been working well for me.
Skye, I went through that and tried all sorts of things. In the end I went for broke which also happened to conincide with having too many cows to be mucking around sharemilking with their calves. I now leave the calf with it's dam for the first four days of it's life to ensure a good start and all the colostrum it needs then take if off it's mother and put it on a calfateria. There is a couple of days bellowing and palaver then everything settles down including let down from the cow.
I tried doing what your suggesting, and at that age, and it didn't work as the cow would still hold back for it's calf. I would suggest weaning the calf altogether and putting it as far away as possible. Give it something like Chaffhage or calf nuts to help it through the weaning process and to keep it's condition up.
You can try doing what Paula sister does but the problem of handling an ever growing calf raises it's head. Even when on a halter, they can be beggers to move if they have an eye on a teat
Like me, your going to perhaps have to experiment to find out what works best for both you and your cow.
My cow, with calf No. 4, gives me a gallon each morning and evening milking. The calf runs with her the rest of the time. She only gets her supplemental feed...COB w/molasses and alfalfa pellets when she's in her stanchion, and she KNOWS this. If she drops down to 1/2 to 3/4 gallon each milking, I may quit the morning session, because that's when it's hottest, and the heat at present is nearly unbearable...I'm more of a night owl anyway.
Two gallons is much more than we can use at present because my milkshare folks are out of town. So I'm swimming in it at present. Couldn't use the first 72 hrs. of milk because it was contaminated with penicillin.
I tie my calf to the front of the stanchion, by the cow's head. The calf can get just behind the cow's shoulder, but no further towards me. The hungry calf butts the cow just behind the front leg and she lets down then. This works with my older calves, too, because they can't far enough back to get in my way, but still tell mamma they're hungry and she lets down.