Calf Taking Most Milk!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by JulieLou42, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    This itty-bitty Jersey cross calf that's 8 days old is taking most the milk! He started out by leaving one rear quarter completely alone, probably because it now hangs lower than the others, but I guess he's figured out a way to get that one, too. I've been getting a gallon at each milking, which is enough for our family and a few friends who want it, so what to do now? There was only a half gallon for us last night. And just under a gallon this morning.

    I'm thinking that, in order to milk once a day, if it's coming to that, I'll separate them in the afternoons and milk at 9:30 p.m. instead. Fewer flies and we're both in shade at that time, much cooler. No less fight with the flies, tho'. I keep a fan running on her on high to try to keep them down and us cooler.

    Any suggestions welcome...Thanks~

    Julie
     
  2. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Julie,
    It sounds like your cow has begun to hold back on you. Ours usually start to hold the milk for their calf about the third or fourth day. I usually end up separating the calf from the cow. I then milk out a couple of teats and let the calf have the rest, (depending on how big the calf is). My calf was born in March so missing a meal doesn't hurt her. I usually milk the cow completely out in the morning because it is cooler with less flies and I get more milk at this milking. I then let her calf and an adopted calf have all the milk at night. Have you tried spraying your cow with a mixture of vinegar, a couple of drops of dish detergent, several drops of tea tree oil, citronella oil, and several drops of lavender oil? I usually mix up about a quart at a time of this spray. It doesn't last too long, but keeps the flies off the cow while I milk.
     

  3. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Also milking is a supply and demand issue. :) The easiest thing to do is pen the calf up over night and milk in the morning. He gets to clean up what's left and nurse all day. That will increase your cows out put.
     
  4. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Increase Grain = More milk :) = Big Calf + Happy family!
     
  5. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    get the calf off the cow. Milk the cow twice per day. Same exact time mornign and night. Grain her. Feed the calf a quart, or 1-1/2 quarts marning and night. You can control where the milk goes, who gets how much. In a couople months the calf can be weened, and fed grain, hay, and water
     
  6. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much everybody for sage advice.

    As it happened, this calf, robust as he is, wouldn't take the bottle at all within the first two hours. Luckily by then, we did get a quart or so of colostrum down him with a bottle, but he just wouldn't keep on with it. We tried several times before just letting him try to get his milk directly from mama.

    Her milk has picked back up to where it was before, though. I think she gets that she only gets to have her grain in her stanchion. She comes very willingly there without being on a lead rope. Calf now knows, too, as he followed her there last night because my Grandson hadn't closed/latched the gate behind her when he let her loose. So, he was "caged" up in his little calf pen made of five pallets and baling twine during milking. He was quiet, tho', and mama was, too, so milking was easy. She seems to be letting down just fine, and I even get a lot of cream from her. I milk her just till the flow starts to go to "drips," and always leave just a bit for the calf, because I don't keep track of when he's at her side, or I'd be spending all day near the pasture.

    The organic fly spray that I made up with citronella, vinegar and ??? doesn't seem to work at all, so gave that up, and just turned the hose on her a coupla mornings ago. This morning, she stood perfectly still while eating her grain, even with the busy flies...go figure?! Nine times out of ten, she'll drop a "load" of either manure and/or ---- during or at the end of milking.

    Ginger seems to understand that I'm her "other" calf. It seemed that's who she thought I was the first three years milking. I probably don't hurt her as much as her own does, which might make milking a bit more pleasant for her, and she has gotten the relief she was needing, that causes her to bellow for her calf. There was some better than a gallon last night and some less than this morning, so all in all, so far it's coming out pretty even.

    Linn, if you have the recipe for the fly spray you use, please post, or know where I could get that? Thanks a bunch.

    Repeated thanks...Julie
     
  7. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    We use permethrin on our cows. :)
     
  8. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Julie,
    I make my own apple cider vinegar. I mix about a quart of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish detergent and about a 1/2 teaspoon each of tea tree oil, citronella oil, lavender oil and lemongrass oil. This is just an estimate because I just pour a little of each oil in. Sorry it didn't work for you. It seems to work for me for as long as it takes to milk my cow. I put in in a hand spray bottle and just mist it on my cow really well. She seems to appreciate my efforts and stands really well anymore for spraying.
     
  9. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Linn.

    I may try your recipe out, with some Bragg's vinegar from the health food store...or does it matter that it's from the super that's real vinegar, but not "organic"?

    I keep a flyswatter handy, but she's been pretty good lately and seems to be kicking on the one side less each time.

    She still gives me around a gallon at two milkings per day without holding back any. Maybe she does it for her grain and the fact that she's in this sort of rigid routine at milking time that she's used to over the past three years.

    At 12 days old, calf seems perfectly happy with our arrangement. I saw him cudding a bit today, and looking as if he's grazing now. A couple of days ago, I saw him trying to eat the new orchard grass hay.
     
  10. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Julie,
    I would use the cheapest apple cider vinegar I could find. I have even used white vinegar before I made my own vinegar. Good luck with the milking.