Cow getting an attitude? Or maybe not?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by MikeJoel, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. MikeJoel

    MikeJoel Well-Known Member

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    Cow we got about 1 1/2 week ago, Jersey mix.

    Now we were told it was milked by machine but also at times by hand.
    It got a cut on the udder and as suggested I have been putting vitamin E and bag balm on.
    When I first started doing this she was pretty ok with it. Now she is trying to kick more and more. I dont even know how much she is really trying to kick either. None of the kicks have been quick and hard. All I have been able to stop by a hard pat on the leg and side. She has not as yet actually hit me (except with her tail once :) ).

    Now I am wondering if a cow starts to do this before calving does it mean she will afterwards? I figure maybe not since she will then have milk and will be uncomfortable and hopefully prefer being milked.

    I have looked at hobbles and wanted to know (I think it is too early yet to be serious about them) if they work?

    Or anyone got a suggestion?

    Thank you
    Mike
     
  2. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I take it the cow is now dry? She understands that her calf, the last milker, is now weaned and doesn't want her ol' bag messed with by a stranger. A lot of cows don't like to change calves/milkers late in their lactation; the new person is just not their calf/milker, at least not the one she's been feeding. My 2 cents says she'll be fine after she calves and has that "I've got a new baby to feed" attitude. If she's been broke to milk she won't forget it.
     

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    If she is bagging, her udder is likely sensative. One of the holsteins we have is due around the 16th, and if you rub her udder she is ok with it, to a degree. Some don't care at all. Remember it is expanding, developing more that its past milking, unless it is a first calf heifer. So naturally it might feel uncomfortable. She might be unpleasant at first, but she will come around.


    Jeff
     
  4. MikeJoel

    MikeJoel Well-Known Member

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    I completely forgot to mention about that sorry.
    The cow is dry and going to be calving within a week (I HOPE).
    So far I tried giving her a firm (not excessing) knock on the hock with a crop, she didnt do it again (but then I was pretty much through). Should I not do that?

    I hope your right. I admit Im a bit anxious for this to work out right.
    Thank you
    Mike
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I wouldn't push her at this stage, do so when she calves, and when she does give you some crap, then show her whos boss. Our Jersey was a kicker for a couple weeks, a couple kicks back to the leg (below th hock), fixed her. It hurt her, and it sure as heck would hurt me. This lasted for 2-3 weeks, she slowly calmed down 4-5 weeks after, and was fine there after. Funny thing, the "pets" sometimes give you more trouble than the ones who aren't. Up at a farm where I got my 4 holsteins finds that, the help there said that all of the "pets" are a pain at first.


    Jeff
     
  6. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Best to remain calm and try to remember cow is in new surroundings, doesn't know what to expect from you, may not be used to feed if at all different from what she had been getting.
    ....If you kick a cow, or lose your temper and strike it, you have just given her a bad experience she will not forget. For every time you kick a cow, she will repay you threefold. When you least expect it. By the picture of cow you posted, she's a crossbred and may have some vigor and a fast kick if she is uncomfortable come milking time. Try to remember that those traits make for calves that live and cows that live long despite hard weather or adversity.
    Agree with one of above posts that after calving she will get back into milking routine & handling.
     
  7. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that she will be very tender from now till a couple of weeks after she freshens. She'll be more likely to be kicky but will probably settle down later.
    Even our gentlest old (14) Jersey lifts her feet during the first couple of weeks after freshening. She doesn't kick, but lifts her feet abruptly and often upsets the milk bucket. No amount of scolding stops it, she is just hurting.
    If your cow isn't kicking at you this is probably what's going on being she's so close to freshening. Just try to be patient and wait it out.
    Jerseys have a long memory and can have quite an attitude, it doesn't pay to upset them unnecessarily.
     
  8. MikeJoel

    MikeJoel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks
    She has seemed to settle down.
    I took the crop with me the next time I had to work on the udder and just touched her leg with it before I began (not hitting or anything) I haven't had trouble since.
    I dont think it was the crop though. I think you guys/gals are right.
    She has really started coming around. I now practically have to fight her off when it is time to feed and she doesnt really run from me anymore. If fact sometimes I almost think she likes having me there. LOL

    She now will on occasion let me pet her all the way to the base of her head and muzzle (something she absolutely wouldnt let me do about a week ago).
    I even felt confident enough to take her halter off. The next day I went to put it back on and didn't even have to tie her. Let her sniff it and slipped it on while she did.

    I know it is all maybe a little silly but I was honestly worried this animal wouldn't come around.
    Thanks
    Mike
     
  9. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    The way you described it, it sounds to me she wasn't trying to kick you just trying to keep your hands away from her tender udder. You say she has been machine and hand milked, perhaps she is a bit confused if she is being handled from the side when she is used to the milker reaching in between her back legs.
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    My Jersey had a knack for swooshing me in the eye with her tail as I was learning to milk. Ouch! She never tried to kick me but the tail hurt :grump: and if I took to long the milk bucket went over and she took off. You might say she trained me to do it her way :rolleyes: Once I picked up on milking and learned to milk faster and smoother, her tail swooshing eased up considerably and I think the times she connected to my face were attempts at fly swatting-or just keeping me alert :) I'm with the others, at this point she's not giving you an indication of how she will be later. She's telling you to let her be. Later, when she freshens you should still be attentive to your method. Milking takes practice and there will be a learning curve on both sides of the milk bucket as you get used to each other. Be patient. The one thing I kept telling myself was that people did this everyday for thousands of years :)
     
  11. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My cow gets cranky about me touching her udder while she's dry and immediately after calving; but once we start the milking routine she settles down. If the cow is kicking, put her in a stanchion and tie her near leg back while you are working with her and she will soon find stop.