drying out a cow

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by spinnDrSandy, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. spinnDrSandy

    spinnDrSandy Active Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    Does a cow decide when she wants to dry herself out? Our cow's calf is 6 months old. We moved the calf to a new pasture because she was biting the cows tits. We were having to milk 3 times a day because of this so we got an orphan calf. The cow allowed the calf the nurse for about 2 weeks then started kicking him off. We are now milking twice a day but are having to feed the calf a bottle after we milk. The cow is now trying to kick us off when we milk. The tits have been healed for sometime so that isn't it. Also, how much do we need to milk from each quarter to keep her from getting mastitis? If she is trying to dry up and we keep milking her out, won't that encourage her to continue to make more milk? Help!!!!!
  2. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Yes, milking will cause her to continue producing milk, but if you're concerned about mastitis slowly taper down the amount of milk that you take. Don't milk her completely out. As you reduce the amount of milk you take, the cow will adjust her production to what you're taking. After a couple of weeks or less you should be able to stop milking and let her finish drying up.

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Dec 13, 2004
    New York
    How we did it was over 2 weeks. First I started milking every other milking, more or less once per day. Once she dropped down enough, I then went to every other day. Finally I milked her after I skipped 4 milkings, she dried off a week later. It worked well, no mastitis. Reducing the quantity per milking can work, but what I like to see is the bag milked completely, and not touched untill another milking. This way it reduces the chance of bacteria by not opening up her teat sphincter. We didn't use dry cow, but I plan on using dry cow on the holsteins, and using my same method.