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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got that Jersey/Guernsey cow yesterday!!

She was absolutely bursting with milk and dripped all the way home.

She was VERY upset about being in the trailer, so I didnt milk her immedately.

I waited 2 hours, then tied her up by the feed and milked her. Only got a little over 2 quarts of watery looking milk.

I massaged her udder, which was VERRRRRRRRRRRY tight and hard, and she wouldnt let any more down.

She is CRYING for her calf.

So, I went and milked the goats, then I came back and tried again and only got less than a cup of milk.

I had to give up - I hope this morning she will let her milk down! Any tips or ideas on what to try? :shrug:

She's really nice, loves to have her head scratched. The chickens in the barn freaked when they saw her. Funniest thing - they were bailing out of that barn and barnyard as fast as they could go. Squawking, feather flying, full blown PANIC ATTACK! :p
 

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If she is still not really wanting to let her milk down try giving her a shot of Oxytocin. You may have to do this for a couple of milkings.
Congrats on finally getting her. What is her name?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll have to talk to the vet about oxytocin - see if he will let me have some or not.

I got 2 quarts of milk from her again this morning and she was bawling and eating at the same time. She was really loud this time. Aileas (our little 4 month old Highlands/Belted Galloway) hung around for a bit talking to her, but then she wandered off.

The milk I got last night had almost NO cream on top this morning. Just a REALLY thin line of it. Darn it.

Her udder is really full and I am worried about mastitis... :help:

I'll get pics today. Her name is Lily, btw. Common cow name, no doubt. But Aileas ("Ah-liss") sure doesnt have a common name! :baby04:
 

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Oxytocin should be a last resort. Cows can become addicted to it to the point they are incapable of let down without it.

Keep putting her in the stand and milking her. She will let down once she realizes she is not getting her calf back.

The cream is the last to come out so the cream line will be thin until you acheive full let down.
 

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All goats and cows can give way less milk after being moved. It may come back and may not till nexted lactation. I also have had both cry like babies scared of the new home. Give her time- let her lick you give treats. Do alot of rubbing her udder- use udder balm. How long did she nurse her calf? They will only produce what the calf needs. Liz in NY
 

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How in the heck can giving a couple of days shots of oxytocin become addicting. I did not tell Ark to keep giving the dang shot all threw out the lactation. It is comments like just milk her until she lets her milk down that cause cows to come down with mastitis. Then there is a new mess of problems. You know not all of us dairy farmers are stupid.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lunchtime update - tropical depression Erin has just hit, and so I am going to swim out to the barn if it lessens up in a bit. I will try milking 3 times a day until she settles down.

She was happy to go in the barn to get out of the rain, unlike Aileas who prefers to get wet rather than listen to rain on a tin roof...
 

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Just an overall warning that oxytocin should always be a last resort. I was not indicating that it wasn't an option just that other things should be tried first. Natural approaches. Oxytocin can cause major issues and if the warning wasn't included it could be used incorrectly. I was amazed that people use it regularly. We don't even have it on hand on our Grade A dairy farm. I was not indicating you were stupid, Gin, just making sure those who aren't in the business understand the risks involved with relying on Oxytocin.

The cow had only been there for less than a day. She needs time to adjust to her new surroundings and the new environment. Since Ark has usually kept things updated I felt it was safe for me to assume that if the cow still had not let down by tomorrow morning that the issue would be approached differently.
The cow has had her calf on her and from what I understand from previous posts she was milked on ocassion and not on a regular basis (please correct me if I am remembering incorrectly, Ark). Her production would be close to what a calf would take. So 4 pounds a milking is relieving some of the pressure.
Cows, especially ones used to adjusting their production to their offspring, are generally fairly resilient. The calf was 4 months old. By now the production is going to be fairly low. Even lower due to her having nursed her calf exclusively.
Heat causes a drop in production, weather change (Erin for example), the stress of moving, all contribute to decreased production.
Many people jump the gun being overly stressed about getting it all milked out. Just keeping the cow relieved is the first step. She will let down eventually. She needs time to adjust.
Anything you can do to mimic her old routine as much as possible will help the transition period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK - milked her at noon, and she was calmer and quieter. She didnt make much noise until Aileas got bored with the whole scene and walked away from the barnyard gate to go graze. Then Lily started yelling and didnt stop until I got up and went over to the gate and called Aileas back.

I got 3 pounds of watery thin milk, and she still didnt let down. Her udder is full still - I can feel the milk up there. I am familiar with milking goats, so I am not totally clueless when it comes to milking. LOL (Just when it comes to cows!)

OK - her calf is 4.5 months old - a big strapping fellow who was left with Lily all night long every night of his life, and then locked away from her during the day. The owner would milk Lily every evening. She only needed a gallon of milk to feed some bottle babies (kids) so she never took more than a gallon before turning Lily back out with her calf. Therefore, Lily was conditioned to only give a gallon of milk. She held back the rest for the calf. In fact, the first time we went to look at her, after milking the gallon out, we let Lily out and you could see her let down her milk. Her udder got bigger looking, and began to drip as she anticipated being let in with her calf.

When the calf got in with her, he pigged out to the point there was milk dripping and foaming around his mouth. The owner felt like he was getting a lot of milk because of how quickly he grew. Aileas is about the same age as Lily's calf, but she is teensy comparatively, due to being a much smaller breed!

I did let Aileas in the barn with Lily this morning but I had to let her back out due to Lily chasing her around and trying to head butt her.

SO... should I be too worried about mastitis if she doesnt let her milk down for a few days? And wouldnt she HAVE TO let it down soon? Or not?
 

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You are definitely dealing with a cow who has control over her let down.
I really feel she will let down fully for you in the next 24 hours.
This is just one of the biggest problems when calves are left on.
If you post at the Family Cow Board ( http://familycow.proboards32.com/ ) A vast number of them have dealt with this very same issue. We don't see it since our calves are taken within the first 24 hours generally and the cows always end up letting down for the milking machine.
 

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Would it be possible to get a dairy bull calf to put on her to nurse? If she'd foster a calf and that's what it takes for her to let down her milk it'd be worth the loss of milk (to the calf), IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cat said:
Would it be possible to get a dairy bull calf to put on her to nurse? If she'd foster a calf and that's what it takes for her to let down her milk it'd be worth the loss of milk (to the calf), IMO.
We cant afford to buy anything else right now. And we do have a 4 month old heifer already, but Lily beats her up.

I'm getting frustrated because she didnt LET DOWN last night or this morning...

...and she is getting pushier. DD couldnt feed the chickens in the barn because Lily was pushing her around.

...and she has some bloody discharge, and she was supposed to be bred...

...BUT I'M NOT GIVING UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hobbyhors
 

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By ALL means, keep a halter on her and put her in a headgate or stanchion...

I think I'd try milking four times a day...just like I do when Ginger freshens. Let this cow KNOW under no uncertain terms that YOU are her calf now and "mistress." You don't have to keep all that milk for the family...give some/lots to your other animals.

Spend every minute you can with her, sweet-talking, rubbing, brushing...all kinds of touching...leading her around. She really needs to get to know YOU if you are to be her milkmistress.

Always use the very same routine with her...they are very set in their ways.

The Guernsey part of her should make her easier to manage...mine's 3/4 that, and a dream to work with...unless the Jersey temperament dominates.

Best of luck with her...you've got a really super X there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
She finally let down SOME more milk, but not all. :hobbyhors

I'm so excited!!

It took about 40 hours before she finally gave in - she is acting much more calm and relaxed. Less pushy. She likes me to talk to her while I milk - LOL.

I know she didnt let it all down, but maybe tomorrow!

Tomorrow I have to be gone for the noon milking... :nono: which I am not happy about... so I might just milk her at 11 instead, because I dont want to go down to twice a day milking this soon. Four times a day like JulieLou suggested might be best! With everything else I have to do that would be really hard...
 
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