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help please, what have I done?

730 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Tana Mc
This is Isabella's owner again. Her calf is 11 days old today. We began milking almost immediately because her bag was so huge. The first few days I milked at least a gallon,twice a day, which I froze for future calves that might lose their mama.
The milk is now slowing down. I milked morning and night, and got about half a gallon per each milking. These last three days, I milk once a day and get about three fourths a gallon. Her bag is not tight like the first few days. In the begining of milking she is slightly tight, but gets milked out pretty fast. The two front quarters milk out maybe a quart together. The two hind quarters are very short and I milk them with two fingers and my thumb. It takes about 45 minutes to milk, but I know that I am a slow first time milker and I want to make sure to get every bit of milk out that I can. It is tedious (but surprisingly enjoyable) she is a great cow and stands pretty patiently, her calf usually wanders around her then settles down and falls asleep in front of Isabella.
I have increased her feed, and began adding about a cup of alfalfa pellets
and told her that I loved her. What have I done?
Please, any help would be very much so appreciated.
Also, the calf stays with her all the time.

Thank you

Arkansas Transplant
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My thoughts would be that If the calf is staying with her that is why you aren't getting alot of milk because the calf is taking most of it through out the day....
She is holding up her milk for the calf. You must separate them as soon as you can.
My Jersey freshened in January, and I had to separate them at 6 days. I was getting only a gallon or so a day. When she started letting down for me I started getting 6-7 gallons a day, but she got mastitis soon after from not being milked all the way at the begining.
Since your cow is a first-time freshener, I would expect her to be giving 4-6 gallons a day.
After each milking, feed the calf 2 qts of the warm milk in a bottle. Keep 2 quarts in the fridge for midday when you can warm it up in a bucket of hot water.
Good luck!
Thanks for your advice, I hate to seperate them, but I see now that that is the only way it's going to work. I am glad it's Friday tomorrw, this will be a good weekend project.

Thank you very much.

Arkansas Transplant
The above reply is right!! She likes you-- but LOVES her calf :) How much milk do you want? I know folks that seperate them for the night and take all the milk first thing in the morning. If you have the hungry calf close by, she will let down her milk-- usually anyway. They turn the calf out with her all day and then just take what little they can get just before putting the calf up each evening. The calf gets to nurse half time and gets PLENTY and they get plenty of milk for the house.
Easier on the hands,too.
Also, a cup of alfalfa pellets really is just a small treat for a milk cow......I'd probably be an old softy and give a coffee can full AND a kiss......
Tana Mc
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