How much milk should I expect to get?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by jimandpj, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. jimandpj

    jimandpj Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    Near Louisville, KY
    Sunshine is a purebred jersey who spent 2 lactations at a dairy. She got mastitis and has 1 blind quarter.

    Her first lactation she gave 12730 lbs in 305 days
    Her second lactation she gave 12100 lbs in 255 days.

    If you assume milk weighs 8 lbs per gallon, she averaged 5.2 gallons per day her first lactation and 5.9 gallons per day her second lactation.

    What does the lactation curve for a cow look like? When does she peak? Does it drop suddenly?

    She calved 6 days ago, and we get a solid 3 gallons plus a little. I'm just curious what I can expect for her milk output.

    Thanks so much!!
  2. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 27, 2005

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Dec 13, 2004
    New York
    All cows are different, even ET's can be different. They are all individuals, and all eat differently, have different milk producing potential, they all have different mammary systems. Some convert feed to milk better than others, some are simply more consistent, etc.

    We have a purebred Jersey, who calved last December (05). She produced 50-52lbs every single day till late September. She was very very consistent. The typical curve however is a slow start, (some do start out heavy). But they generally start for the first 10 days slow. Then they shoot up, peak out 45-60 days, then either remain consistent for another 100 days, or slowly drop down. For the most part the curve is steep to the "top", then slowly graduates down. Now some as with our Jersey, jump to her peak production and remain there untill she is about 280 days in. We had some holsteins shoot up, then slide back. One peaked at 100lbs/day, she dropped back to 76lbs. Another peaked at 88lbs, she dropped back to 60. A lot of it is genetics. A good solid producing cow, that produces consistently is the better animal. One that tends to shoot up, then drops back is ok for the small dairy, but not good for the large dairy. With yours, she averaged through that first lactation @ 41lbs/day. However keep in mind, she could have peaked at 60lbs/day for a month during that period, then dropped ot 30lbs/day towards the end. But for a blind quartered cow at the 255 day lactation, isn't half bad. She would have gone 14300 or so for that second lactation if she went 305 days.

    So to answer what to expect? Well if she did milk that 255 with a blind quarter, I would expect her to peak out in another 20 days, then either slowly drop down or remain at that level for a while before dropping back. Remember, in order to keep that consistency, considering she can produce. Feed her consistently. Not sure what they fed her, but I would be surprised if she was getting 10lbs or so per day. It is what I feed these Jerseys, and Amber, the one I used as an example, was fed 10lbs/grain/day, and she did really well.