Just Got My First Milk Cow...

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by RyleeM, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. RyleeM

    RyleeM Active Member

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    Nebraska
    Hey,

    I just got my first milk cow yesterday - we pick her up next Sunday. She is a brown swiss - The most beautiful cow I have ever seen. She does not have a calf on her, but is still milking. I am going to find an orphan here locally, and raise it up for beef.
    She is bred to calve in July - to a Jersey bull. After that, I am going to AI her to a Brown Swiss - as there are no such bulls around.

    I am soooo excited.....

    Did I mention that this is my birthday present from hubby?

    rylee
     
  2. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    just hope your milking her completely twice a day till you do kind a calf to put on her...great present btw..my birthday is in january,,,hint,,,hint...lol..lol
     

  3. RyleeM

    RyleeM Active Member

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    For some reason, the owner is down to once a day or so. I am going to start graining her slowly, while milking, and do once at 7:30 am before work, again at 7:30 after work. I think that it will be okay to du this way untill late April or so. I am going to bottle feed the calf myself, that we he can be in the barn - as the older cows might step on him, and there is not as much shelter outsite.

    What type of grain does everyone use. Locals all seem to feed their cows silage and corn through the winter. I usually feed my horses alfalfa and sweetmix. I am going to try and get some good quality grass bales for the girls to munch on all the time, and supplement with flake of alfalfa morning and evening. But what type of grain is best?

    Thanks,
    Rylee
     
  4. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Congratulations! :)

    Raising up a calf on her is an excellent idea. I did that with my Holstein, Christine, and now have a nice little steer.
     
  5. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    20 % dairy ration if milking , sweet feed mix 12% if not.
     
  6. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    The grain must vary with location. Here our dairy grain is 14%. In order to get highter than that I'd have to use goat grain (18%). Congratulations on your gal. You are going to love this!!!
     
  7. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Corn silage is a cheap feed, plain and simple. Most european farms feed hay, and most farms would like to feed hay but cant. Here is what I would do, get some good quality grass bales as you mentioned, some good 1st cutting timothy/alfalfa bales would be good as well. I would vary the type a little, like a little 1st cut timothy/alfalfa then some 2nd cut grass. I do this with ours, and they do very well. We do not grain all that much, from the sounds of it, she is being milked once a day because she is being dried off. Usually it is twice a day, but when you dry a cow off, its down to once a day, and you also cut back on the protein and grain to slacken her off further. But ask the farmer first, because its what id guess at first.

    The type of grain? Depends, corn meal is cheap and has energy, but if your hay has good protein you don't need a high protein grain. I see absolutely no difference in animals heavily grained and ours which aren't grained heavily, grain makes up 1-2% of their diet, due to the forage quality. Now if you want to spoil them, corn meal cows love. It is sweet, but if it is regular grain, keep in mind of your hays protein. If it is 15-16% you don't need a high protein grain, because of the hay. If it is lower, say 10-12%, then you can get higher protein grain. From what I have learned recently with graining, it all depends on your forage, and the better the forage, less grain is fed. One thing to keep in mind, don't get her fat, an animal that is overly fat is as bad as being skinny. It will not help her birthing. It also won't help with breeding, fat around the ovaries doesn't help. You want an animal that has good muscle tone, not fat tone. Now if it was a steer, thats a different story, but it is a cow.

    Now as far as how much to feed? What we feed to a full grown cow, depends on what is being fed. If it is a hay and grass silage diet, ours are getting 50-60lbs a day. So keep that in mind, but hay does stick better than grass silage, so 45lbs is what we fed without grass silage. It's a tough call, because I don't know the size of the animal (weight), and they all vary. Some eat more than others. Best bet, feed her, and see what she takes in. If some is left after she gets done hogging the food down, then that is what you feed. A cow is easier to take care of over a horse, as they can suck down feed that a horse cant sometimes. Heck cows are eassssy, then again we have a donkey and she hangs with the cows. But with that corn silage, you dont need it. That cow will do better on hay. Remember, cows are meant to eat grass, silage we introduced..


    Jeff
     
  8. RyleeM

    RyleeM Active Member

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    She was not meant to be dried up, as she does not calve again until July. That means that I should be able to keep her milking until May - hopefully raise 1 or 2 small heiffers on her.

    We are bringing her home on Saturday. I am sooooo excited.
     
  9. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Uh oh, one spoiled cow coming up! ;).. Nothing wrong with that, spoil her rotten, and yes she will know it too, as in IM SOO FRIENDLY ITS TIME TO PUSH THROUGH!



    Jeff