We brought home our first cow ever. She is a 4 year old Jersey. She came from a Jersey dairy 3 hours away. The dairy is organically run, but will use antibiotics for illness, keeping the cow off the line until her milk tests clear again. The cow, Poppy, is registered and seemingly extremely fit. This is her 2nd lactation. We bought her 2 month old heifer as well, although they have never been together (and aren't now). The dairy sold her because she has a blind quarter (always been blind, no history of mastitis) and is therefore just not as high a producer. Her breeder has a large herd of registered, organically raised Jerseys and chooses to limit her milking to only 20, so she occasionally has a few she is willing to sell and "rotate out". I was told that the cow normally gives between 30-45lbs. a day and has 4.6% fat content. While she is extremely good-natured, loving and fond of human interaction, she is not used to hand milking and is obviously under a great deal of stress from her journey and being separated from her birthplace/herd. We milked her for the first time last night with the help of a neighbor who had some experience - very soon after unloading. If I include the milk that got spilled or soiled and thrown away while we were learning, she gave about 2 gallons. It took forever and she was very agitated - her let-down happening in short spurts, almost like she would let down and dry up again depending on her level of agitation. This morning, making sure to keep to her normal schedule, we again washed and massaged her with warm wet towels, trying to encourage her to relax while she busied herself with some grain. She was much more relaxed and came down with a vengence spurting milk everywhere... but I could not milk her out! It's like she decided to stop the spigot after about 20 minutes. (I'll get quicker with time I guess) She just stopped letting down rather suddenly. I tried for over 45 minutes. Her udder never got empty-feeling or soft, just less hard. I only got one gallon plus a little bit more. And she looks so full right now (3 hours away from milking time) that she looks like she could be the porter for a bowling team. One of her quarters was engorged and warm last night, but not hot or red. She is still warm on that side today but it doesn't seem painful when touched and her milk is still clean and clear - no lumps or clumps or "offness" of any kind. She's been moo-ing all day. Poppy, who is pastured, and her calf, who is in the barn adjacent, have been calling to each other constantly. What can I do to help this cow? I know it will take several days for her to settle in and relax. An acquaintence tells me I must build a staunchon for her - that tying to a post in a big, open area of the barn will not work - but I've heard of folks who just go out to the field and milk! Another person says I should just put her with her calf when I'm finished milking, to make sure she is really milked out. But another person says if I do that I'll never get the calf off her again and a year from now she'll still be trying to nurse if they are not permanently separated (not an option on my fairly small acreage). I just don't know how people handle this transition. I feel like I just brought my first child home and haven't a freakin' clue! How many days can I reasonably expect her to be giving me only half of her normal production, and not being completely milked out, before developing an infection or reducing her production considerably? 3? A week? More? How important is it to have a staunchon? Any plans for homemade ones? Am I just being a worry-wart and not giving her the credit she deserves for being a perfectly capable grown-up cow who just needs a freakin' minute to adjust? HELP! Liz.