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dkriley47 Posted - Mar 26 2017 : 06:36:25 AM
Hi I'm Kayleigh and I bought my first Jersey heifer last fall and she will freshen mid May! She is halter broke and does well with that but she has a head butting issue. She is not good with my kids and will head butt my 8 year old. She is a2a1 has nice long teats for milking she was a natural milk fed calf so he doesn't have that pit belly. She is beautiful cow and has kept a great body condition. I registered her and she is to have a heifer calf and her calf will be a2a2. I'm concerned about keeping her Bc she isn't good with the kids but I want that registered a2a2 calf from her. Suggestions? I have read the milk cow kitchen took notes I think I'm ready. I'm a beef farmer so the dairy thing is new to me. Thanks you for adding me and can't wait to use this forum! I will be once a day milking.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
txbikergirl Posted - May 07 2017 : 10:06:18 AM
just wanted to pop in and send kay some blessings from east texas - i am hoping today is looking better cow/milk wise.

also remember milk production keeps working itself up to the max from day one to 7 weeks - i wasn't feeling great about bea's milk earlier this year as i thought it just flushed in 100% after a few days and i should be milking 1-2 gallons from day one onward ;> just like you i had a million and one questions over the past few years and everyone on hjo has been so responsive and thoughtful.
maryjane Posted - May 07 2017 : 06:57:51 AM
Good to hear from you Kay and that things seem better (we were posting at the same time). If it were me, I'd continue with some separation (good bonding for your calf as a future milk cow) and twice per day milking for a while until everything settles down. That's great that your calf went for all four quarters. You'll get there. Good job so far!
maryjane Posted - May 07 2017 : 06:52:50 AM
I'm hoping things are better today Kay. The learning curve with your first cow can be steep when that first calf comes. If you think she has mastitis, you should make that your top priority. Is she still giving colostrum? If the milk is no longer so yellow, you should consider a gel test a good indicator of how those quarters are doing, especially the red one. Have you heard of Today? It's good for mastitis and requires two separate injections into the teat orifice of the infected quarter 24 hours apart with a 96 hour milk withdrawal (can't use the milk until 96 hours passes). Talk to your vet about it. Today is sold over the counter in my local feed store as single units ready to go. They're very easy to use. Check to make sure you're grabbing a couple that aren't expired. It's a simple and easy way to head off a full-blown case of mastitis. If your cow is fussing when you try to inject it (it's important to keep everything very sterile), you can flank rope her per the instructions in my book in order to get the job done. Also, Vit. C and hot packs help. I have a buckwheat hull/lavender pillow I heat up in a microwave that I use on sensitive udders. (I sewed a pillow case for mine so I can launder them afterward.) Also, towels dipped into hot water like the others have suggested is a comfort to not only your cow but you. Hang in there! Your cow's udder looks good--nice hand milking teats for sure. With my first time milkers, I've always been mighty grateful for my side rail. It's gotten me over many a rough spot.
dkriley47 Posted - May 07 2017 : 06:48:28 AM
So, she really didn't want to come in today even for corn. (Maybe will have to get a better treat than just some non gmo shelled corn) she did eat better in stanchion today. Still only got a pint but she felt softer and teets were shriveled when done. So maybe that's what I'm going to get for now. I had a thin droplet of mucus to that left rear quarter in mastitis test. Gave her some vit c and massage but feels less hard and warm. I did see calf nurse all 4 quarters afterwards. Someone advise me best time to give her a break from calf. They just bawled for eachother this morning, but kids and I got some calf love in that time.
Also I'm wanting to get rubber mats, suggestions ? And thank you all from the bottom of my heart for taking time to help me on this forum. I've been Doing so much praying over this, I want this healthy milk for my family. I don't want to give up. You all are ao kind and helpful. The book and this forum are awesome! Thank you for the compliments on my farm. It's a work in progress but love the hills out here. Trying to save up $$ for that milk house. So I'm low pasteurizing my milk Bc it's not the cleanest and maybe the mastitis coming on.
NellieBelle Posted - May 07 2017 : 12:01:09 AM
From your photos, (thanks, that really helps), her udder doesn't look that extreme. But I'm only able to see the photos. It's much easier to know what to do when it's your own cow, as we are familiar with each cows udder and the changes. If I'm really concerned or start second guessing myself, call the vet, or have him/her check it out. Truly hope Scarlett improves with each passing day. Thanks for sharing Kay.
txbikergirl Posted - May 06 2017 : 6:18:04 PM
regarding the red quarter, obviously that is your biggest issue. testing for mastitis, bathing and milking, and i suppose if nothing comes out then it needs to be treated asap - and the other girls will be your resource with that.

one thing, i have had a rear quarter that was red only because of "chub rub" in the back. but you are much more experienced with cows than i am so i would think you would notice that if it was the case. those bulging udders sure take a beating from the legs.

Also if calf is favoring one side can you tie momma to a fence somewhere and make the other side accessible so baby will take from that side so you can ensure it is getting emptied? to make this happen it obviously helps separating baby/momma for a few hours so when you put then together baby is motivated to consume milk asap and make the effort to use their non-favorite teats.
txbikergirl Posted - May 06 2017 : 6:14:20 PM
kay i also wanted to tell you how beautiful your farm looks, and your cow and calf look lovely. thanks for sharing photos, love to see those.
txbikergirl Posted - May 06 2017 : 6:10:35 PM
i know that when i wasn't getting as much milk as i thought i should be getting, and this is the less experienced farmgirl talking here, i milked twice a day for the second week or so. i felt like the first few days was just colostrum and milk was taking its time to really come in - and then i started milking twice a day until i started getting at least 1.5 gallons each morning. i did wait 7 days or so to drink it, only because i didn't have a clue what i was doing ;>

bea also did go through a phase where she decided she didn't want to eat in the parlor, and it was early on, but after a few days or maybe a week that resolved itself and she started eating a ton ;> to assist with this i also stopped feeding her in the morning (my cows have access to pasture and dry hay 24/7). i feed them all a bit of chaffhaye and grain in the barn twice per day - and my milking momma gets a super sized version, but the morning feeding is 100% given in the parlor. that way she is motivated to come to the parlor, motivated to relax and ignore me, and motivated to stay as long as needed...

i don't have my calf in the parlor at all, i don't want them to get in the habit of letting down with them then battle without them... but then, perhaps i haven't had a cow with true let down issues and i have just been lucky.

i do know that if i change even ONE thing in my routine it can change everything... so i just try to change one thing at a time and go with that a few days to see how it really pans out with her.

i am a huge fan of dr sarahs products, so i use those. she has a nice udder oil that i use to massage - and it really helped with edema post calving. called "protect her". i don't reference them to convince you that any product will solve your woes, just to give you something to look at so perhaps you can find an oil or something in your existing supply that you can massage into the udder. maryjane just massaged with vitamin e oil recently, not sure if she mixed it with anything else, and that also helped edema.... anything that can help edema can surely just be a wonderful massage product to relax her.

i do use dynamint like everyone else here, but for me that is a 9 month post milking udder treatment as not only does it keep the udder soft but it acts as a fly repellent. but my true fave udder treatment is the dr sarahs savvy and i use that when i can get away with not using dynamint (being in the south means warm winters and flies 9 months per year).

i hope even one thing i have written is helpful. its hard to know what to do at times. i can also tell you that i feel bea's udder is too full even after getting 1.5-2 gallons in the morning and nothing else will drip out, but i just look at her teats - they all become all shriveled and tiny and nothing else in them to come out. so i just go with that.... but perhaps with let down issues you can have a bulging udder and shriveled up teats?

blessings from east texas.

dkriley47 Posted - May 06 2017 : 5:00:42 PM
dkriley47 Posted - May 06 2017 : 4:57:30 PM
So I milked her out again tonight, about got a little over a quart again. When he would stop I would massage her with warm water she seemed to like that an I would get another 12 squirts. Then I would go back to the other side and she would let down a little bit more. Here is after milking pics.
dkriley47 Posted - May 06 2017 : 3:49:24 PM
I know these aren't great it started pouring again for the third time today
dkriley47 Posted - May 06 2017 : 3:06:19 PM
So I am checking on her tonight and her rear left quarter is red 😩 what is the best thing to do ?
dkriley47 Posted - May 06 2017 : 12:41:42 PM
I will get a picture of her udder tmrw. It does feel like there is more in there. I was her teats off with warm soap and water and do Mary Janes process from her book. So I will try using the warm water to massage her tnrw. I moved her to a better paddock of grass today too. Yes she passed everything fine, I think they get hunched up if they don't, correct me if I'm wrong. Will give an update tmrw! Thanks so much and this milk is so sweet and amazing!
NellieBelle Posted - May 06 2017 : 10:30:11 AM
Hi Kay. You have your hands full don't you? I had more questions than you when my first cow calved. When washing her with warm water, be sure it's pretty warm, I mean so she can feel the warmth. Not lukewarm, but not really hot. It's amazing how well it works. Just curious, did she clean up okay, pass the placenta, afterbirth okay. Does she have a elevated temperature? Could you possible share a photo of her udder? If she has and excess amount of udder edema that may be causing problems too. Do you have any cream to apply after milking like, Dynamint, to help reduce the swelling. There are other products that address this too. Sure helps in such cases.
dkriley47 Posted - May 06 2017 : 09:59:12 AM
You all are so helpful! I am milking once a day, she calved on Monday late afternoon. The quarters that were a little thick were yellow like colostrum. (Also what day do you drink the milk?) I had some after day 3. I have been massaging her quarters but not with warm water so il try that. When little Bucky May (girl has some whoppers of some teeth and was born May 1) comes right next to me milking she lets down, but that Downey happen often. This morning the calf wasn't in site (in the barn) I just couldn't get her to let down much and I know I'm milking her correctly. She didn't want to eat her grain I gave her the whole time. She didn't really even want to come in for milking. I have milked bn 730 and 8 am every am. Offer her grain to catch her and give her some in chute. It's been slightly cold her 50s to 30s at night and wet. Last night was the first night since she calved I put her to pasture.
So how long do I wait before I have to do oxytocin? I will try the warm water tmrw. I totally understand this is all new to her and me so hoping by end of next week will be better. She had been in chute several times before calving and I have given her treats when she is in there.
What kind of calf break schedule are you thinking ? Was going to try and halter the calf next week and get her used to it. Thank you
txbikergirl Posted - May 06 2017 : 07:32:29 AM
the whole "regular consistent routine" thing for her to let down is so huge, and as she is new she doesn't know what to do yet. as janet said, warm water and bathing the udders can do wonders. bea was a first time mommy this year and i had gotten her used to the milking parlor/stanchion/hobble so she wasn't hesitant with that - but she didn't really know how to let down completely since the having milk was new to her.

when bea calved late february i reread some of janets advice about really taking time with the udder, having warm water to bathe it even on warmer days, and just spending time doing that.... it worked wonders for bea over 2-3 days as she got used to it. think of it as a personal massage - our first time we might be a little unsure of it, but it feels wonderful so after a few days we are relaxed and settling into it - well the mommy cow might need the time to really get used to it as well.

maryjane also separates her calves early now, and letting them in with mommy on fixed schedules during the day. if she is having letdown then this could help you, as she'll look forward to the break and having you relieve her.

i am truly only on my second cow milking, so do NOT have as much experience as the other ladies, but i can tell you how AMAZING it has been for me to really sit back and try to analyze what is going on with the cow and changing just one thing at a time to find out how it works and then go on from there. i have tried to work through everything with just common sense approaches, and i have to tell you it has worked great with the cows and also just reinforced my life approach - not to get to philosophically deep in a cow discussion, but it really does reinforce how bonding works with not just humans but also animals - and how fixing relationships can be as easy as just consistent physical love and kindness.

both my cows that i have milked thus far are polar opposites personality wise - and so trying to figure things out was a challenge, but its also why i love this farmgirl thing as i need that mental/physical stimulation to take me away from my desk job. what worked with the first does NOT work with the second in almost every facet, so it is a trial and error. but the ONE thing that HAS worked with all the cows is spending more time, and then they show me how they react to things and i learn what they need. it really is like relating to kids, they all need a different tone of voice, a different approach, some need hugs and some need cuddles and some just want high fives...

maryjane Posted - May 06 2017 : 07:01:58 AM
For sure, warmth like Janet said (and lots of love). Are you milking her twice or once per day?
NellieBelle Posted - May 06 2017 : 06:58:57 AM
Good morning Kay! Nice to hear you are making strides with the head butting issue. Along with what MaryJane has already told you. Massaging and bathing the udder with warm water will sometimes relax them enough to let down their milk also. Keep us posted on how things are going. And congratulations on your little heifer.
maryjane Posted - May 06 2017 : 06:53:16 AM
I usually don't test for mastitis until a cow quits giving colostrum because it will gel (but only slightly). She may we wanting a break from her calf since she's a first time mom. Also, if the let-down issues continue, you can try a daily shot of oxytocin (vet prescribed) just before milking. I had to do that with one of my cows and eventually she quit holding it back. Oxytocin will get her used to the routine of giving milk to you. The baby nearby might be complicating things. Start by giving her some decent breaks from her calf. Good luck! Here's a good bottle that I like for feeding a calf.
dkriley47 Posted - May 06 2017 : 05:16:49 AM
Hello Ladies, I worked with Scarlet on her head issues seemed like we were doing great and the ignore thing was working. I know this may not be the right forum but she calved two weeks early didn't find calf till hours later. Scarlett wouldn't let her nurse. By the time I got her in chute calf was too weak and we had to tube her. Next day went better calf ate off mom I milked out over a half a gallon of colostrum. Now yesterday I only got a little over a quart and today a little over a pint. She isn't letting down I was enjoying hand milking she did pretty good with hobbles. Now she just won't relax the calf stays around her ( calf with her 24/7) have her bit c in her corn Bc two of the tests seems a little thick with mastitis test. What do I do ?
txbikergirl Posted - Mar 28 2017 : 4:17:50 PM
hi kay, all the gals around here are fantastic and no one would think you really punched your cow ;> sorry if i implied that. you sound like a true cow lovin' gal.

well, thanks for the a2/a2 update (or shall i say confusion!) maryjane, never can keep up with this stuff. kay, from your first post it sounded like you might be worried about horns so you may also want to breed specifically for that. when we bought our semen would could get a lot of genetics perfect except for BOTH sexed semen AND naturally polled... we decided we didn't want to dehorn so naturally polled takes a priority for us over sexed semen.

i hope scarlett works out for you, she is such a beauty. are you a raw milk drinker? i am hard core raw milk. it makes all the difference in my health.
dkriley47 Posted - Mar 28 2017 : 09:56:59 AM
Haha, very confusing! I know people debate it, but honestly my son when he turned a year could not drink milk from store, then tried low pasteurized non homogenized a1 milk, he couldn't take it. It was only the a2 or i/I milk ;) that he could drink and I honestly believe it healed his little gut. On a nurse and have done so much research on gut health. I do believe in the a2 milk. Breast milk is a2a2. Anyway, MaryJane I'm anxious to see what you find out 😃
NellieBelle Posted - Mar 28 2017 : 08:53:21 AM
Ha! It is confusing. At this point I'm thankful any milk comes out the udder. It all looks good here. Looking forward to the new info.
maryjane Posted - Mar 28 2017 : 08:28:17 AM
I might add that we received notice from UCDavis recently, which is where A2 corporation established their A2 testing protocol, to alert us to changes. Both Lucas and I have read them several times and struggle to understand it (and that may be intentional). Remember when I explained how within the categories of A1 and A2 there are overlaps and a dozen or so different categories? Well, when we get our A2A2 results back now, it's listed as I/I along with all kinds of categories and things to test for and know beneath the umbrella of good/better milk (A2) vs. bad/worse milk (A1). In trying to read between the lines (what's really going on), I can't decide if UCDavis is trying to back pedal from their relationship with A2 corporation along the lines of "Make it so confusing, the issue goes away," or more about all of it has been discovered (paid for--aren't I the cynic), or ???????

When Lucas and I get a minute to really tackle it, I will let you know and provide a scan of what they sent us. So, now what you want isn't an A2A2 cow but an I/I cow.
NellieBelle Posted - Mar 28 2017 : 08:03:39 AM
(A1 vs. A2—all the RAGE!) Look under this heading on the chatroom. You may find this thread to be of help. I don't have a preference with the A2 or A1 milk but some do, and if your son does better on it then I can see where you would like to know. I haven't delved into it too deeply and I'm sure others here on the chatroom could explain it. There are charts online to help explain it too. If in doubt, and you want to be certain, I would test.