Dairy Cow After calving?

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MikeJoel
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Dairy Cow After calving?

Post by MikeJoel » Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:16 pm

Now I thought of this while readying another post and I dont recall reading about it or even thinking about it.

If you leave a cow unmilked (or delay milking) you are asking for mastitis. So once the cow has calved and the calf has nursed and wobbles away what do you do? Do you leave the rest of the milk in her or milk her dry?

I plan to leave the calf with the cow for 3 days before separating them so the cow can be milked. So what do I do during this time? Let the cow and calf just go at it or after the calf nurses strip the cow of the rest of the milk?

I know this is probably a stupid question but I dont know.

Thanks
Michael
Last edited by MikeJoel on Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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dun
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Post by dun » Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:18 pm

Not milking out a cow isn;t an automatatic sentence of mastitis. If we have a cow/heifer that has a dead calf or loses her calf we don;t milk them out, we just let them dry off by themselves.

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dairy cow

Post by bigbull338 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:56 pm

you can let the calf suck her for 3 days.then you need to milk her out ywice a day.if your going to use her for a family milk cow.make take 3 or 4 days milking to get her clean of clostrum.an get her milk suitable for drinking.an youll have to bottle feed the calf after you milk her.

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Post by dun » Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:23 pm

Sorry bout that. idn;t see the Dairy in the title

dun

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Post by MikeJoel » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:10 pm

dun wrote:Sorry bout that. idn;t see the Dairy in the title

dun


Nope after I saw it was being confused I fixed it.
Sorry. Thanks for the PM that was very helpful.

One more point though?
The colostrum? The calf should drink all of it or will I need to milk to strip her off?

Thanks
Mike

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Post by dun » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:13 pm

MikeJoel wrote:
dun wrote:Sorry bout that. idn;t see the Dairy in the title

dun


Nope after I saw it was being confused I fixed it.
Sorry. Thanks for the PM that was very helpful.

One more point though?
The colostrum? The calf should drink all of it or will I need to milk to strip her off?

Thanks
Mike


Won;t hurt to let the calf drink it, if there is still a good quantity of high quality closturom left, you might want to freeze it in half gallon containers for future use if needed.

dun

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Post by Medic24 » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:06 pm

We have a few dairy breeds here, and look at the freshening with a combination of anticipation and dread.

They produce some the the finest calves as far as weight gain due to the large amounts of milk available, (and we pray for heifers to be born to them)but at least one of ours we are forced to milk out every day by hand until we find enough suitably aged, and sized foster calves to add to her to keep her cleaned out. It's both good and bad.

As far as mastitis is concerned, when in doubt, we usually infuse about 5 cc's of penicillen or tetracycline into the teat after milk out. Seems to work, especially on those teats that get little attention form the calves, such as the lower rear ones.

We recently found though that even the teats that get worked can start to get sub-clinical signs going on,and may need to intervention.

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Re: Dairy Cow After calving?

Post by Old Dog/New Tricks » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:26 pm

MikeJoel wrote:Now I thought of this while readying another post and I dont recall reading about it or even thinking about it.

If you leave a cow unmilked (or delay milking) you are asking for mastitis. So once the cow has calved and the calf has nursed and wobbles away what do you do? Do you leave the rest of the milk in her or milk her dry?

I plan to leave the calf with the cow for 3 days before separating them so the cow can be milked. So what do I do during this time? Let the cow and calf just go at it or after the calf nurses strip the cow of the rest of the milk?

I know this is probably a stupid question but I dont know.

Thanks
Michael


Any calf NEEDS that first Milk - You say she's a Dairy Cow so she can bee milked easy/or should be

Personally I milk her/them out and save the First Milk "Colustrum" (sp) and Freese it for future use when needed by us or a neigbor it can save a calf/sheep/goat (Do Not Drink It)

We had one freeser with Cow/Ewe/Doe first milk in it and rotated it each year and fed last yearsmilk to the dog or pigs :!:
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Post by milkmaid » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:33 pm

I let my last fresh nurse cow go about 3-4 days with her calf on her before it got to the point I decided she really needed to be milked out as the calf wasn't drinking enough -- and even after I brought down two more calves to put on the cow, well, I could see I had a problem. LOL. Ended up trading that cow temporarily for one that gave a lot less milk (5 gallons/day for 4 calves) and sent my cow to my boss's dairy.

If you leave a cow unmilked (or delay milking) you are asking for mastitis. So once the cow has calved and the calf has nursed and wobbles away what do you do? Do you leave the rest of the milk in her or milk her dry?


If I remember right, you said on the other post this will be her third calf. Given that and then that she's going to be milking fairly heavy, I would definetely delay milking her out completely for a few days. Let the calf take what he wants but don't milk her out yourself yet. Middle-aged heavy-milking cows have a tendency to come down with a metabolic condition called "milk fever" - not truly a fever; it's a calcium deficiency caused by the start of lactation and left untreated it can be fatal. You'll know if you're dealing with it as the cow will be down and unable to get up. BUT- it can be usually be prevented by a "dry cow diet", administration of calcium after calving, or incomplete milking following calving.

I didn't have any milk fever problems with my last nurse cow - and I do think it was due to my not milking her out and just leaving the calf with her, and then only milking her dry once a day for several days after that. Had that cow palpated 30 days after calving and she was already "open, clean, and cycling". :) That's a sign of a smooth transition period from dry cow to lactating cow.

I'm not 100% certain, but, I'm beginning to suspect that perhaps not milking a cow out isn't a huge deal and doesn't necessarily cause mastitis - but, if the cow already has a subclinical infection going on (no visible signs in milk or appearance of udder) that skipping a milking when she's used to a certain (say 2x/day) schedule CAN cause the infection to change to clinical. Like I said, not 100% certain and no proof, but that's what I've begun to think based on some cases that I've seen.

We had one cow here in the milking herd that slipped on the ice at 165 days of pregnancy. Pulled some muscles or did something serious to her back end, and she was very unsteady, shaky, and fell down numerous times over the next day or so. If she'd been closer to 220 days (dry off time) we would have simply dried her off and put her out to pasture so she wouldn't have had any more problems. As it was, we put a pair of hobbles on her back legs for support, and as her milk production declined dramatically, we only milked her once every other day or once every 3-4 days, depending on when she looked full. Did that for 2 months, and never once did she show up with clinical signs of mastitis. *shrug*

Generally fresh cows (first week or so) I don't worry too much about being incompletely milked out -- but a cow that's been in milk for some time (month or more) and is accustomed to being completely milked dry at each milking I would not want to leave incompletely milked out. Mid-lactation heavy milkers I worry about more than mid-lactation light milkers. (That's why I hate putting brand new calves on a heavy milking nurse cow in the middle of her lactation. lol.) You should be fine with your fresh cow. :)
Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex. # affected vs # in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....

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Post by Old Dog/New Tricks » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:58 pm

dun wrote:Not milking out a cow isn;t an automatatic sentence of mastitis. If we have a cow/heifer that has a dead calf or loses her calf we don;t milk them out, we just let them dry off by themselves.

dun


Milk production starts to cut back

To dry a cow up:
Vets have a shot for that But I normally just put cows/horses/sheep/goats in a corral with no feed or water for 24 48 hours and they'll dry-up - the :cboy: way
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Post by milkmaid » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:13 pm

Old Dog/New Tricks wrote:To dry a cow up:
Vets have a shot for that But I normally just put cows/horses/sheep/goats in a corral with no feed or water for 24 48 hours and they'll dry-up - the :cboy: way


I believe I've heard folks suggest Predef for drying up a cow following calving - BUT - the stuff is similar to dexamethasone and will/can cause abortions in the third trimester (when dairy cows are dried off). OK on a fresh cow that lost her calf.
Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex. # affected vs # in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....

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Post by MikeJoel » Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:31 pm

Old Dog/New Tricks wrote:To dry a cow up:
Vets have a shot for that But I normally just put cows/horses/sheep/goats in a corral with no feed or water for 24 48 hours and they'll dry-up - the :cboy: way


I wouldn't think that would be very healthy for the cow?

Mike

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