jersy, how to dry up

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Castleman Creek

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Hello,
I have a jersy nurse cow that has been in milk for about 10 months, she has raised afew calfs for us, she has lost alot of weight and feel i should let her rest, how do i go about drying her up, i just pulled the last calf off of her about two days ago. :D
 

Ky hills

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More experienced dairy folks will probably have a better answer than I do. I used to have some nurse cows, Jerseys and Holsteins, when they were ready to be dried up, I just gave them hay to eat, and no grain, for several days.
 

dun

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Ky hills":c823f9gg said:
More experienced dairy folks will probably have a better answer than I do. I used to have some nurse cows, Jerseys and Holsteins, when they were ready to be dried up, I just gave them hay to eat, and no grain, for several days.
That will work
 

Son of Butch

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Yup, just hay no grain should do just fine. In the rare dairy cows that are still producing extremely heavy at the end of their lactation...no water for 24 hours will do it. But there should be no reason a nurse cow would need to have water limited.
 

frieghttrain

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Son of Butch":3g3b1a8b said:
Yup, just hay no grain should do just fine. In the rare dairy cows that are still producing extremely heavy at the end of their lactation...no water for 24 hours will do it. But there should be no reason a nurse cow would need to have water limited.
Never heard of that sob.
 

TexasBred

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I've never gone so far as to remove water from a cow I was drying up. Normally simply removing all supplement and allowing her access to only lower quality hay will do the job well and fairly quickly.
 

Ky hills

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Yes, just average or lower quality hay should do the trick. I’ve also thought maybe backing off whatever feed it is on now for a bit before you actually wean the calves if she is a heavy milker might not hurt either.
 

farmerjan

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No grain, no green grass, just hay and not very good hay so nothing to help the production.... if she is making alot of milk still, milk once a day for about a week to prevent mastitis problems and relieve pressure... but if she has been milking/nursing calves she ought to dry up fairly well with no added supplements. There have been a few times on dairies that have had to withold water or only allow limited consumption.... but that is for real high producers.
She should dry up fairly fast then she can get some green grass/grazing and she will start to regain.
If I know that I am going to be drying up a cow after I take calves off her, then I stop grain feeding 2-4 weeks beforehand so she naturally slows down in production.
 

Buck Randall

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No grain, no green grass, just hay and not very good hay so nothing to help the production.... if she is making alot of milk still, milk once a day for about a week to prevent mastitis problems and relieve pressure... but if she has been milking/nursing calves she ought to dry up fairly well with no added supplements. There have been a few times on dairies that have had to withold water or only allow limited consumption.... but that is for real high producers.
She should dry up fairly fast then she can get some green grass/grazing and she will start to regain.
If I know that I am going to be drying up a cow after I take calves off her, then I stop grain feeding 2-4 weeks beforehand so she naturally slows down in production.
Agreed on the nutritional stuff, but no need to bother with milking once a day. Some old fashioned farmers still do it, but the research shows it's best to go cold turkey. People will see a cow with a full bag and leaking and feel like they need to do something about it, but benign neglect is the best route.
 

farmerjan

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@Buck, I agree to disagree. Once a day milking has saved several cows over the years that the farmers tried to go cold turkey dry up and they got mastitis.... the once a day milking kept them from losing quarters, and by demanding less of the udder, the hormones slowed down the production. For most cows that have been long into lactation, cold turkey quitting milking works... But for others it doesn't. Just like the newer recommendations are to milk fresh cows 4x which will cause their systems to produce more, and this increase will continue on into the lactation even when the cows go back to 3x or 2x milking. So by going down to 1x the cows' system slows down.
 

Lannie

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Most of the purebred Jersey people I know go cold turkey IF the cow is producing 2 gallons or less per day, and has no history of mastitis. In that case they just stop milking and yes, the cow's udder will be huge for a couple of days, and yes, she will holler, but it's all about supply and demand, and she'll stop producing milk and reabsorb what's in her udder over time. Oh, and they also stop feeding grain and supplements (including alfalfa), and just feed grass hay.

If the cow is producing more than 2 gallons a day, what they normally do is milk every other day for a week or so, then every third day, getting the production to slow down, but completely emptying her udder periodically (which also helps to avoid mastitis), until she's down to less than 2 gallons a day, then stop cold turkey.

I usually milk my 3/4 Jersey until she's down to a gallon a day, or two months before calving if she's been rebred that year, and I stop cold turkey, BUT I always use a dry treatment udder infusion because my girl DOES have a history of mastitis. She's been clear for the last 3 or 4 years, but it's because I judiciously use the dry treatment and then don't touch her udder again, except out in the pasture. If she's in the barn, or anywhere near the milking stanchion, and I put hands on her udder to check progress, she lets down, and I don't want her to do that if I'm drying her off. Mostly I try to just LOOK and see how things are going. I don't feed grain, so I don't have to do anything feed-wise, but they do have pasture, however I usually calve in the fall, so when I'm drying the girls off, the pasture is winding down and they're getting hay anyway.

My 3/8 Jersey 5/8 beef cow I just stop milking when I decide to dry her off. She's usually on her way to doing it herself, since her job is to make milk for her calf. I usually get a few months of milk after weaning, but not much more. That's OK, by then it's time to dry her off anyway. :)

There are a lot of different ways to dry a cow off, but as long as she doesn't end up with mastitis, any of them will work. Whichever works best for you is the best way. For me, it's cold turkey, but mine isn't a full dairy cow, AND she's getting up there in age, so not a huge producer (4 to 5 gallons a day at peak now). She hollers at me for a day or two, leaks milk about the same amount of time, then starts reducing. It usually takes about a month before her udder is dry again.
 

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