Milk production come-back?

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Jan 17, 2005
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Central VA
I have a cow whose calf was sickly since birth. She has raised good calves in the past, so I assumed the issue was with the calf. I thought the calf might be retarded or brain damaged as it never acted "normal" - no frolicking, excessive sleeping, standing arched backed, etc. Needless to say it died after about a month.

Two days after its death I had an orphaned twin on my hands - rather than try to get it back on its real ma, I decided it better to work with the cow who just lost her calf. I checked her quarters & found some milk in both rears, nearly nothing in one front, & nothing in the other front. I have managed to graft the calf & have supplemented the calf with bottle milk for the past week (calf now a week old & nursing when it wants for 5 days - first 2 days were 3X/da chute nursings). The situation appears to be staying status quo, with the calf craving milk from me &/or the wife (we were giving a qt twice a day & starting yesterday cut that to 1 qt/day).

I was expecting the rear quarters to come back to "normal" & at least an increase in the front quarters. Am I just wishing? Have I given the cow long enough to increase her output due to regular calf nursing? Is there any shots or other technique(s) I could try to increase her milk (she is getting high quality mixed grass hay) to where it once was or at least enough to keep this calf going w/o my intervention (she has raised fine calves in previous years)?
Had a cow this spring that had a calf that we noticed was always laying around and didn't travel far. Mom was very attentive and appeared to have a nice udder. Thought calf might be gettting sick, went to catch it, couldn't easily so decided it wasn't sick. 2 days later it was dead. Took the cow home to graft a twin on her and discovered her udder was horrible. It appeared full and nice but only 1 1/2 quarters were working. She starved the calf to death. She went to town. I would consider that your sick calf died of starvation, sounded very similar to the way ours acted and it was probably 3 weeks old when it died.
We had a second calver lose a calf last fall, she is a gorgeous cow so we kept her around til this year. She dropped a calf Thanksgiving morning and didn't want anything to do with it. She's a simmangus with a touch of dairy back in the woodpile, big bag and her mom/sisters are heavy milkers. Put her in the chute to let the calf suck and couldn't get hardly any milk out of her, she got pig fat this summer while on vacation and I'm thinking that ruined her. I wonder if your cow is experiencing the same.

Off subject but I've got to ask, are your bw's higher this year than normal? Ours have skyrocketed, same cows, same bulls.

And nice to see you back around, I keep an eye out for that old truck every time I drop off a load of calves.
Sounds like I might have missed diagnosed the reason for the calf's death - guess I'll give it a week longer & check the ma's milk/utter.

The ma has gotten extremely fat, especially since calving which coincided with increased grazing quality/quantity.

I was at the Lyn market 11/3, 11/10, & 11/17 - would have gone 11/24 be the prices I got on 11/17 made me stay away. Hope they improve some - still have a few to either feed or sell.
cfpinz":2tyzvoah said:
Off subject but I've got to ask, are your bw's higher this year than normal? Ours have skyrocketed, same cows, same bulls.

I can't say I've noticed much difference. We are using mostly different (AI) bulls from the previous year, so a true comparison can not be made.
i had 2 first calf heifers, one that lost her calf and over a week later she took, literally ran over and took the calf ,that the other wouldn't have anything to do with. the vet even said she may not come back to her milk, she did and raised the calf. he also nursed his real mom but she never mothered him he would sneak up and nurse. the surrogate had a heifer this year and is doing a great job. i would have sold both the cows but i kept the surrogate cow because she had a very strong maternal instinct.

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