Nurse cow won't dry up?

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RanchMan90

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I can't get my Holstein/Jersey nurse cow to dry up. She calved last Feb and has been nursing since, raised 36 calves in that time. She's due again in may. What do I do?
 
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RanchMan90

RanchMan90

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She's been lactating for over a year now, I would like to give her a little break til May. Ive just been raising calves on her. I've pulled them off several times and backed off feed some, she just keeps milking though.
 

TexasBred

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Supa Dexta":h7gd7k28 said:
What is she doing that you say she won't dry up? what have you done so far? need more info.
Remove all supplemental feed and pull all calves off. She should dry up pretty quickly.
 
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RanchMan90

RanchMan90

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TexasBred":13vfy0hd said:
Supa Dexta":13vfy0hd said:
What is she doing that you say she won't dry up? what have you done so far? need more info.
Remove all supplemental feed and pull all calves off. She should dry up pretty quickly.
Could I just turn her out on grass? She's not an easy keeper.
 

TexasBred

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RanchMan90":2j8unjxe said:
TexasBred":2j8unjxe said:
Supa Dexta":2j8unjxe said:
What is she doing that you say she won't dry up? what have you done so far? need more info.
Remove all supplemental feed and pull all calves off. She should dry up pretty quickly.
Could I just turn her out on grass? She's not an easy keeper.
Sure. Main thing though it no more feed. She'll stick bag up a bit but just leave her alone. She'll dry up. After a week or so you might pen her and milk out the old milk.
 

jerry27150

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just quit milking her, leave her alone, she will dry up. don't turn her on grass for a while as this will encourage more milk. don't feed any grain either. best to give just hay for a little while. old dairyman
 

TexasBred

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jerry27150":21jesexw said:
just quit milking her, leave her alone, she will dry up. don't turn her on grass for a while as this will encourage more milk. don't feed any grain either. best to give just hay for a little while. old dairyman
Grass.....hay....same difference. One just has a lot more water.
 

farmerjan

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@jerry27150 is right. No calves, No milking, No grain, and only hay for 1-2 weeks minimum. Green grass will not dry her up. She will get scoury and her body will crave the grass and she will still be producing. After a week, milk her out completely. Then leave her until she freshens. Just watch her udder and make sure she doesn't get mastitis in the first week or 2. Then once she is dry, she can go on grass, just make sure you keep an eye on her udder. In the first week it will look real full, then milk her out, then it will fill up some, then should go down pretty quick. The holstein in her is what is pushing the production with you continuing to feed her. Most all jerseys I've had will dry up pretty quickly once you take the grain away but sometimes my 2 jer/hol crosses will take a couple of weeks to dry up. I watch their udders until they are flat like a pancake.
 
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RanchMan90

RanchMan90

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farmerjan":2ia9qqqo said:
Quite a cow to raise 36 calves. I assume you were bringing her in to them to suck and she was feeding more than 4 at a time.
Yes. 4 at a time for only 6 weeks at a time. She's a pretty good hand. :D
 

TexasBred

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farmerjan":cx1mj3w2 said:
@jerry27150 is right. No calves, No milking, No grain, and only hay for 1-2 weeks minimum. Green grass will not dry her up. She will get scoury and her body will crave the grass and she will still be producing. After a week, milk her out completely. Then leave her until she freshens. Just watch her udder and make sure she doesn't get mastitis in the first week or 2. Then once she is dry, she can go on grass, just make sure you keep an eye on her udder. In the first week it will look real full, then milk her out, then it will fill up some, then should go down pretty quick. The holstein in her is what is pushing the production with you continuing to feed her. Most all jerseys I've had will dry up pretty quickly once you take the grain away but sometimes my 2 jer/hol crosses will take a couple of weeks to dry up. I watch their udders until they are flat like a pancake.
If that grass has not been fertilized it will have very little nutritional value and that's what makes milk. Highly digestible but very little to digest. I dried dairy cows up for years on native pasture with no negative results and they were ready for dry cow treatment in a week.
 

ez14.

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our drying process

milk the cow clean her teats with alcohol wipes give spectramast dc, j-vac and orbeseal
put out with the dry cows (where they dont get milked) with corn silage and hay in the winter + grass in the summer

so not real hard no special diet just stop milking them and put them on cheaper feed
 

dun

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ez14.":4nfqk89y said:
our drying process

milk the cow clean her teats with alcohol wipes give spectramast dc, j-vac and orbeseal
put out with the dry cows (where they dont get milked) with corn silage and hay in the winter + grass in the summer

so not real hard no special diet just stop milking them and put them on cheaper feed
We do it sort of the same except simpler. Pull the calves and rotate the cows through the pastures just like always.
 

jerry27150

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have had cows turned on spring grass that dripped milk for 2 months til they freshened again. don't know what you have for grass there, most early grass is over 20 percent protein. all your universities will tell you to milk the last time & put dry cow treatment in & give hay & limit water. old guys used to milk once a day for a while, then every other day for a while. but they discovered best way was to stop abruptly. most hay is only 7-8 percent unless you have alfalfa or clover that was made right. if grass was cut before heading it would be higher too, but not many get it cut at this stage. was dairyman for over thirty years
 

TexasBred

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jerry27150":3mjuqx6a said:
have had cows turned on spring grass that dripped milk for 2 months til they freshened again. don't know what you have for grass there, most early grass is over 20 percent protein. all your universities will tell you to milk the last time & put dry cow treatment in & give hay & limit water. old guys used to milk once a day for a while, then every other day for a while. but they discovered best way was to stop abruptly. most hay is only 7-8 percent unless you have alfalfa or clover that was made right. if grass was cut before heading it would be higher too, but not many get it cut at this stage. was dairyman for over thirty years
Around here only fertilized grass would ever have that much protein and that would be on a 100% dry matter basis. Fresh spring grass is 75-80% water and they have to graze all day to get any amount of dry matter. Cows quit producing milk when we quit removing it from them whether by milking or allowing calves to nurse. Removal of high quality foodstuffs will help as well. Not unusual for grass hay to run in excess of 12% protein (maybe not yours) and they will get much more protein from 20-25 lbs. of hay per day than a half dozen pounds of grass. Can't believe you dairied on 7-8% hay. I too have dairied for many years, and dried up thousands of cattle, some still giving 80 lbs. milk per day, and simply put them on pasture and my entire feeding program was built around good quality grass hay. No need to make the process expensive by adding stored hay to the equation.
 

backhoeboogie

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TexasBred":1nvpttk0 said:
Not unusual for grass hay to run in excess of 12% protein (maybe not yours) and they will get much more protein from 20-25 lbs. of hay per day than a half dozen pounds of grass.

Yes. I have actually had the protein a little higher but it has to be cut at the optimal timing and well fertilized, as you previously stated.

I couldn't sell hay that was only 6 to 7 percent. My cows would starve on that too. You'd have to supplement.
 

farmerjan

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If green grass isn't any different than hay, then why do most beef cattle gain weight and beef calves grow faster because the cows are milking more, on the spring grass??? Since we fertilize all our pastures to some extent, and do alot of rotational grazing, the grass is higher protein and more palatable. That's kinda the whole idea behind getting more out of the grass you have. And after 40 years of both dairy and beef, for us, drying up cows is done by feeding only hay, usually first cutting that is a little "coarser", for 1-2 weeks. We calve 75-100 beef cows in the spring and another like group in the fall, and the spring born calves out on green grass pastures, always out preform the fall born calves; unless we feed very high protein hay or supplement with a grain of some sort. I have to agree with jerry on that.
 

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