I am having a hard time finding information on how much milk to expect daily from my jersey/holstein cow. Baby is still on during the day and they are separated at night for a morning only milking. Can we expect to get more milk after baby is weaned? Or less? Also she does not do a final let down until after baby has come in and stimulated her (half way through milking). Is there any way we could get the added step of baby coming in out of the process. We have tried rubbing her udder, petting her, leaving her alone... And any ideas what might happen when baby is weaned? How will we get her to let down all of her milk (or might she just start to do it on her own)? Thank you for reading this entire message! We are first time dairy cow owners and are full of questions.
As long as you're going to sharemilk with the calf, she's going to hold up for him. I do it the way you're doing it with all my calves. I don't want to have to mess with bottle-feeding, and the calves learn cow things from their mothers, so I like to leave them on for as long as possible.
She will let down after the calf is removed, but it might take her a few days to realize her baby will no longer be nursing. Just keep milking her, whatever you can get out, twice a day, and wait for it. When it comes, you'll be amazed at how much she was holding up, and the cream will be a LOT better. Even though I use the calves to stimulate a second letdown when I milk, I don't get nearly all the cream. These cows are crafty, and they can do amazing things with their udders! LOL!
Thank you very much for your response. It's all such great news. We used to get milk from our neighbor when I was growing up and I remember getting a huge amount of cream on the top and I just thought our Lila was a different producer and that we would never get the cream I had remembered.
My friend's cow went from around 2% fat to 6% fat when she took the calf off!!
You probably won't know what your cow will truly produce until you take the calf off. Normally, a cow will peak at 2-4 months in milk. Once she is bred back, she will probably drop in production and level off to a consistent amount each day. Also depends on genetics of the cow family, time of year at calving, feed management, cow health, etc.
I do it that way too! I went from a pint of cream per half gallon of milk, to a pint of milk per half gallon of cream when I weaned my cow's first calf. It took Bonnie about a week and a half to give up on her calf because he had a weaning ring in his nose and was still in with her.
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I have a weaning ring ready to use on our calf but I don't know what to expect as far as milking mama. We have been milking in the morning only and want to continue that but it is time to wean baby. Should we expect to have to milk her more than once a day for her comfort until she gets on our schedule? Baby is 6 months. Any responses to this would be helpful. Thank you, Megan
Why do you need to wean the calf? Unless there is a reason other than an arbitrary age, do what works and if it ain't broke don't fix it
Tig - 3/4 Jersey 1/4 Dexter 12 yr
Pepper-Angus/Dexter/Jersey 7 yr
Mocha (aka Crazy Cow) 6 yr
Eva Holstein 6 yr
Maggie - HoJo 5 yr
Chloe - Jersey/Dexter 5 yr
Brie - Jersey - 4 yr
Holly - Ho/Angus and Sage Jersey/Mini Jersey milk cows in waiting
Well, we would like some cream... It would also be nice to not have to bring baby in mid-way through milking to get a second let down and then know that there is a third that she is holding back for baby. I was thinking we would also get a higher volume of total milk as well. Is this accurate? Excellent point about not fixing what isn't broken. I'll wait to get a few more responses to decide what to do. Thank you for the thought.
Post by Jenny at Sagehill on Sept 14, 2011 10:30:56 GMT -5
I let keeper heifer calves wean themselves as long as they aren't shredding the cow's teats; bull calves I wean at 3-4 months old, as long as they aren't shredding the teats. Either sex gets weaned as soon as they start shredding teats.
As for bringing in babies for letdown: just before milking I snap the calf to a short lead rope by the sturdy plastic chain that's always on the calf's halter/neck collar. The calf is snapped just short enough that he can almost lip a teat. The chain links are great for perfect distancing; the leadrope is permanently tied to the stanchion so I don't have to fiddle with it each time.
After I've milked out most of the udder and she's still holding up, I drop the leadrope snap a few links down on the chain just enough that the calf can suck one teat with great effort (pullling it his way and away from the bucket), and then I get another great flow of milk and cream. This way, there's no slobber falling in my bucket, the calf is restrained nicely nearby but out of the way, and it's very easy to snap the links to the perfect length as the calf grows.
Works for me, anyway!
They all have new homes... sweet Hathor, Damona, Hesat and Io. Wish I could have at least kept Io....
At 6 months fresh, I would guess you could keep at your OAD schedule. If she just looks like she has too much milk, then you can consider TAD, but I bet you will be fine on your same schedule. (Every cow's different, so you just gotta try!)
Production will go up most likely, and definitely cream will go up. You should get better letdowns for you, which will make milking so much easier.
It's good to not let a dairy heifer ever get too fat, so if your calf is a heifer, I'd think 6 months was plenty.
Thank you all so much for your responses. All seems to be going well so far. Lila seems comfortable and is still holding back for her baby but I will try to wait patiently for her to realize that baby isn't feeding any more. Hopefully it won't take the above mentioned 1 1/2 weeks! Thank you for the great information and I will try the chain trick when she freshens again.
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