Post by tinytexasranch on Jun 16, 2012 15:50:29 GMT -5
I went to the tree of knowledge and read what I could find about drying off but honestly it just raised more questions than answers. So, I was hoping someone could give me a simple answer to our situation.
Sally calved in September and we took the calf away so she has never nursed (that worked so good for us we'll do it again). She was milked TAD until after we bred her back in February and then we switched to OAD (I love having the evenings free). Her production has dropped over the months but shows no sign of stopping. We are grass based and only feed a coffee can of grain to give her minerals, molasses, etc. but we have great pastures of Bermuda. I want to dry her off 3 months before her new calf arrives in November so was thinking doing it the end of July. She is currently giving 2 gallons a day on OAD milking. So, do we just stop milking one day or do we have to put her up in the barn and give her hay only etc. How do you keep her from getting mastitis if we don't milk? She's never had it and I hope she doesn't. She seems very healthy with a shiny coat but dairy cows always look skinny to me with those ribs showing. Vet says she's perfect though. What's our best plan of action?
Living the dream with Sally, Dixie, & Betsey (guernseys), 5 horses, poultry of all kind, gardens and orchards enough to feed the husband & son and half the county.
Post by kellyhensing on Jun 16, 2012 15:59:04 GMT -5
I like to do a gradual dry-off. Lots of folks like to go cold turkey. When dry-off time comes around for my cow, I am also doing OAD milkings. An example of what I would do is this: Mon AM--milk skip Tues AM milking, milk Tues PM (36 hours between milkings instead of 24 hours) Skip Wed both milkings Milk Thurs AM Milk Sat AM (now you are at 48 hours between milkings) If she is engorged Monday AM, milk her out. If not, you are done. My cow is a Jersey and does well with this protocol. My friend milks a Guernsey and her cow also did well drying off this way.
Once you go to 48 hours between milkings, I do not use the milk for human consumption.
Hope that helps! -Kelly
Wife to a converted part-time farmer (a true partner)
Mom to 3 boys (13,10,8)
Ari,Casey & Lindsay-Jersey heifers
Belle & Shiloh-horses
Gracie-Majestic Tree Hound
Layers, Broilers, Muscovies & heritage turkeys
HeritageX Pigs (Berk,Ossabaw,Mulefoot,york,duroc,hamp)
most people go cold turkey,but I do it slow, if I milk in the AM I milk the next PM and do that a couple days then skip another milking and just stretching it out and watching her udder ,then when I make the decision that that is the last one I dry treat with tomorrow, and leave alone I have never had a problem doing it this way Suzanne
2 children Steven and Leila
Brown Swiss Jersey X Cocoa
chickens and some guiny hens
house cats KC , Stinker + strays
LaMachin , and a Alpine nanny goats 1 sheep
1 cow dog X was my Moms Girl
Emmy a Fjord QH X mare
Porkett a blue butt sow
and the ever changing
It is harder to do when the grass is green and luscious. I'm drying mine off in a lot with hay. They hate me right now.
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." ~Patrick Henry
I've never had luck with a reduced schedule, but cold turkey never gives me any issues.
I cut her grain down to nothing or almost nothing, depending on her body condition, and just stop milking. I check her quarters externally 2x a day for any heat or hardness. I don't do anything to make her think of the milking routine- no stanchion, I come out slightly earlier or later, etc.
It can be hard to dry them off when they are on pasture, especially if the growth is lush. If she keeps bagging up after a week or so of not being milked you might have to dry lot her and feed hay for a while. For that reason I might only give her 2 months, since it may be easier to dry her off in September when the pasture is a bit more dormant.
Isabelle, 16 year old Guernsey cow
Clovis, Jersey steer born 6/2/2012
frauline214: oI am new to forum. I have a jersey/beef cow cross who is due to calve shortly. I plan on adding other calves to her after she calves. This is a first time freshener and she has been raised to let me milk her. Any suggestions how many calves I can add?
Mar 2, 2014 19:10:43 GMT -5
squarant: have only highlands. sorry
Mar 12, 2014 23:03:51 GMT -5
frauline214: okay hope some one is here my cow had her calf last night not sure how to tell if baby is getting milk
Mar 14, 2014 14:39:41 GMT -5
Soma Gosala: Does someone know where I can buy A2 Jersey semen ?
Mar 15, 2014 17:26:33 GMT -5
birdsongmilkmaid: Most AI companies test their bulls for beta casein type. Semex lists the type right on their website. If the company you are purchasing your semen from doesn't, send them an email and ask for a list of the beta casein type of the bulls that they offer.
Mar 17, 2014 2:42:11 GMT -5
betsytaylor: Sureshot Cattle out of Longmont Colorado offers A2/A2 straws.
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Jes: HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING EVERYONE!!
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Guinevere: It's 3 a.m. WHY am I still awake?
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wyomama: Partly because you are sitting at the computer instead of in the bed.
Mar 27, 2014 10:04:00 GMT -5
ramblinrose: I love this forum! You guys are udder-ly awesome!
Mar 27, 2014 16:22:24 GMT -5
Guinevere: ROFL! That could be part of the problem, I reckon.
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sydneyknits: Goat temp 105. No nasal discharge. Just kidded three days ago. Not eating well. Gave asprin
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nodakjersey: Please comment on my latest post! PLease!
Mar 29, 2014 23:26:16 GMT -5
lew92: Just a note: Use the 911 area for emergencies. This is more of a chat area...
Apr 1, 2014 9:39:33 GMT -5
madameecho1: Brand new to the site, and jersey cow and bull will be arriving today! Cow is 2.5 years old and 5.5 months preggers with first calf. Any suggestions greatly appreciated...
Apr 5, 2014 10:01:02 GMT -5
treatlisa: Welcome!! You will get more activity if you start a thread of your own. Good luck with your new ones!!
Apr 5, 2014 14:23:00 GMT -5
YounkerHomestead: I am sooo glad I found this site! I don't know many people in my area interested in owning a family dairy cow. I am really enjoying reading the threads from like minded people Good luck to everyone calving!
Apr 8, 2014 12:27:00 GMT -5
dextergal: Ya ikr?!? The people on here are really sweet also!
Apr 8, 2014 23:29:49 GMT -5
Janene: Hello folks! Don't forget to look through the Tree of Knowledge! Loads of information there with photos in some sections!
Apr 13, 2014 18:38:44 GMT -5
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'