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
Ginger the Jersey/Highlander/Angus/Hereford heifer
chickens and some guiny hens
house cats KC , Stinker + strays
1 cow dog X was my Moms Girl
Emmy a Fjord QH X mare
Lacy a small mare and Filly
Tiny QH Appy X
2 Porkett daughters
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
cathymb6: I have a new calf, not sure when to start milking heifer. Saw somewhere within the first 12 hours. Is this correct?
Jul 6, 2014 13:32:48 GMT -5
mommamary: Researching dual purpose milk and fiber goats. Does anyone have recommendations?
Jul 7, 2014 19:01:46 GMT -5
mommamary: I am researching goat breeds that have Both good milk and fiber for spinning. Are there any good ones?
Jul 7, 2014 19:03:44 GMT -5
Jenny at Sagehill: Problem w/fiber goats is they put their energy into fiber, not milk. Cashmere goats might work, but their fiber needs a special dehairing machine to remove a LOT of coarse hair from a bit of cashmere.
Jul 13, 2014 12:05:01 GMT -5
Jenny at Sagehill: Angora goats might work except they aren't bred to milk much or longer than their kids require. They're rather smaller animals and can be finicky.
Jul 13, 2014 12:08:13 GMT -5
beelady: i had an angora doe that was a precocious milker. huge udder too... right now im crossing angora buck on nubian does saving the doelings that show mohair/cashmere and breeding those onto angoras..
Jul 16, 2014 7:42:26 GMT -5
romal: hi there..does anyone know if the Heifer Diary will continue & how Joann is doing?
Jul 17, 2014 14:16:14 GMT -5
Chatty Kathy: I've been out of the KFC, milking mass quantities. I cannot seem to find Joann's current diary entries and saw a post asking how she is doing. She has been such an inspiration and help to me. I'd like to know how she is.
Jul 28, 2014 19:52:58 GMT -5
sparkey75: Why can i sometimes see the avitars and cute pics on the side of the page by everyones name and sometimes not?
Jul 31, 2014 7:27:30 GMT -5
erinnny: sparkey75 Because not everyone changes their profile pic.
Aug 11, 2014 15:31:49 GMT -5
mootopian: I am trying to post an ad to tell folks I have good dairy cows for sale, but I don't understand how to start a post.
Aug 18, 2014 22:25:45 GMT -5
wyomama: You need to be an active member to post an ad in the Auction Barn.
Aug 19, 2014 16:17:26 GMT -5
Jerseytinkerbell: Can't create a thread or PM. Any ideas?
Aug 19, 2014 21:11:38 GMT -5
Jerseytinkerbell: Figured it out, I think. Had something to do with my anti virus.
Aug 20, 2014 16:28:14 GMT -5
mootopian: What would make me active?
Aug 23, 2014 14:47:59 GMT -5
Janene: Ask a few questions and introduce yourself!
Aug 23, 2014 19:52:42 GMT -5
Janene: Um, not here, start a thread or comment on one or two.
Aug 23, 2014 21:49:05 GMT -5
Mare: anyone out there
Sept 9, 2014 11:48:13 GMT -5
Jerseyboy1: How do I post to threads!
Sept 11, 2014 10:49:16 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?'