Post by hazelsmilker on Jan 1, 2006 20:07:22 GMT -5
If the smell is like acetone it may be ketosis. Dairy cows can get this if they aren't getting enough carbohydrates to support their milk production. Is Abigail eating much grain? Do you smell it in her urine as well? How is she behaving? Is she alert and curious or seeming a little dull?
Smell her breath. Ketosis smells like nail polish remover. I wouldn't change her feed at all until you know what is wrong. Abrupt changes just lead to digestive upsets. Is she eating normally otherwise? Is the milk normal- any clots or off colors? Taste a bit of it. Did you milk into some new container or are you using a new cleaner or soap?
Missing my Isabelle, cow of my heart
28 January 1998 to 4 May 2015
Post by hazelsmilker on Jan 1, 2006 22:38:31 GMT -5
Hello again Steve,
Everything Claire has said is spot on. Look for a simple explanation first. Has she been grazing in a new pasture? Have some new weeds come up?
Ketosis is serious enough that it should be kept in mind though. I confess to being a bit paranoid about it. Our Hazel has had it once each lactation. She is a pretty high producer though; right now she's giving about 9 gallons a day. Do smell Abigail's breath as Claire suggested, if it is ketosis you should be able to smell it there as well. If she's acting alert and curious and you can't smell acetone on her breath, it probably isn't ketosis. Another question: Is she eating her grain greedily? Cows with ketosis actually stop eating grain even though it's what they need.
Nothing has changed...containers, feed...milk has been fine until yesterday. We will smell her breath and check out the urine, but when I milked this evening, neither had a noticeable unusual smell (though I was not specifically trying to check). Thanks for the input! And what kind of cow do you have that gives 9 gallons of milk a day???
Post by hazelsmilker on Jan 1, 2006 23:22:14 GMT -5
Hazel is a registered Jersey. This is her second lactation. She is 3 years and 2 weeks old. We would be very happy if she gave less milk. But ... if we feed her less grain she gets ketosis. If we feed her more grain, she gives more milk. She gets all the hay she wants. My vet says she'll give more milk in the next couple of lactations.
She loves young children; mine are teenagers, but she knows all the under fives in the neighborhood. If any are out for a walk she trots over and moos at them.
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