Post by agericksen on Jul 24, 2011 20:46:24 GMT -5
Our Cow finally calved and we wanted to milk her. I waited three days for the calf to get all the colostrum and started working with the cow in our restraining chute. She stood patiently, ate her grain and allowed us to milk her by hand and with a milking machine. Then towards the end of the three week mark, she doesn't have any extra milk, and she wants to kick. We even shaved her udder earlier with no problems! Does anyone think that she doesn't want milked because the calf is taking the bulk of what she produces? We don't separate them. Had the most wonderful butter yellow milk for two weeks, now very disappointed. Anyone have similar experience? Will she settle back down when the calf is weaned? Desperately want more of that rich creamy stuff!
Also, this cow was just a pasture cow until we got her. As far as I know this is the first milking training she's had.
Have you changed anything lately? Cattle can become spooked by things we don't even notice.
Check your perfume or deodorant, a new hat, a new bucket, an open window that used to be closed, or anything else you can find that may have her spooked.
Does she do better milking by hand or by machine?
It's impossible to give any reasonable guess at what is going on from long distance, but there are a couple of things I noticed:
First, the "butter yellow milk". All the Dexter milk I've seen was white. Possibly you were getting the last of her milk before. It's supposed to be highest in butterfat. Or there might be some infection.
Second, it sounds to me like she might not be letting her milk down. Is her udder soft and empty feeling, or does it feel like it has milk, you're just not getting it.
You should try separating them. If the calf has just finished it's nursing, the cow may be inclined to hold up her milk. If her udder is full, she may welcome the relief that milking brings, and let down for you.
There are other threads on here where people with more experience have outlined good ways to get all she has. Browse the other threads.
Her wanting to kick makes me think that she doesn't want you milking her. Maybe she's sore or has a problem. Maybe the calf is pulling too hard. See if you can spot anything wrong with her teats or udder. Feel for heat and examine the milk closely. Use a test strip for infection.
Post by Star Creek Dexters on Jul 24, 2011 22:38:21 GMT -5
Sounds like you found yourself a jewel!!!
The most likely thing is that the calf is getting older and more aggressive in nursing. She may be sore, and milking an empty udder hurts.
You will need to start separating the calf for 12 hours at a time. When you are ready to milk, tie the calf where she can see it and smell it, but where it cannot nurse. Milk her out. Then you can bring the calf around and let it nurse for a few seconds. Time varies for each cow, but somewhere in the neighbohood of 15-30 seconds. Pull the calf away and tie it where it cannot reach the cows udder. She will let down her milk when her calf suckles. Then just finish milk her. If you want to you can leave the back teats for the calf, but at three weeks it is not necessary. Mama will adjust her milk, and the calf will do just fine.
I have a cow that consistently gives rich, yellow milk. Yum!
Post by dexterfarm on Jul 25, 2011 11:47:54 GMT -5
My dexters are also bright white. The calf is probably taking most of the milk. I separate the calfs at night in a calf pen in the barn. Milk in the morning and then let them all out to the pasture. She will probably hold up some until she gets use to the routine. If you are machine milking rub the sides of the udder down while the machine is running it will really help with let down. I use non medicated udder balm at night after the calf is locked up.
Post by Star Creek Dexters on Jul 25, 2011 13:05:31 GMT -5
Lana has a heavy cream content, when she does not have a calf on her, it was 40-50%! She makes fabulous butter. She is the only one I have that milks yellow, the other's are bright white and give 1/2 the cream she does.
Hey Kimberly, Can you milk a cow that has had antibiotics recently? I want to milk Krystal, she has so much milk but I'm afraid to because of the antibiotics she got yesterday... How long would I have to wait before I could milk her? Also do you have to test your cows for anything before you drink their milk?? I am just dying for some fresh milk.....Thanks ....Donna
Donna, call the vet's office and ask the secretary what the milk withdrawal time is on the drugs that were used on your cow. The secretary can look at the invoice and then check what's on the labels of the drugs.
At the same time, ask what needs to be tested for in your state for milking (TB probably, plus a couple of other things?). The vet's office should know this stuff.
Thanks everyone....otf, I did ask the vet when I had the cow in there about what tests I needed before I milk her. He said TB test and Brucelosis but I really need to pasturize the milk for anytype of bacteria etc..I really didn't want pasturized milk, if I want that I can buy it at the store. I have another cow nursing a calf, and she is a sweetie, so I will just milk her....After I have her tested...
Post by Star Creek Dexters on Nov 2, 2011 13:55:39 GMT -5
TB and Brucelosis are what I test for before I bring anyone home. Brucelosis is nonexistent in TX, according to my vet, but I still test to make sure.
Most people are extremely uneducated/brainwashed when it comes to the safety of raw milk. We have been drinking raw milk for years and have never had a negative side effect, and have seen numerous benefits! If milked cleanly, and strained and chilled properlly, raw milk is one of the most nutritious things you can put in your body.
Here is our milking routine and how I keep our milk clean and up to the highest safety standards. This is from the milking class handout that I teach.
Our Milking Routine For Cows: „« Make sure the stanchion is clean, we rake it out every day after milking.
„« Put 1 clip of alfalfa in the feed trough.
„« Bring in our cow. I lock her head in the head gate and she goes to town munching.
„« Spray her with a homemade fly spray and udder wash.
„« Spray her whole bag with this and then her legs and belly. Brush her down and wipe down her udder with a clean towel
„« Start milking. First couple squirts from each teat do not go into the milk bucket.
„« This ensures that any bacteria that could have gotten in the teat are expelled.
„« Then start milking into a clean stainless steel bucket. We bought ours at Tractor Supply in the dog food isle (Much cheaper than the stainless steel milking buckets, but the same thing).
„« When I¡¦m finished milking, let my cow out of the stanchion. We have a pretty good system, where she finishes eating, right about the time I am done milking. She backs out and goes out in the barn yard.
„« Clean out the stanchion, grab the milk and head to the house.
„« In the house, strain the milk into a milk strainer/filter. There will be some hairs and the occasional piece of dirt/flake of skin in the milk. The filters are great for getting rid of all that.
„« Strain the milk straight into clean 1/2 gallon glass Mason jars, or what ever you wish to store your milk in. Wide mouth glass is preferable, as it is easy to clean and does not hold odor like plastic can.
„« Fill the jar, leaving about a 1 inch head space, screw the lid on, and put it in the freezer for about an hour. This helps the sweetness of the milk to come out. The sooner it gets cold the better. Then take it out, stick it in the fridge and it's ready to drink!
Dexter milk will take about 12-24 hours for the cream to rise to the top. You can skim this off for skimmed milk and use it for cooking, making butter, sour cream and all kinds of wonderful things. Or you can just shake it into your milk and drink.
Hope this helps you some. Can't wait to hear about your milking!
Hello Kimberly. Thank you so much for that wonderful information. I am so excited about milking one of my girls. When the vet comes out , I will have him draw blood on one and have her tested before milking. I will make a copy of your post so I can follow it when I milk...I think I am going to try Krystal. I will let you know how it goes...One quick question. I only want like a half gallon for Carl & I . Will this hurt to milk just that amount????Thanks for all you help.............Donna
Post by Star Creek Dexters on Nov 2, 2011 20:26:47 GMT -5
If you put her calf back on her after you milk out what you want, it won't hurt at all. If you are permanently seperating her calf then you will need to milk her out completely. Good luck to you! So exciting!