• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Milking a cow with calf

 
Maryann Schnur
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all, I am new to cows and could use some help. We bought a Jersey about 6 weeks ago and she calved last Thursday. Momma's udders were so big before calving I worried about mastitis prior to milking as she would squirt milk out every time I brought her into the stanchion to feed for over a week before she calved. I was told not to milk her out completely for the first three milkings after calving but by about 36 hours after calving I could see sign of mastitis in one quarter and called the vet. He treated that quarter and told me to milk her out on the other three due to so much milk in her udders to avoid further mastitis. I did that and treated her sick quarter three more times with Today. This is the sixth day since the calf arrived and I have been milking her twice a day since. I milk the treated quarter by hand and the other three with a machine. My concern is now that I am milking too much and not leaving enough for the calf. How do I know if the calf is getting enough to eat? Any help is appreciated. Thanks
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi Maryann,
i have a few questions for you:
is the calf with momma 24/7?
how old [experienced?] is the momma cow?

how much milk are you getting from the 3 quarters in a day?

is there anything about the calf that makes you think he/she is malnourished?
 
Maryann Schnur
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes the calf is with momma 24/7. Momma is six years old and this is her 4th calf but this is the first time she has keep a calf longer than one day. The prior owner took the calves away within 24 hours and bottle fed them. I am getting about 1 1/4 gallons with each milking. The calf is growing like a weed but it's poo is a little soft and yellow which worried me some. It runs and jumps around a lot though. It seems healthy and happy.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maryann Schnur wrote:Yes the calf is with momma 24/7. Momma is six years old and this is her 4th calf but this is the first time she has keep a calf longer than one day. The prior owner took the calves away within 24 hours and bottle fed them. I am getting about 1 1/4 gallons with each milking. The calf is growing like a weed but it's poo is a little soft and yellow which worried me some. It runs and jumps around a lot though. It seems healthy and happy.

if you are getting 2.5g per day, i wouldnt worry about the calf. it sounds like like the calf is healthy, and the poop should change as the calfs gut flora develop. the calf up and jumping around is a sign he is healthy and full of energy (imo)
he will likely start drinking a bunch more around the 5-6 weeks of age time frame. soon you may be wishing that the calf would leave some milk for you!

you have a few options:
you can separate the calf overnight, and milk momma cow in the morning. about an hour after milking, reunite momma and calf for ~12 hours. this lets the calf nurse on momma, and lets you get milk too.
you can separate the calf completely - milk momma and bottle feed the calf. more labor - but generally, friendly calves.
you can leave the calf on momma full time and milk her as needed. you may notice the calf favors a few quarters - milk the ones that the calf isnt nursing from. you wont get as much milk this way as the others though.

we generally do option 1, but have at times, had use the other methods.


hope this helps.
 
Maryann Schnur
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Okay thank you for your thoughts on this. I'll consider each of these options.
 
Maryann Schnur
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Update, the calf is doing great. She is still with momma 24/7 but we are planning to pen her at night where momma can see her (I think). I have one more question, are you familiar with the medicine called Today for mastitis treatment? The vet and I together gave the cow four treatments of this medicine at 12 hour intervals. I milked this quarter by hand but didn't get very much milk out of it each time. I put this quarter on the machine last night after 84 hours from the last dose. The milk shows now sign of infection. I was worried the quarter was drying up because I wasn't able to milk it out very well by hand. I'm going to give that milk to the pig as the milk has a 96 hour withdrawal for human consumption. Should I hold the milk another 96 hours now that she is being machine milked? Thanks in advance.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maryann Schnur wrote:Update, the calf is doing great. She is still with momma 24/7 but we are planning to pen her at night where momma can see her (I think). I have one more question, are you familiar with the medicine called Today for mastitis treatment? The vet and I together gave the cow four treatments of this medicine at 12 hour intervals. I milked this quarter by hand but didn't get very much milk out of it each time. I put this quarter on the machine last night after 84 hours from the last dose. The milk shows now sign of infection. I was worried the quarter was drying up because I wasn't able to milk it out very well by hand. I'm going to give that milk to the pig as the milk has a 96 hour withdrawal for human consumption. Should I hold the milk another 96 hours now that she is being machine milked? Thanks in advance.


while i have heard of the Today/Tomorrow mastitis treatment, i havent used it.
did you have the milk tested and discover mastitis, or was it something you observed while milking the cow?

i dont think the quarter would dry up - it may be recovering from the anti-biotic/trying to fight of the mastitis bug.

personally i would extend the withdrawal period to 1.5 times the original time.
from what i have read, the withdrawal period doesnt mean there are no antibiotics in the milk, just means they are at a low enough level that some govt agency says you can safely drink it...

i would withdrawal the milk for another 2 days, then get the milk tested to confirm the mastitis is gone.

 
Maryann Schnur
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had observered her udders being extremely full and went ahead and scheduled a vet visit. I figured it wouldn't hurt to get her and the calf checked anyway. But then a couple hours before he got there her front quarter looked red and swollen on the udder just above the teat. Her teat was swollen too but it was the swelling on the udder that really concerned me. Then the vet confirmed. Also he had me milk her out in that quarter and the milk was thick and clumpy. The teat and udder have looked fine for a couple of days now and when I milk her into the strip cup I don't see anything. Does the vet do your testing or do you do that yourself somehow? What do you treat your cows with if they get mastitis. I'm a newby. My only experience was my own 4 kids and my own bout or two with mastitis while nursing. Very painful and makes you really sick. I didn't know cows but I knew humans and wanted to treat her quickly.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maryann Schnur wrote: Does the vet do your testing or do you do that yourself somehow? What do you treat your cows with if they get mastitis. I'm a newby. My only experience was my own 4 kids and my own bout or two with mastitis while nursing. Very painful and makes you really sick. I didn't know cows but I knew humans and wanted to treat her quickly.


We are able to give out vet milk samples and they send them off to the state lab to test. the state lab tests for SCC as well cultures the milk to see what [if any] bugs they get.

we have only had 1 cow get mastitis - but it was caused by a "impossible" to get rid of bug (Staph A). we have used Pirsue, but we havent gotten the test results back to see if it helped. its really a last ditch effort as the state and vet recommend culling.

making sure the quarters the calf doesnt nurse are milked and keeping the calf on momma for a few months has worked so far for us as mastitis prevention.
sorry im not more help.
 
Maryann Schnur
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I appreciate your input and taking tome to write. Thanks
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic