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NellieBelle

11156 Posts


Posted - Mar 06 2016 :  6:20:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think you are doing as well as any of us Cindy. Enjoy reading your progress.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown

Edited by - NellieBelle on Apr 10 2016 11:03:31 AM
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 07 2016 :  08:53:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks janet, i honestly don't feel i am doing a good job at this so i appreciate the encouragement.

day eight, cow still with udders spilling out of the largest size victoria's secrets available. took 1/5 quart out of each quarter, yes not even a half gallon total. The front still look like slight B cups, the back i swear look like they did post-milking yesterday, but after cleaning up a bit with sally hanging around i looked again and thought maybe they were down to slight D cups instead of spilling out.

CMT still good. But sally wouldn't leave the milking parlor, she wanted milked and wasn't going to go. i finally got her out of there, but then just put her back in the barn with all corrals open so she could be in/out both her and elsa's corrals as well as the outside corral. took elsa down to the pasture and she took off running all around sally's usual paddock. and now sally is down in the barn corrals just mooing her head off, unhappy as can be. sigh.

do i skip a day or go for the 1/5 quart again tomorrow? i will take photos tonight. i think my slow start just didn't give the udder the shock it needed. i thought i did good but obviously not. i am a little discouraged, i just think that it could be a mastitis free zone when done right, but stretching this out over a week and a half just invites everything to go wrong. any advice appreciated. i think i must be as hormonal as sally right now as i am unreasonably discouraged about this ;> the funny thing is that i see that and recognize it, so i can laugh at myself at the same time.

PS no, i am NOT pregnant so i am not that hormonal

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Mar 07 2016 08:55:44 AM
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Mar 07 2016 :  09:39:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sally is mooing because Elsa is in her paddock? Just not clear on that. Might be good to keep their routines the same, even feed for the most part and just go for it at this point. Given what you've said and the amounts you've been taking and her clear CMT, if it were me in your shoes, I would stop milking her altogether. And knowing how impossible it seems like it is for Sally to get mastitis, I would bring her in on Thursday, clean her, strip her out, run a CMT test, then oil and iodine each teat and send her back out and check her again in three days. Do all the other things that make her happy, some grain, maybe a long walk, extra brushing, a warm bath.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 07 2016 :  5:02:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks mary jane, great advice. i honestly don't know if sally was mooing because of elsa or not, but our duchess downright refused to go to the pasture today and i was trying to respect momma's desire to potentially stay at the barn as she was willing to at least return to that. she was ecstatic to return to the barn post milking, didn't care when i took out elsa, and was fine at first... and then a half hour later started pacing and being unhappy. and proceeded to be unhappy for hours, although she didn't want to go to pasture. just wanted love and attention.

i will seize the day and NOT milk tomorrow. i'll give them breakfast, take them to pasture, give them some carrots, and then do what you suggest for Thursday. perhaps the udder will comply. if so i will be ecstatic !! beyond belief !!


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Mar 08 2016 :  10:06:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thinking of you Cindy. Hope all is as good as can be expected so far today with Sally. Hugs. Storms yet?

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Mar 08 2016 :  1:56:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe Sally could sense the coming storms, Cindy, so her behavior was different for that reason in addition to drying her up. My animals have sensed a change in the weather and they seem to know when a storm is rolling in. Just a thought.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 08 2016 :  4:25:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
charlene, i didn't even think of that and you could totally be right.

so day nine, boy that udder is HUGE! i didn't milk, i was strong! sally was so sweet this morning, she didn't even hesitate when i turned us left to go out to pasture instead of right to go to the milking parlor... she just came along out of the barn corrals. half way to the pasture she decided to stop, and i just loved on her a bit and then urged her on. i wanted her to get a bit of a shower today since the huge lightening storms are rolling in tonight.

the front quarters don't look too bad, the rear look huge though. and when the udder is that big the teats are sure perky! i am just trying to not obsess about it at this point. i'll assess tomorrow, the hope is that i can skip tomorrow too and then just strip the teats and CMT test thursday as maryjane suggested.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 09 2016 :  08:14:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
day ten. the comedy of newbies drying off a cow continues. or shall we say the circus?

went down to barn this morning, remember plan is that since i dried off over eight days i am taking two days off without milking, then tomorrow will bring her back into parlor to strip and perform a CMT test just to make sure she is ok.

well, sally was all sweetness and love this morning. then i went to move into elsa's stall, sally then busted through the corral gate in front of me and placed herself between elsa and me... and let elsa nurse. and she started with that dramatic swinging of her head, pretty much letting me know that i shouldn't be getting into their business.

so i got elsa's lead, eventually got to elsa and pulled her off sally after 1-2 minutes of nursing, and then was able to get elsa out of that corral and lock sally in. once elsa is off the teat she didn't care at all about sally or going back, she went willing to the pasture and i put her in her paddock.

then went back for sally, who was mooing her head off. she refused to give me her head for the harness, so we had a standoff for about five minutes where she put her butt towards me. she eventually turned around and gave me her head, we got her all harnessed up and then she was all sweetness and love and gentleness. geez, she's a hormonal mess. got her to her pasture paddock, she was very happy, and then went beside elsa's paddock and moo'd like crazy to get elsa over - but elsa just ignored her and stayed on the far side of her own paddock.

so the newbie is still learning. as i will be decades from now. but they are alive and healthy, and for the most part very happy. so we'll just move forward with the plan and do the strip and CMT tomorrow to ensure all is ok.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Mar 09 2016 :  09:03:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I mean, really, Miss Sally, give the poor girl a break.

I know it's not funny when it happens, Cindy, but the butt thing ...

Jasper does that on occasion, like when he tries to come in or wants to go out and our plan is different than his. He turns his butt your direction, puts his tail straight up ("See this rosebud, well, I'm mad."), and then flicks his tail frantically. Instead of a finger wag, we get a good "talkin' to" tail wag. Hilarious. Hard to take him serious.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 09 2016 :  09:52:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i too think it is funny when it happens mary jane, just like jasper it is hard to take seriously. i actually smile when this happens now, as it is a sign of her intelligence. and i am a patient gal, so i can just stand in the corner talking to her until she decides to at least meet me half way. and she totally knows what she is doing...

today she would turn around and point her head to me, and i would step forward to compromise, and then she'd lower the head so low i couldn't do anything... she so knew what she was doing. so after two tries of that i just stepped back into the harness corner and told her she better play nice... and she put the butt back to me for a bit then eventually turned around, came right over, snuggled up against my side so i could do the harness, then just rested there for love when i was done. from one extreme to the other, my sal gal.

aren't our animals smart and funny? jasper even knows how to type on a keyboard!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Mar 09 2016 :  12:32:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm impressed with your consistency, Cindy. And your ability to see through Sally's behaviors to know what is going on.


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 09 2016 :  5:26:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks charlene. honestly, having and training my dogs taught me most of this. they are really no different than children, there is just a larger communication barrier that we have to work around. but it also gives the opportunity to have more affectionate relationships with animals as that is a huge way to communicate - animals are much more physical than humans, for good and bad.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Mar 09 2016 :  5:47:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some days I'm not sure that there is a greater communication barrier with animals than with children!

I do agree that animals are more affectionate ... love your perspective as the physical aspect is truly the way that they communicate. Most of the time that is for good ... until the head butt or nip or aloofness.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2016 :  07:31:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
day eleven. the human was on top of things this morning so everything went smoothly, no break away cows or almost adult calves sneaking a teat or two.

i took sally into the parlor, she was all sweetness and ready to go. its funny, we have only had two days since we started turning left to go to pasture instead of right to go to milking parlor - and she actually stepped out of the barn corral and waited for me to choose the way. she would have willingly gone left or right, what a sweet gal.

so to recap, we last milked an itty bit on monday and then took two days off and today brought her into the parlor to just groom, prep, strip and CMT test. her CMT had just a bit of something, the rear two teats (right side of photo). but i honestly think the right rear is just bubbles (top right on photo), that happens once in awhile if i shake up the solution too much. the left rear (bottom right on photo), it looks like it could be something - but all the CMT images i look at are more gelling in mass, not these little bits.. and i am back and forth if these are bubbles or not. the photo is darker than actual but it shows up the specs better.



this is her udder today



the front right quarter (not shown here as that is the far side) is soft and down to a AA - drying nicely. the front left quarter is still a B cup but soft and pliable and seems fine. the rear two are both tight, not hard and not hot, but tight. D cups for sure.

i ended up giving her an extra dose of vitamin c in some grain. then i took the mastoblast liquid and put a drop on her grain and wiped some on her nostrils, then i put mastoblast cream on her teats.

i decided not to milk her to see what y'all thought. i can bring her in this afternoon or evening and milk her, and i am contemplating that if you think it would be good. but i don't want to reverse the process. i also thought that if you aren't concerned about the CMT photos then maybe i could just bring her in tomorrow am and redo the CMT and milk partially just to relieve the udder a bit.

or will the milk just be absorbed into her body? if the CMT is fine do i just ignore it and let her body deal with it? advice appreciated.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Mar 10 2016 07:33:07 AM
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2016 :  09:54:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's hard to tell if there's gelling looking straight down. I determine "gel" by how it dumps out of the cups after I've swirled it (mixed it) while keeping it level. Color doesn't matter nor bubbles I don't think. If it globs out like the white of an egg when you tip it out, that's gel. And it'll do it in varying degrees--slightly gelled on up to snotty with mucous-y globs that barely drip out of the cups and into the sink.

Dr. Parrish told me that slight gelling is to be expected when you are drying a cow off. It's just her immune system doing its job. In order for her to adapt to the change and for her body to reabsorb the milk, she's going to produce white blood cells in an elevated amount. Remember, they always, every day, produce some. The CMT is designed to warn us when a cow has begun to produce too many. It's an early warning mechanism. Essentially, the test is telling you whether or not her body is keeping up with the load of "not right whatevers" that she comes into contact with every day. It's like taking a daily white blood cell count reading. It's how they keep their udders healthy.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2016 :  09:57:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just to clarify, the "bubbles" aren't chunks of pus are they? If not, I wouldn't milk her. She's moving down in size nicely.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2016 :  10:36:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
no they aren't chunks of puss, i dumped them out and they essentially disappear. i was even trying to rub them with my fingers, and they disappear - they seem a little softer than surrounding liquid but that is for a nanosecond and not sure it is my imagination or not. i am wondering if it could even be some soap residue or something on the plastic along with bubbles, perhaps that one cup had something that didn't get washed out perfectly?

thanks for replying, i am researching myself but the practical advice is just so much more helpful and meaningful. she also seemed so much happier today, perhaps it was just the milking parlor routine... but even in the morning she was more lovey dovey, and then going to the pasture afterwards as well. that speaks to me, as sometimes with children or dogs you can tell they are sick beforehand as they are clingy and such, and sally just seemed happy today. i'll do some grooming in the barn with her tonight and see if things look the same or better, and make sure her udder isn't all hot and hard - everything i read says that hotness and hardness is also an indication of things going wrong. oh, and she stripped so easy, no evidence of any clumping or anything those little teats just squirted milk streams out easily on command.

i'll keep you posted tomorrow.


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2016 :  4:58:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm reading this all carefully and with interest. Thank you for posting all of your progress and questions, Cindy. And, thank you, MaryJane, for your answers, wisdom, and advice.

One thing I'm still just giggling at is Cindy's description of cup sizes! It cracks me up each and every time. Dear woman, did you work in a lingerie shop sometime?? :)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2016 :  5:16:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
he he he charlene. no, just trying to keep it humorous around here. i knew i needed to have comparative references for the quarters and it just sounded good to me. i was hoping i didn't offend anyone during the process, but you notice that didn't stop me ;> at least mary jane didn't have to censor me!

i will be taking sally into the milking parlor and stripping and testing saturday morning so stay tuned for an update. tonight she looks the same, nothing worse or larger and her udder isn't hot or hard so i am relaxed from this morning ;>

and you are so correct, mary jane's wisdom and advice is a treasure indeed.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 12 2016 :  6:57:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
day thirteen. so tomorrow would be two full weeks of this drying off process. to refresh everyone, i milked for eight days then stopped (reducing each day). then waited 3 days and stripped and CMT tested at day eleven (fine with some newbie concerns). then left her alone another two days and here we are.

so brought sally into parlor mid-day. i have to say she is totally fine with schedule readjustments. she doesn't skip a beat - take her to pasture instead of parlor, take her to parlor instead of barn, call her mid-day to leave pasture. she just comes and goes with the flow. unless she is in a "mood", then it doesn't matter if it is a regular schedule or not - she just isn't happy. call it pregnancy hormones, and at least it only happens once a week or so. anyhooz....

so i groomed, cleaned, stripped and did a CMT. i got NO photos because... well, we know i am awful about taking that phone with me. her four quarters are doing better. nothing is tight anymore, although nothing was ever hot and hard, the rear continued to stay taut. not any longer. the front are moving along, front right an AA cup and front left an A cup (smiles all around!!). the rear are still spilling out of the C cups or barely filling out the Ds. the difference is that there is a bit of squishiness in each quarter, instead of the tautness.

regarding the milk, it was a little tanner than normal. i stripped into a cup, no puss, no clumps, the milk smelled perfect - but it has darkened up a bit. i don't know that anyone but i or patrick would notice.

the CMT, something is going on. there was NOT clear gelling like you see in full blown mastitis cases. it was more like when i tilted the cups there was a hesitancy on the bottom film for it to move - it kinda slid down instead of just pouring. but just a slight film, no real depth to it. nothing gelled at the top though or obviously. but when i dipped a finger in it i could feel a bit of thickness to the touch. when i poured it out, it looked normal being poured. but when i swished it around on the concrete floor with water it didn't just thin and dissipate like normal clean up, it was more attached in a little puddle that moved around a bit. this is when i knew i wasn't imaging things ;> almost like an oil in water thing, it was still runny but the purple solution had just enough gel to it that it stuck together although it didn't retain shape - it spread out and stretched out. and eventually just thinned out and washed away. it really was akin almost to an oil spill on water.

none of this would have photographed well give the dark sky and storming today anyway, but too bad.

so, anyone ever have their drying process milk change color? it seems normal to me, but want advice. and about the CMT "film"? given what MJ said about the drying process and this putting stress on the cow it just seemed normal to me. a added an extra does of vitamin c to her grain, put the mastoblast in her nostrils (she hates that) and also used the mastoblast cream on her teats. so would you do anything different? test her again in two days? i am dosing her with vitamin c each day in her grain.


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Mar 12 2016 7:00:17 PM
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 12 2016 :  7:03:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
NOTES TO SELF:

this is what i plan to do next time to dry off sally o'mally.
- 1st day - take half the usual milk. buck up.
- 2nd day - take half of the 1st day's milk. double buck up.
- 3rd day - talk half of the 2nd days milk. sigh and know i am almost there...

then wait two days and bring the cow back to strip and CMT test
then wait two days more, and do the same.
reevaluate.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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NellieBelle

11156 Posts


Posted - Mar 12 2016 :  7:50:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not much help here Cindy. I've not had problems drying my girls.(knock on wood), so don't recognize changes made by any indications of mastitis. I don't recall the milk being darker or any gelling/thickening in the CMT.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Mar 12 2016 :  7:56:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think you're okay Cindy. For comfort (yours), bring her in tomorrow and run another CMT. If it's the same as today, I think you're fine.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Mar 13 2016 :  03:31:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks janet and mary jane. the newbie would of course feel better bringing her in and again testing, you know me too well.

sorry if this is all melodramatic, its just that "nerves over mastitis" thing. don't want to ruin a good cow. like i have stated, i will be more aggressive next time. i guess i thought at a week those four quarters would deflate like post milking collapse !

learn something new every day.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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NellieBelle

11156 Posts


Posted - Mar 13 2016 :  03:53:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't apologize Cindy! I'm the same way when I'm working with my girls. We just don't want anything to go wrong if we can possibly prevent it. I'm a wreck during drying off time. I won't have to face that now until next winter but it's a trying time for sure and I don't think you are being melodramatic. You care and so want the best for your cow gals. When I was starting out I'm sure MaryJane was ready for me to drop off the planet with all the questions. Hang in there, we're all in this together. :)

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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