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SpringMaiden1

27 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2016 :  7:39:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My girls are out on 10 acres of beautiful spring grass. Do I still need to
supplement their diets? One girl is six weeks away from calving and the other
is still being nursed by her (way too old) calf.

I had separated the calf for a month and then my milk machine broke down.
I just cannot milk her more than 20 minutes. I'm 65 and don't have the
strength to continue any longer than that so I let the calf back out. She was
giving me 2 1/2 gal in the mornings and I didn't do better than a couple of
quarts. I wanted to continue getting the milk but at this point I just need to
dry her up so I can AI her. She was too thin before but the spring grass is
helping fatten her up. How do you suggest I dry her up? I'm totally new at this.

I also was having a hard time figuring out how to post in the right area.

Thanks for all your help.

CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2016 :  9:18:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a post that Cindy started (txbikergirl) that talks all about drying off a cow. I'll try to get the link.

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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maryjane

6963 Posts


Posted - Jun 03 2016 :  06:20:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
https://www.heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11426

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

6963 Posts


Posted - Jun 03 2016 :  06:44:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Also, you might look into this milking machine for getting up and running again easily:

https://heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5242


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 - Jun 04 2016 :  04:16:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i am a newbie here, not even a full year with cows, but i can tell you that my cows have gotten so fat off our spring grass and they a re so healthy i am not supplementing anything but minerals and a cup or two of grain each evening just as a treat - keeps them coming to the barn each night so we continue our hands on with them each day.

the vet confirmed all this when i last saw them. he said our pastures were healthy and that they didn't need anything else other than minerals. honestly, my cows are getting too chubby and he told me that to move them to just hay for a bit wouldn't hurt them at all.

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

6963 Posts


Posted - Jun 04 2016 :  7:43:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My girls can't get too much pasture either or they end up as wide as they are tall:)

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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SpringMaiden1

27 Posts


Posted - Jun 05 2016 :  05:52:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the references and advise. Although after reading some of the links, I'm thinking twice about
drying her up because that's a long time without milk! I want to get a full size milking machine because I have another cow who will be calving in about six weeks so I'll have more milk coming. I really appreciate the link. Now I don't feel so overwhelmed. At least I have a comfortable choice.
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maryjane

6963 Posts


Posted - Jun 05 2016 :  06:11:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here are reviews of other milking machines. However, the EZ easily does more than one cow. Piece of cake. I love how easy it is to clean after and how quiet it is. Good luck! It's not always easy figuring out what a good fit is. Every person and situation is different.

https://www.heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=849

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

11093 Posts


Posted - Jun 05 2016 :  06:21:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I milk more than one cow at times and the Ultimate EZ milker has worked beautifully. I only milk one cow at a time and pour the milk into small milk cans to be carried to the house. I believe Cindy leaves her milk in the bottles and takes them to where she takes care of the milk. But like MaryJane says, everyone figures out what works and is a good fit for them. Much success to you SpringMaiden1.

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

6963 Posts


Posted - Jun 05 2016 :  06:39:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SpringMaiden, here's a thought. If it's milk you're after and not necessarily calves to raise or sell, you don't need to put your girl on a once/year calving schedule. As long as she's giving you the milk you need, you can milk her for a long time, like 2 to 3 years. It's easier on them than pregnancy and less hassle all around. Getting them pregnant is so ingrained in our thinking because of the dairy world but really for a backyard milk cow, once you've gone through the AI and pregnancy stuff you can just settle back and enjoy the milk. No need to dry her off if milk is what you're after.

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 - Jun 05 2016 :  12:35:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
springmaiden, like janet said i do milk straight into the bottles and cap off one after another. if i was milking two or more cows i would still use this same machine - just milk into the bottles and immediately pour them into the milk can like janet and maryjane.

make sure you really investigate other machines. there is something for everyone, but for me i wanted to see what the milker was doing to the teats, and also have super easy cleanup. its amazing how much time cleanup takes for so many machines - i would milk by hand before spending time like that.

we all have different priorities, so you'll find the perfect route for you.

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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