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 Cow won't let milk down, advice needed!
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12 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2016 :  08:21:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello! I joined a couple of months ago and have been without a computer for a while, but since have gotten my Jersey, Evie. She is a darling, but we have had so many problems since getting her. She calved beautifully, but right away got udder edema. She was so swollen that I couldn't get anything out, luckily the calf got enough colostrum. I cleared that up with homeopathy. Then we had three bouts of bloating which I cleared up with corn oil, but practically any change in her feed and she bloats. We can't even pasture her in the pasture my husband worked so hard to put up without her getting bloated. Now she has suspected ringworm. Have heard tincture of iodine works on that, so will try that. Also, two mornings ago I went out and her front left quarter was swollen and very hard and warm. One squirt and I knew she had mastitis from the stringy milk. I pretty much have it cleared up from stripping the teat and treating her with homeopathic remedies. My main problem that I need to ask you all you opinion on is that Evie does not let her milk down for me other than a few squirts per teat, so her udder is never emptied. Hence the mastitis I'm assuming. I've been trying to milk her whenever I see the calf nurse, and then of course I get over a gallon a milking. Mom and calf have never been separated since I thought that was healthier, but I'm just at a loss at what to do to get all the milk out. I massage the udder, kind of push on it like the calf does, but with no success. She is happy when I milk, eating, and calf is always right there. Please help with some advice! Thank you so much!


7072 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2016 :  08:50:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Try warm water. I clean Miss Daisy's entire udder every morning using hand towels and an herbal disinfectant soap (after brushing her and putting a herbal fly spray all over her). Then I get another bucket of clean warm water and I sort of toss it up and on her udder from both sides to rinse it (I have to do it several times). She lets down big time when I start sloshing the warm water on at the end of our grooming session. Then I bring her into my parlor and strip, CMT check, and iodine each teat before milking. She LOVES the warm water on her udder!!!!!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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7072 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2016 :  09:03:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With regards to her bloat, you could try adding apple cider vinegar to her daily water (pH control) and also figure out a way to make sure she has good flora and fauna in her rumen. Chaffhaye helps with that. You can also buy both tablets and gels that help get good rumen bugs happening. It's like humans and probiotics. I eat fresh sauerkraut daily for mine and Chaffhaye for cattle works on the same premise.

It just sounds to me like her rumen juices aren't what they should be. I had a steer recently who came down with "stargazing polio." It's a situation where rumen flora and fauna get out of whack and then they quit producing thiamine (their rumen bugs facilitate production of thiamine) and lack of thiamine causes problems with the nervous system.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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11214 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2016 :  12:05:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello RCMcDaniel. Nice to meet you! I too, like MaryJane mentions, wash the entire udder with warm soapy (small amount of betadine surgical scrub soap) water. I do this before every milking and Nellie lets down her milk. You could use whatever cleanser you prefer. Nellie likes her udder washed. Using a white terrycloth with plenty of warm sudsy water I wash the entire udder, I think she finds it refreshing, and the warmth of the water relaxes. Then I clean the teats good before milking. It really does work on Nellie. I think as time passes she will get more use to you handling her and comfortable with routine and may let down more easily. Hoping the best for you and your progress with Evie and her new calf. Love the name Evie by the way.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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3197 Posts

Posted - Jul 08 2016 :  3:55:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hallo! i am newbie, less than a year, but wanted to hone in on one word janet said. routine.

are you milking twice a day, and at the same time each day? do you have a routine. like... get her settled with feed (even dry hay if that is all you can do), groom her, wash her teats with warm as they describe above, strip a bit, test, then start milking.

if she knows the routine then it may take a bit but she'll start letting down as she knows her job while you feed and take care of her. she may just need an EXACT routine without variation to get in the swing of things with you.

just a thought. i think you are so dedicated that a mix of everyone's suggestions will probably feel right to you and work wonders.

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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3486 Posts

Posted - Jul 09 2016 :  09:19:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with all that the others have already posted... routine is incredibly important as is the warm washing of the udder. The other thing that I've also done is sing to my goats and cows as I milk them ... crazy but sometimes they love my voice (when others don't!) and hearing my voice seems to relax them which helps with the let-down.

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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