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1413 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  3:00:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is an FYI if anyone ever isn't able to prevent frostbite. Here are pictures of Alex's teats after a few weeks of treatment.

Back teats

Front teats (You can also see some of the remnants of calf damage.)

As you can see from the pictures, her front teats were much more damaged than the rear. Why? They are twice as long. Alex's teats are by nature long and skinny, so I don't think they have quite as much insulation as differently shaped teats. With that said, because Alex was nursing a calf in very cold weather she actually lost the outer layer of skin on all of her teats top to bottom. When I first weaned him all of her teats were the same brown color as the scabs and when I started milking her by hand all the outer skin started peeling off.

Here are some helpful tips:
The scabs on the tips of her teats are very thick and hard, but you have to find a way for milk to come out or risk udder damage. The easiest way to soften them is to use a teat dip cup and put lukewarm water and a squirt of castille soap in it. That way you can dip, soak, and clean the teats prior to doctoring up the teats. Make sure the water is not too hot. The teats are very sensitive to temperature.

Dr. Sarah's Arnica Ointment is amazing!
My girls have had wounds on their teats before and this is by far the fastest healing product I've ever tried. I literally massaged it into her teats as I milked, using it as lubrication. Instead of hand milking with a squeezing motion which would have popped open wounds, I used a stripping motion. With the arnica ointment I was able to apply so much less pressure and still get milk out.

Be prepared for the milk to go any direction. Having frostbite on the ends of teats is like putting your thumb over the end of a hose. There were times that it literally went up in a "V" shape instead of coming out the regular hole. That said, the holes may be very small. One day I milked for 40 minutes and got 2 cups of milk. You may have to try to remove small portions of the scabs to get milk to come out.

The last tip is lots of patience, time, and prayer. It is only by the grace of God that Alex is not hamburger. It was dang near a disaster!


3197 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  4:48:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i can see all the dr sarah's ointment on the hair around here, she looks well prepped! glad you found a way to work through it, that was a challenge for sure.

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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7059 Posts

Posted - Jan 05 2017 :  8:02:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Keeley for your photos and know-how.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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3486 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2017 :  11:07:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another thumbs up for Dr. Sarah's Arnica Ointment! I love that stuff.

Thank you for all your tips and advice, too, Keeley.

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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11202 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2017 :  3:58:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Something to always be mindful of. Especially when they are nursing a calf in cold weather. I had that to deal with last year. Two cows, two calves, two udders. Diligence. It sure helped having the propane heaters in the barn. It wasn't really warm but it sure helped. Might have made the difference. Thank you Keeley for all the information.

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