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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - Mar 26 2017 :  06:36:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi I'm Kayleigh and I bought my first Jersey heifer last fall and she will freshen mid May! She is halter broke and does well with that but she has a head butting issue. She is not good with my kids and will head butt my 8 year old. She is a2a1 has nice long teats for milking she was a natural milk fed calf so he doesn't have that pit belly. She is beautiful cow and has kept a great body condition. I registered her and she is to have a heifer calf and her calf will be a2a2. I'm concerned about keeping her Bc she isn't good with the kids but I want that registered a2a2 calf from her. Suggestions? I have read the milk cow kitchen took notes I think I'm ready. I'm a beef farmer so the dairy thing is new to me. Thanks you for adding me and can't wait to use this forum! I will be once a day milking.

Kay Riley

maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Mar 26 2017 :  07:56:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome Kayleigh!!!!

Having a cow around that's not kid-friendly is problematic for me also as I have four grandgirls. I had a cow once that did that. I think she thought the little kids were dangerous dogs or something. Anyway, I did enjoy her milk but knew I needed to ended up in the long-run with cows that I trusted around kids which is my present situation. Kicking and/or head-using cows are for adults only.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - Mar 26 2017 :  08:16:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree, I am going to try and get through the season unless a better cow situation becomes available. In the mean time the kids just won't be able to help or be allowed in the field with her. If you have any people with family cows for sale in Ohio or surrounding states let me know. I cannot wait to milk, just bummed this cow Turned out the way she is. I think it has something to do with her horns getting burnt off when she was younger. I had show calves that had head issues if they had horns that needed managed.

Kay Riley
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NellieBelle

10929 Posts


Posted - Mar 26 2017 :  09:00:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome Kayleigh! Nice looking Jersey cow. Sorry to hear about the head butting issue, as she is gorgeous. Your pastoral view is beautiful also. Welcome aboard! Love to meet new families and cows and addressing new issues. Best to you and your search for a Jersey milk cow in your area.

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

6764 Posts


Posted - Mar 26 2017 :  09:20:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How heart-breaking because she is so gorgeous.

I wish we could bring in something like a cow super-nanny who had magical discipline solutions that would fix these kinds of thing. No doubt you've begged her to changes her ways and she just shook her head no. So sorry.

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

3191 Posts


Posted - Mar 26 2017 :  6:03:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
not knowing how bad the head butting issues is i'll just tell you my minimal experience. i have this great little heifer that came to us at about 6 months, and she was sweet and gentle and well mannered. and when we seperated her from momma for weening, they were always side by side in the pastures/corrals so could be nose to nose if wanted, she started head butting. as in a "i can't control this and NOTHING will stop it kind of way". prior to this a stern "NO" would keep her from continuing any bad behaviour, she wants to please, but not this head butting... she had done the small head butting earlier in life and it was cured with the "NO"... but not this time.

i started watching it, and figured out it was a manners issue. she was mostly isolated from cows now as she was always on the other side of the fence. i started looking for another jersey and found one her age. got them together and sure enough head butting stopped. she started hanging out with cows and learning good manners again, and didn't need me to be a cow.

the other thing, the head butting between the cows goes on as part of the establishing order routine for them. if i do something they don't like, as in show up too late for milking or feeding, then i can have one cow decide to use a little head action towards me to tell me she isn't happy - but i don't allow it and use "NO" and most of the time that works.

so i am not trying to say this will fix all your woes, but perhaps she is lonely and needs company to learn proper manners - and perhaps she is trying to dominate the kids. perhaps not you as you are confident, but perhaps the kids as they are not. and that can happen with cows, dogs, any animal - so could even happen with another cow.

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

3191 Posts


Posted - Mar 26 2017 :  6:10:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
kayleigh, another thought - maryjane has successfully used "clicker" training with her cows. i saw it in action myself and was impressed (although i havent used it - i train with dog commands instead and have been successful).

anyway, i wonder if using a positive reward system such as clicker training with an alfalfa pellet treat would work. from what i see, the first clicker training you have to be really dedicated - but once it "clicks" with her, then you can make super fast headway with her (no pun intended).

this could be a less expensive option than a new cow. wish we could send maryjane's "julie" your way as she is great with this. if you aren't clicker experienced, perhaps find a dog clicker trainer in your area and invite her over. if you have dogs, learn it with the dogs first and then apply to cows. and then you can actually get you 8 year old involved as well. would give her some confidence as well as some great animal training skills. worth a try? i would do it. maryjane used it for lifting legs during milking and it worked.

maryjane - any input from you or julie on it? thoughts if it would work?

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 26 2017 6:11:26 PM
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Mar 27 2017 :  07:01:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought your advice on the loneliness, etc. was perfect and your experience with that. And yes, clicker training for sure could work. With these things I like to think there's a solution but finding it can be head shaking. I marvel at the complexity of their personalities and every day wish I knew more about what mine are trying to tell me.

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

3191 Posts


Posted - Mar 27 2017 :  07:52:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i know maryjane, the personalities are so complex. obviously a serious head butting issue that pins people against pens/fences/walls or tosses them into the air isn't going to be something anyone wants to even attempt to "cure"... but the normal type of head butting, well i would hate to pass on a good cow to someone else if it could have been addressed.

the funny thing is, bea has just started a bit of head butting in the last week. she has NEVER displayed this before, and i am wondering if i start to separate baby at night and bea gets to be with the other girls at night then she might be happier. the only time she is separated from sally/elsa is from 7pm until i milk at 7am (and then she is in the corral next door), but sally and elsa get full run of the pastures/barn during this time and i wonder if bea wants out a bit more now... momma is feeling cooped up?

its all fascinating.

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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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - Mar 27 2017 :  1:17:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much for the advice. She does have my beef cow as a companion plus a flock of sheep. She has had a little bit of this issue when we got her at 6 mo. She got a little bit better when she was bred, but now I don't know what. I would like to learn more about this clicking thing. I have tried no, I have tried punching the cow on the nose and saying no immediately after she does it. It is not like she is pinning anyone against a wall or anything. She just is a bit cray cray; my beef cow just looks at her like she is an idiot. The one thing we did with beef heifers was tie their head up high I have not really tried this. She is the cow that runs at the tractor or anything new like a crazy cow. She does great on halter I must say. If I can correct her somehow I would rather keep her, but right now I don't think she will ever be kid safe. I love her I really do, but she is an idiot! Lol

Kay Riley
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Mar 27 2017 :  5:09:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
good evening kay. i will tell you that punching the cow doesn't usually work. there are others on here that have a zero policy with regard to physical punishment to the cow, i am not in that pool. don't get me wrong, i don't believe in spanking the cow ;> but i do have one physical thing i have done that works, and it is more a negative action rather than responding with hard physical action. i have had two cows that would do anything to get their head into a pink bucket of feed. deciding to override me and just bully me around... with those cows i just popped their nose with the pink bucket. not violently, just when they went for the bucket i hit their nose with it lightly... they learned quickly that waiting for the feed bucket to pour in their eating area was a very nice thing, as opposed to getting popped on the hose, and they never go after the feed bucket. so no violence, just negative reward.

so its not that i am opposed to a physical action working - but using physical action against a physical aciont (head butting) isn't really accomplishing anything - you are reinforcing their physicality. elsa did this earlier, before the stage i couldn't cure, and with that i just say NO sternly and walk away. they get NO attention. this is the key - letting them know quickly the dissatisfaction, and then no reward at all - walking away and ignoring them. this has worked with every head butting issue i had, other than the one that was the result of bad manners in which giving her companionship caused. the problem with physical reactions is that it is 1/10 of what it is to us given they are such tough animals... and then they remember everything and get their feelings hurt and that doesn't bode well for your bonding.

OH - and this could be big - we are all sitting here discussing this and ignoring that SHE IS PREGNANT and HORMONAL ;> i am telling you, Sally pulled a few obnoxious things when she was pregnant last year. don't discount the hormones of a preggers cow. remember she is like a pregnant hormonal 16 year old girl. not necessarily mature enough to handle it all appropriately.

i think you have bad manners, pregnancy hormones, and dominant issues with your kids all wrapped up together. those things can be overcome but it will take daily work with her. consistency. perhaps start a "milking" routine with her know daily so she gets in the habit of going to the milking area, being cleaned, etc. this will give her lots of one on one time, and then perhaps start working your daughter into it and let her be the one to give her feed/treats. the clicker thing on top of that could do wonders for this beautiful gal.

my sally o'mally is tremendously opinionated and does only what she wants, when she wants. i had to really work with her when i first got her to instead of go to her and force a halter on and get her to the parlor, to instead stand in the same place and tell her we needed to go to the parlor, and then she decided that was good and would come to me and let me put her halter on. it was a battle of the wills, but it wasn't willing to force it - and she had to decide to participate. it built a serious bond with us, that i wouldnt' let her do anything she wanted but i would stand quietly and patiently for her to do it on her time. it really cemented our relationship, and she got more respect for me out of it which kept bad behaviours from behaving.

it doesn't matter how great a cow is before it comes to us, they reset the mind and want to challenge people and we just have to learn what works for them/us as a team.

good luck, i look forward to hearing what you try.

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 27 2017 5:11:58 PM
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NellieBelle

10929 Posts


Posted - Mar 27 2017 :  5:24:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great ideas, and I'm one that would attempt to try to work with her, but I don't have little children around my cows. Always "safety" first. We're not familiar with your cow like you are, and you know her behavior better than any of us, so I certainly understand your concern. Time could be an issue too with family to care for, and may be difficult to work with her consistently. I certainly hope you find the answer that works for you. Look forward to hearing more about your cow adventures.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  07:27:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You Ladies are awesome! I should have used a different word than punch. She got bopped in the nose. I am not an animal abuser in anyway. I love Scarlett, and I would never let my kids alone with any large animal, but it would be nice to have an animal I could trust around them. I have grown up around cattle all my life, showed cattle and they all have different personalities and this girl seems to just have that strong personality. She came from a great home and she has a good home. These are all great suggestions, I will try my best to get out there more! I know jerseys can be quirky and mischievous so next time I pet or scratch her and she head butts me I will just say no and walk away. Will keep you updated. I'm so happy I joined this group, I knew you all would be helpful. I've never experienced the hormonal pregant cow usually they are calmer when pregnant, but maybe she is lol. She was a crier for her heat cycles, made it very easy for AI!

Kay Riley
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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  07:29:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just want to have that great cow and person relationship with her like I've had with other of my special cows! We named her Scarlett Heart, Bc she is the heart of the farm 😍

Kay Riley
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NellieBelle

10929 Posts


Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  07:36:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kaleigh, is this her first calf? I will be curious to see what her behavior will be after she calves. Scarlett Heart is a pretty name. They do have a way of becoming the heart of the farm, that's for sure. The heartbeat of the farm if you will. I think we all look forward to seeing them daily and thankful to share time with them.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  07:42:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes her first calf! I used two straws of sexed jersey semen so should be a heifer calf and a2a2 which is the milk my son does best on. I do have a question about that. Scarlet they told me would be a1a2 Bc her dam was a1a1 and sire was a2a2. So her calf will be a2a2 Bc her dam is a1a2 and her sire is a2a2. They told me Bc they knew this that I wouldn't need to test??

Kay Riley
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NellieBelle

10929 Posts


Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  08:03:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
(A1 vs. A2—all the RAGE!) Look under this heading on the chatroom. You may find this thread to be of help. I don't have a preference with the A2 or A1 milk but some do, and if your son does better on it then I can see where you would like to know. I haven't delved into it too deeply and I'm sure others here on the chatroom could explain it. There are charts online to help explain it too. If in doubt, and you want to be certain, I would test.

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

6764 Posts


Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  08:28:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I might add that we received notice from UCDavis recently, which is where A2 corporation established their A2 testing protocol, to alert us to changes. Both Lucas and I have read them several times and struggle to understand it (and that may be intentional). Remember when I explained how within the categories of A1 and A2 there are overlaps and a dozen or so different categories? Well, when we get our A2A2 results back now, it's listed as I/I along with all kinds of categories and things to test for and know beneath the umbrella of good/better milk (A2) vs. bad/worse milk (A1). In trying to read between the lines (what's really going on), I can't decide if UCDavis is trying to back pedal from their relationship with A2 corporation along the lines of "Make it so confusing, the issue goes away," or more about all of it has been discovered (paid for--aren't I the cynic), or ???????

When Lucas and I get a minute to really tackle it, I will let you know and provide a scan of what they sent us. So, now what you want isn't an A2A2 cow but an I/I cow.

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

10929 Posts


Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  08:53:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ha! It is confusing. At this point I'm thankful any milk comes out the udder. It all looks good here. Looking forward to the new info.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  09:56:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Haha, very confusing! I know people debate it, but honestly my son when he turned a year could not drink milk from store, then tried low pasteurized non homogenized a1 milk, he couldn't take it. It was only the a2 or i/I milk ;) that he could drink and I honestly believe it healed his little gut. On a nurse and have done so much research on gut health. I do believe in the a2 milk. Breast milk is a2a2. Anyway, MaryJane I'm anxious to see what you find out 😃

Kay Riley
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Mar 28 2017 :  4:17:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hi kay, all the gals around here are fantastic and no one would think you really punched your cow ;> sorry if i implied that. you sound like a true cow lovin' gal.

well, thanks for the a2/a2 update (or shall i say confusion!) maryjane, never can keep up with this stuff. kay, from your first post it sounded like you might be worried about horns so you may also want to breed specifically for that. when we bought our semen would could get a lot of genetics perfect except for BOTH sexed semen AND naturally polled... we decided we didn't want to dehorn so naturally polled takes a priority for us over sexed semen.

i hope scarlett works out for you, she is such a beauty. are you a raw milk drinker? i am hard core raw milk. it makes all the difference in my health.

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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dkriley47

17 Posts
Kayleigh
Rushville OH
United states

Posted - May 06 2017 :  05:16:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Ladies, I worked with Scarlet on her head issues seemed like we were doing great and the ignore thing was working. I know this may not be the right forum but she calved two weeks early didn't find calf till hours later. Scarlett wouldn't let her nurse. By the time I got her in chute calf was too weak and we had to tube her. Next day went better calf ate off mom I milked out over a half a gallon of colostrum. Now yesterday I only got a little over a quart and today a little over a pint. She isn't letting down I was enjoying hand milking she did pretty good with hobbles. Now she just won't relax the calf stays around her ( calf with her 24/7) have her bit c in her corn Bc two of the tests seems a little thick with mastitis test. What do I do ?

Kay Riley
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - May 06 2017 :  06:53:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I usually don't test for mastitis until a cow quits giving colostrum because it will gel (but only slightly). She may we wanting a break from her calf since she's a first time mom. Also, if the let-down issues continue, you can try a daily shot of oxytocin (vet prescribed) just before milking. I had to do that with one of my cows and eventually she quit holding it back. Oxytocin will get her used to the routine of giving milk to you. The baby nearby might be complicating things. Start by giving her some decent breaks from her calf. Good luck! Here's a good bottle that I like for feeding a calf.

https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=27df4748-d76c-414b-9779-98e7fd6a50d8

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

10929 Posts


Posted - May 06 2017 :  06:58:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good morning Kay! Nice to hear you are making strides with the head butting issue. Along with what MaryJane has already told you. Massaging and bathing the udder with warm water will sometimes relax them enough to let down their milk also. Keep us posted on how things are going. And congratulations on your little heifer.

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

6764 Posts


Posted - May 06 2017 :  07:01:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For sure, warmth like Janet said (and lots of love). Are you milking her twice or once per day?

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

3191 Posts


Posted - May 06 2017 :  07:32:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the whole "regular consistent routine" thing for her to let down is so huge, and as she is new she doesn't know what to do yet. as janet said, warm water and bathing the udders can do wonders. bea was a first time mommy this year and i had gotten her used to the milking parlor/stanchion/hobble so she wasn't hesitant with that - but she didn't really know how to let down completely since the having milk was new to her.

when bea calved late february i reread some of janets advice about really taking time with the udder, having warm water to bathe it even on warmer days, and just spending time doing that.... it worked wonders for bea over 2-3 days as she got used to it. think of it as a personal massage - our first time we might be a little unsure of it, but it feels wonderful so after a few days we are relaxed and settling into it - well the mommy cow might need the time to really get used to it as well.

maryjane also separates her calves early now, and letting them in with mommy on fixed schedules during the day. if she is having letdown then this could help you, as she'll look forward to the break and having you relieve her.

i am truly only on my second cow milking, so do NOT have as much experience as the other ladies, but i can tell you how AMAZING it has been for me to really sit back and try to analyze what is going on with the cow and changing just one thing at a time to find out how it works and then go on from there. i have tried to work through everything with just common sense approaches, and i have to tell you it has worked great with the cows and also just reinforced my life approach - not to get to philosophically deep in a cow discussion, but it really does reinforce how bonding works with not just humans but also animals - and how fixing relationships can be as easy as just consistent physical love and kindness.

both my cows that i have milked thus far are polar opposites personality wise - and so trying to figure things out was a challenge, but its also why i love this farmgirl thing as i need that mental/physical stimulation to take me away from my desk job. what worked with the first does NOT work with the second in almost every facet, so it is a trial and error. but the ONE thing that HAS worked with all the cows is spending more time, and then they show me how they react to things and i learn what they need. it really is like relating to kids, they all need a different tone of voice, a different approach, some need hugs and some need cuddles and some just want high fives...


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 May 06 2017 07:39:07 AM
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