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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Oct 23 2015 :  6:02:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so miss sally has the driest teats i have ever seen. granted i haven't seen many cow teats. i just don't remember them this dry from when i was in milkmaid university in july, and not even when i was in the trailer milking her coming home. and it is surprising as we are in the south and humid, so that usually helps keep skin a bit on the soft side.

i dynamint massage her to death every morning after milking. i even started putting a bit of desitin on all teats to see if that softened things up. nice when i do it, next day still the same.

so i have this from my cow bag that i got when preparing for the homecoming: Dr. Sarah's Arnica Ointment - 8oz http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Sarahs-Arnica-Ointment-8oz/dp/B00TECPAZK/ref=lp_11890247011_1_8?srs=11890247011&ie=UTF8&qid=1445647022&sr=8-8

it has arnica, calendula, tumeric and vitamin e and essential oils. i put a small bit on yesterday morning and today they were softer. there is one teat that has a little cut, and the cut is healing and not infected but in that stage where it is so dry the skin has a hard edge on the cut but otherwise looks fine. but i don't know if this product is ok in a long-term usage so need to look into that.

i also have her post milking "Milking Comfort Teat Dip" and that is supposed to be for softening teats so i'll try that tomorrow as well. i am trying to test things out only one change at a time so i can watch it for 1-2 days to see what works.

and i just found online she actually has a "savvy udder salve" that looks good so might as well order some of that.

anyone have any experience with the " Dr. Sarah's Essentials, LLC" line of livestock products? any thoughts?

and are all cow teats super dry and i am just ignorant of the fact?

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")

NellieBelle

11093 Posts


Posted - Oct 23 2015 :  6:20:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What do you use to wash Sally's teats before milking? I've never had problems with the cows teats getting dry or chapped. Never used the product you mentioned so can't help out there. I hope you find something that works.

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

6963 Posts


Posted - Oct 23 2015 :  6:28:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Also what kind of teat dip are you using? If you're using straight Betadine (seems like you mentioned that in an earlier post), that may be the culprit. Page 214, Milk Cow Kitchen

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 - Oct 24 2015 :  7:31:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i am using tried, tested and true 100% MJ protocols and recommended products ;> i realize there could be so many things at play, even the water... and considering baby gets to nurse the moment i return sally to the pasture anything i am using could be removed shortly after application...

that said, they were much better today. that;s two days of ointment application. of course, i know it is most likely just the really nice oils in the ointment - they feel great on my hands as well. today i used the special herbal post milking teat dip as that is specifically for keeping them soft while being antibacterial and such... lets see if it keeps improving.

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 - Oct 24 2015 :  7:37:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Are you using a post iodine or pre iodine dip? Or a combo dip? Brand? Also, no soap when you wash them, just hot water. Glad to hear today she seemed a little less dry.

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 - Oct 24 2015 :  7:55:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just thought of something, Cindy. I remember you telling me that you took photos of the things I had in my milking parlor so you could duplicate them at home. I had a gallon of iodine teat dip but I also had a gallon of betadine (called something else I think) that the vet had given me for the iodine infusions I put into Fanci's udder when she had mastitis. You might have mixed the two up. Betadine on teats would dry them out and not be good long-term. When I'm in my parlor tomorrow I'll look at the name of the betadine. It would be easy to confuse them.

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 - Oct 26 2015 :  12:47:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So Cindy, how are Sally's teats looking?

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 - Oct 27 2015 :  1:30:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
sorry for the delay in responding, and thanks for everyone checking in. you don't know how much the support system here is appreciated.

i went back to the drawing board for two days to make sure i was doing it right. first off, things are MUCH better and i will get to that solution at the end.

mary jane - i am using the hamby dairy supply "Teat Kote 10/III Pre or Post Dip 1 gallon" which isn't straight betadine and does have the glycerin and stuff so i think i got this part right. was afraid maybe i botched it but it is what MKC recommends I believe. your thoughts?

also, i am cleaning her udder and teats with water and a bit of castille soap each morning. MJ - MCK suggests that, but in your post above you say straight water... does the water only work better for you now? i am using just a drop of soap, but i don't have our warm water in the parlor yet so the soap and water just seems to clean better than just water. it also makes me feel better ;>

so i do believe i got those parts right but everyone chime in if you have found other things to work better.

the difference in the teats now is great. first, i am using that arnica salve on the base of the teats post milking every day. in two days that cut with the hard edge is impossible to find if you didn't know about it, that hard edge is gone and the cut almost as well.

and i have dipped in the "Dr. Sarah's Milking Comfort Teat Dip" every day too. the essential oils in this seem really nice, even on my hands. i have an extra teat dip cup just for this stuff, so it is my post teat dip that goes over the entire teat - i am agressive with it like with the pre-milking teat dip stuff that goes all over the place ;>

of course dynamint goes all over the udder and in the creases to keep flys and stuff out and just give a nice massage and thank you to the gal.

and i also do a barely tip of the teat dip into that official teat kote just to ensure that everything closes up nicely and nothing is pulled back in.

so a few things added, but it appears to be making the teats much more like what i would expect. they aren't soft as butter, but they appear reasonable.

finally, i have three observations that could have swayed my thoughts from the beginning:
- during training i was always wearing gloves when touching the teats. at home i have times where i am cleaning and such and i will fondle and massage without gloves just to ensure everything is ok. so i have a more hands on approach that doesn't have a barrier, and i am getting a more accurate feel now. perhaps that glove barrier before didn't give me a realistic take on the teats.
- i myself have much drier hands due to the increase in washing bottles and stuff as well as using bleach in the milking supplies and sink. so my drier hands may also be increasing how i perceive the teats to be drier.
- elsa is back to having all day to nurse here, whereas before we brought her home she was nursing a couple hours a day. and then she can also sneak through the corral panels somewhat during the night... so perhaps getting back to a full day nursing is drying out the teats a bit more then before we got her.

in any case, wether my thoughts were exaggerated or not now i have a cow with teats that i feel are acceptable and that makes me feel happy. if i can keep her happy, then we are a happy loving team on the farmstead.

any thoughts or suggestions if you think i need to improve something are welcome. i am open minded about this stuff and want to get it right for my girl.

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 Oct 27 2015 1:33:09 PM
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maryjane

6963 Posts


Posted - Oct 27 2015 :  8:20:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome update Cindy! So glad to hear all is well and that you've solved the problem. Lucky girls those two!

I'm going to put in an order for the salves you've listed. I recently rediscovered Arnica for myself. That stuff disappears a bruise. It's amazing. I have a feeling Fanci is going to need lots of TLC in the teat department.

I use Hamby's Teat-Kote, pre and post. And I do put one drop of liquid soap in the wash water everyday but that would be one of the first things I'd eliminate if I noticed one of them getting dry teats.

One of the reasons I wear gloves is to keep my hands from getting so dry. The constant water really ruined my hands in the beginning.

Managing a calf's nursing accomplishes several things besides allowing a heifer time to bond with people. One is teat health. It's easy for calves to become boredom eaters. Also, they turn to momma's teats for fluids instead of drinking water (it sounds like that's not the case with Elsa). And, a calf needs free-choice food and can't get that if momma is always gobbling it down first. Again, you wouldn't have that problem because you have such good pasture.
And since it works for you to leave them together more than they were here, your vigilance concerning teat dryness was perfect. I would suggest doing what I suggested recently to Charlene and that is to delay putting them together if possible for at least 2 to 3 hours after you've milked. The reason being, Elsa will nurse because they've been apart all night but Sally doesn't have any milk. It's like it's a wasted wet visit to her teats. Might as well wait until the suckling gives Elsa some nourishment. And give all the good concoctions you're putting on her teats time to do their job.

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 - Oct 28 2015 :  5:28:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
mary jane - i have been considering keeping elsa back for a few hours after milking so i appreciate that recommendation. it always feels good to have you and others here confirm what my brain is thinking.

first, i thought it would start to help in getting their relationship to be less dependent as they are back to bawling/bleating if they are separated for 5-10 minutes (yes, i probably lost all the headway you made). also, i realized that all this wonderful stuff i am putting on the teats is probably getting sucked off within 30 minutes of application... so imagine what anti-dry teat headway i could make with a few hours of that stuff working its magic.

and that arnica stuff, amazing. i had my first cow injury last week - accidentally hit my thumb base on sally's head bone (i went to pat her forehead as she decided to push her head at me)... big bruise. started using it on my thumb as well as the cow teats, and that arnica stuff seemed to cut that bruise in half.

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 Oct 28 2015 5:29:17 PM
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Nov 14 2015 :  5:07:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
update two weeks later. teats are soooo much better, appear what a newbie considers to be normal - not the dry shriveled up specimens they were two weeks ago. i am really pleased and impressed with the improvement.

this is what is working for me - its as easy as some new essential oil teat/udder treatments, as well as keeping the calf off momma post milking. note that although i love the natural treatments, they are quite expensive (but do go a long way in use). I am sure a couple of the gals on HJO could whip them up at home but I haven't had time to dabble in that.

i am using two of dr sarah's essential oil products without fail. first i use the comfey cream at the base of the teats, massaging it in where the teats attach to the udder and ensure i get any of the cuts, etc that are always there. this is what the website says, "This product has been shown to increase healing time. Research studies on Arnica and Calendula has shown it to be great for healing of injuries such as bruises, sprains, swelling and inflammation. In addition pure Essential Oils have been reported to have significant and immediate antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal effects, with great tissue healing potential." once i get the cuts all healed up then i suppose just udder salve would be fine for this treatment.


the second i use is the milking comfort teat dip. this is a post milking teat dip. i really like this stuff, feels good and smells good, and it is making a difference on the rest of the teat. this is what the website says about it, "This post teat dip was designed to be a holistic alternative for post milking dips. Not only is it antibacterial and antiseptic to help reduce the chances of mastitis but it will also repel flies which are known to transfer mastitis causing bacteria like Staph aureus. But wait, there’s more! Milking Comfort contains natural oils and extracts which heal and soothe, keeping your cows' teats soft and moisturized, and keeping her comfortable by helping prevent painful drying and cracking."

i do also have their udder salve called "savvy" and alternate that with the dynamint all over the udder. i really like it, but if there is hair on the udders it gets kinda messy. here's what they say about this, "This salve is used to help heal and bring comfort to udders that are cracked, damaged, infected, or inflamed. Black flecks (normal ingredient) may appear due to using natural raw bees wax, these are not contaminants.".

the other thing that really is making 50% of the difference is keeping the calf off momma for 3-4 hours after milking. it not only gives time for all my wonderful treatments to soak in and do their job, but as mary jane said it keeps the calf from just nursing for comfort and wearing out the teats.

so here is my only issue now, there are more NEW cuts around the base of the teats - is it possible that elsa the calf is chewing these teats so much that she opens up new cuts almost daily? the old cuts i was working to soften and heal were all vertical cuts (parallel to teat) and appeared more natural, like a grass cut or something, and were in different areas of the teats. all the new cuts are more perpendicular to the length of the teat and at the top/base area, like it is from chewing around the base of the teat. i trimmed the hair on the udders today and was actually shocked how many fresh cuts/bites there were... but then, elsa had only been let in with sally two hours earlier so maybe she had just attacked the teats and i came upon it right after nursing.

is this normal? two teats appeared quite chewed up, like 3-4 cuts all around. but fresh cuts, not infected sores or anything. but all fours had fresh owies. makes me think of breastfeeding a five year old with a healthy set of teeth - ouch!

and it has dawned on me that perhaps elsa is enjoying the comfrey cream and chewing it off, or not enjoying it and chewing it off? something new and different...

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 Nov 14 2015 5:18:41 PM
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maryjane

6963 Posts


Posted - Nov 14 2015 :  6:36:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cindy, given Elsa's age and the fact that she now has all her shots and is in perfect health, the health of momma's teats needs to be your first concern. If for a variety of reasons, leaving a calf on momma past four months or for longer than two quick sessions/day makes sense, it only works if it works for momma's teats.

Right now I'm still letting Sweet William nurse his mother 2x/day but only long enough to nurse and back out he goes. While he is away, he has free-choice food 'round the clock. The only reason I haven't completely weaned him is because it's easier for me right now not to be milking Miss Daisy until I get a routine established with Fanci and hopefully Eliza Belle in the next couple of weeks. That said, I inspect Miss Daisy's teats daily and if I started to see any damage at all (too dry, bite marks, too much head butting, hints of mastitis that I couldn't clear up with Ester-C, etc.) he'd be weaned immediately. Calves are notoriously rough on a milk cow's teats if not managed properly.

Here's my routine. This morning at a few minutes before 7, I let Miss Daisy into an area separate from everyone else (I still hadn't fed anyone). She knows to stand right by the gate waiting for me. I feed her separate from the others because I'm of the opinion she needs grain nutrition (concentrate) in addition to hay in order to keep her healthy while producing milk. Once she starts eating, I put Sweet William in with her (he's also waiting by a gate). As soon as he's emptied her udder, he leaves her teats alone (remember, he isn't all that hungry because he had his own food available ever since he woke up), and starts eating her grain and hay along with her. I don't see excessive udder butting (just some nudging) which I've learned can be prevented through proper cow/calf management and is usually a result of calves that don't have access to their own food supply and are too hungry when they nurse. Back out he goes to nibble on his own food, but since he's just nursed, he usually goes off and sleeps. My evening routine is different, but again, he's only allowed to be with her long enough to nurse. Prior to two months ago, I left them together for three hours during the afternoon so momma could groom. By the time a calf is two months old, I'm already getting them use to separation. From 2 to 4 months of age, calf is getting plenty of alone time and their own source of hay and concentrate (grain). Somewhere between 4 and 6 months of age (depending on whether or not they've gone through all their vet procedures), they are weaned.


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 - Nov 15 2015 :  03:36:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good information. I just wanted to share this info with you. www.cowseatgrass.com/index.php/dam-raised-dairy-calves-really-better/ Under the section of Nursing Benefits Calf and Cow.

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

Edited by - NellieBelle on Nov 15 2015 03:37:03 AM
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NellieBelle

11093 Posts


Posted - Nov 15 2015 :  03:51:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Soon after Nellie calved, I see she had a cut on one of her teats. Significant in size. I had read about the benefits or healing properties of calf saliva, knew the calf was still going to need to nurse, as he was only a few days old. I chose not to treat the cut with anything, but left it. I observed it daily and it has closed up and is healing just fine. Sometimes less is more. But, if it would have become infected etc. I would have probably tried a natural product. In winter months when dipping, I will wipe off the dip before turning them out. the orifice will still have the benefit of the dip but the teat will be dry and the calf won't be sucking teat dip which can mess up there intestinal flora. I still wash udder and teats as always,(surgical betadine scrub in water) olive oil before applying milking tubes, but no pre-dip. I only post dip, then wipe off with dry clean, white, cotton, terrycloth washcloth. This is just what I do.

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

3197 Posts


Posted - Nov 15 2015 :  06:00:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks mary jane and janet, good info. i was thinking about this long and hard last night after i wrote it, wondering if i had created the new problem myself... but i really don't think so. i didn't soften up the teats at the base and create super soft tissue, i really took what seemed to be going down the line to hard brittle teats and brought them more to be mature farming mans hands - so no soft ladies teats here.

i've been looking at photos of teats and doing as much research as possible, and from what i can tell the teats themselves seem to be where they should be. i really think i have a calf that is chewing on teats. so i am going to do two things starting today.

one, i am going to stop using the cream at the base for a few days and just use the post milking teat dip. it really does have a nice essential oil mix and is created to be antiseptic so that should be sufficient for the current cuts/bites. i have actually used it on my hands and noticed the softening effect, but it is more subtle than the cream. so it should help with not letting things dry out too much but getting those bites healed.

and i am going to start putting elsa in for two nursing sessions of about an hour each, no more. we have an extra electric fence set so i can setup a pasture area for her to use on her own, she'll be out and about being a proper cow all day but just not with access to momma that whole time.

i'll watch the bites closely every day, of course, but lets see if this makes a difference in 4-5 days. if anything gets worse at all i will just wean immediately.

elsa is eating really well. and she loves the pasture so i know i have a happy healthy calf that can handle the weaning if need be. i give her chaffhaye, alfalfa pellets and dry hay each day as well as her 6 hours on pasture. she is eating it all. she isn't picky. she also isn't ravenous, just seems normal. i make sure i give her more than she can eat, so that i am not underfeeding her. she always eats about 3/4 of what i give her, and then later i take the remaining and move that into sally's stall at night and top it off for sally's dinner and then give elsa fresh dinner servings (so that there is never any stale old food sitting around). i also make sure i give elsa breakfast before even taking sally in to milk, so elsa has 4 hours to enjoy that in her stall all to herself, and then at night she has 12 hours to enjoy her dinner rations as well all by herself. and she has handled the morning separation fine, she is no longer bawling or pacing to be with momma - she will eat patiently and also sit with me and not even got out of her stall to look/moo at momma.

this is where my lack of experience gives me pause so i appreciate you special ladies and your thoughts. i am not by nature a hysteric or a drama queen, but not being raised with any livestock experience means i don't even have a baseline for this type of thing.

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

11093 Posts


Posted - Nov 15 2015 :  06:27:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like a great plan Cindy. I know all will work out. You do such a good job. Love this chatroom.

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

6963 Posts


Posted - Nov 15 2015 :  10:04:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome plan Cindy. Anxious to hear how it works out. Hopefully, those cuts will disappear. I'm guessing Elsa is ready to be Sally's BFF and not her nursing daughter anymore. Slow transitions are always good. I'm going to cut out Sweet William's morning nursing tomorrow morning and then within a few days his afternoon nursing. Right now, I have him alone because Ester Lily has the zombie heat thing happening. Lacy Lou and Charlie are no longer interested in each other so she'll come in from the pasture tomorrow also. Eventually, Finnegan and Sweet William will be housed together. Once Stella Jane saw Finnegan, she said she wanted to raise him and her sister could finish raising Sweet William. We shall see.

On another note, I also wanted to weigh in on the very special men in our lives--Lover boy, Joe Joe the dog-faced boy, kind Keith, Ron, Mike, Mr. Rueffer, Ethan, etc. My sweet Nick this morning told me last night that he wanted to help me muck and milk this morning. We drank coffee, took our time, laughed, and cleaned up. Sure does make it a whole lot more fun when you have a supporting cast of characters.

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 - Nov 15 2015 :  10:59:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
teat follow up first, then male follow up ;>

when lover boy milked this morning i took time checking out the teats after they were cleaned and such. i think i saw the teats yesterday right after they were chewed/bitten as i had brought her in during the mid afternoon for the monthly udder trim - so not normal daily timing for me to look at teats. so they looked especially bad given they had probably just been chewed, but good timing for me as i didn't realize that happened at all.

so she hadn't nursed from that time yesterday until this morning as she went straight to her own barn corral after having her teats all massaged and treated special. so this morning they looked like normal - except now that i knew there were fresh cuts/bites at the base i could see them - but otherwise i wouldn't have prob noticed.

so i dont know that this is a new occurrence in just the last few days, but i do know it is something knew in the last month that at a minimum is getting worse as while i concentrate on getting old cuts looking better i can tell there is new stuff happening. so elsa will only nurse once today, but they'll be in their side by side pastures for hours so won't feel alone. lover boy is working on the separate pastures right now. i am taking elsa into the chicken fenced area with me while i clean and feed them, as it is about 3/4 an acre and gives her a fenced area to enjoy outside of the barn.

male follow up. it is funny you mention that today miss mary jane as today was lover boy's first official milking by himself. after we got him started i went down to love on elsa for a bit as he forgot to close a barn gate, and while walking from barn back to parlor i just thought to myself what a magical day it was. working side by side with lover boy, doing farm chores and just leisurely making headway. nice cool fall morning, enjoying all we have worked so hard towards, and having my partner of 15 years enjoying it just as much as i do. and he takes on just as much cow work as i do, he has started mucking for me every night and bringing the cows in, which makes it so easy to put the farm to bed at night. its just a wonderful, magical thing to do this with someone you love and trust. and afterwards we came inside to clean up post milking, and then to enjoy a cup of coffee by the fire for an hour before going back outside. just lovely.

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

11093 Posts


Posted - Nov 15 2015 :  11:00:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, the men in our lives help make it work. Thanks to all of you men folk. I usually have to do most of the work myself when it comes to milking, mucking, feeding etc. but when it comes time for help with hay and large objects, I'm just not strong enough to handle it alone and that's where my guy helps out and it's much appreciated. So thank you! (mark the calendar for Lacy Lou) :)

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

3486 Posts


Posted - Nov 16 2015 :  09:41:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Cindy, for posting your questions, thought process, and decisions. And, thanks to the rest of you giving your advice. This post really helped me just with the weaning process and seeing what you, Cindy, are doing. We need to get more fencing up (I am seeing that this need NEVER goes away) and will separate Humble more and more. He is eating plenty and needs to give Clover a break and share more of her milk with us. This morning we got less than a half gallon! And Humble was locked up.

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 - Nov 16 2015 :  4:33:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks charlene from one newbie to another! we have done two NEW things in the last week (one just yesterday).

we finally got our cattle panels up on top of the corral fencing - assumed up to this point that the calf nurses through the fence at night and reduces our milk supply. unfortunately this made NO difference in our milk supply, so calf obviously hasn't been nursing through fence much if at all. why this is probably so is because mary jane had already separated momma and calf and only let them nurse twice per day before coming south with us; they were getting that much same amount of time with each other daily since being here and probably didn't need to go outside their routine already established.

second change: yesterday we made our large pasture into two paddocks per the above discussion due to the chewed teat issue. we decided to keep them together in the same pasture to keep them happy, but separated with an electric fence to assist with moving more to friends as opposed to momma/calf relationship. will let you know if this makes the teats better (less chewing) and/or it increases milk production. todays milk supply was pathetic, not even a half gallon ;<

what we decided to do with timing is instead of putting calf in with momma at 11am to stay until they go back to barn at 5pm, we are transferring them to pastures separately post milking - in their own paddocks. then at 4pm, approx 8 hours after morning milking, they are brought back to barn together and get about 45 minutes to nurse. they then get dinner in their own corrals and are separated for night. when patrick did this tonight he went back at 35 minutes and calf was already done nursing and was in its own corral by itself.

i suppose with this change we'll know how it is working both teat and milk supply wise w/in 5 days. every change always takes a few days to get into routine. i had thought that since previously we had separated sally/elsa from 7am milking until 11am that sally would love having elsa in the adjacent paddock all day long... no, they are 1/8" apart and apparently she is upset and moo'd all day. any change and she is very vocal. elsa the calf, not phased and grazed both far and near from momma all day long - so she is doing better with distancing herself.

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 - Nov 29 2015 :  11:01:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
it has been a month since my original post, and two weeks since my last, so thought i would give a follow up for other newbies in the future.

we drastically reduced the nursing time, 20-30 minutes once per day. i also kept that to the opposite time of the day that we milk. so i milk at 7am, put both girls out on pasture in adjacent paddocks (with electrical fencing so no opportunity to nurse through fence), then at 4pm we put girls together for 20-30 minutes to nurse and then they are separated and given dinner and night time hay. reality is that w/in 10-20 minutes nursing is over with and they self-separate.

with this minimal nursing, and the continuation of the herbal teat dip and 3-4 times per week arnica/comfrey ointment the teats look fantastic. i have to say, i just LOVE the Dr Sarah's Essentials products, they make me happy to use and i see a difference in the teats.

we have also witnessed sally monitoring the nursing herself, and she has even kicked elsa off her once - literally kicked her. only made elsa move from that teat to another though. so i think weaning is not going to be hard by the end of the year.

i am going to be out of town for a week of work in another 8 days, so we will continue with this while i am gone so patrick has the backup of a calf nursing while i am gone. then we'll work towards weaning.

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 Nov 29 2015 11:01:53 AM
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maryjane

6963 Posts


Posted - Nov 29 2015 :  1:43:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When it comes to cows and calves, you learn best by doing and no two cows or calves are alike. You have to have a problem-solving personality to make it work. It's good to know that all is well at the Thompson homestead! Also, getting to the point where you can let Elsa milk while you're away takes plenty of planning and thought. Congrats and good luck lover boy (I kinda don't think he'll need it since he has you and Sal and Elsa).

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 - Nov 29 2015 :  3:54:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks mary jane! the problem solving is fascinating, i love it. but without everyone's breadth of experience on HJO it would take me ten times as long to find an alternate path that was appropriate. lover boy and i could think up ten different really interesting alternatives, but i bet 80% of those would not be right for the cows ;>

thanks for all your advice and guidance, you are a gem. and you are 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")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Dec 14 2015 :  08:51:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just reread this post ... amazing what you learn when you are going through a different phase of calf rearing than the first time it is posted.

Just ordered the Protect-her ointment from Dr. Sarah's Essentials but now read that perhaps I should also be ordering the post milk teat dip. I'll wait a bit to see how the arnica salve, Protect-Her ointment along with the dynamint works for Clover's teats. They are looking a bit rough, but there is a chance that Betsy has taken up nursing again! So this afternoon guys are coming home early from work to set up more separate pens and basically send everyone to their own room! :-) We figured this out last night after dark and no one was interested in moving cows by flashlight! We are slowly learning here.

The guys, Humble and Tony, will hang out together. But Betsy and Clover will be separated by a fence. Then we'll monitor and see how Clover's teats look. Humble will still have short nursing sessions but weaning is definitely in process. He is doing so well.

The post milk teat dip is on my list.

Any other products of Dr. Sarah's Essentials that you won't do without now, Cindy?

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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NellieBelle

11093 Posts


Posted - Dec 14 2015 :  09:32:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, always a juggling cows and calves. Moving hither and thither. Just thankful we have the available acres to do that. :) Hope you get Clover's teats back in great condition again Charlene.

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