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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Nov 22 2015 :  12:18:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
we have seen a substantial milk decrease this week, and i think it might be a newbie mistake that i am rectifying today.

last sunday we milked and got well over a gallon. big milk day for us, as usually with calf still on momma we are normally getting about 2/3 gallon. other than a bit of an increase here and there, our milk production has been constant and stable since we brought her home 6 weeks ago.

monday was the huge storm, where i had to milk at an odd time and the storm was howling during milking and i got one pint of milk. nervous cow and all so didn't seem too worrisome, and i just put calf in with momma for a morning session that day to ensure udder was taken care of.

well tuesday i got about a quart of milk, and wed/thurs/fri/sat we got 2 pints each day. just under a quart. pathetic. all four teats flowed nicely, just not a lot of milk in any of them.

we haven't changed any food/diet in this time, still on pasture same amount of time, in fact no changes in even the bales or bags of food as we had stocked up feed bins the wednesday before and she was still eating from those same exact bags of food... so wondering what it could be. and both cows are eating same diet from those bags/bins and both are consuming so don't think it is the food.

last night in researching and re-reading "keeping a family cow" i came across water comments while trying to focus on diet and grain comments. he states, "it is depressing to observe how often a potentially high-producing cow owned by a loving family and generously supplied with expensive feed fails to give the milk she could simply because she hasn't enough water". then goes on to say how a cow is thirstiest right after milking and will usually head straight for water. and that a cow interrupted in quenching her thirst will usually not resume drinking again for a long time and milk production will suffer. it takes ten gallons of water to produce 5 gallons of milk.

aaahh. lightbulb moment. we knew water was crucial before bringing cows home and so specifically put in bar bar waterers so i wouldn't have to haul water and ever leave them without a sufficient supply... but last week i accidentally screwed this system up.

last sunday in order to manage a calf chewing momma's teats and really seeing some damage we separated our pasture into two paddocks so momma and calf could be very close but just not nurse (both paddocks are still several acres each, so not confined at all). and in the process one of those paddocks didn't have access to the bar bar A waterer so we put a small trough in and filled it daily. that paddock was to be calf's, and momma would be in larger paddock with waterer.

but tuesday human (me) found that it was much easier to bring momma in and lock her into small paddock first and then bring calf in and let her loose in large paddock effortlessly (otherwise momma tried to meet up with calf and then both wanted to be in a paddock together).

so i just led momma into small paddock with small water trough, filled it full of water, and went on my way.

but i had noticed the two weeks prior that water intake of momma seemed much more, i had never noticed before that right after milking she went straight to waterer and spent 3 minutes with constant drinking. and i know that with distraction of new paddock and small water trough she NEVER did that last week - so she must be drinking substantially less water than before.

so today momma is back in the large paddock with waterer, and right after nursing when i took her in there she went straight to waterer and drank for a long time. and calf is in small paddock, and we have moved a larger water trough in there just to ensure in an emergency a large cow would have more than enough water and not be limited to a small trough.

we have been emptying the barn troughs every week, and it seems like they are drinking well out of them as we refill them during the week several times and water seems fresh.

so i'll keep monitoring the situation and let y'all know what happens. only other change we had last week was the fact that momma and calf are separated by an electric fence into two paddocks - but before they actually spent three hours a day separated across the farm while calf was in barn, so now they get more time w/in range although not together. thought this could effect a few days of milk production but not to this extent. we'll see.

if y'all have anything to add that i should be looking for let me know.


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 22 2015 5:38:13 PM

txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Nov 23 2015 :  08:53:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
just a quick post to say that milk quantity was up again today, back to almost a gallon (our normal right now) after a week of disappointment. I could see the difference the moment I went down this morning to feed the cows, that udder was happy and plump once again!

I am convinced the water was the ticket, and getting that routine back just yesterday made a huge difference in less than 24 hours. after milking this morning, once back in the pasture first thing the salgal did was visit that water fountain.. back to normal.

will post if i notice anything else, but as a newbie the water just wouldn't have dawned on me. food, grain, etc - yes. water, no. silly human!

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 - Dec 31 2015 :  11:25:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so we encountered another milk decrease, and it is apparently another human error. shocking, who would ever think!!

well, this last week our milk supply has started to decrease again and i first thought that it must be food supply. everything i read last time when researching the issue said to reanalyze your food/water first as that is usually the culprit.

well, all feeding is the same. nothing new, or altered. except if you milk late then the cows go to the pasture late... and if over 10 days you gradually move milking from 7am to 11am you have now reduced the pasture feeding time 3-4 hours of the day. sally is getting her same supplemental food in the morning and night, same amount in the parlor, and has free choice hay all night in the barn - but by milking late we have inadvertently pulled her out of the pasture several hours of the day and thus cut down a significant amount of her feed.

keep in mind we still have super green pasture in east texas, and with the 70 degree weather the last month we even have new stuff popping up - and those cows are happy munchers all day long. sally always looks super fat when we retrieve her from the pasture each night to put her up.

so we are back to earlier milking this morning so she was back out on pasture early. its these things that us newbies can be really dense about at times.

this also explains why lover boy was getting 2 gallons of milk while i was away for the week of business, and when i came back it immediately went to 1.5 gallons daily. due to his work schedule he had to get them out to pasture by 6:30AM so he could work at 7am. then they were out on pasture until 5-6 pm until he could muck and milk. thats at least 11 hours of pasture feed per day, with the same amount of supplemental morning/night feed.

well when i milk they are out on pasture post milking at 8:30am, but patrick has everything mucked and back in the barn at night at 5pm - so that is 8.5 hours on pasture. thats a significant difference and could account for the milk change.

i am going to review the exact amount of supplemental feed we are giving them morning and night to make sure i have it right for the amount of time we are on pasture, and the time of year it is.

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

6784 Posts


Posted - Dec 31 2015 :  6:42:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Being exact about feed is one aspect of cow-rearing I miss. It's good practice and a wise thing to do. (Ha, I wish someone would monitor my caloric intake, especially during the holidays.) But once you have several cows, you'd have to tie each one up every time you fed in order to ensure that the amount you gave to each was eaten by each. I do make sure I separate the calves for feeding to make sure they get all they want.

Little Finnegan is the hardiest calf I've ever had. We're seriously smitten. He's not quite two months old and clearly he's weaning himself. Even after a night-long separation from Fanci with her being milked in the a.m., I put Finnegan in with her at 11 a.m. and he was more interested in playing Simon-says-run-around-the-pasture with Ester Lily and Sweet William than nursing. He walked over to Fanci, kicked up his heels and ran like the wind in the opposite direction. The other "kids" follow him everywhere. Every time any of us come near him, he turns on his heels, and with a quick kick runs away to frolic. Julie summed it up when she said, "What a free spirit he is." He's a hearty hay/grain pellet/Chaffhaye eater and hasn't complained once about missing his mother. And he seems fiercely healthy.

On the other hand, his mother is a whole 'nuther story. I'm still pondering what I'm going to do but try as we might (tickling her teats, bumping her udder, etc.), she is drying herself up it seems. Today, she gave not quite 1.5 gallons (yesterday 1 gallon) and every drop has to be begged for. In other words, no let-down. Her milk used to flood the EZ bottles (even though it wasn't as much as I was told it would be, it's been 2 to 3.5 gallons), but not anymore. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve I'm going to try but dang. What on earth is she thinking? Miss Daisy is a fraction of her size and gives us at least 2 gallons, if not more. Connie even tried a second milking on Fanci. Nada. Tonight I put Finnegan in with her for the night, hoping to perhaps trigger production, but he didn't nurse. He just walked over and started eating hay.

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 - Dec 31 2015 :  7:06:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i know it won't always be this easy, given that right now we have them in separate corrals in the barn and then separate pasture paddocks during the day - with only two i can control their supplemental feed at least.

mary jane i keep having this fear miss sally o'mally is drying up each time our production wains! its such a great fear that i do something wrong and turn it in that direction accidentally so i am trying to ensure that anything i have messed up is rectified. but i do know a cow can go dry and have to be prepared in case it should happen before we intend. i hope you figure fanci out. i am happy at 1.5 gallons from sally as it meets all our needs, but i don't have time for all the cheese making yet so am sure i will change that tune at some point.

have you looked into the milk veins and massaging the milk duct, etc? lover boy got all into it while i was away and started all this cow anatomy research and started massaging the veins and such to get the milk out while he milked - he swears it works. i don't know if the milk veins are more prominent on a pregnant cow or not, but once he showed them to me they were very obvious.

at least finnigan is a trooper. stars are shining on you there.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 31 2015 :  7:54:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MaryJane, you just need your daughter, Meg, to come and do her magic with Fanci. Didn't she do that for one of your other cows? She whispered sweet nothings and voila! The cow finally let all her milk down ...

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Dec 31 2015 :  8:40:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Charlene! Meg is one of the tricks I have up my sleeve. But massaging a milk vein wasn't on my radar. Google here I come. I just went down to check on Fanci's water. Cindy, you had mentioned that a while back with Sally. We have a heated water bucket for her where she sleeps (it's 7 degrees out right now) and I've noticed that she's preferring it over the waterer we have for everyone when they're out during the day that stays un-frozen but isn't warm. I've watched her when I put her in her shelter at night go over and pert near drink it dry, almost as if she waited all day to drink until she could get warm water. Good grief. I might be on to something because when I went down just now, she was completely out of water. I can't add anything more that runs on electricity to that side of the farm because our circuits are maxed out. Either it gets warmer soon or I carry water in the night. Let me just say, Fanci my dear, put your big girl panci's on and drink some damn water like everyone else so your night water lasts. It's as if she wants to camel-up on the warm water.

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

6784 Posts


Posted - Jan 01 2016 :  07:38:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm pleased to report that Fanci wasn't out of water this morning, so I doubt that's the culprit causing her low milk production. But I'll keep a close eye on it with the temps so cold.

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

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Jan 01 2016 :  09:43:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have noticed here too MJ that the big girls production seems to cut by half in the colder weather...seems even with good hay nothing beats fresh grass and warm temps.....

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Jan 01 2016 :  10:31:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We noticed a small drop in Clover's milk production this past week and Ethan attributed it to her going into heat and the single digit temps we've been having. Our cows are certainly eating more hay right now as well ... chewing cud keeps their furnaces cranking.

So Ron ... can we now say, "spring's a-comin' "? :-)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10944 Posts


Posted - Jan 01 2016 :  12:44:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nellie and Sienna still doing pretty good for nursing full time yet. I haven't started the weaning process with either of the calves. I get a gallon from Nellie and gallon and a half from Sienna daily, even with nursing. It will really take off again once I get them weaned. I will start weaning Leo here shortly. With 2 gallons of milk daily I don't need to be in a hurry.

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

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Jan 01 2016 :  1:09:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Spring is almost here Charlene....but darnedest thing is as son as that happens, guess what? Yep ..winters coming

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  10:25:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, Ron ... :-) Let's just practice ... springs coming, springs coming, springs coming.

Janet, do you sell your milk at all? Or do you give it to friends? How do you consume 14 gallons of milk a week?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10944 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  11:03:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's illegal to sell raw milk in Iowa. We do have friends that like the milk so we give it away and I make butter, cheese, as well as use in recipes throughout the week, feed cats and chickens and use it as a natural fertilizer on roses and other plantings. Not hard to use up at all. When I get lots of milk, then I make more cheese. I especially love Asiago, parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar, and mozzarella… You get the picture. ;) I can shred up bunches and put in the freezer, and I use it in recipes and give away also. And if you haven't tried the homemade cheeses called for in MaryJane's scalloped potato recipe, then you haven't lived.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  11:19:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We go through our milk really fast and I've not made any hard cheeses yet. That's another farm goal ... making cheese.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  12:47:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
took just 36 hours, but getting sally back on pasture for those extra 3 hours daily brought production back up to 1.5 gallons per day from 1 gallon.

if i wanted to milk at night i could get another 3 hours of pasture in each day and probably bring it back up to 2-2.5 gallons per day, but i like my morning milking routing too much ;>

but it is nice to realize how much impact the pasture has, and that i really need to be more aware of what i am doing to these poor cows. they are very patient with us as we learn.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2016 :  2:03:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good for you in getting Sally back up to full production! Our pasture is very frozen under several inches of snow right now. I have briefly heard of people getting their cows to graze through the winter, even through the snow but the big concern is still getting enough water. I don't really understand it though...we'll wait for spring and green grass.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  12:18:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I keep messing with my cows' feed to figure out how to increase production this time of year. Right now I'm trying more Chaffhaye and less timothy. You know what they say around here, Charlene; the grass is always greener ... in the spring. Don't you envy Cindy?

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

1413 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  12:42:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm envious of Cindy's pasture for sure. We didn't realize how quickly Elli's milk production would change this fall when we were out of pasture. She went from 4 gallons a day to 1. The good news is that it created an opportunity to go from milking twice a day down to once a day. Then we tweaked her food (when to give grass hay vs. alfalfa and how much grain) and got her back up to two gallons a day. Milking once a day and getting 2 gallons is just about perfect for us. I'm still wondering what we are going to do when we dry Elli off, though.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  3:17:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keeley, I see more than one cow in your future!

And, yes, this time of year it is extremely easy to be envious of Cindy's pastures. Then, I remember her post regarding feed bunks and keeping hiding spots to a minimum for all the snakes that they have down in Texas. NO THANK YOU! I'll keep feeding my cows hay and Chaffhaye, thank you very much. :-) Cindy is braver than I.

Keeley, can you tell us what you did exactly when you tweaked Elli's food to get her back up to two gallons a day? What was your ratio of hay/alfalfa/grain/etc?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  4:25:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
its easy to be jealous of our green pastures right now, so mary jane why don't you come visit in august when it is 90 with 90% humidity 24/7 ;> and we can't go stroll the pastures at night too freely as the wild pigs/boar are out and dangerous. no joke. i personally don't carry a gun large enough to kill a boar, that's lover boy's job.

we all have such lovely farms, and all have pros and cons. the con to me for an idaho farm would be that i wouldn't have lover boy, he doesn't do snow ;> so i'll keep my little farmstead in texas with my lover boy. even with the damn snakes and wild pigs. he's worth it.

i will add that i think sally is really enjoying the green pastures during winter! but i do need to do more research, i need to know more about what the true nutrition content is for what they are munching in the pasture now as i am sure i should be compensating more now for what they need. but we have free feed dry hay all night long, and we keep upping their chaffhaye/alfalfa pellet/dairy feed supplementals to see how much they want of it.

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 - Jan 03 2016 :  4:30:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
keeley, when do you dry her off? we are looking at late march for sally as she is due may 9th. so about 6 weeks without milking i suppose.

i am going to do a slow churn of some milk in the next few weeks and freeze that to see if lover boy will tolerate it thawed. if so i'll put 10 gallons or so of it back that way. he's the pickiest milk drinker i have ever encountered, he's like one of those wine nuts with milk. so now that we have primo milk he won't tolerate anything less.

the one positive about not milking for a bit - the timing will be good as i can seriously focus on the summer garden with the extra time. that way i can get ahead of it before baby arrives.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Jan 03 2016 :  5:20:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another reason to plan for a spring calf ... spring gardening.

I also find that, although I miss the milk, I do like the break from daily milking. I'm not milking any goats right now and I'm enjoying it. Now, I'll be ready to get back to it come March. That will be a busy time ... milking goats and cows, birthing goat kids, bottle feeding some, but it will be spring!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Jan 04 2016 :  8:32:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If Elli bred the last time she was AIed, Cindy, then she will be due Sept 5. She calved last at the end of April. What I learned about my big girl the last time she calved is that she loses body condition very easily, so I was hoping to give her a good break at the end of her pregnancy to focus on growing the calf and not producing milk as well. I was thinking that I would dry her off in May and then she would have June, July, and August to rest up before she calved again. It would be about a year of milking before drying her off. Those will be our best pasture months as well so that would be good for her as well. But, that means a long time for us without milk and the kids will be on summer vacation. My kids do their best eating and growing during summer. ;) The cow I was looking at buying turned out not to be bred which I was thinking was a bad thing, but now I'm wondering if it would be ideal to have a cow in milk now that I could breed in a few months to rotate when she and Elli do their thing. So far I haven't had any trouble giving away extra milk and I think I'm finally mastering mozzarella. Still thinking about what would work as far as a second cow goes. They'll probably sell her while I think.

Charlene, Elli had free choice pasture until it was consumed this fall, so the mystery was trying to figure out how much hay was needed to replace what she was eating since we weren't sure. (Clearly at first we had no idea since she dropped production so much.) Plus we had to get all the supplemental nutrition from 2 milkings into 1. We literally just doubled the grain ration so that she was getting all of it in one serving instead of 2. For Elli that is a little less than two cool whip containers (very technical measuring device) of grain. We feed straight alfalfa hay during milking. What seems to work well for her is about a 3-4 inch flake of alfalfa hay, depending on the temperature outside. When it's really cold I might push the size a little. The rest of the time we give Elli grass hay. She gets about a 12 inch chunk of grass hay twice a day in addition to what she gets at milking. We use the small square bales if that gives you kind of an idea. Remember that Elli is a big girl. As far as I know the only bigger cow anyone has here on the chatroom is MaryJane's Fanci. I think when she was pregnant last time we under fed her without realizing it because she was big with the calf. I'm trying to focus more on overall body condition during all stages as I learn. Elli gives so generously to us. It seems only right to keep her in the best shape possible.

Tonight I got about 3 pints less milk when she's been so consistent for a while, so either she's decreasing due pregnancy (fingers crossed) or I haven't been feeding her enough more with the cold weather. Time will tell.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Jan 05 2016 :  09:25:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Keeley, for being so detailed about your feeding. That really helps. I appreciate your effort and close attention to Elli so that she stays in great body condition. That also comes over time as we get to know our animals.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Jan 05 2016 :  5:42:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
keeley, thanks for the details. i don't have any reason to think i am not feeding sally right, but i am second guessing myself on it now as i don't want to mess something up...

when she first arrived she looked amazingly fat every night when leaving the pasture. it was seriously noticeable. being a newbie i was freaking out about bloat the first few days we left her on pasture all day as she looked as if she gained 50lbs each day, but come morning she was normal sally. now she doesn't look that fat each night so i am assuming that the pasture isn't providing as much for her - she grazes all day, its all green and good, but obviously the same goodness isn't blooming in the winter as in the summer so we would expect less from the pasture now.

right now we free feed grass hay all night, and she eats about 1/4 bale each night (regular square bales). i feed her 4 gallons of food total each morning for breakfast and milking, equal amounts grain/chaffhaye and only about 10% of it alfalfa pellets. and patrick feeds her 1.5 gallons of grain, 2 gallons of alfalfa pellets, and 4 gallons of chaffhaye each evening ... we have increased the evening amounts up to this just the last month as she was licking her dinner bowl clean. this seems the mix she likes, we have worked it around a bit to find out what seemed to be working for her as far as her desires.

maybe mary jane can also weigh in on what she thinks about the mix. i know cows are like dogs or people, some you can free feed and they will gourge whereas some will just eat what they need ... elsa so far is the latter so we gauge her food by what she eats, but sally has almost always eaten everything we have given her so i am not sure if she is the former or the latter ;> not sure if i can overfeed sally or not.

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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