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 Milk Production, Quality and Quantity
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7 Posts

Posted - Apr 01 2015 :  8:33:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi All,

My family recently acquired a jersey cow in milk and her 3 month old heifer. Ellie (the mom) is about 7 years old, we brought them home last Thursday. We separated mom and baby at night and milk in the morning, but quantity is way less than expected and there's not much fat.

We get about 2 quarts per day, and after it sits in the fridge for a day, there's less than 1/4" of cream at the top. It looks very watery. My Alpine goat gives more milk and it's thicker, and some may know that Alpines are not known for high fat milk.

Her previous owner fed grain with molasses at milking time and used a machine. She hasn't been milked this freshening. She was kept in a small pen and fed alfalfa hay. We milk by hand, don't feed grain, and she is on pasture with supplemental alfalfa hay.

Any ideas what might be going on and what we can do about it?



7065 Posts

Posted - Apr 02 2015 :  01:51:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It sounds like she needs more protein. Can you do either the organic grain or alfalfa pellets from Modesto? I predict you'll see a difference very quickly.

What are you doing for minerals?

What's the content of protein in your alfalfa and how much is she getting?

Photos of her would help!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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4666 Posts
Peever SD

Posted - Apr 02 2015 :  05:39:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like minerals and possibly some milk hold back also.

Just for kicks do a CMT test on Her quarters if you have the kits ( California Mastitis Test Kit )

Had the same problem here a while back with one of the cows and I added protien by feeding some flax and increased Her mineral content some. Being I don't have acsses to a vet easily I am kind of going by body condition and Her over all behavior as indicators of what She needs.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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7 Posts

Posted - Apr 02 2015 :  9:03:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
She got into the grain bin Sunday and it didn't improve anything. I didn't think of minerals, I'll look into that. We feed alfalfa hay-and I assume it's around 24% protein, can only go by online charts.

It's hard to say how much of the alfalfa she's getting, but we are now watching it more closely. We have 3 different pastures and she's been on all 3, but none are very lush just yet and that's why we supplement with the alfalfa hay.
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7 Posts

Posted - Apr 02 2015 :  9:10:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does it have to be a California Mastitis Test Kit? I have test pads, but not that brand (or whatever it is, I'm not familiar with it).

I was thinking hold back too, she can hear her heifer from the area where we milk, but I don't know what to do about that. We think we're milking her completely, as it doesn't appear Daisy is getting any when they are reunited.

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3486 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  12:09:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How's the milk production going?

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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