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 Changing from Twice a Day to OAD milkings
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cedmunds2

10 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  08:21:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First, I apologize if I am posting this question in the wrong place in the forum. Advice always appreciated and welcome!

Second, I humbly ask for experienced advice from anyone who is milking Jerseys only once-a-day. I've not heard anything encouraging from friends in regards to the feasibility of milking just once-a-day. Most everyone tells me that if I don't empty their udders regularly, mastitis is inevitable. Does anyone have some experience to share?

We are currently milking 3 Jerseys twice a day (all bred back), and have two more bred Jersey heifers due June and October. We don't need all the milk from two milkings, but with our Cow Share program, we could make use of roughly half of it (or slightly less). For time management reasons, I want to back the cows down to just once-a-day milkings, but was told that when they freshen, I would still need to milk twice a day, for a "while". Otherwise, mastitis. Even if that were true, I still am in the same predicament because we stagger/overlap lactation cycles, and I'd always be milking twice for some cows. Optionally we could get everyone on the same breeding schedule and milk twice only for a while, when everyone freshens. So here is where I need advice.

Does anyone have experiences to share about OAD and mastitis occurrence?

Valle di Latte Farm

maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  08:49:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do you put your calves on their mommas or bottle feed?

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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cedmunds2

10 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  11:32:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We bottle feed the calves because of bad experiences with mastitis occurrence. Maybe it's just our bad luck?? but calves always seem to beat up their momma's teats - bites/cuts/scrapes/scratches - making for miserable milking time (moving around a lot, uncomfortable, sore, etc), and then this seems to trigger mastitis.

Valle di Latte Farm
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  11:56:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I didn't have such a small herd, I'd bottle feed also because of the reasons you cite. If you're going to leave a calf on its momma, you really have to monitor teat and udder health. Having bottle fed a calf for several months recently, it's a toss up which is more work when you have only one or two cows.

I would start with just one of your cows to see if it would work. (It depends on her volume and udder build as to whether or not she's a candidate--most Jerseys are.) I have only one cow that I have to milk 2x/day for about three weeks after calving before I feel safe converting her to OAD. Once a day is nice and suits my work load much better! But you will end up with a decrease in the amount of milk.

I would do it slowly over the course of a week, taking less and less each evening and the full amount in the morning or vice versa depending on what you're shooting for. I've only had mastitis here twice (and I've been OAD for several years), once with a dry cow I'd purchased, got her pregnant with my bull, and then one day noticed swelling in one of her quarters--dry mastitis. I learned a lot treating her. And I have one other cow who is mastitis prone but I think I've licked it. I'm not sure what caused it. It's the result of a lump she's had in one of her quarters through two pregnancies that only recently started to be a problem. I don't think an OAD cow is more prone to mastitis, other than during that first week or two when you're converting them to less production. You need to be "one with your cow" during that time. If I were you, I'd definitely try it, because 2x/day milking is such a huge commitment of time.

This article might be of interest to you:
https://www.heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11447

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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cedmunds2

10 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  2:02:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much for that advice, MaryJane. You clearly understand where I am coming from. I appreciate the encouragement hearing that most Jerseys are candidates for OAD milkings. That's pretty much what I thought, but our history of recurring mastitis has shaken my confidence in actually pulling this off. I will check out that article and come up with a plan to try this on one cow first.

Much appreciated. P.S. Love your Milk Cow Kitchen Book!!

Valle di Latte Farm
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Apr 27 2016 :  7:00:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hi. i am new to the milkmaid life, only got my cow last fall and milked her up until drying her off two months ago for her calving in 1.5 weeks. so i don't have much personal experience, but i will share this.

i spent 2-3 years reading everything cow i could get my hands on before committing to our cow. and it seemed like there were so many people invested in their beliefs about twice a day milking and that OAD was the worst thing in the world. whereas when i read the OAD milking side, i felt the people were more open to the fact that it was a great thing and made sense for family life... but that sometimes it wouldn't work for the health of a particular cow. to me the OAD milking crowd was nonjudgemental, didn't have a one size fits all attitude, and were really more focused on doing things more natural and healthy... and focusing first on the health of the cow.

sometimes people get so focused on their long held beliefs they can't let them go. so i kept going back and back to the days 100 years ago, when family cows could be milked only once a day and things were positive and healthy. and remember that modern jerseys have been bread to really really produce, and so it makes sense to me that a cow in that linage may not respond to OAD milking as easily.

i will always keep my calf on momma and not bottle feed unless nature decides otherwise for me, and so that really helps me with the milk management and momma's health. but i am lucky that i got this great cow that was already on OAD milking.

so i say you know your cows health best, and maryjane gave excellent advice about trying one cow out first. and if any of them have ever had mastitis before then those would be the ones to NOT try first ;>

if you can, add some vitamin c powder to their milking treats to give them a natural health boost during the transition. and if you don't know about mastoblast take a look on google, its good stuff.

let us know how it works for you, i love hearing about this stuff. and hang around here a bit, you'll find that unlike a TON of places on the internet we are not judgemental and nasty - we'll share our opinions if asked, but its just such a wonderful group of people and no one pushes anyone around. its a lovely place, truly.

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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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Apr 28 2016 :  05:26:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since you have a few cows to choose from, make sure you also choose one to try with very good rear udder attachment. My big Jersey girl isn't as well attached as I would like and she is a sometimes OAD milker. She lets me know when it works and when it doesn't. I much prefer OAD for what works in our life.
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Apr 28 2016 :  05:51:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought this thread might of interest. It's the nursing calf/management thing I mentioned in addition to an example of OAD ongoing management:

http://www.heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1059&whichpage=1

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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cedmunds2

10 Posts


Posted - Apr 28 2016 :  08:57:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GREATLY appreciate all the info, opinions and advice! I've been spinning my wheels on this subject for the past year, talking with a lot of nay-sayers. But I am going to formulate a plan to get to OAD because its just taking too much time away from the garden and other efforts that are also important. I have considered which cow will be our best candidate for this trial, and she has good udder conformation. (On a side note, our recurring mastitis cow has a poor suspensory ligament and her bag hangs low when she freshens...not sure what her future holds, but I am loyal to her as she was my first milker and i LOVE her! I will post a new thread under a new subject regarding her...)


Valle di Latte Farm
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cedmunds2

10 Posts


Posted - Apr 28 2016 :  09:18:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
P.S. I am ordering Mastoblast to use proactively on my first-and-I-will-never-sell-her mastitis-prone Jersey, Abby. She had a very bad case of edema before her third calving, and then nearly died from milk fever afterwards. Then, mastitis kept creeping in, over and over. I was treating with Pirsue, which is stronger than I wanted to use, but Amoximast wasn't working and I couldn't find any other products (thus, Mastoblast sounds incredibly promising!) Two different vets and several dairymen told me to cull her and definitely not breed her again, but after a much needed education on feeding incorrectly during dry-off, and a lot of patience and TLC, got her milking on 3 quarters, mastitis free, and I decided to get her AI'd for a fourth time. I'll be ready with the oral Calcium pre or post calving, to hopefully prevent milk fever, and watching her very very carefully in the few days after to stay on top of any signs of her going down....will post in new category on this topic...

Valle di Latte Farm
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maryjane

7024 Posts


Posted - Apr 28 2016 :  09:53:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More later regarding mastitis, but for now here's a thread regarding milk fever that might be helpful. I've had vets tell me to withhold alfalfa and minerals but it didn't make sense to me until I read the following:

https://www.heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5222

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