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hugho

27 Posts


Posted - Oct 04 2019 :  3:29:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No recent posts. On Rendezvous Mountain Farm there is so much work to do. Who has time to go on the compooter anyway. I will post a little news, AKA "ketchup". We added a kunekune boar named Wilbur to keep the 2 girls company in the conjugal sense. There has been lots of action but no piglets and how do you tell is a sow is pregnant anyway? I tried my hand at increasing our Icelandic chickens because they are so endangered and very expensive to purchase.I made a homebuilt incubator of my own design which worked pretty well and we ended up with 13 chicks who are now 3 months old. Wonderful chicken breed. Medium size but they can fly like grouse at times and they roost in the rafters. They can be pretty feral but that is an advantage here in Wyoming with our plentiful predators. Our St Croix sheep population increased with 5 new ewe lambs and we butchered 4 wethers along with "Veal" , Daisy's first born steer at 4 months. Daisy cried for 3 days afterward. Heck of a mother. Veal was raised only on Daisy's milk and later some pasture. No grain. The meat is to die for. Most people who have tasted it say that is is the best meat they have ever eaten. Veal was a wild and wonderful calf who raced around the pasture enjoying life. Commercial veal production is a criminal inhumane process like most commercial meat production of chickens and hogs who live their miserable lives confined to a few square feet. VEAL had 120 really good days and one bad one. WE miss him. Daisy had AI done by Dale at the Daloris Dairy in Rigby Idaho in the middle of July. She had 2 sessions once with sexed semen. Dale was pessimistic at the time but Daisy hasn't been in season since so I assume she is with child. Time for a pregnancy test. We didn't get our barn built and sadly our extended family isn't crazy about our "grassy" milk. I hayed 40 acres this year but it is just grass with scanty legumes. The family prefer the milk from Daloris Dairy where the animals are fed a corn silage which makes the milk sweeter. I love our milk but no one else drinks it so it ends up being given to the pigs and chickens. So I think I will dry out Daisy pretty soon. Milking in winter with the amount of snow we get(6 feet on the level last winter) makes for difficult working conditions. I did peruse the forum on HOW to dry out a cow. There appears to be many ways to skin a cow. A commercial producer told me they are at risk to developing mastitis and treat with antibiotics prophylactically which goes against my grain despite being a retired doctor. I am open to suggestions. She is down to 1.5 to 2 gal/day with one evening milking.Should I cut back gradually ? I live with 3 women and they all say do not go cold turkey which I assume is based upon personal experience. So I am putting out this inquiry to all the fine women in the forum. Whatsa guy to do?

Daisy, our Jersey
Kunekune pigs
St Croix Sheep
Free range chickens, Icelandics,Buffs, Khaki Cambell ducks, arucanas,buckeyes and Golden Comet Sexlinks

maryjane

6806 Posts


Posted - Oct 05 2019 :  06:52:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've tried drying off several different ways. My determination as to how to do it has to do with knowing the cow and her udder, and how far along in her lactation she is (how much milk she's giving and how full her udder gets).

The last time I dried a cow off I did it cold turkey, but I checked her udder every day for a week or so to make sure it was shrinking and everything seemed A-okay. It went very well and she was empty for the most part with a floppy udder within a week.

If I were to dry Daisy off today (cow that I'm milking presently), I would take lesser amounts for about a week, doing a mastitis check every day and then I would stop but would continue checking her udder every day for another week or so to make sure nothing looked out of sorts.

What I shoot for is this: I never want to see a cow I'm drying off drip milk--that's how they can get mastitis. If ever I see that at any time of day, I milk and dip. After giving milk they form a keratin plug in the teat's orifice to protect them, which is why I post-dip a cow after milking so the keratin plug has a titch of iodine in it. When they drip milk, their orifice is open to intruders that are everywhere no matter how clean the bedding, etc.

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

27 Posts


Posted - Oct 07 2019 :  05:00:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you MJ. I am getting under a gallon a day now with a single milking and feeding her only grass hay with a cup or so of COB which she adores and expects. she seems healthy and happy and we have not had any mastitis. I do Iodine post milking. If she is pregnant what is your preferred diet over the winter? All we have is grass hay which I cut and baled and a little chaffhaye as well as your recommended kelp meal and mineral salt block, bicarb and cider vinegar which she generally ignores.
I will watch for dripping when I start the dry out process and thanks again!

Daisy, our Jersey
Kunekune pigs
St Croix Sheep
Free range chickens, Icelandics,Buffs, Khaki Cambell ducks, arucanas,buckeyes and Golden Comet Sexlinks
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maryjane

6806 Posts


Posted - Oct 07 2019 :  9:29:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think some amount of Chaffhaye or some sort of alfalfa is important because of its higher calcium content over grass hay. Calcium is something our girls struggle with because of their more modern-sized udders--the dreaded milk fever. Everyone thinks it won't happen to them, but it eventually catches up, especially as a beloved cow ages. I think alfalfa is also good for the developing calf's bones.

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

27 Posts


Posted - Oct 13 2019 :  08:32:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again MJ. I just hauled in 4 tons of oat hay in small bales, a rarity in these parts. Most are big bales. Daisy used to love oat hay and now scorns it and scatters it for bedding so I will need to find some alfalfa to go along with my grass. The sheep and pigs love the oats and it doubles as bedding. even the chickens work through it. Hay prices going up here because of the lousy wet summer and good hay very scarce.

Daisy, our Jersey
Kunekune pigs
St Croix Sheep
Free range chickens, Icelandics,Buffs, Khaki Cambell ducks, arucanas,buckeyes and Golden Comet Sexlinks
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