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New milk cow

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1 New milk cow on Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:43 pm

samwise

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One Brown Swiss named 'Maple' home and milked (sort of).
One big learning curve coming right up!

Good night all. Gotta go to bed so I can attempt the milking again before work in the morning. It took me over half an hour this evening and I didn't get her nearly dry. I know, you pros are laughing. But I haven't touched a teat in 12+ years, half my lifetime.(hanging my head in shame) I had nothing to do with getting rid of the cows...honestly, I didn't!

2 Re: New milk cow on Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:03 pm

Hidden River

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Congratts! In time you will have her milked dry in less than 20 minutes. Smile Of course you will have to work through the sore forearms for a bit, but it is so worth it.
I would love to see pictures of Maple, once you get your rest that is.


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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3 Re: New milk cow on Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:13 pm

pfarms

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LOL! That is great time. The first time my husband milked a cow it took him about TWO HOURS and I still had to finish her off. He now is a 20 minute pro. Thankfully too as he has two to milk. It will get eaiser, for the both of you.

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

4 Re: New milk cow on Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:19 am

gubi


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Brown Swiss are the best, we milk a herd of them. Who did you get yours from? You should try to get her emptied out completely each milking if possible.

5 Re: New milk cow on Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:36 pm

samwise

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Well. I said I'd be alearning. Darned right.
My day went something like this:
6:30 get up, breakfast, chores(which is just watering chickens and gathering eggs, and watering, feeding, and milking the cow) I got 1 1/2 gal, not enough, I know, but I did my best and work doesn't wait.
8:15 go to work
11:30 come home for lunch and water the animals
5:20 get home from work
6:00 supper, then chores, same as morning, but more time for milking.
9:30 I finally quit. Still not milked dry but better than before. 1 1/2 gallons in the pail, but she kicked so much I eventually milked onto the ground just to get her emty(er). I tried to tie her legs but she was new to that and wouldn't have it. Try again tommorow.
I'm currently carrying hay and water each about 100 yards to the cow. The hay will hopefully soon be moved closer. The water, not unless I can miraculously resurrect the decrepit old stock waterer that happens to be right in Maple's pen. So that isn't speeding things up.
I'm thinking I might send her back just until the dairyman has a bull calf to help me with the milking. Cause the way it is aint gonna work. But don't think I'm quitting, and if I do I invite you to give me a virtual kick in the shorts.
So anyway, biggest thing I've learned so far: The idea that all of a cow's milk is stored in her udder is a myth probably dating back to medieval times. The cow's entire abdomen is in fact a giant milk reservoir, and if you let her eat while you milk, she will convert the feed faster than you can milk, trapping you in a perpetual act of milking, till the feed run out or death do you part.

HR, the forearms aren't even too bad, not yet anyway. I'd love to post some pictures of Maple but unfortunately the camera I use is the one they used to do the dinosaur portraits with, it takes lovely shots (in the right hands) but is a bit behind the times, so no uploading. Something I should try to remedy I guess.

pfarms, I actually only milked about half a gallon yesterday. Embarassed I'm sure today's time was more like what your husband did, and again, I didn't get her dry either. She was getting rather impatient toward the end(so was I). I'm glad to hear your husband got better, maybe I'll get there too eventually.

gubi, yes she's a really good natured cow, only in her second lactation cycle. I got her from a local dairy farmer, C. Doerksen. He wanted to get rid of her because of bad back feet, I think this is contributing to her kicking problem. If I don't emty her completely will this be uncomfortable or just cause her to produce less? Cause I really could do with a little less milk, even supplying my family at home, which is nine people besides me.

6 Re: New milk cow on Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:05 pm

pfarms

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A few tips to help you on your way. Dont send her back if you can help it, she is probably used to a machine if she was from a dairy. Our first cow was too. After they are moved it will take a little longer for the milk to come down. No biggie. Yes, getting her dry will help, but from experience, if she freshened recently (in the last two months) then you are still ok and may get back any lost volumn during your learnin curve.

1. Have something for her t munch on. We would tie our cow, put a hay net in front of her, and a bucket of grain there too. As long as she has somethng to eat, she did better.

2. Try a different kind of stool (I will try to post a photo) that acctually goes under the cow and the bucket sits on it, she will kick the stool which you are also sitting on and not the bucket.

3. Lean into her. Yes, with your head, shoulder, or what ever. The feel of you being there is a reminder to her that you are still there. Also talk to her.

4. If/WHEN she kicks, dont back down. Dont stop milking her. Keep milking her so that she doesnt think she can get you to leave her alone.

5. Get help if you can. I would talk to, pet, and do anything I needed to help ease both hubby and the cow until they both learned to just get it done.

6. You can cheat like me and get a single cow milking machine. I have bad arthritis in my hands, so milking the old fashioned way is a great way to kill my hands for the day. Not an option for most people, but an easy solution.

I did notice that after about a week to a week and a half a routine was set and the milking time drastically reduced. After about two weeks (I measured and kept track) of her being milked twice daily at the same time and on her routine, she increased back to what she should have been. During the learning curve here she did drop. There is always hope. Hope that helps Gamgee!

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

7 Re: New milk cow on Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:09 pm

pfarms

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Oh, and as for the milking less, it will cause her to produce less because there is less being required. As a cow weans a calf the same thing happens. I dont see it causing any pain to her.

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

8 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:25 am

samwise

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Thanks very much for the advice pfarms.

9 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:41 am

gubi


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If you don't milk her empty you will have to keep a good eye out for mastitis. Some cows are OK others are more finicky. The combination of the new milking routine, new home, different feed and not getting emptied out are a lot of stress factors for a cow. I like the idea of a bucket milker too. My in laws used to have just one cow for milk. They used an older bucket milker to milk the cow when she was fresh and then milked her by hand when she didn't milk too much anymore later in lactation.
When you milk her out onto the ground just make sure the milk on isn't where she will later lay down.

10 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:04 am

pfarms

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Here is the stool I was trying to find a picture of:

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http://dtfarm.webs.com/

11 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:15 am

samwise

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Thanks gubi. I got her pretty well empty today, not absolutely dry but close. 1 3/4 hours for 1 3/4 gallons milk; looks like my life will now consist of working and milking. Rolling Eyes
And yes, I was milking away from her bedding.



pfarms wrote:Here is the stool I was trying to find a picture of:

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Handy Farm Devices and how to make them, pg89 Very Happy
Didn't know it was there but it looked like something that might be in there. It would help for sure. What I'd like is a stall with a stanchion(there are still one or two kicking around here from when my uncles milked), and a pole I could slide in front of her legs. I remember dad doing this and I think it would work really well.

12 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:14 pm

pfarms

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See, some of us use the same handy old things Razz Yes, from that book.

It sounds like you have the know how to get it done well. Like I said, give it those two weeks or so. You will get better!

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

13 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:28 pm

Hidden River

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Samwise, we had a cow that liked to kick the bucket of milk over on us when we were always 3/4 of the way done milking. What we did was put a soft rope (Like a cotton lead shank for a horse) around her belly, just in front of her udder, then tied it on top of her back right where the divit in her tailbone is, tie it fairly tight but not too tight she wants to fall over. This seems to stop them from kicking, and usually within a week you dont need to use it at all, they just learn.


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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14 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:35 pm

samwise

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^ Interesting, I'll have to try that till I get the stall set up. I accidentally got a milk customer today. I'd only be selling for animal consumption of course! These people have critters called 'rug rats' that drink milk. Very Happy

15 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:45 pm

smokyriver

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Something we did with a kicker, she would not kick us, but knock the pail over or step into it every chance she got was to take a soft rope and tie her legs together. just snug enough to keep the rop over her hocks. She would lift her foot, feel the rope there and put her foot back in place. She soon quite totally and we were able to milk her from then on without the rope. It never would have stopped her from kicking, but sometimes just the feel of something being there is enough of a deterent. Good luck with your cow!!

Gotta love those rugrats. I have 5 of them running around with a 6th to arrive in April, so am hoping to find a good milk cow myself!!

http://Www.poultrypalacecanada.com

16 Re: New milk cow on Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:03 pm

samwise

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HR I was going to try your suggestion until I realized I don't have any thick soft rope. Rolling Eyes duh!

Smoky does that work better than tying the ankles? I tried the ankles and she didn't like it at all.
Sounds like you have quite the start of a family! I'm the oldest of eight myself. My parents got the hardest one out of the way first and then my sister raised the rest! Laughing

17 Re: New milk cow on Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:06 am

smokyriver

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We found with tying the ankles they would fight harder, more of a trust thing. We worked her up to actually having the rope tied, first by just laying it around her legs so she could get used to the feel of the rope on her legs. She settled into it really easy this way. It was a trick my grandfather always used with his range cows when he had to milk one of them. It usually worked, but not always. Good luck!!

http://Www.poultrypalacecanada.com

18 Re: New milk cow on Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:07 pm

samwise

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Well I've given up trying to stop her kicking...cause she's pretty much quit on her own. Very Happy Seems she just didn't like the switch from machine to hand milking. And I now have a bull calf to help me, which was another big adjustment for her since calves don't milk gently! But she is a good mother, and the little guy is so cute! Yeah I'm a softy.
Milking time has been greatly reduced and has gotten easier, so thanks a bunch to everyone who told me to stick to my guns... It did pay off! No doubts about keeping the cow anymore.

Oh and Hidden, the sore arms have kicked in. But I'll make it.

19 Re: New milk cow on Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:12 pm

mirycreek

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Good for you...glad to hear you have persevered and it is easier now, kind of a hard season to learn how to milk in I imagine, do you have a warm place to milk?

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

20 Re: New milk cow on Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:16 pm

samwise

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Just the loose housing shed, but it hasn't been all that cold and with the forearms pumping away I've actually been breaking a sweat.lol January could be different though...

21 Re: New milk cow on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:00 pm

samwise

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A little borrowed equipment and here she is:

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and the little guy
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22 Re: New milk cow on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:40 pm

nuthatch333

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oh, she is so pretty, I live for the day I finally get my own cow.
Although I think I have leaned from you, to get her with a calf at her side.

23 Re: New milk cow on Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:04 pm

Hidden River

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Awww so sweet. Me want one! That little bull calf is pretty cute himself. Smile


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://www.hiddenriverranch.weebly.com

24 Re: New milk cow on Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:17 pm

blackdove

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Oh how cute!! I love the colour.... so pretty. sunny

25 Re: New milk cow on Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:44 pm

Fowler

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I always liked the Brown Swiss.

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