Drying of my Guernsey

Now we can all talk about milking our cows and goats, all things house cow and milking goat.
tampeirce
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Drying of my Guernsey

Postby tampeirce » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:54 am

I would love to hear advice on drying of my Guernsey. She is 3 months off calving . So I will wait a month. I milk OAD in the morning and she gives me 7.5 Lt.
I feed at milking a scoop of Pollard 4 scoops lucerne charff and a hand full of crushed Barley that goes straight through. I am trying to get crushed grain . Only as a treat. They get lucerne at will in the paddock. How would you change this at drying of time ? Thank you to any who can help. Cheers Tam By the way her milk is so sweet and lovely . I feel quite evangelical about it. What the general populas is missing out on. BIG shame.

dggoatlover
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby dggoatlover » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:29 pm

Not sure if its completely that same with goats as with cows but when I dry my does off I take a bit less milk each day - don't completly strip them out. I would also try slowly switching to milking once every second day and so on as the milk lessens. And cut out the grain in her feed - that grain is pure energy that goes straight into milk production - just try her on dry chaff. Once she is dry then you can slowly reintroduce the grain to bring her back up once she calves.

minnie
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby minnie » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:10 pm

I haven't milked but I know there's Milkers here... Glyn and Heidi.

I've read and of course can't find it, that with cows the cream comes last so if you have a calf still drinking when you're drying off be careful it's not getting a big cream hit or it will scour. Not sure how that works with goats but I think they're more homogenised?

I'd do the same as Desley, and I know people who have milked for yonks dry off slowly.
:)
Vicki

Heidi
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby Heidi » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:47 pm

Hi Tam,
I've been having internet issues (are they still my issues if they are caused by the service provider?)! I saw your post and meant to get back to it, this is my first opportunity.

I don't know if you're share milking.. I found its easier to dry off if you are...

Okay, here goes my 2c worth, how I've dried my Jersey off twice so far...

Over the next week cut down on how much you are feeding her, maybe get her down to just the lucerne hay and the pasture... the more feed you're putting into her, the more she's got to make milk with. The lucerne hay should not be best quality.. (lucerne hay/grass is what makes milk).

In actual fact, if she's producing under 8L a day (total.. unless you are share milking, and then she'd be producing more that the calf is taking and you don't know the volume) you can actually just stop milking (but reducing quality and quantity of feed also). You keep an eye on the udder and she will get large and you will panic, but she will not burst. If you are concerned, you can milk some of the pressure out on the second day, if she'll let you. Keep an eye on her udder to make sure she doesn't development hard, or red spots (mastitis). Use your own judgement and if you really think she's needs milking out, do so, and taste the milk for saltiness... first indicator of mastitis.

This is coming across really garbled... sorry! Ithink I need to know if you are share milking her with her calf.

Get back to me about this bit of info.

Regardless of how anxiety provoking drying off is for us, really, it is very easy, and think dairy farmers, with their high producing cows, just do it all the time!

Heidi

tampeirce
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby tampeirce » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:39 pm

Heidi , thank you. I am not share milking. Just milking in the mornings She is 3 months away from calving, so I would like to milk for another 4 weeks and then dry her off. As she is only producing 7 lts a day from what you say "cold turkey" will be safe . It has been so long since I last did this I have forgotten how.
I have another small cow with calf I can train up , but she is "hornery " a typical old fashioned cow with horns . It will take me a bit of time and even then she may not produce much. I do love milking , the whole process , and the result "milk".
Out of interest, a very good book on Bio Dynamic farming claims that cows with horns " rather than dehorned ones give better milk ! Do you know more on that?
Kind regards,
Tam

Heidi
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby Heidi » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:04 am

No,
I'm not sure about the horns and milk correlation! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that traditionally, most heritage breed dairy animals had horns, and then any tinkering with the breed to make them polled, may have used polled beef or dual purpose cattle, thus lowering the milk production? I don't know, I'm just guessing. Doesn't biodynamics stuff cattle horns with something (??) to make a potent mix or solution? I'm pretty ignorant about biodynamics to be honest.

Also, if you're not sharemilking than you do know exactly what you are getting. So, I think over the next fourweeks, try and reduce her production by slowly changing feed quality and quantity, and taking a little bit less each day, however, the old fashioned "two gallons" which is about 8 litres is okay to go cold turkey with. Just make sure she has no hidden mastitis before you do.

Got to go,
H

tampeirce
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby tampeirce » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:29 am

Thanks Heidi I will do just as you recommend. Cheers Tam

minnie
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby minnie » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:13 am

Hi Tam,

Bio Dynamic farming claims that cows with horns " rather than dehorned ones give better milk !


I think all the dairy breeds have horns, and maybe it was how the dehorning was done that effected the milk???

I've got a cow who will make a good milker (I think) but she's so difficult with her huge horns (that are in for the chop - only tipping and not too far down to cause blood) with the other cattle in yards and feeding.

We've got dehorned ones that were dehorned by hot iron at a few weeks old, which I prefer... and when the vet does them he gives them anesthetic which works for me too. But the last lot we weren't able to dehorn, so the horns within the herd increase. :roll:

Vicki

tampeirce
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby tampeirce » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:18 pm

The book I was referring to was "The Biodynamic Farm " by Karl-Ernst Osthaus " Developing a Holistic Organism"published by Floris books .
On page 40 there are photos of milk under a microscope x 40 showing from cows with horns and those that are dehorned .
The horned milk are "fine ,dense plant like structures..... " whilst he says the dehorned "are showing areas of long crystal like needles showing areas of the body are not fully integrated "
This is all to do with Homeopathy and things I don't fully understand.
However the book was light enough for me to read cover to cover , my partner Claire thought it too light on and prefers Steiner's book "Agriculture".
All of this is only background , It is not meant to be this intense , I would just like a deep understanding to care for my cows and produce the best milk for my family and friends.
Also the little Dexter I have referred to has devilishly sharp horns and if she plays up to badly I will do exactly what you are doing. Thanks for the reply.

Heidi
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby Heidi » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:48 pm

Hi Vicki and Tam,
In regard to cows with horns and dehorning... I saw a calicrate bander on the Farmstock website (a classified ad) for $85 plus 20 bands. Primarily it is for castration, but they also use them for banding the horns of mature cows. It works on the principle that this industrial strength rubber band (think surgical rubber tubing) is put on the horns and over several months, the horn tissue is deprived of its blood supply and fall off. It doesn't do them as good as dehorning, but it is much less invasive or traumatic as getting them dehorned at an mature age, the traditional way.

I agree though, the younger the better, to disbud cattle.

H

minnie
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby minnie » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:42 am

Hi Heidi,

You sure that was advertised for $85, on this site http://www.thefarmstore.com.au/dairy-be ... er-kit-cpt it's advertised at $839!

It's such an issue the horns, I hate them but I hate taking them... :roll:

I did say to the Vet once if only they had a vaccine that you could give them and their horns fell off, he reminded me that with that their hooves would and most like their teeth and their bones... not such a clever thought then. :o

Vicki

Heidi
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby Heidi » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:27 pm

Hi Vicki,
I did write "calicrate" I meant to write "California"... two different instruments, I know! However, the California Bander advertised here..
http://www.farmstock.com.au/Classifieds ... 97683.html
is for $85, and can be used for horns on cattle also. It evidently takes about 2 months, but the cow is in no pain at all. The horn is tender when it does finally fall off, but there is no blood or open sinus involved.
All my cattle are naturally polled (apart from the Friesian steer who will be in the freezer before his horns represent a problem) and I'm hoping that MacGregor, being polled and half Angus will sire polled calves (he should, poll is dominant gene I'm pretty sure). However, if I had to get cows dehorned, I think this is the way I'd go.

What do you think?

Heidi

PS...the Farmers Stoe has them for $124.95 I think

minnie
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby minnie » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:41 pm

Hi Heidi,

The horn is recessive so if they have a polled gene they appear polled, but they randomly give one gene (the cow one and the bull one, so each has only two genes for horns or poll) to the offspring.

So a horned calf can have two polled parents.

There's been a DNA break-through with the gene identification, and QLD Uni can now DNA to see if a bull is poll/poll (which means it can only give a poll gene) or poll/horn. McGregor would have the horn as a recessive as his dam was horned. :( But he may randomly always give a poll, the beauty of random is we never know, and statistically it's a 50% but your 50% may be all poll while next doors may be all horned... don't you just love stats. :lol:

Will look up the bander, very interesting. :D

Thanks,

Vicki

dggoatlover
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby dggoatlover » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:55 pm

Yep you can band the horns. I have done it a couple of times with larger scurs on some of my goats. Just need to keep an eye on it to make sure no infections set in etc. We use the rubber rings as well - although for the goats we use lamb size :D Depending on the size of the horn it can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks for a goat - a cow may take longer not sure... Trick is to place the ring as close to the base of the horn as you can - the more horn you take off the longer it will take to grow back. I disbud all our kids at a couple of days old.

Heidi
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby Heidi » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:41 pm

LOL... I hated genetics in biology, and still do, especially when it comes to animals! Just can never seem to grasp them, and please, don't try and make me understand!
H

minnie
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Re: Drying of my Guernsey

Postby minnie » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:23 pm

Sorry Heidi... :lol: :lol:

For some reason the horn thing gets soooo many confused, but for me when the penny dropped it was as clear as day instead of mud. :lol:

:D
Vicki


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