Feeding Practices ~ Cattle

simplysouthern22

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Also, I mis-spoke earlier on the amount of grain....We were feeding the hay + 12-lbs of 12% ration, then went down to 6-lbs. Have gradually gone back up to 9-lbs and have held steady with that. Still only getting about a gallon per day.
 

farmerjan

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If you only seemed to get like a one time stringy squirt out with no swelling or heat or hardness, I wouldn't give it a second thought. Every so often we will see that in dairy cows and it seems like it is more of a "cleaning out" of some milk that did not get completely milked out. Most farmers will mark the cow, and check her carefully for the next couple of milkings and never see it again.... I don't worry over it if there are no small flakes in the milk, no hardness or anything else. I think you are doing everything you should and sometimes it just happens.

This far along in her lactation it is unlikely she will come back up in her milk production. That is pretty common to see them drop off. Late lactation milk often has a higher cell count along with higher butterfat...
I think that the 9#s of grain is good. Is she looking good for body condition? You can maintain that amount of grain until close to drying her off , then cut it back, and pretty much cut it out when you dry her off. After drying her off, according to her condition, you can give her just a little grain if you want... but you ought to be into good spring grass and she ought to be getting enough that way. You want her to have good flesh before calving but not to be roly poly fat. I don't think I have ever seen a "fat" guernsey. :hide They are my favorite breed....:yesss::thumbsup
 

simplysouthern22

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Thank you, very much for all your help and advice. We will finish off this residue cycle and go back to keeping/using milk. We'll be drying her off around early - mid March and will drastically cut her feed back. Looking forward to a new calf from her in late May!
 

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simplysouthern22

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Update...turns out this whole time we were seeing butter fat and mistaking it for mastitis. It probably didn't hurt for us to treat her, though after speaking with her previous owner, she has had several cows who produce more butter fat in late lactation and will strip like what we've described. She forgot about that until I called her thinking we've been treating her with antibiotic for no reason.

Thank you, again, for all the help!
 

farmerjan

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Interesting.... I have never seen butter fat that looked like mastitis. Yes, cows produce more butterfat in late lactation. And it is thicker and will not drain through a filter very well. Glad that you talked to her previous owner and got her take on it. No, it probably did not hurt to treat her, and at least she should go into her dry off period with no problems.
Do you have any other "homestead animals"? Stick around and tell us what's going on in your part of the world!!
 
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