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Strange: Virgin Lactating Heifer

Discussion in 'Everything Else Cattle' started by Mylied, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Jun 2, 2019
    Mylied

    Mylied Exploring the pasture

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    I have a jersey heifer. About 3 years old. Never been bred. I do not own a bull. This past week my husband noticed milk dripping from her teats at feeding time. I didn't believe him. (I'm out of town during the week this summer) So he videoed it. I finally got my hands on her this weekend. It definitely appears to be milk although I didn't taste it. Nothing off looking about it, no blood, pus, or chunks. 3 quarters are swollen about a handful while 1 quarter is less. Not hot, hard, or red. I can't find anything online and everyone I've asked so far never heard of it. Any ideas? Should I get a vet out to see her? I can post the video. I milked a stream out of each teat. She's my only cow and only experience with cows. I've had her since she was a baby. I do have experience with dairy goats.
     
  2. Jun 2, 2019
    Mylied

    Mylied Exploring the pasture

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    Here's the video.
     
  3. Jun 2, 2019
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    A rarity, but yes it can happen. idiopathic galactorrhea and it's caused by a
    hormonal change or imbalance.
    Prolactin from the pituitary as well as oxytocin. Thyroid plays a part as well.
    (this happens in humans and other primates quite often and has even caused males to start lactating...)


    synthetic hormones can also cause it. diethylstilbestrol and hexestrol come to mind.
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  4. Jun 2, 2019
    Mylied

    Mylied Exploring the pasture

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    So is it something to be concerned about? I wish I was home because I'd try milking her and encouraging it if it wasn't detrimental to her. I want to breed her but haven't found someone to a.i. one cow.
     
  5. Jun 4, 2019
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    It is as I said, normally a symptom of something else..whatever is causing the hormonal imbalance and it's that which is concerning. May be something as simple as a mineral or dietary deficiency. May be genetic. The idiopathic part means the underlying cause is hard or impossible to pinpoint.
    Unwarranted lactation tho can increase the risk of mastitis.
    Put a call in to your vet.
    Can't offer much more than that, but when it happened to one of mine, it put her on the cull list and I sent her to sale.

    In matters of milk, FarmerJan is the one to talk to.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2019
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    Milk her.
    It's not that uncommon with dairy goats with heavy milk producers in the family tree. I can't imagine it wouldn't be the same with dairy cows.