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Jersey milk cow and calf.
July 8, 2012
10:57 pm
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
July 8, 2012
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I have read the pros and cons of keeping a calf with it’s mother and removing the calf when using the cow for milk. The biggest issue was the use of milking machines. The claim is that if the calf nurses from the cow all the quarters may not get used equally so that makes using the milker difficult on the cow. The other is that the calf nurses and will make the teats less condusive to the milkers. Any opinions, because I really don’t like that my momma cow is not happy that her calf is not with her.

July 9, 2012
12:07 pm
N.E. Ohio
Forum Posts: 4921
Member Since:
February 10, 2009
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Well, many, possibly even MOST cows milk out at different rates in different quarters for various reasons.  When using a milker, you need to BE there, and be aware of the sound.  I know it sounds weird, but when working in a big parlor with 8 (or more) cows being milked at the same time, an experienced person can TELL when one quarter on one cow is nearly dry.  You go over and release that teet and let the other finish, that cup will shut off when it dangles so it won’t affect the milker. 

With one cow, spending a little time while the milker is running learning how she milks out isn’t too tough.  I can’t describe what it sounds like, but you CAN learn it by paying attention.  Milk that teet out the last little bit by hand, don’t expect the milker to get it all, that’s pretty hard on a cow.  Huge farms don’t care much, they probably just yank off the milker and give the udder a quick wipe because they are ‘supposed’ to.  More experienced folks usually give a final check by hand to be sure all is well.  Learn how your cows milk out and you can get it right.

Many many folks find ways to let the calf be with mama most of the day, letting her get the day’s milk, then separating them over the night so they can milk her in the morning, or the other way around… all depends on your facilities or your schedule.  Milking mama yourself and bottle feeding a calf, (or kid) makes for a friendlier adult… but an overly friendly large half grown calf can be very dangerous too.  Consider the pros and cons of that for yourself, I can’t tell you what is best for you.  Suzanne can tell you all about having a crazy calf!!  laugh 

Hope this helps!  There are others here who are much more experienced with one cow/calf than I am, I’m more used to a larger herd so hopefully the folks with individual cows will speak up too!  moo

Located in N.E. Ohio

July 10, 2012
1:12 pm
Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
Forum Posts: 7368
Member Since:
May 14, 2005
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Many milking machines today for personal home use (like for people with one family cow) have clear lines so you can see when each quarter is milked out.  That’s how my lines are.  And yes, as Deb said, the quarters do milk out differently anyway, even if a calf is not on the cow.  I don’t see anything to the idea that a calf nursing on the cow will make the teats less conducive to the milker.


How old is the calf?  I have a whole disastrous series of posts about trying to manage Glory Bee:


I hope both Glory Bee and BP are pregnant now.  (Still too early to preg check.)  I will do things differently when I have my next calf, but I probably will not take the calf entirely off the mama.  You absolutely have to have some separation of the calf and mama, though, or you will get no milk at all as the calf grows, and for sure no cream!

Clover made me do it.

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