Getting a Family Milk Cow – Part 3

Getting a Family Milk Cow – Part 3

… case you just tuned in.

Part 1 Here

Part 2 Here

Here’s a  recap:

  •  Our cow had spent her entire milking life on a dairy farm.
  •  She lived with 120 other cows and a wonderful milk pump.

  •  Her electric milk pump emptied her udder in 30 seconds.

  •  I am not an electric milk pump.

  •  It takes me 10 minutes to empty an udder – with help – on a good day.  Go here to read about that.

  •  Faith got a bad case of mastitis.  Go here to read about that.

Now that we are all on the same page………

Next,  our vet came to the rescue.

He instructed us give her a 7 day treatment of excellent antibiotics (teat infusion) to clear up the mastitis.  After the 7 days of treatment we gave her an infusion  that dried up her milk and supplied an antibiotic that would stay in her udder while she was dry.  Go here to read all about teat infusion & how to do it.

It was about time for us to dry her off anyhow.  She was expecting her calf in a few months.

Dairy cows are dried off a couple of months prior to calving so they can have a rest.  It gives the cow’s body a rest from producing milk.  It also helps provide a healthy start to that little one.

Faith got some rest, so did her udder.  She had an adorable bull-calf named “Henry” 2 months later.

henry 2

When Faith’s milk returned it was good.  It was orange and thick and disgusting (normal, cow colostrum); however, it was mastitis free….

For more on what to expect the first week after your cow calves go here.

milking once a day 2

For the 10 months we “shared” milk with Henry we were able to keep the mastitis at bay.  It was a glorious time full of ice cream and butter and all things dairy.

After Henry left the farm to go to “freezer camp” (more on eating the Animals you Raise here) our battle with mastitis resumed.  Ugh.

I wish I could say that it was easier or had a happy ending, but it doesn’t.  Sorry.

We successfully lived with Faith’s recurring, staph, mastitis for years.  She had 2 more calves join her (Crumple and then Norman) before she died in 2015.  Crumple and Norman (her next calves) were never as successful as Henry was at keeping mastitis away.

I suppose Crump & Nor could taste the difference, for they both avoided the infected quarter.  Annoying right?

The good news is that with a little ingenuity and determination you can live with mastitis.

One of our most successful remedies was to milk the 3 healthy teats with an electric milker and let the calf have the 4th (infected one).  It is a bit tricky to pull off and you must be sure to continually check the udder to be sure the calf is emptying it & it’s not sick.

To see exactly how we did it go here.

Faith died in 2015.  She was a great cow that we will never forget.  She was a part of our family and taught us more about milking and love than any other animal before or since.

To read more about our battle with mastitis and how we have managed:

  • go here–  Help!  My Cow May Have Mastitis!
  • go Here – What Causes Mastitis?
  • go Here – What is a Good Mineral Program?
  • go Here – 9 Reasons to Get a Jersey Cow and 3 Reasons Not to
  • go Here – How to Stop Your Cow From Holding Up Milk

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