Drying Off A Cow

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I’ve had my Jersey Girls 1 month and a week! Seems much longer since I’ve been dealing with things that I didn’t expect.

Since I discovered Joy sucking on Josie, I realized that I had to do something that you normally wouldn’t have to worry about with a heifer (first time mom).

Drying her off.

After my neighbor took a look at her, he was certain that she’d been sucked and was producing milk for Joy. All the reading I’ve been doing, kicked in. If she was making milk…then she had to be dried off before calving. If not she could develop Milk Fever which is a very serious illness.

So, I proceeded to dry her off. I withdrew all of her grain and I’ve increased her hay intake. I don’t really understand it all completely, but the idea is to decrease the cows calcium intake dramatically so that she will start to draw calcium from her long bones because once she freshens, she will be making large amounts of calcium and to much prior to calving causes milk fever! I think I’ve got that right….or at least close. For condition, I’ll start to increase her grain intake a couple weeks prior to calving and then while she is milking so she stays strong. The more I grain, the more milk she’ll give me. I’m not looking to make her into a great producer. Since I can’t sell fresh milk in Maryland, I will already be swimming in it. Making more is not my goal. However, I want her to be a healthy good producer.

Josie has finally started to shrink in that one quarter.

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See the backside, it’s starting to shrivel.

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This picture is from a couple weeks ago before I separated Joy from Josie. Her quarter is full and tight. I’ve been making sure it doesn’t get hot or develop any hard spots because then I’d have to deal with Mastitis.

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