Originally posted by Bedlam
The fix for mastitis is milking. You can't NOT milk a dairy cow that's producing, it's cruel. I can tell you from long experience growing up on a
farm, that cow will let you know it's time to get your butt out of bed and get to work.
Actually, if YOU were breastfeeding your baby, and YOU got mastitis, the doc will tell you to let the baby nurse, not to pump and discard. Apparently
'pus cells' are no issue.
@Golf66 - did you grow up on a farm too? I swear there's a conspiracy to select farm kids...
We are having a snowstorm today so I was out taking care of business thanks for answering Minnie's questions.
You are correct to be certified organic I have to track all feed purchases as organic in origin. There is a margin of 10% that they allow for times
you might not be able to get the right feed or hay.
The cows/goats are subject to random blood testing. I take the blood and submit it along with tag numbers to a lab. They test for growth hormones
and antibiotics. If I have to give one of the ladies antibiotics she has to be removed from production for the duration + 6 weeks to allow the drug
to leave her system. While I don't need a vet to perform this process I have to keep records of antibiotic purchases and uses and dosage - any miss
match it records is a fine or loss of certification.
This is a loss of roughly 7 gallons a day for 42 days. I can't sell it for human consumption. I give it to a local pork producer as a supplement
for his hogs. We barter for things...
I take care of my cows as they are a significant investment an average quality Holstein at peak production is worth 2.5K. I don't dock tails or
knock horns I have footbaths in and out of the milking facility. They are not stall raised (other than on days like today) they know where the
"udder relief" comes from and are more than willing to show themselves in when they are ready for milking. They also get a little grain as an
I have hardly ever had a case of mastitis (perhaps 4-5 in three years) in bovines; however it seems the caprines are more susceptible to it. Factory
farms get the problem because they often don't have enough equipment for the number of cows which means they go too long between milking. Also, being
large operations they often have transient staff who take shortcuts in cleaning between the ladies which spreads the bacteria that often causes it.
As for the pain associated with mastitis Bedlam is correct that you can't go without milking them at all it will just get worse as the pressure
builds. However, I use a topical analgesic and hand milk them if I get a case. It takes longer but if you don't treat them right they will sour to
the milking equipment and this makes them harder to work with later when they are healed.
I also have a certain number of ladies who are allowed to keep their calves for half of the day and I only milk them once. These are the ones I will
later integrate into my own herd. I let them feed out for 90 days as they develop family bonds and learn from their mothers regarding the walk-up
The bulls get sold off after they get their colostrum and are able to bucket feed themselves. I try to home to them individuals who will let them
live natural lives until they become food. I don't deal with veal operations or factory farmers. It is just a sad fact of life that it is a death
sentence to be born male offspring of a dairy breed. I used to raise some angus steer for beef until I discovered “the secret” which is while
Holstein steer produce less beef in the same amount of time it has a wonderful taste and texture. So if you ever get a chance at a cheap dairy bull
(sometimes as low as 150.00 a head) take it – feed it out on grass for 18 months and try it.