The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Cattle => Topic started by: PipKelpy on May 22, 2019, 10:50:49 am

Title: Sore Teat
Post by: PipKelpy on May 22, 2019, 10:50:49 am
Juniper calved last Monday, had another bull, which is brilliant which means no pouncing in the shed over winter. However, even though she calved a week early compared to last year, this years bag is bigger. I am getting around that by keeping Duster (named after his dad - I'm going through the alphabet, 1 letter each year!) in the shed. So I go down in the morning, let him have breakfast, kick her out, bring her in at dinner time, kick her out and then bring her back in at night. She's a Hereford x Ayreshire/Jersey and bag wise would be able to keep up with her mother!

Now, the problem this year is when she first calved in 2016 she had warts on most of her teats. (She came like that). They weren't a problem Angelica (Jelly for short) 2016 calf, bit some off, Bonnie (2017 calf) bit the others off, so when Chuckles (Chuck Steak) came along last year, he got 4 good teats.

Duster has 4 good teats too. But because her bag (not the teats) is big, the 2 on the one side are starting to go red and look sore, but they aren't raw or cracked or anything like that. Its very difficult to explain. They aren't open wounds. Duster can suck, though she does start to lift her leg but he's cottoned on to that and moves or sucks from the other side.

Now, I have some udder cream, but its the mint one and I don't want to put him off from sucking otherwise I will have to milk her and I don't want to do that. I want the bag to come down and then she can have him permanently.

Is there an udder cream that is scent free and can go on the the actual teat? I have googled and maybe I'm not putting in the right words. But they all state to put on the udder. The udder is fine, compared to last week the bag is down so thats going right, but the 2 teats where the warts were are abit iffy, so to speak. She's 5 and 1/2 and I will do everything I can to stop her getting mastitis. Been there done it with other cows. Lose a quarter and you have a problem for life! I want her here for decades, so to speak!

Mum used to milk and she said udder cream but then said that it was different for machines but the calf might not like the taste, that and the fact mum was milking in the 1980's and cream then is probably not like cream now.

Anyway any ideas??

PS If the little bugger hadn't mucked about and held in 2017, she'd have calved when she was supposed to last February as per before but oh no, she had to be temperamental!! Knickers has been ai'd and if she knows whats good for her, she'll hold and spit out a Dumpling if its born in December or something starting with E if its in January!
Title: Re: Sore Teat
Post by: shep53 on May 22, 2019, 11:52:28 am
Finding it difficult to understand , You can buy udder cream without scent easily ( good to see Battles still making it ), udder cream is for the teats and you can use as a hand cream / lip balm / face cream etc if you want  . Why are you letting the cow out without the calf ?  I thought you must be milking her for the house but you say you don't want to milk her ??   If she has a lot of milk then buy another calf  and double suckle her ??  The warts can be treated by tying a thread or elastic band on them so they die and drop  of , or you could ask your vet to try Liquid Nitrogen  or  a wart vaccine .  Losing  a quarter on a cow is not a problem she has 3 left and only one calf  !!
Title: Re: Sore Teat
Post by: PipKelpy on May 22, 2019, 02:09:59 pm
Losing  a quarter on a cow is not a problem she has 3 left and only one calf  !!

Wow, narked about that last bit! It is a problem. Some people may not care, but I do. In all of our years with cattle (mine and mums, mum include milking and sucklers, mine are sucklers only) when the cow loses a quarter it doesn't just go away and say, "never mind, I won't bite you in the butt next year." Well, it don't in our cattle. I've had 2 sucklers go down with august bag in the past and no matter the early catch, both lost 2 quarters and both had to get pumped full of drugs by the vet to survive. The one in particular, we were warned, she was very ill. Fortunately for her she wasn't due to calve for 4 months. The other calved a dead calf within days that we had to get the vet out for and we asked was it the drugs, he said no, she would have cooked it due to her bag. We managed to get another calf but in all our years of cattle, not one has ever said, "sure, I'll take another no problem!" Bobby, the dead calf cow was not impressed and the calf we got for her, well lets just say that its a good job it would suck!

Udder cream is so called as its for the udder, or at least that is my understanding. I was informed that the cream goes on the teats after the calf has sucked, if anything. So, cow comes in at night, calf sucks, with me watching, they I slather on cream for her teats, he don't like the taste/smell so he won't touch those teats all night. I'm no better off than I currently am.

Juniper might be a quiet cow and friendly, but like the girls in the past, I cant see her wanting to allow another calf to suck. And getting the calf itself is a problem. Its one of the reasons I stopped buying at auction, too many being shoved through with snotty noses and god nose what else wrong with them and infecting the whole batch. Been there done that, don't really want a sick calf here when I have a healthy one and theres no point quarantining it otherwise why go and buy one!

Letting her out without the calf means that when she comes in, it sucks where I want it to, thought that bit would have been obvious, otherwise it will suck throughout the day on one teat or two at the most. Also, I know that when I have put cream on my hands I don't wish to bite my fingers, which is why I asked if anyone knew of a cream that was tasteless and meant for the teats for the calf to suck almost afterwards.
Title: Re: Sore Teat
Post by: shep53 on May 22, 2019, 02:48:55 pm
 A  sheep with mastitis can and do die  and even if they live  tend to produce more than one lamb  so it is a serious problem , cows tend NOT to die from mastitis and  as I said have 3 quarters left and normally 1 calf .  Udder cream is for the teats and apparently celebraties use it ( so google says ) just put less on and rub it in like you would hand cream .   You can buy calves privately from dairy farms  and most cows don't like a second or more calves ( multi suckling  involves  4 calves  then 2 then 1 )  but you can buy multi suckling crates or  neck tie the cow or halter it and supervise the suckling  for a week or two until the cow accepts it
Title: Re: Sore Teat
Post by: landroverroy on May 22, 2019, 03:26:58 pm
I agree with Shep - I don't really understand what your problem is. :thinking:
And I also agree with you that losing a quarter is to be avoided at all costs.
But I think you're trying to micromanage the calf too much. Obviously you are there on the job so I probably haven't got the full picture. But I would definitely leave the calf on all day. It will get round to the problem teat in its own time. I have some very milky cows and for the first week it has often  looked like they are avoiding one teat because they get enough from the others; and the ignored quarter gets overfull so the cow is reluctant to let the calf feed from it. But eventually because the calf is used to drinking loads, it empties the other teats and gets round to the 4th one. Off course it gets kicked off to start with, but by now it knows there's more milk to be had here and it persists. And as it persists, the mother realises that the pressure has gone off that quarter and then relaxes and lets the calf carry on. From then on, the calf happily goes round each quarter in turn.

Title: Re: Sore Teat
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 22, 2019, 05:41:40 pm
Duster has 4 good teats too. But because her bag (not the teats) is big, the 2 on the one side are starting to go red and look sore, but they aren't raw or cracked or anything like that. Its very difficult to explain. They aren't open wounds. Duster can suck, though she does start to lift her leg but he's cottoned on to that and moves or sucks from the other side.

I too am not sure I understand why you are needing to manage the calf.  However, here are some things which may or may not be helpful.

1.  We use Nettex Udder Salve, not Battles Udder Cream (two completely different products) on all our milk cows’ teats.  (They all rear their own calves as well as get milked for us.)  It emphatically does not prevent the calf from suckling, and it’s superb at keeping the skin on the teats in good order.  It does say on the tub to wash it off before letting the calf on, but if you rub it in well, you’ll be fine.  It contains only petroleum jelly, lanolin and glycerine.  (Or there is a version with iodine added, which you would want to let evaporate for 30 mins or so before letting the calf on.). If you are worried about him having even a tiny bit, put it on her as she goes out, and or after he’s just fed, and not when she’s about to come back to him to feed him.

2.  In summer we also use a tea tree and coconut butter ointment on the teats after milking to deter flies.  This the calf should not lick, so we only use it on the cows who are weaned by then, or keep the cow separate from the calf for an hour or two after milking. 

3.  Keeping flies off her, and from picking at the rough and sore spots on her teats, is the biggest factor in having healthy teats.

4.  Sounds obvious, but if she’s producing too much milk for the calf, help her by not putting her on your best grass for the first month.   If you are bringing her in, you could give her nothing, or just barley straw not hay, haylage or silage overnight, and not too much of it. 

5.  My experience is that by 4-6 weeks, she will be producing the right amount for the calf, and he will be drinking it all, so you can let up with the careful management.

5.  My experience is that even a purebred top quality high production Jersey cow will, once experienced, manage her own production and her calf to keep her udder healthy.  She will direct the calf to different teats at different feeds, basically going around the udder feed by feed.  She does this by almost imperceptible body language, but the evidence is in the differently emptied quarters!

Hope you manage to find something that works for you, Juniper and Duster  :-*