• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Copyright
 Title Page
 Owning a dairy cow
 Proper milking procedures
 Feeding the calf
 Feeding the lactating cow
 Drying off the dairy cow
 Feeding the dry cow
 Breeding
 Manure management
 A good health program
 Care of milk in the home
 Making dairy products in the...






Group Title: Florida Cooperative Extension Service circular 947
Title: Managing a dairy cow on the ranchette
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00049213/00001
 Material Information
Title: Managing a dairy cow on the ranchette
Series Title: Circular Cooperative Extension Service
Physical Description: 7 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Harris, Barney
Schmidt, Ron H
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1991
 Subjects
Subject: Dairy cattle -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Dairy cattle -- Breeding   ( lcsh )
Dairy cattle -- Feeding and feeds   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: B. Harris, and Ron H. Schmidt.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "Printed 3/91"--P. 2 of cover.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00049213
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 45944194

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Owning a dairy cow
        Page 3
    Proper milking procedures
        Page 3
    Feeding the calf
        Page 3
    Feeding the lactating cow
        Page 4
    Drying off the dairy cow
        Page 5
    Feeding the dry cow
        Page 5
    Breeding
        Page 5
    Manure management
        Page 5
    A good health program
        Page 6
    Care of milk in the home
        Page 6
    Making dairy products in the home
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







Circular 947


Managing a dairy cow

on the ranchette


B. Harris, Jr., and Ron H. Schmidt


"---'--"


/
I
I

I_____


Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
John T. Woeste, dean


_ L-













IP1


/

SCIENCE
LIBRARY









































B. Harris Jr., professor, dairy science; Ron. H. Schmidt,
professor, food science and human nutrition, IFAS, University
of Florida respectively. Printed 3/91.









Owning a dairy cow
Maintaining a dairy animal on the ranchette or
farm is popular in many areas of Florida. In
addition to providing a certain amount of recreation
and enjoyment for the owner, it allows a person the
opportunity to be involved in an agricultural
enterprise and yet maintain other responsibilities.
Also, if youth are present in the home, animals may
be used for 4-H and FFA projects.
There are five major breeds of dairy cattle in the
United States from which one may select a dairy
animal. The five breeds are Ayrshire, Brown
Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein and Jersey. Minor
breeds are Dutch Belted, Milking Shorthorn and
Red Danish. Most ranchette owners prefer the
Jersey and Guernsey breeds since they are smaller
and their milk contains more milk fat and a richer
color (4 to 6% fat). Milk from the other breeds will
contain from 3.5 to 4% fat with the Holstein having
the lowest milk fat test.
Many ranchette owners enjoy starting with a
small calf or young heifer and watching them grow.
The problem with this approach is that you may
encounter calfhood problems such as scours and
parasites. We would recommend starting with a
springing heifer (heavy in calf) and enjoying the
fruits of your labor in a few weeks. As soon as the
cow freshens (calf is born) the lactating period
begins.
Lactation is the period from freshening to drying
off during which milk is secreted. Usually
lactations are about 305 days in length.
The first milk after calving is called colostrum.
Colostrum contains about 23% total solids as
compared to 12-13% for whole milk. It is higher in
protein, energy, minerals and vitamins. Also, it
contains antibodies or immunoglobulins (a protein)
that provide protection to the newborn calf against
diseases and invading organisms. It is important
that the newborn calf receive form 1 to 2 quarts of
colostrum during the first 6-12 hours after birth.
Colostrum milk is usually discarded or fed to
calves and other livestock. While it is highly
nutritious, colostrum is more dense than regular
milk and in rare cases may contain some blood if
injury to the mammary gland has occurred prior to
calving. After 4-5 days, the milk should be normal
and have a good appearance.
Peak milk production will occur within 4-6 weeks
after calving. Dairy cows may produce from 4 to 12
gallons (8.6 lbs/gallon) per day depending on the


breed, quality of cow, feeding program, and care
given to the cow. The cow should be milked twice
per day so long as she is producing in excess of 3
gallons per day. A number of dairy farmers milk
their cows three times daily. In general, milking 3
times a day will result in approximately 15% more
milk when compared to 2 times a day milking. Low
producing cows may be milked once daily.

Proper milking procedures
Proper milking procedures are important for the
prevention of mastitis and for complete removal of
all milk from the udder. The milking process
begins with washing the udder and drying with a
single-service paper towel. Next, check for
abnormal milk by milking 2-3 squirts from each
teat onto a surface (not hand) suitable for detecting
abnormal milk such as flakes in the milk. This
procedure stimulates milk let-down as well as the
removal of milk in the teat that is higher in
bacteria. Also, if mastitis is detected, treatment
with a suitable antibiotic may be required. If a
quarter is treated with an antibiotic for mastitis,
the milk should not be used for human
consumption as indicated on the label.
Movement of cows should be done in a gentle and
quiet manner. Any disturbance causing cows to
become frightened will interfere with milk let-
down. Oxytocin, a hormone released from the
pituitary gland into the blood, is responsible for the
milk let-down reflex in the mammary gland. When
a cow is stressed or frightened, adrenalin is
released which prevents the secretion of oxytocin
and milk let-down.

Feeding the calf
Proper feeding of the newborn calf is important,
The first 24 hours of life are critical for the
newborn calf. It is very important that the calf
receive colostrum during the first few hours of life.
Colostrum contains antibodies which give the calf
protection against diseases. The greatest
absorption of colostrum by the calf occurs in the
first few hours after birth. If the calf does not
nurse soon after birth, provide help to assure
consumption of colostrum. The calf should be
limited in nursing or removed from the cow after 1-
2 days. Scours or calf diarrhea may result if a calf
is allowed to nurse a dairy cow at will.
Continue the calf on milk or milk replacer for 4
to 8 weeks, depending on growth and health of the
calf. After 4 to 5 weeks, the calf may be weaned if
eating 1-2 pounds of calf starter (grain) per day. A









Owning a dairy cow
Maintaining a dairy animal on the ranchette or
farm is popular in many areas of Florida. In
addition to providing a certain amount of recreation
and enjoyment for the owner, it allows a person the
opportunity to be involved in an agricultural
enterprise and yet maintain other responsibilities.
Also, if youth are present in the home, animals may
be used for 4-H and FFA projects.
There are five major breeds of dairy cattle in the
United States from which one may select a dairy
animal. The five breeds are Ayrshire, Brown
Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein and Jersey. Minor
breeds are Dutch Belted, Milking Shorthorn and
Red Danish. Most ranchette owners prefer the
Jersey and Guernsey breeds since they are smaller
and their milk contains more milk fat and a richer
color (4 to 6% fat). Milk from the other breeds will
contain from 3.5 to 4% fat with the Holstein having
the lowest milk fat test.
Many ranchette owners enjoy starting with a
small calf or young heifer and watching them grow.
The problem with this approach is that you may
encounter calfhood problems such as scours and
parasites. We would recommend starting with a
springing heifer (heavy in calf) and enjoying the
fruits of your labor in a few weeks. As soon as the
cow freshens (calf is born) the lactating period
begins.
Lactation is the period from freshening to drying
off during which milk is secreted. Usually
lactations are about 305 days in length.
The first milk after calving is called colostrum.
Colostrum contains about 23% total solids as
compared to 12-13% for whole milk. It is higher in
protein, energy, minerals and vitamins. Also, it
contains antibodies or immunoglobulins (a protein)
that provide protection to the newborn calf against
diseases and invading organisms. It is important
that the newborn calf receive form 1 to 2 quarts of
colostrum during the first 6-12 hours after birth.
Colostrum milk is usually discarded or fed to
calves and other livestock. While it is highly
nutritious, colostrum is more dense than regular
milk and in rare cases may contain some blood if
injury to the mammary gland has occurred prior to
calving. After 4-5 days, the milk should be normal
and have a good appearance.
Peak milk production will occur within 4-6 weeks
after calving. Dairy cows may produce from 4 to 12
gallons (8.6 lbs/gallon) per day depending on the


breed, quality of cow, feeding program, and care
given to the cow. The cow should be milked twice
per day so long as she is producing in excess of 3
gallons per day. A number of dairy farmers milk
their cows three times daily. In general, milking 3
times a day will result in approximately 15% more
milk when compared to 2 times a day milking. Low
producing cows may be milked once daily.

Proper milking procedures
Proper milking procedures are important for the
prevention of mastitis and for complete removal of
all milk from the udder. The milking process
begins with washing the udder and drying with a
single-service paper towel. Next, check for
abnormal milk by milking 2-3 squirts from each
teat onto a surface (not hand) suitable for detecting
abnormal milk such as flakes in the milk. This
procedure stimulates milk let-down as well as the
removal of milk in the teat that is higher in
bacteria. Also, if mastitis is detected, treatment
with a suitable antibiotic may be required. If a
quarter is treated with an antibiotic for mastitis,
the milk should not be used for human
consumption as indicated on the label.
Movement of cows should be done in a gentle and
quiet manner. Any disturbance causing cows to
become frightened will interfere with milk let-
down. Oxytocin, a hormone released from the
pituitary gland into the blood, is responsible for the
milk let-down reflex in the mammary gland. When
a cow is stressed or frightened, adrenalin is
released which prevents the secretion of oxytocin
and milk let-down.

Feeding the calf
Proper feeding of the newborn calf is important,
The first 24 hours of life are critical for the
newborn calf. It is very important that the calf
receive colostrum during the first few hours of life.
Colostrum contains antibodies which give the calf
protection against diseases. The greatest
absorption of colostrum by the calf occurs in the
first few hours after birth. If the calf does not
nurse soon after birth, provide help to assure
consumption of colostrum. The calf should be
limited in nursing or removed from the cow after 1-
2 days. Scours or calf diarrhea may result if a calf
is allowed to nurse a dairy cow at will.
Continue the calf on milk or milk replacer for 4
to 8 weeks, depending on growth and health of the
calf. After 4 to 5 weeks, the calf may be weaned if
eating 1-2 pounds of calf starter (grain) per day. A









Owning a dairy cow
Maintaining a dairy animal on the ranchette or
farm is popular in many areas of Florida. In
addition to providing a certain amount of recreation
and enjoyment for the owner, it allows a person the
opportunity to be involved in an agricultural
enterprise and yet maintain other responsibilities.
Also, if youth are present in the home, animals may
be used for 4-H and FFA projects.
There are five major breeds of dairy cattle in the
United States from which one may select a dairy
animal. The five breeds are Ayrshire, Brown
Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein and Jersey. Minor
breeds are Dutch Belted, Milking Shorthorn and
Red Danish. Most ranchette owners prefer the
Jersey and Guernsey breeds since they are smaller
and their milk contains more milk fat and a richer
color (4 to 6% fat). Milk from the other breeds will
contain from 3.5 to 4% fat with the Holstein having
the lowest milk fat test.
Many ranchette owners enjoy starting with a
small calf or young heifer and watching them grow.
The problem with this approach is that you may
encounter calfhood problems such as scours and
parasites. We would recommend starting with a
springing heifer (heavy in calf) and enjoying the
fruits of your labor in a few weeks. As soon as the
cow freshens (calf is born) the lactating period
begins.
Lactation is the period from freshening to drying
off during which milk is secreted. Usually
lactations are about 305 days in length.
The first milk after calving is called colostrum.
Colostrum contains about 23% total solids as
compared to 12-13% for whole milk. It is higher in
protein, energy, minerals and vitamins. Also, it
contains antibodies or immunoglobulins (a protein)
that provide protection to the newborn calf against
diseases and invading organisms. It is important
that the newborn calf receive form 1 to 2 quarts of
colostrum during the first 6-12 hours after birth.
Colostrum milk is usually discarded or fed to
calves and other livestock. While it is highly
nutritious, colostrum is more dense than regular
milk and in rare cases may contain some blood if
injury to the mammary gland has occurred prior to
calving. After 4-5 days, the milk should be normal
and have a good appearance.
Peak milk production will occur within 4-6 weeks
after calving. Dairy cows may produce from 4 to 12
gallons (8.6 lbs/gallon) per day depending on the


breed, quality of cow, feeding program, and care
given to the cow. The cow should be milked twice
per day so long as she is producing in excess of 3
gallons per day. A number of dairy farmers milk
their cows three times daily. In general, milking 3
times a day will result in approximately 15% more
milk when compared to 2 times a day milking. Low
producing cows may be milked once daily.

Proper milking procedures
Proper milking procedures are important for the
prevention of mastitis and for complete removal of
all milk from the udder. The milking process
begins with washing the udder and drying with a
single-service paper towel. Next, check for
abnormal milk by milking 2-3 squirts from each
teat onto a surface (not hand) suitable for detecting
abnormal milk such as flakes in the milk. This
procedure stimulates milk let-down as well as the
removal of milk in the teat that is higher in
bacteria. Also, if mastitis is detected, treatment
with a suitable antibiotic may be required. If a
quarter is treated with an antibiotic for mastitis,
the milk should not be used for human
consumption as indicated on the label.
Movement of cows should be done in a gentle and
quiet manner. Any disturbance causing cows to
become frightened will interfere with milk let-
down. Oxytocin, a hormone released from the
pituitary gland into the blood, is responsible for the
milk let-down reflex in the mammary gland. When
a cow is stressed or frightened, adrenalin is
released which prevents the secretion of oxytocin
and milk let-down.

Feeding the calf
Proper feeding of the newborn calf is important,
The first 24 hours of life are critical for the
newborn calf. It is very important that the calf
receive colostrum during the first few hours of life.
Colostrum contains antibodies which give the calf
protection against diseases. The greatest
absorption of colostrum by the calf occurs in the
first few hours after birth. If the calf does not
nurse soon after birth, provide help to assure
consumption of colostrum. The calf should be
limited in nursing or removed from the cow after 1-
2 days. Scours or calf diarrhea may result if a calf
is allowed to nurse a dairy cow at will.
Continue the calf on milk or milk replacer for 4
to 8 weeks, depending on growth and health of the
calf. After 4 to 5 weeks, the calf may be weaned if
eating 1-2 pounds of calf starter (grain) per day. A









general guideline for the amount of milk to feed
daily is 8 to 10% of the initial bodyweight (6-8 lbs)
of the calf. Best results are obtained when milk is
fed twice daily with regularity while avoiding
abrupt changes in amount or composition.
The calfs appetite increases as it grows. The
offering of a good starter ration to the calf at 2-3
days of age is an excellent way to meet this
increasing need. A good calf starter should contain
about 16-17% crude protein if all concentrate and
15% protein when containing 12-15% cottonseed
hulls. Some of the grain should be in the cracked,
rolled or whole form. Variety is more important in
a calf starter than in the older heifer ration.
Pelleting is another method of increasing palatabil-
ity when the ingredients are finely ground.
The calf starter should be supplied in an amount
the calf will eat in one day. It is frequently
advisable to reduce the milk intake by one-half a
few days prior to weaning. This will encourage
intake of calf starter.
The feeding of roughage is usually started 3-4
weeks of age. Quality of hay for young calves is
more important than quantity. As the calf reaches
3-4 months of age, green chop, pasture or silage
may be fed as a source of roughage.
Heifers can grow at an adequate rate (1.5 to 1.8
lb for Holsteins and 1.2 to 1.4 lb daily for Jerseys)
on high quality forage but under most Florida
conditions, some grain is needed to assure proper
growth. Where good pasture is available, heifers
supplemented with 3-5 lbs of grain containing 15-
16% crude protein per day make good growth.
Calves on pasture and receiving very little grain
should be supplemented with minerals. A complete
mineral will usually contain both minerals and
vitamins. Usually, it will contain about 30% salt,
6-10% phosphorus and 12-16% calcium.


A feeding program should be planned for the
dairy heifer that will give her every opportunity to
develop a healthy and strong body. Clean, fresh
water should be readily available at all times since
young heifers will consume 1 to 1.5 gal/day/100 lbs
of body weight.
A heifer should be bred when she is about 14-15
months of age (Table 1). The main factor
influencing time to breed is body size. First calf
heifers have more difficulty calving than larger,
older cows; therefore, they should be from 500-800
pounds in body weight at breeding time, depending
on breed. Heifers which calve at a smaller size and
younger age should grow to normal size if fed well
as a heifer and throughout the first lactation. (For
more details on growing replacements see Circular
770.)

Feeding the lactating cow
It is important to feed the lactating cow a good
balanced ration. In general, cows in lactation
should receive 8-12 lbs of hay (bermuda, etc.) and
1.0 lb of grain (16% protein) for 1.5 lbs of milk.
Cows receiving fair pasture and 5-7 lbs of hay
should receive about 1.0 lb of grain for 1.7 lbs of
milk. If good pasture is available with 4-5 lbs of
hay, feed 1 lb of grain for 2 lbs of milk. Grain is
usually fed while the cow is being milked.
Another method is to feed grain and roughage
together in what is called a total mixed ration
(TMR). A TMR combines grain and roughage in an
amount that can be consumed in one day to provide
the nutrient needs of a cow producing a given
amount of milk. The rate of feeding a TMR with
cottonseed hulls is about 1 lb of TMR for 1 lb of
milk. A TMR containing cottonseed hulls contains
about 14.5% protein and 18-19% fiber. A TMR may
also contain corn silage or ground hay. In this case,
the ration would have to be mixed at the farm. It is
always good to feed some hay (approximately 3-7
lbs daily per cow).


Table 1. Age and weight to breed heifers and gestation periods.
Approximate Approximate Breeding Gestation
Breed Weight Age (months) Period

Ayrshire 600-700 14-15 278
Brown Swiss 750-850 14-15 288
Guernsey 556-650 14-15 283
Holstein 750-850 14-15 278
Jersey 500-600 14-15 278









Drying off the dairy cow
About 2 months before the cow is due to calve,
she should be dried off or given a rest period. The
best way to dry off the cow is to simply stop milking
her. This causes the pressure to build in the udder,
thus stopping the milk secretion process. Just prior
to the time you stop milking the cow, reduce or
remove grain feeding. This decreases milk
production and reduces the time needed to dry off
the cow. After the last milking, treat any previously
affected quarter with an approved dry cow
antibiotic treatment followed with a teat dip. Some
dairymen treat all quarters at the time of dry off
since cows frequently get mastitis during the dry
period. Observe each cow closely for the first week
for unusual swelling or problems. After about one
week, the cow is considered a dry cow.

Feeding the dry cow
Research and accumulated results have
demonstrated that a dry period of 45-60 days is
needed to attain the greatest milk yield. This
allows the mammary gland time to involute and
prepare for the subsequent lactation. Maximum
dry matter intake and milk production can be
obtained if cows are fed during the dry period so
that they are in good body condition without
becoming fat.
During the dry period the dairy cow should be
maintained in good condition. Thinner cows will
need to gain some in extra flesh. Every attempt,
however, should be made to maintain the dry cow
in good flesh rather than fatten her. Dairy cows
allowed to fatten in excess during the dry period
have more problems than dairy cows freshening in
good condition. Metabolic conditions and problems
associated with nutritional inadequacies during the
dry period are milk fever, udder edema, ketosis,
and displaced abomasum. All may be controlled by
proper feeding management. The nutrient needs of
dry cows are shown in Table 2.


Table 2. Nutrient requirements during the fry Period (Last 2
months of gestation) NRC 1989.
Body Crude
Weight Protein TDN Ca Phos

------ (Ib)-----
900 1.54 9.21 .059 .036
1200 1.90 11.43 .079 .048
1400 2.17 12.83 .092 .056


Most discussions of dry cow management tend to
ignore fiber (roughage) since most operations have
adequate silage and/or hay. In Florida, the need
may become great since silage is rare in most
operations and hay may be limiting or expensive.
Even so, every attempt should be made to provide
some long hay to heavy springing dry cows. Avoid
feeding a lot of legume hay since legumes are high
in calcium and an imbalance of calcium and
phosphorus may occur leading to more milk fever.
Also, limit silage to 20-30 lbs per day with an
increase in long fiber. Heavy springers or
prepartum cows should receive rations that are
very similar to the lactating cow ration in order to
reduce stress brought about by changes in the
feeding program at calving.

Breeding
The lactating dairy cow will show estrus (heat)
after about 20-45 days in lactation. During the
estrous cycle, there is a period called estrus when
the animal is sexually receptive to mating. The
estrous cycle is from 17 to 23 days in length, so
heat occurs about every 21 days. The estrus period
lasts about 11 hours in Florida cattle. Signs of heat
during the period are: mounting other cows,
restlessness, bawling, discharge of clear mucous
from the vulva, and redness and swelling of the
vulva. It is usually best to breed the cow on the
first heat after 50 days in lactation and toward the
end of the estrus period. Contact your local County
Extension agent about a source of semen. Make
arrangements for receiving the service prior to the
need for the service.

Manure management
Manure management frequently becomes a
problem as more and more animals are
concentrated on a small acreage. To be safe, do not
purchase more animals than your land acreage and
housing facilities will allow you to manage without
destroying the grass sod on the pasture. In
general, about 1 to 2 animals per acre is recom-
mended for ranchette owners.
The estimated amount of manure produced by
dairy animals is given in Table 3 on page 6 and
varies some with the rate of feeding and type of
ration. As an example, various estimates have
shown that a 1000 lb cow produces from 60 to 86
lbs of wet manure daily.
Manure contains excellent organic matter and is
frequently added to gardens, flower beds, crops,
and pastures. While it is limiting in nutrients as a









Drying off the dairy cow
About 2 months before the cow is due to calve,
she should be dried off or given a rest period. The
best way to dry off the cow is to simply stop milking
her. This causes the pressure to build in the udder,
thus stopping the milk secretion process. Just prior
to the time you stop milking the cow, reduce or
remove grain feeding. This decreases milk
production and reduces the time needed to dry off
the cow. After the last milking, treat any previously
affected quarter with an approved dry cow
antibiotic treatment followed with a teat dip. Some
dairymen treat all quarters at the time of dry off
since cows frequently get mastitis during the dry
period. Observe each cow closely for the first week
for unusual swelling or problems. After about one
week, the cow is considered a dry cow.

Feeding the dry cow
Research and accumulated results have
demonstrated that a dry period of 45-60 days is
needed to attain the greatest milk yield. This
allows the mammary gland time to involute and
prepare for the subsequent lactation. Maximum
dry matter intake and milk production can be
obtained if cows are fed during the dry period so
that they are in good body condition without
becoming fat.
During the dry period the dairy cow should be
maintained in good condition. Thinner cows will
need to gain some in extra flesh. Every attempt,
however, should be made to maintain the dry cow
in good flesh rather than fatten her. Dairy cows
allowed to fatten in excess during the dry period
have more problems than dairy cows freshening in
good condition. Metabolic conditions and problems
associated with nutritional inadequacies during the
dry period are milk fever, udder edema, ketosis,
and displaced abomasum. All may be controlled by
proper feeding management. The nutrient needs of
dry cows are shown in Table 2.


Table 2. Nutrient requirements during the fry Period (Last 2
months of gestation) NRC 1989.
Body Crude
Weight Protein TDN Ca Phos

------ (Ib)-----
900 1.54 9.21 .059 .036
1200 1.90 11.43 .079 .048
1400 2.17 12.83 .092 .056


Most discussions of dry cow management tend to
ignore fiber (roughage) since most operations have
adequate silage and/or hay. In Florida, the need
may become great since silage is rare in most
operations and hay may be limiting or expensive.
Even so, every attempt should be made to provide
some long hay to heavy springing dry cows. Avoid
feeding a lot of legume hay since legumes are high
in calcium and an imbalance of calcium and
phosphorus may occur leading to more milk fever.
Also, limit silage to 20-30 lbs per day with an
increase in long fiber. Heavy springers or
prepartum cows should receive rations that are
very similar to the lactating cow ration in order to
reduce stress brought about by changes in the
feeding program at calving.

Breeding
The lactating dairy cow will show estrus (heat)
after about 20-45 days in lactation. During the
estrous cycle, there is a period called estrus when
the animal is sexually receptive to mating. The
estrous cycle is from 17 to 23 days in length, so
heat occurs about every 21 days. The estrus period
lasts about 11 hours in Florida cattle. Signs of heat
during the period are: mounting other cows,
restlessness, bawling, discharge of clear mucous
from the vulva, and redness and swelling of the
vulva. It is usually best to breed the cow on the
first heat after 50 days in lactation and toward the
end of the estrus period. Contact your local County
Extension agent about a source of semen. Make
arrangements for receiving the service prior to the
need for the service.

Manure management
Manure management frequently becomes a
problem as more and more animals are
concentrated on a small acreage. To be safe, do not
purchase more animals than your land acreage and
housing facilities will allow you to manage without
destroying the grass sod on the pasture. In
general, about 1 to 2 animals per acre is recom-
mended for ranchette owners.
The estimated amount of manure produced by
dairy animals is given in Table 3 on page 6 and
varies some with the rate of feeding and type of
ration. As an example, various estimates have
shown that a 1000 lb cow produces from 60 to 86
lbs of wet manure daily.
Manure contains excellent organic matter and is
frequently added to gardens, flower beds, crops,
and pastures. While it is limiting in nutrients as a









Drying off the dairy cow
About 2 months before the cow is due to calve,
she should be dried off or given a rest period. The
best way to dry off the cow is to simply stop milking
her. This causes the pressure to build in the udder,
thus stopping the milk secretion process. Just prior
to the time you stop milking the cow, reduce or
remove grain feeding. This decreases milk
production and reduces the time needed to dry off
the cow. After the last milking, treat any previously
affected quarter with an approved dry cow
antibiotic treatment followed with a teat dip. Some
dairymen treat all quarters at the time of dry off
since cows frequently get mastitis during the dry
period. Observe each cow closely for the first week
for unusual swelling or problems. After about one
week, the cow is considered a dry cow.

Feeding the dry cow
Research and accumulated results have
demonstrated that a dry period of 45-60 days is
needed to attain the greatest milk yield. This
allows the mammary gland time to involute and
prepare for the subsequent lactation. Maximum
dry matter intake and milk production can be
obtained if cows are fed during the dry period so
that they are in good body condition without
becoming fat.
During the dry period the dairy cow should be
maintained in good condition. Thinner cows will
need to gain some in extra flesh. Every attempt,
however, should be made to maintain the dry cow
in good flesh rather than fatten her. Dairy cows
allowed to fatten in excess during the dry period
have more problems than dairy cows freshening in
good condition. Metabolic conditions and problems
associated with nutritional inadequacies during the
dry period are milk fever, udder edema, ketosis,
and displaced abomasum. All may be controlled by
proper feeding management. The nutrient needs of
dry cows are shown in Table 2.


Table 2. Nutrient requirements during the fry Period (Last 2
months of gestation) NRC 1989.
Body Crude
Weight Protein TDN Ca Phos

------ (Ib)-----
900 1.54 9.21 .059 .036
1200 1.90 11.43 .079 .048
1400 2.17 12.83 .092 .056


Most discussions of dry cow management tend to
ignore fiber (roughage) since most operations have
adequate silage and/or hay. In Florida, the need
may become great since silage is rare in most
operations and hay may be limiting or expensive.
Even so, every attempt should be made to provide
some long hay to heavy springing dry cows. Avoid
feeding a lot of legume hay since legumes are high
in calcium and an imbalance of calcium and
phosphorus may occur leading to more milk fever.
Also, limit silage to 20-30 lbs per day with an
increase in long fiber. Heavy springers or
prepartum cows should receive rations that are
very similar to the lactating cow ration in order to
reduce stress brought about by changes in the
feeding program at calving.

Breeding
The lactating dairy cow will show estrus (heat)
after about 20-45 days in lactation. During the
estrous cycle, there is a period called estrus when
the animal is sexually receptive to mating. The
estrous cycle is from 17 to 23 days in length, so
heat occurs about every 21 days. The estrus period
lasts about 11 hours in Florida cattle. Signs of heat
during the period are: mounting other cows,
restlessness, bawling, discharge of clear mucous
from the vulva, and redness and swelling of the
vulva. It is usually best to breed the cow on the
first heat after 50 days in lactation and toward the
end of the estrus period. Contact your local County
Extension agent about a source of semen. Make
arrangements for receiving the service prior to the
need for the service.

Manure management
Manure management frequently becomes a
problem as more and more animals are
concentrated on a small acreage. To be safe, do not
purchase more animals than your land acreage and
housing facilities will allow you to manage without
destroying the grass sod on the pasture. In
general, about 1 to 2 animals per acre is recom-
mended for ranchette owners.
The estimated amount of manure produced by
dairy animals is given in Table 3 on page 6 and
varies some with the rate of feeding and type of
ration. As an example, various estimates have
shown that a 1000 lb cow produces from 60 to 86
lbs of wet manure daily.
Manure contains excellent organic matter and is
frequently added to gardens, flower beds, crops,
and pastures. While it is limiting in nutrients as a









Drying off the dairy cow
About 2 months before the cow is due to calve,
she should be dried off or given a rest period. The
best way to dry off the cow is to simply stop milking
her. This causes the pressure to build in the udder,
thus stopping the milk secretion process. Just prior
to the time you stop milking the cow, reduce or
remove grain feeding. This decreases milk
production and reduces the time needed to dry off
the cow. After the last milking, treat any previously
affected quarter with an approved dry cow
antibiotic treatment followed with a teat dip. Some
dairymen treat all quarters at the time of dry off
since cows frequently get mastitis during the dry
period. Observe each cow closely for the first week
for unusual swelling or problems. After about one
week, the cow is considered a dry cow.

Feeding the dry cow
Research and accumulated results have
demonstrated that a dry period of 45-60 days is
needed to attain the greatest milk yield. This
allows the mammary gland time to involute and
prepare for the subsequent lactation. Maximum
dry matter intake and milk production can be
obtained if cows are fed during the dry period so
that they are in good body condition without
becoming fat.
During the dry period the dairy cow should be
maintained in good condition. Thinner cows will
need to gain some in extra flesh. Every attempt,
however, should be made to maintain the dry cow
in good flesh rather than fatten her. Dairy cows
allowed to fatten in excess during the dry period
have more problems than dairy cows freshening in
good condition. Metabolic conditions and problems
associated with nutritional inadequacies during the
dry period are milk fever, udder edema, ketosis,
and displaced abomasum. All may be controlled by
proper feeding management. The nutrient needs of
dry cows are shown in Table 2.


Table 2. Nutrient requirements during the fry Period (Last 2
months of gestation) NRC 1989.
Body Crude
Weight Protein TDN Ca Phos

------ (Ib)-----
900 1.54 9.21 .059 .036
1200 1.90 11.43 .079 .048
1400 2.17 12.83 .092 .056


Most discussions of dry cow management tend to
ignore fiber (roughage) since most operations have
adequate silage and/or hay. In Florida, the need
may become great since silage is rare in most
operations and hay may be limiting or expensive.
Even so, every attempt should be made to provide
some long hay to heavy springing dry cows. Avoid
feeding a lot of legume hay since legumes are high
in calcium and an imbalance of calcium and
phosphorus may occur leading to more milk fever.
Also, limit silage to 20-30 lbs per day with an
increase in long fiber. Heavy springers or
prepartum cows should receive rations that are
very similar to the lactating cow ration in order to
reduce stress brought about by changes in the
feeding program at calving.

Breeding
The lactating dairy cow will show estrus (heat)
after about 20-45 days in lactation. During the
estrous cycle, there is a period called estrus when
the animal is sexually receptive to mating. The
estrous cycle is from 17 to 23 days in length, so
heat occurs about every 21 days. The estrus period
lasts about 11 hours in Florida cattle. Signs of heat
during the period are: mounting other cows,
restlessness, bawling, discharge of clear mucous
from the vulva, and redness and swelling of the
vulva. It is usually best to breed the cow on the
first heat after 50 days in lactation and toward the
end of the estrus period. Contact your local County
Extension agent about a source of semen. Make
arrangements for receiving the service prior to the
need for the service.

Manure management
Manure management frequently becomes a
problem as more and more animals are
concentrated on a small acreage. To be safe, do not
purchase more animals than your land acreage and
housing facilities will allow you to manage without
destroying the grass sod on the pasture. In
general, about 1 to 2 animals per acre is recom-
mended for ranchette owners.
The estimated amount of manure produced by
dairy animals is given in Table 3 on page 6 and
varies some with the rate of feeding and type of
ration. As an example, various estimates have
shown that a 1000 lb cow produces from 60 to 86
lbs of wet manure daily.
Manure contains excellent organic matter and is
frequently added to gardens, flower beds, crops,
and pastures. While it is limiting in nutrients as a









Table 3. Total production and nutrient content of manure from various farm animals (88% water).
Total Manure
Dairy Animals Production Water Nutrient Content (Ib/day)
Size (Ib) (Ib/d) Percent N P K

150 13 88 .06 .011 .04
250 22 88 .11 .023 .07
500 43 88 .22 .024 .15
100 80 88 .45 .094 .29
1400 120 88 .63 .131 .41


fertilizer, it is excellent for soil aeration and tilth,
increases soil organic matter and promotes growth
of microorganisms that are beneficial to plants. In
contrast, too much manure added to the soil could
release nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus
that may pollute the water supply. Also, manure
may be harmful to some types of plants. Check
with your County Extension Agent before adding
manure to soil for plants if your are unsure of its
value.
Manure management becomes important as
more animals are housed on the ranchette. By
starting early, the problem of flies and mud can be
avoided. Develop an area for manure storage so
that it can be composted in a storage area until
needed. Grass clippings and some of the yard trash
may also be added to the degrading compost pile.

A good health program
A disease is any change of the body from its
normal or healthy state. A diseased animal may or
may not show disease symptoms, but most diseases
are identified by the appearance of certain signs.
You should know your animal well so that signs of
disease can be detected. Diseases may be caused by
living organisms such as bacteria, virus or para-
sites and also by factors such as poisons or nutrient
deficiencies. (See Circular 770 on raising dairy
replacement heifers for more details on calf dis-
eases and prevention programs.)
The prevention of disease is a desirable practice
by animal owners. Diseases requiring immediate
attention in dairy cattle are mastitis (inflammation
of the udder), milk fever (occurs near the time of
calving and may be noted by weakness, staggering,
inability to rise and lying with head tucked in
flank) and various toxic materials. (See Fact Sheet
DS 12 on metabolic diseases.)
The dairy cow should be tested annually for TB
and Brucellosis. Until you are sure your animal is
free, pasteurize the milk since the process destroys
all pathogenic organisms present.


Care of milk in the home
Milk should be stored in the refrigerator to
assure a 2-3 week shelf life. Since milk will readily
absorb vegetable, meat, fruit, and medicinal odors
in a refrigerator, keep the milk container closed
and cover or wrap other items stored in the refrig-
erator.
Milk is of excellent nutritional value for both
humans and bacteria. As purchased, milk contains
few bacteria. After the container is opened milk
should be handled carefully to prevent bacterial
contamination. Never touch the inside of the
container lip with your hands before or after
pouring milk and do not drink directly from the
container. If unused milk is to be saved, it should
be placed in a separate container, covered with a
kitchen wrap, and placed in the refrigerator.
Both the flavor and nutritional value of milk can
be damaged by sunlight. Milk that has been
exposed to only a few minutes of sunlight will
develop an off-flavor. Sunlight causes the
destruction of the vitamin riboflavin. Although not
all of the vitamin is destroyed by a short exposure
to sunlight, there is enough vitamin destruction to
decrease the nutritional value of milk.

Pasteurized vs. raw milk
Pasteurized milk is milk that has been given a
heat treatment to kill all disease producing (patho-
genic) bacteria. Because of pasteurization, food
poisoning is rarely, if ever, caused by milk. Raw
milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Many
people have consumed a considerable amount of
raw milk and not experienced illness. However,
milk is an excellent medium for bacterial growth.
Pathogenic bacteria can enter the milk from the
cow, the environment, or from people who handle
the milk. After entry into the milk, the bacteria
can multiply and create a potential health hazard.
For this reason, all milk should be pasteurized in
the home. Electric pasteurizers are commercially
available. These are usually automatic and the









Table 3. Total production and nutrient content of manure from various farm animals (88% water).
Total Manure
Dairy Animals Production Water Nutrient Content (Ib/day)
Size (Ib) (Ib/d) Percent N P K

150 13 88 .06 .011 .04
250 22 88 .11 .023 .07
500 43 88 .22 .024 .15
100 80 88 .45 .094 .29
1400 120 88 .63 .131 .41


fertilizer, it is excellent for soil aeration and tilth,
increases soil organic matter and promotes growth
of microorganisms that are beneficial to plants. In
contrast, too much manure added to the soil could
release nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus
that may pollute the water supply. Also, manure
may be harmful to some types of plants. Check
with your County Extension Agent before adding
manure to soil for plants if your are unsure of its
value.
Manure management becomes important as
more animals are housed on the ranchette. By
starting early, the problem of flies and mud can be
avoided. Develop an area for manure storage so
that it can be composted in a storage area until
needed. Grass clippings and some of the yard trash
may also be added to the degrading compost pile.

A good health program
A disease is any change of the body from its
normal or healthy state. A diseased animal may or
may not show disease symptoms, but most diseases
are identified by the appearance of certain signs.
You should know your animal well so that signs of
disease can be detected. Diseases may be caused by
living organisms such as bacteria, virus or para-
sites and also by factors such as poisons or nutrient
deficiencies. (See Circular 770 on raising dairy
replacement heifers for more details on calf dis-
eases and prevention programs.)
The prevention of disease is a desirable practice
by animal owners. Diseases requiring immediate
attention in dairy cattle are mastitis (inflammation
of the udder), milk fever (occurs near the time of
calving and may be noted by weakness, staggering,
inability to rise and lying with head tucked in
flank) and various toxic materials. (See Fact Sheet
DS 12 on metabolic diseases.)
The dairy cow should be tested annually for TB
and Brucellosis. Until you are sure your animal is
free, pasteurize the milk since the process destroys
all pathogenic organisms present.


Care of milk in the home
Milk should be stored in the refrigerator to
assure a 2-3 week shelf life. Since milk will readily
absorb vegetable, meat, fruit, and medicinal odors
in a refrigerator, keep the milk container closed
and cover or wrap other items stored in the refrig-
erator.
Milk is of excellent nutritional value for both
humans and bacteria. As purchased, milk contains
few bacteria. After the container is opened milk
should be handled carefully to prevent bacterial
contamination. Never touch the inside of the
container lip with your hands before or after
pouring milk and do not drink directly from the
container. If unused milk is to be saved, it should
be placed in a separate container, covered with a
kitchen wrap, and placed in the refrigerator.
Both the flavor and nutritional value of milk can
be damaged by sunlight. Milk that has been
exposed to only a few minutes of sunlight will
develop an off-flavor. Sunlight causes the
destruction of the vitamin riboflavin. Although not
all of the vitamin is destroyed by a short exposure
to sunlight, there is enough vitamin destruction to
decrease the nutritional value of milk.

Pasteurized vs. raw milk
Pasteurized milk is milk that has been given a
heat treatment to kill all disease producing (patho-
genic) bacteria. Because of pasteurization, food
poisoning is rarely, if ever, caused by milk. Raw
milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Many
people have consumed a considerable amount of
raw milk and not experienced illness. However,
milk is an excellent medium for bacterial growth.
Pathogenic bacteria can enter the milk from the
cow, the environment, or from people who handle
the milk. After entry into the milk, the bacteria
can multiply and create a potential health hazard.
For this reason, all milk should be pasteurized in
the home. Electric pasteurizers are commercially
available. These are usually automatic and the








most desirable method of home pasteurization. If a
commercial pasteurizer is not available, milk can
be pasteurized in a double boiler. First, fill the
bottom section of the boiler with water. Add milk
to the top section and cover the milk. Start heating
the water and check the temperature of the milk
with an accurate thermometer. When the milk has
reached 145oF maintain this temperature for 30
minutes. During this period, it might be necessary
to remove the heat source or turn it down to pre-
vent excessive heating of the milk. After pasteur-
ization, cool the milk quickly by placing it in cold
running water or, preferably, ice water. Rapid
cooling will minimize a cooked flavor and extend
the shelf life of the milk.

Buttermilk, yogurt, cheese and kefir
Buttermilk, yogurt, cheese and kefir are dairy
products enjoyed by many and easily made from
milk. Information may be obtained in regard to
recipes from your local County Home Economist or
the Extension Dairy Technologist in the Food
Service Department at the University of Florida.

Making dairy products in the
home
A variety of dairy products can be made from
milk including: ice cream, cheese and cultured
dairy products (cultured buttermilk, yogurt, kefir,
etc.). The importance of strict sanitation practices
in the manufacturing of these products cannot be
understated. Steps for manufacturing cheese and
cultured dairy products include incubation tem-
peratures that allow growth of the desirable lactic
acid-producing bacteria. These temperatures also
encourage growth of the undesirable contamination
bacteria which cause spoilage or disease. There-
fore, it is recommended that a reliable source of
lactic acid bacteria as a starter culture be obtained.
Those cultures are available commercially or can be
obtained by purchasing retail cultured dairy
products (i.e., yogurt or buttermilk) from the
grocery shelf.
Care must be exercised when using retail prod-
ucts as a source of microorganisms. Some commer-
cial yogurt or buttermilk products do not, in fact,
contain live or active bacteria, or the bacteria may
not have survived during storage. Therefore, it is a
recommended procedure to check the growth and
activity of the starter cultures and to grow and
maintain your own cultures. To do this, heat milk
in a double boiler (185'-190oF for 30 minutes), cool
and dispense into clean glass jars. After cooling
contents to indicated incubation temperature, add


approximately 3.0% of yogurt, buttermilk or com-
mercial starter culture to a jar of heated milk.
Yogurt cultures should be incubated at 95-110F
for 10-12 hours while buttermilk cultures should be
incubated at 70-75oF for 16-18 hours. Following
incubation, growth should be observed by checking
for coagulation of the milk. This culture may be
stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator prior to
use. Each time the culture is used to make prod-
uct, a new transfer can be made in another jar of
heated milk to carry the culture.

Cheese
Average cow's milk contains about 12-13% total
solids, 3.5% fat, 3.2-3.5% protein, 4.9% lactose and
0.7% ash. To obtain one pound of cheese, you need
10 pounds of milk. The type of cheese that can be
made ranges from soft white cheese (like Queso-
Blanco) to hard-type cheeses. Curd formation is
obtained by adding rennet (an enzyme from young
calves stomach) or by allowing the growth of the
lactic acid bacteria. Information on making cheese
at home can be obtained from your local county
extension agent.

Yogurt
Yogurt manufacture involves the cooperative
growth of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococ-
cus thermophilous. Generally, using skim milk or
whole milk (without added nonfat dry milk) will
give a consistency of thick buttermilk. Addition of
nonfat dry milk (2-3 tablespoons per quart) prior to
heating will result in a thick, custard like yogurt.
The milk should be heated at 1800-185oF for 30
minutes. Too low heat treatment could result in a
soft watery textured product while too much
heating causes graininess and improper gel formu-
lation. After cooling, 3.0% starter culture is added
and the product is incubated at 110oF until coagula-
tion occurs (8-12 hours). Be careful, over-incuba-
tion can allow over-growth of the lactobacilli and
result in a bitter, sour product. Under-incubation
would favor the streptococci and result in a bland,
soft product.

Buttermilk
Cultured buttermilk is usually made from skim
milk. Many commercial products use aroma or
flavor producing bacteria in addition to the lactic
acid producers. The milk should be heated at 160-
1650F for 30 minutes. After cooling, add 3.0%
starter culture and incubate at 70-75oF for 16-18
hours.









Kefir
Kefir is a unique liquid cultured milk product
manufactured from either whole milk or skim milk.
The starter culture used is a mixture of lactic acid
bacteria and yeast. The yeast fermentation im-
parts a slight carbonation and alcohol level to the
product. Kefir cultures and manufacturing instruc-
tions are available through many retail health food
outlets.













































COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, John T.
Woeste, Director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the May
8 and June 30,1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and
institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin. Single copies of extension publications (excluding
4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county extension offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-
of-state purchasers is available from C.M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
32611. Before publicizing this publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability.



046 F34775
03/04/B2 346B .


. I




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs