We bought a bred Jersey cow earlier this year and the folks at the dairy we bought from told us to prevent milk fever we should use a calcium supplement.
This morning the kids came running in, saying, “The cow is having her baby!” Hurray! she finally calved. After catching a couple dozen lambs this year, this calf birth was a breeze. Fortunately, we did not have to pull it.
She had a bull and he looks springy and healthy. Figures she would give birth on the coldest day so far. We had our first frost last night.
The people who sold her to us told us we could prevent milk fever if we give her a couple tubes of Calcium supplement. We gave her one a week ago and then one this morning. We will give her a third tomorrow morning. We should have given her one just before she calved or while she was calving, but we did not see her until too late.
The calcium supplement helps prevent milk fever because it keeps her body from robbing her bones of nutrients to make milk. Since a Jersey milk cow comes into so much milk all at once, it can really hurt her system. The tubes of calcium help meet that need without her pulling it from her own reserves.
We milked off a little colostrum—the syrupy stuff that the calf needs to have good immunity. It looks yellow and runs thick. We will freeze it for use later in case we get a calf in need of colostrum.
Tomorrow her milk should come in. In a couple of days, it should be all milk and no more colostrum so we can start using it all to make butter and cheese. If we learn some good tricks, we will share them here!