Colostrum and Pink Milk

The twins were born early afternoon of May 12th, and of course could not drink very much that day. They were very weak and could not stand or walk on their own. The first day a high producing cow calves, you do not need to milk her until the next day, and then ideally twice a day for a while, every 12 or so hours. A baby calf cannot possibly drink all the milk from a milk cow, and the cow must be milked to relieve pressure and prevent mastitis and other things.

She was dripping badly and needed some pressure taken off that evening, so we milked out a gallon of colostrum. Since the twins had not had much and were having such a difficult time nursing, and she was so sore, we gave each of them a quart of colostrum.

I saved the other half gallon for myself. I did waste a glass on the Dutchman who says he does not like colostrum, but I made him drink it anyway.

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I think colostrum is an extra special luxury, amazingly nutritious, and I think it is delicious. I have to say this is the best colostrum I have ever had, but I probably say that each birthing (ok, no I don’t, as some colostrum I have tasted is not a treat.)

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Usually on a first time birth, an udder swells so much that many blood vessels and capillaries break from the strain, and blood gets into the milk, making it pink. This can happen on subsequent freshenings as well, but not as often, or could also happen if the calf is being too rough. Pink milk happened with my first cow, Gert, and of course I freaked, until I researched it as normal.

The first milking on the 12th was pure colostrum, with no milk at all. The next day we began to see pink milk as the day progressed.

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Yesterday there is less colostrum in the milk, and her right rear quarter was the one with the most trouble.

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Today, the left side front and back had almost no more colostrum, and no pink milk, but the right side still has trouble. In a few days she should be just fine.

The calves are drinking completely on their own now, and starting to run around a bit, which makes Lillian nervous. She stands perfectly still for milking now and when the calves are on her, so we do not need any type of anti kicking device.

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Tomorrow she should be feeling better and hopefully eating more.

6 thoughts on “Colostrum and Pink Milk

    • Hi Judith. Yes, that is unfortunate that the twins are a boy and girl, meaning that over 90% chance she will be a free martin (infertile.) But they are darling. mama is still not feeling well, and has been having fever and not eating enough, so hopefully we can get that under control. She is the most wonderful cow! I hope you have a spectacular time in Switzerland. 🙂

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