We always keep a couple of milk cows on the farm.These are usually Jersey since I guess that is my favorite breed.
our milk cows are more or less like pets and of course have special names.Over the years we have had Elsie,Sour Cream,Jasmine,and currently have Buttermilk.Buttermilk calved yesterday and it is always a special treat when one of these cows becomes fresh.
First of all Jersey milk is especially rich and generally has lots of good colostrum.We allow the new calf to take all the colostrum for the first 24 hours and then milk her for the remaining 4-5 days to take any additional colostrum to freeze. Of course, the calf continues to nurse its mother during this time.
Colostrum is vitally important to newborn calves since it contains the passive antibodies needed to protect that calf from disease in its early life.There is only a small window of opportunity for the calf to absorb these antibodies.
If for some reason the mother of a calf is unable to provide colostrum, the calf is in grave jeopardy of not surviving. We try to have frozen colostrum on hand to give any calf, which might not receive it from its own mother. Our supply had dwindled and the freshening of one of the nurse cows is a wonderful event.