Author Topic: Coagulated, Rennet, Cow, Raw - Poor Curd Set After Cow Drying Off & Changing Cow Type  (Read 2395 times)

Offline Nitai

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Hello everyone.

I have been away from the site for a week or so and extremely busy, but I have encountered a problem that I knew I should bring here:

We recently got a milking shorthorn to replace one of our Jerseys while she is dry before calving. I have discovereed that even with the shorthorn milk mixed with the Jersey milk, neither my curds or yogurt set properly.

I made mozz and the curds would not set well but I pushed through and got a good final product.

But then I made yogurt with the 185F for 30 min method and got bad results. I made paneer the same way I have 100s of times and got a tofu-like texture. etc..

At first I thought CaCl2, but that would not explain the yogurt not setting properly.

The cow calved 1 month ago and when we got her she only had access to dry pasture of questionable quality. She was actually ina field of abandoned tomato plants the day we came. She previously had mastitis (some 2 years ago). Now she is on a diet of nice, local, organic orchard grassy, fescue, clover hay, alfalfa hay, and a little grains.

Any ideas what I could do so I get proper sets? This will probably be our only milk for ourselves for the next 2 months..

Thanks in advance.


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Offline tnsven

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Oh how lovely! I've bred both my Jerseys to a Milking Shorthorn! They are supposed to do better with lower quality forages (read: less picky)!!

How is the milk filtering? Is it a bit slow? If so, perhaps she has a high somatic cell count? This might affect your set.

Kristin

Offline Nitai

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Thanks Kristin. I thought that might be the case too, so I did a California Mastitis Test and her milk did not show any trace of high somatic cell count.

Offline Nitai

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Any other ideas? This is becoming a real problem here. I have 4 gals of milk for Fromage Blanc that still did not set after 1.5 days and 1t Aroma B. Any help wold be much appreciated.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Have you tried using some CaCl? It might provide you with some information.
I have had way different results making yoghurt from different cows, even the same breed. Have you used different rennets/starters?
Have you tested the pH of the fresh milk?
Sorry I don't know more about your issue.
Keep us posted.






























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Offline Nitai

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Testing the PH is a good idea, which I have not done. I did not bother with CaCl because my understanding was that if that was the issue, it should only affect rennet coagulation, but I am having problems even with just yogurt and buttermilk.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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We have a state lab here in Colorado that will test milk for a nominal fee. I would suggest you see if you can find such a thing in your state. My vet turned me on to the one here.
I'm just thinking with your cow's history that something might be going on with her.

Offline MrsKK

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How long have you had the cow?  I know that tomato plants are toxic and I'm wondering if that might have something to do with it.  Also, you say she is getting "some grains".  How much?  What kind of body condition is she in?  This cow may need more nutritional support to give good quality milk.  How much milk is she giving?

There are so many variables, from day to day almost, in a cow's production and between cows that it is sometimes tough to get consistent results.  I hope you are able to figure this out soon.

Offline Nitai

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We have had her for about a week. She had access to dry pasture, but she was standing in a field of tomato plants when we arrived. I'm sure the change in diet takes a few days or so to be reflected in the milk.

She is getting 5-7 lbs of grain per milking (2 times per day) and giving over 6 gallons. I have not been the one milking so I don't know exactly. She seems quite healthy. Neither under or overweight, alert, active. She has access to a mineral salts and gets flax seed every day. She probably does need a selenium booster, which I will try to do today.

She did have one wound on one teat, but it is scabbed over and does not seem to irritate her during milking or anything. Oh yea, her udder was quite dry when she arrived, but we have been using bag balm steadily.

Offline linuxboy

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Nitai, which mineral mix? My guess would be something diet related. How are the Ca, P, Se, Cu, Co, Zn, etc levels?
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.


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Offline Nitai

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It is a Redmond Salt Block, don't know the specifics. Otherwise, I do not know the various levels you mentioned, but I would assume if she is on the same diet as our 3 Jerseys, and they are happy healthy and producing great milk, shouldn't she soon arrive at the same?

I only mentioned selenium because Mendocino soil is selenium deficient, otherwise I don't really know about these things.

Offline linuxboy

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It is a Redmond Salt Block, don't know the specifics. Otherwise, I do not know the various levels you mentioned, but I would assume if she is on the same diet as our 3 Jerseys, and they are happy healthy and producing great milk, shouldn't she soon arrive at the same?

I only mentioned selenium because Mendocino soil is selenium deficient, otherwise I don't really know about these things.

Unless you mix in minerals into the feed, it's hard to say if the deficiency is corrected by free choice intake. Also, breeds differ in the amounts they need. You could also be fighting previous malnutrition and that takes months to stabilize. I'll look up the salt and see where it is in terms of trace elements.
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Offline MrsKK

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My cow rarely licks on her salt block, but will take loose salt/mineral mix when it is offered free choice.

As you have only had her for a week, I would say that her body is still correcting from previous deficiency.  The amount of grain you are giving her sounds good, as long as she doesn't lose in body condition.  She should have 3 short ribs showing and should not have a fat pad over her pin bones (the ones on either sides of her tail).  If more ribs than that show, she's probably a bit thin.

I'd give her a bit of time yet to see if her milk changes at all.

Offline linuxboy

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Okay, I looked up the Redmond product. From what I understand, it's just salt? With maybe a few cents of trace elements thrown in? That the one?

Any type of mineral supplement that lists salt as the first ingredient is almost always not worth its salt :). The first ingredient should be some form of calcium (and not a crap source like limestone). All the milk production needs vast amounts of calcium. IIRC, something like .3% of dry intake (DM) per the latest NRC guidance. Phosphorus should be close, something like .2%. Almost to the 2:1 ratio for Ca:P. Good mineral mixes will have chelates not from EDTA, good forms of copper, like from copper oxide, etc. I would start with that and free feed a good loose mix. And if she's not having that, topdress the grain. Look for a horse or livestock mineral or even a goat mineral if there are no good ones at the store. Where do you go for the supplements? Out to the TSC in Ukiah?

Beyond that, your hay and pasture are the foundations of the milk. But your other cow is milking OK, so overall I think you're fighting all the previous malnutrition. Lactation puts so much stress on a cow, you need to make sure that the backbone (Ca, P, other macro elementals) as well as the trace elements are bioavailable.
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Offline Nitai

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Thanks so much, LB. I am going to get right on this!