How long will a cow produce milk?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question,“How long will a cow produce milk?”.

How long will a cow produce milk?

Cows produce milk for 10 months of the year. The height of production typically occurs between 40 and 60 day after calving. 

After that, there is a consistent drop in production that occurs until around 10 months, when milking is terminated. Before the cow is ready to give birth again, she is allowed to “dry off” for around sixty days.

It is possible for dairy cows to maintain their economic productivity for a significant number of lactation cycles. In principle, it is possible to have a longevity of ten lactations. 

However, the typical lifespan of a Holstein cow in the United States today is less than three lactations, therefore there is a considerable likelihood that problems may arise that would require the cow to be culled.

Because of this, additional herd replacements will need to be grown or purchased. Over ninety percent of all cows are slaughtered, and there are primarily four reasons behind this.

There are many factors that affect the production of cow’s milk, Some of them are:

Infertility 

Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive a child and a decrease in milk production.

Cows reach their peak fertility anywhere between 60 to 80 days after giving birth to their young. 

Cows that are still open (not with a calf) after such a period have a far more difficult time getting pregnant, which may be an indication of their poor health. 

Infertility can be caused by a number of factors, the most frequent of which are the inability to discharge the dead flesh from a second pregnancy, corpus luteum cysts, or mastitis, an inflammation of the uterus.

Mastitis 

It is an infection of the mammary gland that lasts for a long time and has the potential to be fatal. It causes increased somatic mutation counts and a loss of output.

A reddening & swelling of the diseased section of the udder, as well as the presence of white clots and pus in the milk, are telltale signs of mastitis

Long-acting medicines can be used to treat the infection, but the milk produced by cows that were treated with these antibiotics cannot be sold until the withdrawal period has passed and the drug residues have been eliminated.

Lameness

It  is characterized by recurrent foot infections or leg conditions that result in loss of production and infertility.

The rumen of the cow becomes more acidic when it is exposed to large levels of digestible carbohydrate in the feed. 

This results in laminitis, which then leads to lameness, putting the cow open to other foot illnesses and difficulties, which can be made worse by standing in regions that are wet in water or that have feces on the ground.

Production

The economic value of the milk produced by some animals is not sufficient to cover the expense of providing them with nourishment.

Milk production that falls below 10 – 15 liters (2.6 to 3.3 undefined time frame gal 3.2 to 4.0 Usd gal) a day is not viable from an economical perspective.

How can a cow become more productive in milk production?

Lactation length is affected by poor reproductive performance: the calving to lactation period is increased and the average lactation period is shortened when there are problems with production.

As a direct result, decreased reproductive function might hinder the food from being used to its fullest potential.

Containment of health problems: a variety of illnesses common in dairy herds can diminish digestion’s effectiveness (ketosis, acidosis), produce fatty liver or alkalosis in the liver, and alter feeding habits

Animals should be able to show their full potential in their home settings. The feed bunk and drinking water should be available to animals at all times. 

The development of illnesses specific to child rearing environments must also be prevented by adequate housing (the importance of ventilation, brightness, of bedding quality, of stalls setting.

How to preserve milk?

The procedure of heating milk at a temperature high enough for a short enough length of time to kill the germs present in the milk, hence extending its shelf life thus reducing the amount of time it takes for the milk to go bad is known as pasteurized.

The bacteria are killed, the risk of infection is reduced, and enzymes are removed, all of which contribute to an improvement in the milk’s quality and its ability to be stored for longer. 

In our childhood, many of us were encouraged to drink milk so we might grow tall and powerful, as our parents reminded us. 

Many individuals question if it is possible to learn how and when to preserve milk after hearing this from their parents.

It may seem counterintuitive to keep fresh milk before it spoils, but there are many health implications to doing so. So why not preserve our milk in the same way we preserve fruits, vegetables and meat.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answer the question,“How long will a cow produce milk?”

Reference 

https://www.midwestdairy.com/sustainability/farm-life/farm-life-faq/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.