Country Living Series

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Udder shots

I am (temporarily) posting some udder photos for illustration purposes for a Backwoods Home Magazine dairy article I just submitted. These photos are so the editor can select which ones she prefers.

Photo 420 - Jersey/Dexter cross, three years old, second calving, recently freshened. Note the even floor (all four teats same length) and tight udder attachment.


Photo 438 - Same Jersey/Dexter cross as in Photo 20.


Photo 439 - Jersey/Dexter cross nursing her calf.


Photo 428 - Purebred Jersey heifer, 2.5 years old, nearly ready to have her first calf. Tight udder attachment, even floor.


Photo 431 - Same purebred Jersey heifer shown in Photo 428.


Photo from 2/10/11 - Purebred Jersey cow, approximately eight years old, sixth calf. Note the massive and pendulous udder with stretched ligaments and poor udder attachment.


Photo 480 - Purebred Jersey cow, approximately ten years old. Note the pendulous udder with stretched ligaments and poor attachment.



12 comments:

  1. Bet I'm not the first to think it: Udderly fascinating! Does the Jersey cow have problems giving milk? It just looks so darn uncomfortable.

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  2. So, Patrice, how do you preserve the udder in heavy milkers as they age? Are they destined to suffer stretched out ligaments and poorly attached udders (I’ll have to admit that as a “heavy milker” myself with four kids, I can relate to the last several pictures....ouch).

    Elizabeth

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    Replies
    1. Not much you can do to "preserve" an udder. It either has a tight attachment or it doesn't. Animals with a tight udder will keep a tight udder throughout their life through many calvings. Those with a pendulous udder will get more and more pendulous with each calving. That pendulous udder belongs to my beloved Matilda, so regardless of her udder problems, we love her anyway.

      I like to think we're ALL lovable despite our "pendulous udders" as we age....

      - Patrice

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  3. Cow Porn!

    I prefer the goat version..... ;o)

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  4. We have a 12 year old jersey with a low udder like that. She's a high producer, and it doesn't seem to bother her. Gosh we love her! She is the nicest animal!

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  5. So, what problems does a pendulous udder cause? I have never known anything about all this, not having been around many cows in my life.

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    1. Usually pendulous udders don't have problems with milk production, but they're easily damaged -- catch on branches or wire, and if they're long enough a cow can actually step on her own teats, especially when getting up. Every breed's code of "standards" (the "ideal look" for each breed) includes a tight udder attachment.

      - Patrice

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  6. Periasamy NatesapillaiJune 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    What is the general age for the occurrence of pendulous udder? Is there any possibility in first lactating animals?How it should be differentiated from udder inflammation ?

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    1. Not sure I can answer all these questions, but I'll try.

      It's hard to tell if an animal will have a pendulous udder before she's had her first calf. One way is to look at her lineage, both on the mother's AND the father's side. Udder attachment is usually an inherited state.

      The udder is supported by two sets of ligaments: the median suspensory ligaments (MSL) and the lateral suspensory ligaments (LSL). The MSL forms a sort of "groove" down the center of the udder when viewed from behind. While both sets of ligaments are necessary for a tight udder, it's pretty obvious when the MSL is long and floppy, especially after a cow has had her first calf and the initial "bagged up" state has decreased a bit as the cow adjusts to the needs of her calf.

      Udder inflammation is something of a generic term, so I'm not sure what it means. Milk fever? Mastitis? There are many issues that can affect an udder.

      - Patrice

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  7. with your cow with the low udder, was it difficult for your calves to attach? I have one and the wee calf is having trouble, especially on the hind teats. she has the most massive udder and I'm ver worried about her getting mastitis as the calf isn't doing the job well.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Her last calf needed to be bottle fed at first because her udder was too swollen for the calf to nurse. See this link:

      http://www.rural-revolution.com/2013/09/last-calf-of-year.html

      However once the mama's udder reduced in size, the calf was able to nurse. See this link:

      http://www.rural-revolution.com/2013/09/finding-faucet.html

      You may have to milk the cow out in the quarters where the calf can't attach, to prevent mastitis.

      - Patrice

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