So, on Friday we inserted the weaning rings in the calves muzzles so that we could dry off the moms. Their bodies need a break from producing milk before their new calves are born in July and time to produce colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk, full of antibodies to give the new calves protection from illness. Colostrum is so critical that newborn calves often do not survive without it.
The weird thing was, LaFonda was behaving as if she were in heat. I posted a question about it on the Family Milk Cow website. Two people responded that I needed to have a vet do a pregnancy check--she might have an ovarian cyst that caused pregnancy symptoms. Yesterday afternoon the vet came out and did the pregnancy check.
The good news is that LaFonda is healthy- no cyst. The bad news is she isn't pregnant - there will be no calf in July. She probably aborted or reabsorbed the fetus a couple months ago. The good news is that her 1-year-old baby is being weaned, so now WE get all the milk!
So, rather than drying her off, I have begin a milking morning and night. I hope to reduce to once a day miking soon. She is giving over 3 gallons - no wonder Lindy has become such a burly little fellow.