Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Bought a Cow


Praise the Lord! She's home safe and sound.

Yesterday, Dad and I traveled to Oak Hills Dairy near Fordville ND to look at some Jersey heifers for sale there. I had looked around the state (on the phone) and found quite a few farmers with Jersey crossbred cattle they wanted to sell, but only found this one dairy that had what I was looking for.

He had four heifers that he was selling, two had Holstein in them and two didn't. He milks about 36 mostly Jersey cows in a tie-stall arrangement that we got to see. Milk production is most important to him and he gets more money for his milk when the butterfat content is higher, that's the only reason he is milking mostly Jersey and Jersey/Danish crosses. He did have one big Holstein with an udder like a balloon that was milking out about a hundred pounds of milk each day! Poor cow.

Well, I brought my money along, hoping to find something that I liked. I like the Jersey breed the best, partly because that's what we have right now, but also because everyone recommends them for a grass-based dairy operation. They are smaller cows, and give milk that is the highest in milk solids (everything except water) and many people wanting to drink Real Milk are looking for a Jersey cow-share. There is debate among some people wether Jersey or Gurnsey is the best, but a local person here told us that Jerseys winter here much better Gurnseys because of our cold area.

The two Jerseys that had my eyes on were registered purebred Jerseys. The only thing I wasn't sure about them was that they were bred to a Danish bull. I hadn't heard about Danish dairy cattle until now, but I guess they are similar to the Jersey in butterfat content. The dairy was breeding to that since they are running out of bull selection for their AI-ing.

One heifer was due to calve in the end of February, and the other in the end of March, a few days before our cow Sandy due. Not having a warm place to have a cow calve, I decided that it was better to choose the one that was due later.

I bought her and we loaded it up without any problems. This morning when we unloaded her she seemed very gentle. I will be spending some time with her to tame her more, but at least she's not afraid of us.

No, I didn't end up with a perfect grass-genetic cow, but I will try to find something to start breeding to that will improve their offspring's ability to milk well without grain.

I'm happy! So is Della.


1 comment:

Cora Beth said...

Congratulations Peter! I hope your cow proves to be a true asset, in many ways. :)

Happy milking,