I have a Jersey/Lowline angus cross heifer due to calve in a month or so. If she works as I hope, giving us a gallon of milk a day and a small beef for the freezer, I'd like another one of her. Cow number two would freshen at a different time to give milk year round.
Since this cross is not easy to find, I was wondering if a Jersey dairy would consider breeding any cows to a lowline angus (assuming I get the semen to them). I don't know if dairies want all the purebred Jersey calves they can get, or if they sometimes breed to beef. Of course, for enough money they would probably do anything you want.
Someone suggested that dairies might consider this in first calf heifers, since they are unproven, so they might not keep their calves as replacements.
The quickest way to find out would be to ask, but I was wondering what to consider when talking to them, or any other suggestions. Thanks.
I can't speak for the States but over here heifers are not usually bred to AI for the reason you have stated and most of their calves end up on the bobby calf truck. If your dairy farmers follow the same procedure (and it sounds as though they might) it's well worth asking around and you'll probably come up trumps.
Been giving this some thought and decided that there is more than one way of approaching things. This may not suit you of course, but I think that I would buy in a Jersey cow (or heifer calf that I could rear) and put her to the Lowline semen so that the resulting calf was a first cross and you wouldn't be milking a dairy/beef cross. Does that make sense?
The reason I say this is that some of my milkers are straight Jersey and I use an Angus bull over them. This makes for easy calving (which you would get the way your doing it), polled calves and some very nice beef for the freezer BUT I'm still getting the quanity and quality milk from a dairy cow.
However, if your would prefer to milk the Jersey/Lowline cross, yes your going to have to take the punt and ask the farmer to inseminate several cows in the hope that a heifer will be amongst the resulting calves - and be prepared to buy them from him. If your luck is anything like mine, they would all be bull calves.
Good luck and will be interested to know how you go.
I would think it would be easier to get jerseys that the dairy is culling, because of a bad quarter, or past the prime milking age, or something along those lines, then breeding them, either AI or live cover. My jersey is down at the geneticist, as we speak, getting ai'd with lowline semen. I think this will be super cross. Keep us posted.
Anala Goat Company
Beasley, Tx. (near Houston)
Yes, I've thought about getting a Jersey cow. However, I had one a few years ago and decided I just didn't want that much milk. I also would prefer to not keep a poor producing or culled Jersey around just to produce a calf. So if I want another crossbreed, I hope I can use someone else's Jersey to get one.
From my excess milk experience, I decided I'm not interested in selling it, with the legal issues, or in raising several calves or pigs to get rid of it. I tried giving it away, but was surprised how few are interested, or are even scared of it. So, I decided I'd just try for efficient food production for a small family.
The Jersey cow I had was a dairy cull with a bad quarter, but still gave over 6 gallons a day. And loved to eat! She also had udder edema at freshening, which I read is associated with high production, though I may have done better at preventing it. After reading of all the problems high-producing cows have, I decided they are for professionals. I just wanted a little milk for a small family.
I tried a Dexter cow, but her line apparently wasn't much for milk production. I also noticed the same bull on both sides of her pedigree. Her steer calf was also not very beefy. There are probably better Dexters out there, but I thought I'd check other options, and sold her.
After poking around the internet, I saw a lowline/jersey cross heifer that seemed to be what I wanted. Smaller, easier to handle and easier on fences and ground. Not too much milk to require special care, but enough for a small family. Could produce a beefier calf. And polled. Hybrid vigor from crossbreeding seemed to be a good thing, generally healthier.
She's now 44-45 inches at the hip. Very gentle - lets me pick up her feet for trimming. Much beefier than the Dexter, but seems to have a decent udder forming. I've actually had trouble keeping her from getting too fat - pretty feed efficient.
I bred her to a small polled hereford bull (46 inches at the hip at age 3). For the next breeding, I have a smaller yearling Jersey bull - mother was around 47 inches. So if I keep the calves, I'll have a 1/4 Jersey, a 1/2 Jersey, and a 3/4 Jersey. I'll be able to choose which level of Jersey I want for milking, since of course they will all be heifers, right?
I considered miniatures. But many don't look right to me - like their frame is too small for their parts or they could get high-centered with their short legs. But I thought crossing them with standard or smaller breeds might make a cow that looks more proportionate but needs less feed.
Anyway, I'll see how it goes and let you know. Half the fun for me is experimenting. I corresponded with a fellow who had the same cross, but doesn't milk, so I'm interested how it will work. I'd be interested to see how yours goes also, Shelby.
There's a lot of variability in dairy culls, If I had a jersey that was producing 6 gallons on 3 quarters, I would keep her in the milk line, or put 2 calves on her and keep the excess for the family. It is fun, isn't it? My jersey was hand raised as a pet, I bought her as a first freshener when her family got cash strapped. This year she has raised 3 calves for me, and I'm looking for one more to finish her lactation with. Of course, I hope she gives me a heifer this next calving, then I don't have to decide whether I want it for the freezer or not! Remember, for smaller daily quantities of milk, goats are a great option.
Anala Goat Company
Beasley, Tx. (near Houston)
Putting calves on her would help deal with the milk, but that was more involvement than I wanted, since I've got other things going on. Besides, why should I raise more calves than I need. If people want beef, GET YOUR OWN ---- COWS!!! Just kidding. Although in my vision, every city block would have a cow that they rotate around the lawns.
Goats are where we started. Unfortunately, we quit them because of occasional goaty milk flavor, despite trying all the feed and milk handling recommendations. People say the goats aren't the problem, but I realized that cow milk was good without having to take the same extreme measures. And I noticed that some days the flavor was off despite feeding the same stuff and handling the goat milk the same.
Not to mention that I do not have a goat personality....(I hope nobody from the goat board reads here).
Just a quick thought, have you ever checked around for a half angus half jersey bull? There are a lot of these crossbred bulls running around and being used as a herd sire. If he breds your cow the calf will be half and half. And some of the regular angus are actually the lowline. We used to have some that were registered black angus.