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Udderly Happy!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone out there has or is milking any full blood Fresians and what's their disposition?
 

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FM, I call them Friesians, you call them Holsteins - I thought!;)

I've milked Friesians both in a commercial herd situation and in the much smaller set-up that I have now and have had no trouble with them. Frankly, I don't think they have the personality or intelligence of the Jersey, and because of their size are not quite so easy to push around, but never came across a nasty one. As it stands at the moment I have only Friesian crosses in my herd now but wouldn't turn one down if it came my way.

May I ask why your asking?

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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I used to have holstein, she was a great cow! I loved her to bits! We got her from a dairy farm that my husband used to work on. The vet told us that she had the equivilant of down syndrom :) She was the happiest, friendliest cow in the whole world!! The problem with her was that she gave us about 6-7 gallons twice per day!! If you have a very large family, or a cow share program they would be great. But as a average family cow, I would not recomend them. Although I wish I still had her every day!

:( RIP Cream
 

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KS dairy farmers
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Even though Friesian and Holstein may be interchangeable I think the kind of animal you end up with will vary greatly from one area to another. While I prefer not to breed any more of my cattle to American Holstein, I would not hesitate to use some New Zealand Friesian genetics. American Holsteins are bred to be eating/milking machines to the point were they tend to have metabolic problems. They don't hold their flesh well on grass alone. New Zealand Friesians are bred to do well on grass with minimal grain.
 

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Udderly Happy!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ronney,
My thoughts on the Fresians are the same as UpNorth. I'm talking mainly of the New Zealand genetics. I'm very interested in a grassbased cow. While the holstein is bred as described above by UpNorth. For my nurse cow operation I'm constantly looking at different ways to have a good, well rounded cow that can be bred to an angus bull to produce a black calf that will sell well at the market while the cow can use a primarily grass-based diet to raise a few calves. I've seen some Fresian/Montebelaird crosses in the Hoards dairyman magazine that were very well colored and seemed to have good body condition without having udders that resembled a 55 gallon barrel. I'm wondering if they would be something that might interest me.
I've always been a fan of jerseys. However, I don't like the MF problems they have and the ones that I have seem to do very poorly on grass alone. If I have to pump 25lbs. of dairy ration down them to raise calves I can't make out on using them as nurse cows.
 

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I do agree that holsteens are eating machines!!! My 3 jerseys eat the sale as my 1 holstein did!! And my holstein had so many helth problems. As much as I loved that cow she was a pain in the ----- to milk. She had cronic mastitis, and the dairy farm that she came from was going to send her to the procesor because she had no strenght in her hind end. When she was in heat and tried to jump another cow she would do the splits. She had to be kept seperate from the milking herd because she could not be kept anywhere near cement, to slippery.
 

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Udderly Happy!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another breed that has caught my eye is the Montbelaird. I haven't found much info on them. And, I haven't found anyone that raises them in my general geographic area. They appear to be a french version of the Ayrshire or MS by appearance. The Swedish Red is also interesting. Anyone with any info on either of these?
 

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I was only poking the borax FM:) The only real difference is whether one subscribes to the American Holstein or the more traditional British Friesian.

However, look carefully at NZ genetics too. During the 70's and 80's NZ farmers got carried away on a wave of breeding American Holsteins - just look at all that milk!!! - and then lived to rue the day for reasons that you pointed out Up North. They took an enormous amount of feed to maintain milk production and cow condition, their weight destroyed paddocks particularly in wetter areas and they suffered metabolic problems. One of the biggest problems was the high rate of MT cows - one neighbour had 22% of his 600 cow herd pregnancy tested as MT. The greed for higher milk production cost dearly and it's taken a decade to right it. There is a marked swing back to Jerseys and British Friesians but there is still a lot of American genetics out there.

I'm surprised that you find the Jersey a hard doer on grass alone. I find them far better foragers than many other breeds and my little Jerseys will often keep on producing until I deliberately dry them off. As you are probably aware, I am 100% grassland farming with the exception of maintenance hay during the winter for the dry cows and molasses, palm kernal and hay for any I'm milking through the winter. BTW, what are the MF problems you refer to? I decided that if I thought about it long enough, it would become obvious but it hasn't:D I use an Angus bull over all my cows and once weaned, they finish on grass and do very well.

I have never heard of the Montbelaird so will go and have a look for that and had never heard of the Swedish Red until recently and now I can't remember where I heard/read about it so will have to look for that too.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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KS dairy farmers
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I'm surprised that you find the Jersey a hard doer on grass alone. I find them far better foragers than many other breeds and my little Jerseys will often keep on producing until I deliberately dry them off. As you are probably aware, I am 100% grassland farming with the exception of maintenance hay during the winter for the dry cows and molasses, palm kernal and hay for any I'm milking through the winter.
Cheers,
Ronnie
I think the difference between the NZ Jersey and the American Jersey is just another example of how different countries have different breeding programs. NZ has never had cheap grain, their cattle reflect that fact. For the past 50 years or so the US has had abundant cheap grain so we have bred cows to be able to utilize the maximum amount of grain. Heather
 
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