Aysshire dairy cows

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by arnoldw, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone raise ayshire. What are there temperment. Ive read they do well on grazing and still produce guality amount of milk. Is this a good breed for a homesteader that just wants the milk and to raise a few bottle babies. What does Heifers or cows range in price.
    Folks dont blast me Im not interested in Dexters or the Jerseys. Ive been doing alot of reading on shorthorns and canadienne and the Ayshire and I do like the smaller breeds. and am mainly looking at a good forager without having to add alot of grain.
    I have ten Acres in good Quality Tifton 85 Bermuda and was able to fill my small barn. I will cross fence it this winter and should be able to run a couple of Dairy cows this spring and still put up Hay for Horses and for cows. The horses will be one a seperate Pasture not part of the 10 acres. They Dairy Cows will primarily be pastured feed 9 months out of the year. I have already overseeded the bermuda field with Rye grass and Oats that I will either feed or make hay with it.
    Thanks Arnold
     
  2. Matt NY

    Matt NY Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking about an Aryshire also, but I am interested in a Dexter. The price is pretty much beyond my means though, even though I think they are worth the price. From what I have gathered from reading and talking to old farmers this breed does fairly well on rough pasture, something that means a lot too me from a homestead basis, can make passable meat and has decent quality butter fat. I understand that they can be a bit skittish though. I need to get something here by spring, the place just needs a cow.
     

  3. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    Same thing here. What kind of prices are you finding in NY.
    Arnold
     
  4. Belle

    Belle Active Member

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    I checked on them with OSU (state aggie univ) and here is what they said:
    "Ayrshires are medium-sized cattle and should weigh over 1200 pounds at maturity. They are strong, rugged cattle that adapt to all management systems including group handling on dairy farms with free stalls and milking parlors. Ayrshires excel in udder conformation and are not subject to excessive foot and leg problems. Few other breeds can match the ability of the Ayrshire to rustle and forage for themselves under adverse feeding or climatic conditions. Ayrshire cattle will do better under pasture conditions than will the other major dairy breeds and , when pastures are poor, they need less grain to keep them in air condition (C.H. Eckles, Dairy Cattle and Milk Production, 1923). The ruggedness of the terrain and the unfavorable climatic conditions of their native land led to the selection for those points of hardiness that adapt them to less than ideal conditions. These traits make Ayrshires outstanding commercial dairy cattle. ..In many ways, the environment in New England was very similar to the Ayrshire's native Scotland, and she thrived in her new home. Even today, the Ayrshire is very popular in New England, but her popularity has spread and the Ayrshire herds are now located in every part of the United States including the Deep South. The largest numbers of Ayrshires are registered each year in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Vermont. "

    Sounds like you've found a good breed for back East if you want a full sized cow and they should be easy to find. They are supposed to be all over the US now.
    Good luck and enjoy your moojuice! Personally I like 'em more my size and Dexters fit the bill. Belle
     
  5. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    We had one ayrshire in our herd. She was a real PIA during milking and we were happy to see her go down the road. She was an easy keeper though and always seemed to hold good condition. Can't judge the breed by one cow though. I do know of one dairy grazing operation in SE MN that is entirely ayrshire and they seem very happy with them. They too mention that they hold condition well and seem to do well on mature pasture.

    We had good luck with shorthorns. Dutch Belted is another breed that would be worth a look.
     
  6. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    Thank you and Belle for the imfo. If you could Please answer a few Questions for me .Do you remember what you paid for her and what she brought when you sold her. How was the milk and how much did she produce. How where her calves Ive read that there frisky and have good weight gain.
    Thanks Arnold
     
  7. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    This was on a 100 cow commercial dairy. She was bought with a group of cows and was eventually culled. As far as production I don't have the records handy but I think she usually peaked around 75-80 lbs a day, 15-16,000 pounds a lactation. She would have been cross bred to a Jersey, I don't recall her calves specifically.
     
  8. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    You said that you raised shorthorn and belted Galloways what can you tell me about them since I havent bought yet. Do they dio well on pasture are they a little more maintenance. temperment price just anything you can think off.
    Thank you very much for time and Input
    Arnold
     
  9. Matt NY

    Matt NY Well-Known Member

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    A good price would be around $700 for a Dexter heifer calf.
     
  10. Sparkle

    Sparkle New Member

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    Ayrshires are good homestead cows. We've had several and found they were good grazers, fertile, had nice udders with good teats for hand milking. We got 7-10 gallons per day. The milk was nicely balanced butterfat and protein. They seemed to handle the heat well, and got shaggy every winter. I feed grain and alfalfa hay to milking cows and they were always ready to graze again after feeding time. Ours were from one family, so they had similar traits and size. They were all over 1200 lbs., so allow more feed than for a Jersey. Their calves, especially when crossed with Beef, brought great prices at auction.
     
  11. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of variability in the Shorthorn breed. They have attemped to keep them dual purpose, beef and dairy, and the breed has extremes on both ends. On the dairy side they brought in red and white holstein genetics and some of them will milk 30,000 lbs. In general they are a larger frame animal, have less health problems than holsteins, and do well on pasture. You would want to know their background, it would be ideal to see herd they came from and what type of animal they were trying to develop.

    Dutch Belted is different than Belted Galloway. It is an old dairy breed. We had two. They are smaller framed, did well grazing, and had absolutely no health problems. I know of a couple other dairy operations that were seriously headed towards the breed. The main source of semen is from Kenneth and Winefred Hoffman from Indiana. They are also one of the top shorthorn breeders in the country.

    Here's a link with a picture and another opinion:

    http://www.lappfamily.com/dutch.htm

    Select Dutch Belted on this site for more info:

    http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/
     
  12. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You know, my question is *where* do you find these cows????

    Even a "plain" old family Jersey cow is as scarce as hen's teeth around here, much less all the more exotic breeds.

    I went looking for info on Brown Swiss, and all I could find were embreyos for sale. That doesn't help me much <g> The one auction I saw for them averaged $4500 a head!

    Tracy
     
  13. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    Your Quess is as good as mine. Im on the Coast of NC. Most of the dairies are either in the Mountains or Piedmount and the Majority of these are Holstein.
    With the boarders of Canada Closed there are not any replacement cattle coming in, especially Dairy. The prices of what is out there seems to be really high especially for a homesteader only wanting one or two cows. Can Anyone tell me what Aysshire. shorthorns or canadiene heifer are bringing and locations that I could possibly drive too in a day. I did find a breeder of canadiene in Virginia they where reasonably priced. Arnold
     
  14. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    I would contact the breed associations you are interested in. They should be able to give you some contacts in your area.
     
  15. I purchased a week-old Ayrshire heifer for $250 in Orange County, Virginia this June.

    I also found some other folks who were willing to sell cows leaving the milking herd for $500-800, but chose to go with a small calf so I could learn the ropes while she was growing.

    It was hard to find an Ayrshire herd in Virginia, but I eventually tracked down several farmers by contacting county extension agents. If you go the Virginia Cooperative Extension Website, they list e-mail contact information. Alan Grove, who is a dairy specialist was particularly helpful in my search.

    Bonnie's temperment is wonderful; she is gentle and affectionate. If anything, she is a little too affectionate; it is hard to get work done in thepasture because she wants to stand next to you in the hope of being scratched.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  16. Mark T

    Mark T Well-Known Member

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    The last post was me - I forgot to log in.
     
  17. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mark
    Have you thought about what you will breed her to next Fall. I like the idea of a baby so they get use to you and not have to deal with any bad habits they may already have. Is this your only cow. I quess its a little early to ask about foraging for this year.Im sorry for all the Questions I just think it great you found a Ayshire and it looks like at a good price. Did you Bottle feed or Place on Another cow.Thanks Arnold
     
  18. Mark T

    Mark T Well-Known Member

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    Bonnie is my first heifer - I also had two Holstein steers at the time. All were bottle-fed. The long term goal is to use Bonnie as a nurse cow and raise eight Holstein calves a year on her (4 for four months, then 4 more for the remaining six months of her lactation). I am producing "humanely raised, grass-fed baby beef." Customers put down a $50 deposit in January to reserve a beeve half. This covers the expense of buying the calves and a good portion of the milk replacer ($50 for the calf leaves $50 to pay for half the milk replacer). I buy the new calves in January (I have orders for ten sides and will pick up my new lads this Thursday). I'll bottle feed the calves for three months, then when my grass flushes turn them out on pasture to rotationally graze. I'll take the baby beef in to be processed the day after Thanksgiving (I always have that day off from work). Customers will pick up their meat after it has been aged and cut in mid-December, paying me $3/lb hanging weight less their deposit. They also pay the buthchering expense. The biggest single expense in my operation is the milk replacer - $90 per calf. Once Bonnie is producing milk, I'll save that major expense. I figure that I will spend about $500/year maintaining Bonnie, but if she raises eight calves, she saves me $720, plus gives me a calf for free. Additionally, the calves will have milk for a longer period and should get a little bigger, bringing more "hanging weight" in the long run.

    I'll breed her the first time with the neighbor's low-birthweight Angus bull. After that, depending on how strong demand grows for my beef, I may breed her AI with an Ayrshire or Holstein bull in the hopes of adding another heifer to the operation.

    Good luck with your search.

    Mark
     
  19. arnoldw

    arnoldw Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mark Thanks for getting back to me. This is real close to what I want to do. I want to first have the cows milking and raise some Holesteins for beef. At the auction there bringing between 30 to 65 dollars a peice. Are you buying at the auction or directly from a dairy. That is a great price your getting. Im guessing your carcases are weighing 400 to 500 a peice. At 3 dollars a pound and there paying the butcher there paying around $3.25 a pound. I admit I havent checked on prices from any of the butchers in the area is this close or are you getting a premium for farm raised beef. Please get back in touch I really would like to hear about this. Angus ayshire for a first calf sould be great for the freezer. Arnold
     
  20. lamaster

    lamaster Member

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    "Please get back in touch I really would like to hear about this. Arnold[/QUOTE]

    Yes! Please continue this conversation on-line! so that we all can learn more from what you folks are doing! It's all so VERY interesting! And informative! :)