Best small breed dairy cow

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by thegriffiths, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. thegriffiths

    thegriffiths Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted input on good small breed dairy cows. Not miniature but small.

    Also desire what price they should run and if anyone has any near Charleston, WV.

    Thanks much.
     
  2. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    A Jersey is the best small breed, imo, if you get a small one :baby04: They run from $300 for a bottle heifer if you can find her to around $1200 for an adult. I paid $1200 for my 2 year old registered Jersey, trained to milk. She was supposed to have been bred back at the time - turned out she wasn't. She leads, comes to her name, and loves one on one time. These are south mid TN prices and I am currently looking so these are utd. :)
     

  3. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    I milk Ayrshires and I think they are great. Small size. Good tempers. Compared to Jerseys if you get a bull calf it will actually be worth something. The bull calves also finnish out alot quicker if you are keeping them for your freezer. Don't need alot of grain. Ayrshires have extrememly vigoruos calves. They also don't get bad udder edema that is typical with a Jersey. I know Jerseys have their fans but I'm not one of them. I've milked enough of both to know. As far as price goes, they are in the same ball park as other colored breeds.

    Heather
     
  4. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Jerseys would be your best bet for a small breed, milking shorthorns are also a small breed from what I have seen. There aren't many of them out there, anyone who has them from what I have heard, likes them.



    Jeff
     
  6. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

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    Hi,

    All the milking shorthorns I have seen are what I would consider medium to large in size. I didn't know they came 'small'!

    Could you please share where you have seen small milking shorthorns? I would be quite interested if they were closer to Jersey size!

    Thanks

    Melissa
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Contact Winifred Hoffman at 4279 E. 12th Rd. Earlville, IL 60518 for an education on Milking Shorthorn & True Dutch Belted Dairy cows. Her Phone # is (815)-246-9523. She has printed literature available, as well as publishes a reguletter newsletter. Cattle suitable for homesteading or grass based commercial dairying.
     
  8. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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  9. mailman

    mailman Miniature Cattle

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    Hello, I know you said you are not considering miniatures but I have to ask: How much milk do you want? Small standard sized cows can yield 7-10 gallons a day, every day. Alot of people pour alot of milk out on the ground everyday. If you only need 2-4 gallons per day, then you might want to reconsider miniatures (miniature Jerseys). Less milk, less feed, less expense, less pain when they step on your foot. Just a thought. Take care...Dennis
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    The Jersey breed is small, other breeds of dairy cow are larger, with the exception of the Dexter. I don't know howmuch a milking Dexter produces. My small Jersey only produces about 4.5 gallons a day. Ten gallons a day is something for a large Holstein, or a perhaps a mutant Jersey on one of the bovine growth hormones.
     
  11. Richard ~

    Richard ~ Member

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    Each breed will have their supporters and so the "best" will be the one that has the attributes that are most important to the individual. So first one might need to decide whether they want a purebred or would a crossbred suite their purpose just as well. Registered stock will usually cost more which can be good depending on if you're buying or selling stock. Attend auctions where you'll meet the local farmers in your area. From them you may learn which breeds are more common in your region as those usually will be less expensive.

    If you're planning to start a small dairy, a breed such as Jersey that has been selectively bred for that purpose, might be easier to locate a number of animals with good dairy attributes. I own Dexters which are considered a dual-purpose breed for both beef and dairy. So if you desire Dexters that produce more milk you'll have to be more selective in locating animals that have placed more emphasis on their dairy attibutes. In general, Dexters produce between 1.5 and 2.5 gallons of milk per day which is normally adequate for an average family. I like Dexters because they're a small hardy breed that cost less to feed and generally do better than some other breeds on poor pastures. Costs of Dexters can vary depending on the animal, the breeder, and the location. If you're interested in Dexters go to http://www.pdca-pedigree.org/ and click on "breeders" at the top of the page and then you can locate breeders in your area. Most Dexter breeders will be happy to show you their herds and give you an idea of prices.

    Another option you may wish to consider is contacting the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy - http://www.albc-usa.org/ as many of the early breeds may have some of the attributes that appeal to what you're looking for.

    Richard ~
     
  12. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I milked a large herd of Milking Shorthorns here in Southern Missouri for two years before we started milking goats. Many of them were as big or bigger(no joke) than a normal-sized Holstien cow. Some were just a little larger than a Jersey, but most at maturity were considerably bigger than most Jerseys. And they are much bigger-boned than a Jersey. Very nice temperments, gentle giants. I am a big fan of the Milking Shorthorn breed, but I wouldn't consider them a small breed by any means. I'd like to own one someday.
    Jerseys get my vote for the homestead milker. Ours have been hardy, easy to milk, and prolific for 18 years. Our 16 year old Jersey, Blossom just gave birth to a handsome bull calf on Friday. She had no problems and is still going strong. And oh, the creamy milk...... :)
     
  13. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

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    I did call her, what a delightful lady!

    A wealth of information, and she will be sending along info on her shorthorn bulls.

    Thank you again!

    Melissa