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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had a Brown Swiss for a milk cow. I know I am full of questions but as you may remember I have bought several cows..just to have a dead cows within a few weeks after . I am determined to be better prepared this time.
I have one guy with a 7 year old Brown Swiss or another with a 12 year old Jersey from a Dairy. Both are the same price.
Neither are pregnant, or at least they are not sure of the Swiss as she has been with a bull, and the Brown Swiss is also dry at this time. Any opinions?
Again, sorry for so many questions. I am just nervous I guess. I asked the age thing in another thread and have had alot of help. :)
I just found out about this one and thought I would ask more questions :cow:
 

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I looked into a BS once and the man who ran the dairy said they are the hardest to get bred. I would not buy a cow from a dairy that isn't bred. That would be my first clue as to why they are selling her. Also, 12 is a bit old for a Jersey that has been on a commercial dairy. Her days may be short as they really push them much harder than a homesteader would. If she had been a family cow all this time, I would think differently.
I have found that many dairies are looking to get rid of first calf cows that are low producers. They may end up being high producers a few years in, but they can't afford to keep them long enough to find out. Those are great bargains...even at the price you will likely pay, because they will have a very long life ahead of them for you.
Just my 2 cents.
Blessings,
Trisha in WA
 

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I would get her if she is healthy. Swiss are well known for their longevity and hardiness. Most cows dont last that long in a commercial dairy but on a small farm she could live for over 10 more years. I like the swiss better than jerseys. My swiss have a better temperment and are easier to work with. The jerseys we have seem to be high strung.
 

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Here is opinion form a dairyman. At 7 yr and 12 yr old they have lived out their lives. Not preg is a minus. Word of advice never buy an open cow unless the dairy can show you how fresh she is. A open cow is a liability / Now look at the price, cow's like that are slaughter cows not milk cows. Take what I say, I see lots of people make mistakes. There are lots of better younger cows out there if you look hard enough.
Just got off the phone with a fellow dairyman and he told me he sold some cows in milk to another dairy in Tx this week for $2200 /each and he had the DHIA records to back up the sale of his cows for that kind of $
 

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Sabrina,
My buddy down to Selmer is going to try and milk one of his Braunveih/Brownswiss cows this go aound when they calf. He has one that took more of the dairy look ot her then the heavy beef look. I will see if I can get teh number for the guy that he got them from. Should be south of you by about a couple of hours.
Yes dry and open is a good clue as to being sold. But, the swiss if she is vet confirmed breed thats a different story. A swiss will last a long time for a homesteader. Be prepared to have a swiss around for 20+ yrs. They are very hardy cows. Only problem with a swiss is the calves can be a pain to get to drink milk from a pail. Oh yeah forgot to add. If a swiss wants to go some where and your in the path they might just walk right over you nice and slow.
Bob
 

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I wish you well in your search for a milk cow. I have a Brown Swiss that I am currently milking. She is a fine cow. She just turned 7 years. No problems. She is a wonderful milker. Excellent temperment. Wondering why she is open-may want to have her vet checked if possible. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We are going to look at her at noon, I think I will have many questions :) I am not sure why she is open though, the man sounds elderly so that may be why. I hate to have to wait so long for any milk, and then if she is not bred then have to take her to my moms to "visit" their bull..
The other cow just freshened, but is 12.. I may be waiting for a while longer, who knows, wish me luck and thanks for all the advice :)
 

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Sabrina, not to confuse you more, but a dairyman I know in Livingston Tn. is selling a Registered Jersey Heifer due to calve in January....She was bred by a reg. bull...Really sounds like a great deal...Pm me if interested and I'll give you more information...John
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks topside, I wish I could afford such a nice cow as that sounds like it would be, but unfortunately I am pretty limited on price.Things have been pretty tight around here, my dh hauls scrap for a living and we all know how that is going, or not going .lol
Both cows that we have looked at are 800.00. The Jersey is the one that is 12 and freshened not long ago,the Swiss(actually he has 2) are open, 7yrs old, and I have no clue when they were bred last.
I tell you , I am a nervous wreck, I know I do not 'have" to get a cow now, lol Funny, first I can't find a cow within 40 square miles..then I have 3 to look at in one day.
I tend to want the one that is already giving milk, but then the age worries me.
Thanks everyone for answering my silly questions, and putting up with my nervous rambling . You guys are great :)
 

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I wouldn't pay that much for old open dairy cows.
Average slaughter cows get around 43 cents a pound around here lately, and a 7 year old dry cow that isn't bred back qualifies as a slaughter cow.
The 12 year old jersey would be chancy.
I would save a few more dollars and keep loking.

That being said, one of my fondest memories of being in the dairy equipment biz was one old timer that had a herd of Swiss. Big old teddy bears. I loved going to that place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I went to look at all the cows today. The Swiss weren't very tame at all, and MAN they are some big cows ! I was a little scared of them they were so big. They have never been hand milked, or milked much at all. They were "nurse cows" Beautiful cows, just way too much for me. lol
So, I went back to the dairy to look at the Jerseys again. The one that was halter broke, 12 years old, had just freshened in July so is open seemed like the best of all. She was very friendly, calved easily and bred easily. He has records of her births etc. She was alert, had a good gait and has a nice "attached " udder.
I asked a thousand questions, spent a while with the cow and I think we may get her. I will go back on Monday and make sure.
I have checked with several dairy's and asked several people and the price seems right for around here, I asked why he chose her to sell, he said that for a dairy she is getting older and that he has to sell some to be able to feed the all through the winter with the feed prices and hay availability.
So I hope this works out and wish me luck, as I seemed to be cursed in the cow department..:(
 

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If you get the Jersey, ask him to set her up and inseminate her before you take her home. If she calved in July, she can be bred again now, and having him do it will save you the time and trouble later.

Just for the heck of it, I'd go with sexed semen to increase the odds of getting a heifer calf out of her ... at age 12, you're probably not going to get too many calves out of her!
 

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Sabrina, I PM'ed you with the ad for the heifer I mentioned in post #8...I'd be guning for this deal, but that's me....TJ
 

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This fellow usually sells his bred Reg. Jersey Heifers for $2000 firm. I've been to his farm, it's squared away. This heifer must be small and the dam must be a low production cow...Just guessing....If I was in need of a family milk cow this would my #1 prospect...Just trying to help....TJ



Ad Number 593776
Ad began November 5, 2008 1:35 pm CST
Ends on December 5, 2008
price $1,000



contact info
Username milkman
Address 426 Stover Rd
City Livingston
State TN
Zip 38570
Phone 1 (931) 823-4267
Phone 2 (931) 260-5358
email Contact Seller


Important safety warning!
Avoid fraud by meeting sellers in person. read safety tips
Ad No. 593776Jersey Heifer
{message_result}
description
2 year old Registered Jersey heifer bred to registered Jersey bull due in January. Raised on our farm. Excellant temperment. Would make great family cow. Call 931-260-5358 e-mail never checked.
 

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I do like Brown Swiss cows. But, not for a family cow. While they may have a higher butterfat, to me they are just a holstein wrapped in a different colored package. They are big cows with a big appetite and they don't convert grass to weight gain very well in my opinion. Also, they are the hardest bottle calves I've ever raised. Not sure why.

Pros for them. They make very good nurse cows......
 
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