Changing gears

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by JeffNY, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Well I have been thinking lately, watching milk prices become extremely pathetic, even though they "came up". Looking over the herd, with the mindset of genetics in mind. I think I am going to switch gears. Sell off all but 2 of the Jerseys, move out a couple of the holsteins that aren't worth a darn genetics wise. It would bring milkers to 12, vs 18 or so. I will still have full stalls, as I have 8 young stock that will be in the barn next fall. But as far as the Jerseys go. I might sound like I am anti-Jersey. We do have a Jersey that is a good solid animal, the other 4 that are here are terrible genetics wise. Teats towards the outside as 1st calvers, weak loins, bad F&L. Overall terrible genetics, animals I am embarrased to have here. Even the poorest 1st calf holstein is better than those guys. The one heifer out of the 2 teater looks like a good one. Dairy, long, tall for her age. If she has strong loins, she could be a really nice signature heifer. So she stays.

    But the biggest thing is stress. Even though my mother helps me out, there is a lot I do that she doesn't. The easy way out is to give up, but I have a goal, and I can't let that goal simply slip away. The goal is to go to WDE, to have a super solid herd. As it stands the 4 I classified in October gave me a BAA (Breed Age Average) score of 108.5, I have 2 VG's, 2 GP's, swiss gets classified tomorrow and she will go Gp83 or better (doesn't help the BAA, as only holsteins count for that). But I have others to classify next spring, and out of those they should go GP or better. Alteast two should classify VG, but I was surprised with Sassy who went VG, and I was expecting GP83ish. Either way, switching gears, pushing out inferior genetics, keeping good animals, and concentrating on genetics would help out.

    Also a newer barn. This barn is terrible. The manger sits too low, they have to get on their knees to get to all of the grain, which from what I have read is stress to them. The gutter system is too narrow, and ideally should be level (instead of a step up). The ceiling height is too low, no room to insulate the ceiling to help with warmth. I might do that anyways, because even with a newer milk barn, it will be my dry cow/heifer barn (this old barn). The key is stress, and by doubling the size of the parlor, lower numbers, make it take less time, more enjoyable helps. The goal was a smaller herd, makes things easier. But with the work enviornment being hard to work with, stress goes up as high as a 100 cow dairy.


    Jeff
     
  2. needstoknowmore

    needstoknowmore Rattlin Rock Ranch

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    Sounds like a wise decision. Reaching goals is hard work. But cutting out the stress to get there is helpful. I don't understand the classifcations. But good genetics is a foundation for success.
    Best of luck to you!!!!!
     

  3. caseyweiss

    caseyweiss Well-Known Member

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    Jeff,

    It sounds like you are on the right path but just need a little encouragement. It is very easy to get discouraged this time of year dairy farming with equipment and facilities that aren't as good as your neighbors or as good as you want them to be. I'm going through that too. But remember, you are young and have alot of time to accomplish your goals. Just do one project at a time, complete it, then move on to the next one. And don't be afraid to reward yourself from time to time. In five years you will have accomplished alot.

    You didn't have plans to keep your Jerseys much longer did you? Just keep breeding to Advent and other similar sires and people will be knocking down your barn door to buy your good uddered two year olds.

    On a different note, you really need to join our polled dairy cow forum at Yahoo Groups. It is better for dairy information than cowtalk or this forum, although I really do enjoy this forum and its members.

    Casey
     
  4. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Casey,

    Whats the link to that group?

    Thanks.


    Jeff