Decision help, please

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by sheepmom, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. sheepmom

    sheepmom Guest

    I need help. I looked for a year and couldn’t find a dairy cow. Now I have 2 to choose from….

    Cow #1…Cost approx $450. Bought by an acquaintance from a sale barn. About 2-3 years old, ¾ jersey, the rest ?. Gentle but not trained to hand milk. Horned. Owner willing to take 2 lambs in trade, so final cost will be approx $300.

    Cow#2… Cost $600. Bred back to a Jersey bull. Purebred, no papers. Currently milking, 11 lbs a milking, twice a day. Has been handmilked, halter trained. Gentle.

    I go to see both of them this weekend. Transport isn’t a problem, both farms will help.

    Now what? Anything special I should look for? I’m thinking #2, but I’m not sure.
  2. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 12, 2003
    New York
    #2, no contest. Have her preg checked...Joan

  3. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    NW-IL Fiber Enabler
    How old is #2?
    Has she been preg checked?
    Does a vet give her a clean bill of health (tb, bucellis)?
    Is she at the end of her lactation or is she just grass fed?

    I lean towards #2, although if you work with#1 on the hand milking (doesn't take long for some cows) and she gets a clean bill of health from the vet, she's still a viable candidate.

    If you're a first time dairy cow-person (milking and all), #2 might be an easier transition.
  4. mamalisa

    mamalisa Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    #2 comes from a local dairy, willing to take back at same price if she doesn't work out. She will have a vet check. Mid-late lactation, I believe. She has had 3 calves, this would be her 4th. He said she was an easy calver.

    Yes, this is my first cow. I do have dairy goats.
  5. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Aug 10, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    I'd pick #2 because I figure my time is worth something too and it's going to take work to train her for handmilking. A fullblood jersey has a better resale value than the other and that shows in the offer for a full refund. The other mystery genetics in #1 may contribute to some calving difficulties as well. I'm sure you're thinking that a trade is nicer for you right now but look into the future and you'll see that extra cash outlaid now brings good returns in the long run. Get your offer for buyback and health tests documented so you do have recourse if she isn't the one for you.
  6. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2002
    Northeastern Ohio
    Definately #2. That is an excellent price for a milking, pregnant, and purebred cow. By me her asking price could be well over $1000.

  7. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    washington/british columbia
    Salm dunk, number two would be my pick, the buyback guarantee is awesome and so is the price.
  8. KesWindhunter

    KesWindhunter Well-Known Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    NE Washington State... finally!
    I milk both goats and cows...I love 'em both!
    IMHO #2 would probably be the best (depending on what they both look like...and which one you like the best!). If it is a toss-up, it will be less daunting to milk a seasoned veteran of the milking parlor, because the first time you sit at the side of a cow with your head in her flank...whew, a cow is one big critter! And that hoof neatly planted on the floor next to your foot is quite a bit....LARGE! And, what about that long ol' tail that keeps swappin' ya from time to time... Since she is fresh now, you will get to milk her before she calves again and get an idea about what to expect when she freshens again...and a cow's udder 'stripps out' and feels different than a goat's.
    They are so much different than goats, yet similar. Let an experienced ol' cow teach ya about bovine ways, there will be less unpleasant surprises!

    Bright Blessings...
  9. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 17, 2003
    NO, NO, NO, do not under any circumstances buy #2!!!!! Buy #1 and email me the name, address, and phone number of the owner of #2.

    Seriously #2 is probably the best buy for a number of reasons. If she is out of a dairy there is probably less concerns about health issues than a sale barn cow. Since lyou are a first time cow milker it is worth a lot more to have a cow that has been milked. If she actually is purebred and bred back it is a bonus. Spend the extra money, I doubt you regret it.
  10. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

    Dec 23, 2004
    i agree #1 from a sale barn is someone saying because she looks like a jersey she is 3/4 i have some of my calfs out my jerseys that are 1/2 be same color as jersey but have more meat on them.......and some cows will only hand milk in a squeeze time and money full refund on #2 means alot to me