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I will be looking for a bred Jersey cow this fall. I do not *currently* have the facilities for a full grown cow, but the calves will be older soon and need a place - so I'm working on it!

This fall I'd like to try a Jersey for milking and raising a couple of bottle calves on (she can nurse them better than I can bottle feed, I'm sure!). My question is, where can I get a decent cow? I've talked with the locals and they all agree that the auction barn is probably the last place to go because you never know what you're going to get. Besides the fact that I've never been there (nor would I have the first clue as to how that works), I'd rather get a tried cow, a good mother, good milker, etc. So where do I start? I am in Northwest Iowa and don't think there's anyone in the area with Jerseys - they all have the beef cows or Holsteins...

-Sarah
 

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Sarah, I'll second the advice about avoiding the auction barn. There was a guy in NE Nebraska by the name of Loren Lund that specialized in Jersey heifers. He may have some contacts for cows. I found one link for him in Google:

http://www.mycattle.com/cfboards/messages.cfm?ID=275

Otherwise I posted a thread awhile back that had a link for Organic Valley trader ads. Keep an eye out on their ads, it mostly covers NE Iowa, SE MN, and SW WI but would probably put you in touch with a smaller herd owner that would be more likely to have what you wanted. Watch for the seasonal calving herds that sell cows that fall out of their calving window.

http://66.79.179.172/upload/showthread.php?t=38359
 

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If there is an Amish or Mennonite community in your area find out where they shop and ask there. Someone may be retiring an older cow who no longer produces what their family needs, but may still produce enough for a small family.

Don't automatically assume any cow will be a nurse cow. Some take to it naturally and some you have to force to do so every time. Gets old in a hurry.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

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Did you ever find you a Jersey cow? I have one to sell. Email me at [email protected] is interested.

Tracy
Well poop. Thanks Tracy - I appreciate it. I need to wait until next fall, I think. I don't have the facilities for a full-grown cow just yet (fencing will happen when the ground thaws) and my husband just got himself laid off...so we're rather suddenly broke.

Right now I'm looking for ideas of where to start when I *am* ready. :) I like the idea of contacting the Amish - we have several communities to the south of us that I could contact. Thanks!

Sarah
 
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