Jersey cow for family milk cow?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by r.h. in okla., Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Well after veiwing the answers to my jersey for meat question, I've been thinking maybe if they run another jersey heifer through the auction then maybe I'll buy her for a future family milk cow. When I was growing up we had a Angus milk cow and she was very gentile, so I'm wondering if a Jersey can be very gentile also? I hadn't been wanting to tie myself down with a everyday chore such as this cause I like to do a lot of camping. But no more than I have been camping in the last few years maybe I should go ahead and tie myself down with such chores. Plus I would like for my kids to experience some of the stuff I did when growing up. Milking at 6:00 in the morning and evening too! Making homemade butter and cheese. Bottle feeding piglets with the extra milk! They especially need activities such as these during the summer months when there out of school.
     
  2. They come to their own name where I live. The ladies are gentle but not so for the boys!
     

  3. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    RH
    You want to be wary of dairy heifers going thru the sale. They are likely to be freemartins and will be sterile. This is a heifer born twin to a bull if you are not familiar with the term. Replacement dairy heifers are usually retained for replacing the older lower producing cows in the herd.Good day old dairy heifers will bring in the $3-400 range. You might be better off to aproach a local dairy and buying one of there older lower producing cows. She would supply more than enough milk for your family and raise her own replacement :)
    Mr. Wanda
    Mike
     
  4. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    I've milked Jerseys, Holsteins, Shorthorns, and a few of the other breeds. It's dangerous to generalize, because there are exceptions in every breed, and how they are raised is a major factor, but over all the Jerseys were my favorites. They had the best temperament. They seemed to be more 'intelligent' than the other breeds. Of course this meant they were always the first to find an open gate and other mischief. They are smaller, so it hurt less when you got stepped on or kicked, not :) .

    The major downside is they are more susceptible to getting milk fever after calving, something to be aware of and watch for.
     
  5. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    I got my milk cow today! Well, she's a baby and she's half Jersey X Angus. She is just what I was looking for (until I find out otherwise). I AI beef cattle and asked the COBA deliveryman if any of the Jersey herds ever breed to Angus. (Besides having a Jersey cow for a couple of years as a teenager to milk, we have always raised beef cattle, so I'm a little dumb when it comes to dairy cattle.) I just thought that they would have too many calves all the time and would get better money if they were a little chunkier and black when they run through the sale and really thought it was quite logical. Come to find out they keep almost all their heifers as replacements because they don't keep the cows more than 2-3 lactations. This farmer said 3 would be pushing it. It must be cheaper to feed a heifer 2 years to calving than an "older" cow gives in milk. He was having trouble getting some of his cows bred back and decided to try "more aggressive" Angus semen. He had good luck settling them this way. He has an award-winning herd so I'm told. Little Elsie's fullblood Jersey sis sold for a whopping $8,000.00. I'm confident she has good genetics on the Jersey side. The bull was a "cheap" guy, but has the highest milk EPD's of the Angus bulls COBA carries. I may get more milk than I was planning! My goal is to milk mornings only and keep a calf on her, which would be 3/4 Angus and butcher one a year. I want plenty for cheese and butter and I like my milk a little more skim than I can get with goat's milk. (I'm not giving the goat up though!) My little girl is very gentle, albeit a little scared of all the homestead critters at first, polled and black with a tad bit of white around her udder. The farmer said polled is hard to get in Jerserys, so it's not a consideration above milk quantity, but being that polled is dominant and so are Angus she has a pretty little head. He had a very nice herd, they were well kept. He said he was quite surprised to find that someone actually wanted a crossbred Jersey. I proceeded to locate one after following a link from Homesteading Today to a website somewhere whose family milked one. I hope the meat is okay, we're used to eating Hereford.
    mamagoose
     
  6. Congratulations on your milk cow. Have you named her yet?
    I am anxious to hear how she works for you. I have an Isabella who's calf is due in May. She is bred to a full jersey bull and we are hoping for a heifer for my daughter. But we have a half angus/limosine bull and that is what she will be hopefully bred back to. Then, if we have the heart, we hope that one will be a bull that we will turn into a steer for the freezer.
    We also love the taste of jersey meat, and the yellow fat doesn't bother us in the least.
    None of us in the family have any experience with milking, so this should be great entertainment for us all. But, I have wanted a milk cow for so long I just couldn't not do this just because I have no experience.
    The old owner of the cow is a wealth of information, but I hate to call her because she is so busy. I am saving my phone calls to her for emergencies.
    Keep us posted, inquiring minds love to know!

    Arkansas transplant and loving it.
     
  7. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Arkansas,

    Good luck with your cross-breeding! Is Isabella Angus?

    My new half-Jersey is "Elsie". She doesn't quite look like the old Borden commercials, being that she is black and polled. I had a real Elsie Borden cow when I was a teenager, horns and all. I would guess I wasn't so anxious at that age to milk every morning, as we only had her two years. Our family had a small herd of Ayrshires that my older brother milked daily before I turned 4-H age when we switched to the Polled Herefords. I remember mom having the counter full of those big tupperware containers of milk and was amazed how she turned it into cottage cheese and butter. Actually, I do remember helping turn cream into butter as I sat on the floor watching our B&W tv.

    I'm glad I'm not keeping a bull. Growing up we always used AI and I still breed for my father-in-law's beef herd, but he also keeps a clean-up bull. I breed a few others, which offsets the cost of my N2. My great grandfather was killed by (considered to be) a docile bull, just turned his back and the bull came at him and rammed him into the gate as he was leaving the field. A brief story of the events was posted with his obituary that I have a copy of from way back then. We've watched
    two bulls go at it from across a fence at FIL's and his neighbors.

    Ohio hills native
     
  8. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    We just got our Jersey girl, Dawn, in the middle of February and she's not due to freshen for a few more weeks, but so far, she's been a real sweetie. :)

    Her calf will be 3/4 Jersey, 1/8 Belted Galloway and 1/8 Guensey. I'm hoping for a heifer so she can replace her momma as our family milk cow in a few years.

    Since our neighbor keeps an Angus bull, I may breed Dawn back to him in the future and sell the calf if it's a bull ... I know better than to try to raise a beef cow! I'd end up with a pet steer! :eek: :no: :haha:
     
  9. Ohio,

    My Isabella is a full jersey. We bought her from a lady who has a jersey bull that bred her before we bought her.
    I read the thread on the danger of jersey bulls and told her about it but she didn't seem to worry about it too much. She is very casual with him and raised him as a newborn. I wouldn't want to be around him. And thanks for the reminder of the danger of any bull. Our bull is also "docile" but we are still very carefull. I don't go to the field without the 4 wheeler, and don't get close to him at all. The last bull out here went to the sale barn because he kept getting out, and that I am very glad about.
    About milking, we intend to keep a calf on her to keep the production of milk down for us. We still haven't figured out exactly how yet. There are lots of opinions, I am sure we'll sort it out.

    Arkansas
     
  10. JElfering

    JElfering Dairy Dreamer

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    It's a delight to read the posts. I am new to the list. We have two jersey milkers here in NE Wisconsin. One is dried up and due to freshen May 24th. Her offspring freshened February 25th and is producing up to three gallons a day with the calf on her 1/2 the day (usually at night). We hand-milk and even hand-milked at the fair as a special exhibit. My children are in 4-H and the animals are exhibited at the county fair. My son and our oldest milker received Grand Champion. The animals have been wonderful for our children. We have managed to stay natural and avoid any medical interventions. We are now up to four jerseys with the fifth on the way. Two will be lactating by summer. My husband wants to thin our mini-herd after the fair before fall sets in but we all want to see the animals go to good homesteading families. We do not keep a bull but use AI. Don't know of the disadvantages of AI but so far breeding back has not been an issue. As for being tied down, it has it advantages. However, we have been very blest with neighboring homeschool families who help when we need to go somewhere. Good luck to those of you seeking a family milk cow! It is worth it.
    Jen
     
  11. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    we have jerseys, got the first one from someone who got her as a bobby and she wasnt a free martin, gives over 5 gals of milk was bred and had calf on side. and a non related bull to boot. used bull to breed back both and put him in the freezer and he sure was good. our vet told us jersey meat is the best and ii think he is right. i say jerseys are like cats, cuddle when they wanna be onery when they wanta be. They are very smart. but may like to pretend they dont know what you want them to do. but very affectionate and playfull.