Jerseys and expense questions

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Momof8kiddoes, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    Hey there all,
    going over things here...wondering this,
    Does the milk and calves from a jersey outway the cost of feeding one, in your opinion?
    Honestly, its tight right now for us, and while I want one...I want to make sure we can at least get enough out of her to make it worth the money we put into her...kwim?
    What say you?
    Mary F.
     
  2. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Some commercial dairies give numbers at over $16 per CWT to produce milk (about 11.6 gallons) and others give costs as low as $3 per CWT.

    Out here at Wolf Cairn Moor a 12 CWT round bale of hay delivered to the homestead costs $28 to $40. A Jersey will eat such a bale in about 48 days, or about $.70 a day for hay.

    The same cow will each 8 pounds of barley a day in two portions at milking time. At $240 a ton delivered she would be getting $.96 a day in Barley.

    Her calf, if it's a male, will pay for her AI, or if it's a female, it will bring nearly as much as the cow; by the second heifer your cow is paid for.

    It ought to cost around $600 a year to keep a cow in a small yard supplying all of her feed.

    The average family of 4 is said to spend around $1200 a year on dairy products.

    A good Jersey will give 5 or 6 gallons of milk a day and a homesteader can sell half to their neighbors. Our Lucy is giving about 6 gallons a day right now and is increasing a bit each day. We sell half of her milk a $2.50 a gallon to heritage food folks. When Lucy dries up we have other Jerseys coming into milk for our use and for market.

    At 3 gallons sold per day, or $7.50 worth of milk, a couple of Jerseys will give the homesteader an income of over $2,700 a year to help offset the $1200 cost of feeding them and the 3 gallons a day in milk for home use are the bonus.

    As I said above, the figures can vary for everyone, but we've had our Jersey cows for a year now, and I can but look at what they have done for us and what they have cost to keep.
     

  3. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    if you buy bulk feed its cheeper and the mills will even grind hay and mix it in to your feed. the feed we are getting it about half price of what the local farm store sells, and we feed it to chickens as well. we put up our own hay, so there is the cost of equipement, but we plan to do custom hay as well, and we can always get money back if well sell it, so hay is pretty much free cept for labor.
    we eat a lot more dairy products now then we did before, and less of the other stuff, i have a glass of milk or some fresh yogurt instead of a prepackaged snack, we are saving about half on our grocery bill. and we are drinking about a gallon of milk a day now. which would really cost a fortune now. thats not counting what i use to make chees and yogurt. i have neighbors that recieve product and reimburse me for washing the containers so to speak. and that pays for the feed for the whole farm. but i wouldnt do that unless you really trust whom will be borrowing your pitchrs. :D
     
  4. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    Gosh, that is alot better than I thought it would be...I was thinking Id be IN the hole each month by about $50. What does CWT mean...Im thinking cubic weight ton? (dont laugh if Im wrong...Im such a baby in this all
    Let me tell you what I know right now, bounce this off of you. :D

    A 1600lb bale of alfalfa runs me about $80. How long would that last for one jersey cow (in milk)?
    Would I also feed a grass hay (also runs about $80 for 1600). Im in Co, so I dont know if this is crazy priced..its just that we are JUST coming out of a terrible drought right now.
    I have 40 acres, with brahma grass on it (but it wont be green till June-August).
    Dont know if any of this will make a difference, but wanted to throw it out there.

    Also, on the bulk feed...where do you store that much? I dont have anything right now, so Im wondering what I would need to get?

    Y'all are awesome :worship: lol Thanks for the advice here!
    Mary F.
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    C=Roman Numeral for 100, Wt is weight, CWT. Costs do vary, some guys do very well, while others are always battleing to stay alive. It depends on management, what you feed, how much your looking for, etc etc. For instance, after calculating what an animal needs, depending on your forage quality. Dry Matter Intake (DMI) can determine grain needs. A nutrionist I talked with said, the average grain consumption (highly dependant on feed quality) is 1lb of grain to 4lbs of milk produced. That is what she said, now if you get into calculating NEL (Net Energy Lactation) then figuring your NEM (Net Energy Maintainence) you can figure how much grain you need to make up for what your lacking. However this one nutritionist said "they" don't use that as much as figuring dry matter intake, etc. Now I list this because this is what most farmers have to figure in, some don't get into that as much. But it is interesting, because it can give you a general idea how much grain you may need. Now, for homsteaders, individual cows, your pet/milker. Those calculations are important, but aren't necessary. You still need to feed grain, but the quantity wouldn't be as much. If your selling the milk, you can make a decent profit from that cow, simply because the money made is paying for her feed, and care. But lets figure in some basic costs.


    Traditional costs (organic is slightly higher)

    Grain/ton $250.00 (price locally)
    Electricity (this cost can range, but if your milking one cow and if your hand milking, the only cost will be the power to heat the water to sanatize the equipment, and to cool the milk (your refrig.)
    Teat dip
    Vet cost? This varies, some use a vet often, some rarely need one.
    Feed cost, round bales or square bales. Prices are all over the place, some square is 1.25, some is 3.00. You want quality feed, high price won't determine quality. But good quality hay will help.

    There are other little things, but one cow isn't costly to run, even a small herd isn't overly costly if managed properly. The biggest thing that hurts a farmer is when the milk price dips, and they have loans to pay off, plus farm expenses. Remember, you want to make a profit per cow.



    Jeff
     
  6. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    I just paid 150.00 for 2,000 pound of corn meal. I was feeding 20 % but am getting more butterfat with the corn.

    I store our feed in our feed room. Basically a small room with a door to store well....grain. I also use it to store tack until I worm my way into a tack room :rolleyes:

    I see no need to buy anything but plan old grass hay which should be alot cheaper than alfalfa. Alfalfa is feed her to high producing or animals being pushed. It is fed in limited quanities.


    My Black Baldy is eating 2 scoops a milking of corn meal and all the hay she wants. Fresh water all the time and a mineral block. She gives me 4-5 gallons a day. With that we have all the milk we need for a family of 6 big milk drinkers, all the butter we need to. When I skim the milk for the buter fat we either drink the milk , give it to the chickens or the cats. Excess whole milk is fed out to the calves. I need to start making some cheeses soon.

    I can tell you milking by hand will give you excellant arm tone! No 30 year old looking arms here ! I have muscle tone were I did not know I had muscle :rolleyes: It will be nice when summer comes and my arms look better than the 20 year olds who walk around thinking they are sooo cute :haha:
     
  7. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    You are talking about the large square bales that weight 1600#, right? We are paying 150 per ton ballpark for good alfalfa at our dairy, so it should be fairly reasonable, grass hay generally is cheaper. I believe the horse market drives up grass hay. The cow will probably eat a slab or two a day so between the two it will last till the grass greens up. You may want to continue to feed the alfalfa while the cow is on grass. Our cow was easily broke to being tied to a 20 foot rope and grazed a tight circle, with a bushel basket/muck bucket type of water tank. This greatly reduced cost and the cow will clean the pasture better than free range. Most feed stores will carry cracked corn, general minerals, and different protein supplements in 50 # bags . They are fairly easier to store if you lack room. Old freeezers or refrigerators can work . If you use them drill out the locks and allow air holes in case someone plays in one and gets trapped. People usually give them away or there could be a bunch by the landfill.Our cows on peak performance get one big scoop (8-10 #) of corn, half a scoop of 34% protein pellet, and a handful of mineral, at each milking. We tried to add vegetable oil because the cow was so thin from milking her little 900# tail off , but did not see any benifit. Depending one the cows milking ability, your familys need or desire, and local cost things can break even. If the cow raise a couple of calves then it can be even better if you have one processed for meat since it is so dang expensive in the store. Beside what family couldn't use another 200#s of hamburger??? Best of luck
     
  8. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    We sell our 2nd cutting grass hay for 3.75 bale early in the season, then drop it down to 3.25, if we need to get rid of it. Our customers are horse people, so as evermoor said, the horse market drives it up. All but one of our customers own horses. One feeds race horses. Alfalfa I sold last year @4.25 bale, 2.75 for 1st. These bales are 50lbs or so. I feed a 1/2 bale per cow, the bales are compact. So our prices are actually very reasonable. Anyone who buys these, finds "There is A LOT of hay", they are saving money because their animals clean their feeders, and they are getting a lot of hay per bale. I weighed a cube the other day, they are 5lbs a piece, this was alfalfa so not sure what grass is, probably 3-4lbs.

    So bale cost can vary based on bale size, and quality. It is very frustrating trying to sink the point THE BALES COST MORE BECAUSE THEY ARE DENSE. Sometimes some people either have to try it, or remain dense :p, but this is why I am going to start milking, tired of dealing solely with people. It is beyond important to feed good quality feed, it will determine grain intake.

    But patty isn't that corn meal the best stuff? We mix it with our haylage, and they do well off of it. It averages out to 1.5lbs per heifer. Come to think of it, corn meal is very high in energy, .92 Mcal/ NEL.. Not sure of your scoop size, but if it was 3lbs, thats 12lbs of corn meal. That is 11.04Mcal NEL, nice shot of energy :). If it's a 5lb scoop, multiply .92x20..


    Jeff
     
  9. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a note here....if you feed alfalfa to a Jersey when she's due to freshen, it contributes to milk fever - it's too rich and will give her more calcuim than she needs....I think that's right. If she's due to freshen, stop the alfalfa at least a month beforehand. At least...that's what we've been told....people here can correct me if I am wrong....

    We have a bull calf on our Jersey right now too and are getting about a gallon a day, on a good day. It's still enough for our small family and to make yogurt and butter.

    She's an excellent addition to our farm family!
     
  10. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    When my cow still had her calf on her she gave 2 gallons extra a day. I do add a little alfafa hay because I have it . I would not just go and buy it.

    The farm next store feeds all the hay they want the corn meal with a bit of 20% and a bit of soy. He gets very good money because his butterfat is so high. I cannot feed that combo or snow will just pick out the 20% and make a mess. Her butter fat has increased since being on just corn.
     
  11. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    the feed mill is where we are gettiing feed. its about 2.bucks or less per bushel(apx 55 # for whole corn) they will crack for a fee, and about 7 per 100# for the dairy mix(16-18% protein oats corn molases mix) but you have to buy at least a ton, we just bought a auger wagon to haul and unload it where we want it, before we just had them fill up bed of truck and we unloaded by hand, we got theese huge canvas bags that hold about a ton each from our neighbor, but barrells work as well as a room in a barn or build a little wood shed or you can find those metal round grain bins cheap at auction sometimes if you take apart and move them.
     
  12. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have Dexters instead of Jerseys so they don't milk as heavy but otherwise similar requirements. We buy 5X5 big bales of good mixed grass with a lot of clover in it every year. I estimate they weigh 1000-1200 pounds, we paid $25.00 each, in the field. I buy them from a neighbor less than 1/2 mile down the road. We take the tractor, truck and a trailer. I load 3 bales on the trailer and bring 1 home on the tractor, unload and make another trip, it takes about 25-30 minutes per trip. I sit each bale on a pallet, that saves a lot of hay. I had 6000 pounds of cracked corn delivered Friday. Corn, cracking, and delivery (augured into my bin) was $325.00. My bin has a 4 ton capacity, is on legs and has a slide gate on the bottom. I set a 5 gallon bucket there, crack the gate and mix in a scoop of dried molasses as the corn fills the bucket. I offer white salt and loose mineral free choice at all times. During the winter we also keep a molasses lick tub available at all times. My animals seem to winter well and drop healthy calves on this.