Jerseys and extra calves?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Meg Z, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I had been wanting to get a milk cow, but hubby is deploying again soon, and I'm overwhelmed as it is. We do have pasture that needs a grazing animal, since the goats aren't much help on that score.

    So, if I got a Jersey in the spring, and put an extra calf on her, would I still need to milk her, or would a pair of calves be enough? I assume her milk would adjust, but want to check. I figured if I did this, when hubby got back the next year, I'd already have a milk cow on the place, and something would have been grazing the pasture, and been productive while doing it...with less work from me than milking her next year would be.

    An alternative would be getting a couple bottle calves to raise, but that would involve too much extra work for next spring, I think.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. I'm not even sure I could find a Jersey willing to take on an extra calf, but Mom had one that would, so I know it's possible, at least.

    :shrug: Decisions, decisions!
    Meg
     
  2. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Meg if you had a Jersey could you handle once a day milking? What you have in mind will work, assuming that you have a cow that will adopt a calf. This may take a little assistance on your part for the first few days, until she accepts the calf. After that you could seperate them at night, milk in the morning and then let them run together and graze all day. Some cows can produce enough milk for the house and 2 calves, it all depends on the cow. So what your thinking can be done. I would strongly suggest that you milk out at least once a day so you can make sure your cow doesn't get mastitis. Besides, milking time is a very relaxing time for most.

    Would that type of schedule work for you until you DH comes home?
     

  3. petefarms

    petefarms Well-Known Member

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    some jereys will and some will not accept an extra calf. I've got a few jerseys and do that type of thing. Once the calf is big enough to suck the mother out all by herself, about a month old, the only time you milk the cow is if you want the milk for yourself. I don't grain them much early on enough to keep them looking healthy, and the amount depends on the individual cow. If you get an extra calf, and the mother doesn't accept the calf, it will become more work for you, buying milk replacer or milking the cow and feeding the calf the milk. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    I have a black baldy who is now feeding 3, 4-5 month old calves. I would see about putting several calves on her. Then sell off the extra calves come fall. Once you get used to milking it will take only 20-30 mins , really not to much time.


    Patty
     
  5. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some jerseys give more milk than others. If your Jersey is producing 3-4 gallons per day, she can support at least three calves. Smaller calves, such as Jerseys, don't need nearly as much milk as holsteins. If you let your cow raise several calves at a time, you will have to keep the calves in a pen and turn your cow in twice a day. If one of the calves is her's, she will probabaly stand while nursing the brood, if she has grain. You might have to put her in a stanchion at first, until she gets used to nursing several calves at a time. It all depends on the temperment of the cow. We have had cows that would stand without restraint, and we have had some that needed to be put in the stanchion every time the calves nursed.
     
  6. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    So, it's possible, IF I get the right cow. :cow:

    Hmmmm.

    Unfortunately, my schedule changes each semester, and it's hard to predit. I had to go to once a day milking on the goats this semester.

    Part of the problem is I have to be wary about adding any extra chores. I already have the livestock (dairy goats, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, angora rabbits) the property (the yard takes about 8 hours to mow each week), the house (which is dire straits right now, and is my goal for this weekend) and I'm a full-time grad student/grad assistant, so I'm taking three classes (at night, which is why once a day milking), and teaching two classes and tutoring days. :nerd: The mowing is supposed to be hubby's chore, but it'll be mine now. Along with the vehicle maintenence and other chores of his.

    I may be better off burning the pasture off this winter, and planning on doing it again the following winter, rather than get a grazer on it. I won't be home enough to put calves on a cow several times a day. I'm probably asking for trouble if I try this now. I should just wait another year, and do what I can in the meantime to keep the pasture usable. I'll finish grad school Dec. 06 and hubby will retire the following spring, so won't be deploying anymore. I'll just have to be patient. :rolleyes:

    Anyone need a place to graze a couple sheep? :eek:

    Thanks for all the input. It's appreciated
    Meg
     
  7. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    A local farmer may hay the fiels on halfs. Half the hay for you half for him. Its worth asking.


    Patty