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We may be getting another Jersey cow that is in milk!!:banana02::banana02: I am so excited I cant see straight!:D No cow will ever replace our Buttercup but it would be wonderful to be milking again and have fresh raw milk and butter to feed my family!! We found a dairy that has 6 Jersey cows for sale for $950 each. They are in milk but not bred. I don't know much beyond that. We are supposed to be getting a copy of their records today or tomorrow and hopefully we can go this weekend to check them out.

So all of that being said what questions should I ask and what should I be looking for? Any reason you wouldn't buy from a dairy? Buttercup was our fist family milk cow and some friends of ours found her for us so we didn't have to go look at her alone. We found out later that she was a hard cow to milk but since she is what we learned on we never knew the difference until we milked some easy ones at a friends house a few months ago (lol). So any thoughts on what to ask and what to look for would be greatly appreciated. Praying hard that it all works out and we will be milking again soon.

Thanks,
Rebecca
Homeschooling, Homesteading, Homebirthing mama to 6 blessings with #7 due in Jan 09
 

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Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate
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Let's look into the future a bit, OK?
You are going to need her bred at some point, right? Why not let the dairy get her bred before you haul her away. A lot easier now than for you to try to get it done later, unless you are an expert with AI?
How old are you, brown cow? A dairy makes money by selling milk. Cows are culled from a dairy for several reasons, none are good for you. Age and Health. At some point every cow stops being breed-able, due to age. If I had an older cow that had a difficult calving, ie prolapsed uterus, I'd sell her. There are several common health concerns. Top of the list would be chronic Mastitis. Ask about it and get a sample from each quarter tested.Then you have the typical lameness, blindness, digestive disorders.
Being "in milk" is great, but how long in this lactation? If everything is on the up and up, she should be in the first three months. Otherwise, why isn't she bred back? If she's in the later stages of this lactation, suspect a breeding problem.
Hard milker could be the least of your concern.
 

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And then you have the dairy farmers that aren't in it to only sell you their culls.
We sold 8 beautiful first calf heifers this year, three of them into family cow situations. One buyer just could not fathom why we would be offering her quality cows...we were fitting the cow to the need. She ended up with probably our favorite first calf heifer of the year, because she was a solid cow that didn't flinch at anything and she was going into a home with very young children that would always be in the picture at milking time and in her face.

If you are comfortable with the farmer and can trust them, the buying goes a whole lot easily. If you don't trust the farmer, then how can you trust anything they have told you?
Do not go into the situation assuming the worst. That is one of the biggest reasons dad and grandad quit selling family cows. Everyone assumed the worst because the cow was being offered for sale.
Have a good list of questions (disease history of the cow and the herd, temperament, why this particular cow is being offered for sale, milk records). See the dam line, if possible. Don't overwhelm the farmer by just shooting off question after question though. Work it into the conversation. A lot of farmers will offer up the information.
As mentioned above, though, that is how some farmers operate.
Anytime I've sold a cow from home, or from the school when I worked there, I was completely honest about issues. Cows from the school (except when they sold off) were being sold for breeding issues. One cow simply had long heats so she wasn't catching with AI. She's settled back and calved at 11 months each year when exposed to a bull since I sold her.

Though, at $950, you may be looking at culls.
 

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You are right, Dosthouhavemilk. "And then you have the dairy farmers that aren't in it to only sell you their culls."
Key word here is "only". All Dairy farmers sell their culls. They have to, it is a business and those that can't pay their way, get culled. So, in the best case situation, you are buying cows from someone that may be selling you a cull or just extra cows.
Dosthouhavemilk has the extreme benifit of being a third generation dairy person, better able to know the difference between a good milker and a cull.
Do go into a purchase expecting the worse. Buy in haste, regret in leisure.
Nice to hear of a dairy cow that was culled for breeding difficulities and turned out getting bred after all. However, I don't think I would bet $950 that it would have such a happy ending.
 
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