Pet Jersey

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by wvgal73, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. wvgal73

    wvgal73 New Member

    Aug 12, 2004
    I hope you all can help me, we have a very small hobby farm and mostly raise quarter horses, we have decided since our accumulation of barn yard animals have increased to start a small petting zoo for local schools to visit and learn about all our animals, the only real thing we are lacking is a cow! I have always loved the Jersey breed they are so beautiful, only i am not sure i want to get up at o'bright-thirty to milk everyday, infact i am not sure i ever want to milk one. Is if possible to raise a jersey calf and if you don't milk it then it wont produce milk?.. I know this is probably the most goofiest question on this forum, but if one of you would be so kind to further enlighten me i would appreciate it.

    thank you for your time!
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    It won't give milk unless it has a calf. Just don't let it get with a bull.

  3. bantams

    bantams Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    If you are not interested in milking your Jersey, you could get a bull calf and castrate it (a steer). You won't need to milk it, and steers can be very friendly, especially if they are bottle-fed.
    Since Jerseys have yellow fat, not many people want to raise them for meat. While a Jersey heifer might cost $500-$2000, Jersey bull calves are often given away (if they are sold, they are usually only about $30).

    Go to the Jersey directory and call around to see what the farmers do with their bull calves. If you plan on getting a new calf, just be sure to ask that he gets some colostrum before you bring him home.
  4. Another place to check is with your local extension office - a retired 4-H cow may be a good way to go (especially if she's an old "gramma" cow - already used to people and past her production prime). If you are planning a trip to the county or state fair - talk to breeders, 4-Hers, and FFAers. Just let them know that you are looking for a petting zoo animal and not a family cow.

    A bull calf would also work well - castrate him young (they are easy to deal with for a while, but when they get mean - they get MEAN fast). If he ever gets to be too much, they make good hamburger (not as much meat as a beef breed, but the closest thing flavor-wise -i.m.h.o.- is elk).

    (I miss my Jerseys - but I don't miss the milkings!)
  5. wvgal73,

    You obviously like the looks of the jersey cow. The jersey cow is renowned for it's milk producing ability. A jersey cow that is not going to be milked is a little out of place. All that milk producing equipment could cause health issues if not used.

    However, a jersey bull is equally renowned for being mean. A steer would be less likely to be mean by some degree.

    I'll beat the drum for a Dexter cow or steer instead. They are smaller, the bulls are gentler, the steers more so. They are available in a variety of styles. Since 1994, they've been available without horns (polled) or they've always been available with beautiful white with black tip horns. They are available in black, red and dun colors. They are available in long legged or short legged forms. They are available in milking or beef lines. The beef lines have smaller udders and aren't normally milked. You can even get them trained as oxen.

    I have 9 Dexters. Four of my cows and both of my bulls could go straight into a petting zoo. Only three of the cows are stand-offish. I actually have a lot of visitors who come to walk among and pet the Dexters. They're not intimidated by such small cattle.

    Go to for a list of breeders near you. Be sure and ask about gentleness, to make sure you don't get someone else's problem child.

    Dexters are usually quite reasonably priced. It usually costs about half to feed them. You'd be helping to preserve a rare breed, also.

    A number of petting zoos have already gotten Dexters. I know, because I was offered a Dexter bull from a petting zoo when even he had grown too large and was intimidating the children. He was smaller than a jersey cow, then, about 450 pounds.

    Paradise Farm
  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    You are what someone would like to find for their old milk cow. Go to one of your local fairs, put the word out. I know our first milk cow has a place here as long as she is happy and content. But at 13 she is still going strong and producing wonderful calves. Hope you can find an old barnyard queen of your own.....