Some basic jersey questions for you.

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Mountaineer, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I'm back... I have a few more questions regarding cattle- jerseys in general in case it makes a difference.
    I'm still researching livestock that can graze my field, be reasonably easy to maintain, not incredibly costly, but rewarding at the same time (I know.....fat chance).... I'm thinking jerseys because they are smaller, and because I would pick them up young, raise them and sell them at a year or 2- as homestead milk cows. They aren't any in these parts, hopefully they'll sell!
    Browsers won't work, I need it clipped tighter. The field is reed canary, timothy and clover, plus some weeds (thistles, knottweed and a little buttercup, almost none). Then cottonwood saplings and poplar saplings in spots. It grows SO FAST!!! Faster than most of you will imagine. Higher water table, rich soil, the pasture never turns brown in summer it just keeps growing green.
    OK the questions...
    Would 3 jersey cows keep 10 acres down?
    Or a 5 acre pasture then 5 acre hay field for winter (60% goes to the hay guy)
    Will coyotes attack adult cattle?
    Do they need hay in summer if on a good pasture too?
    How many round bales per head, over a 6 month frozen/dead pasture season?
    What if I wanted to go away for 2-3 days? So long as they aren't producing milk- can they be left alone at all?
    I could/would have someone check on them, but in the event I can't....

    Thanks for any help. I appreciate your honesty! I don't want to get in over my head.
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    1Thought- I would not limit yourself to only Jersey. There are many breeds of cattle that are good, and that will sell as cows.
     

  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I have seen 1 guernsey/calf for sale this year. I picked them due to their ease of aquiring. Calves are sold quite cheap in spring. I also like the idea of raising them with the idea of them likely going to homes where they will be pets.
    I'd rather try something smaller but there just isn't anything. I've never done anything larger than turkeys so size would be an asset!
     
  4. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I have seen 1 guernsey/calf for sale this year, but they are uncommon. I picked the jersey due to their ease of aquiring. Calves are sold quite cheap in spring. I also like the idea of raising them with the idea of them likely going to homes where they will be pets.
    I'd rather try something smaller but there just isn't anything. I've never done anything larger than turkeys so size would be an asset!
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I would suggest you try to define your objective. It seems to be the offering of a Jersey springer (or cow/calf) to home milkers. Question then comes how to do so in an efficient manner.

    If there are no Jerseys offered in your area it is likely it is due to there not being any Jersey dairies in your area. That then becomes a problem in sourcing. You may have to travel several hundred miles to obtain your seed stock, so to speak. If at an livestock auction you stand the chance of being outbid. Thus, you would likely have to find purebred Jersey dairies you can buy from directly, and even there they may breed a heifer to an Angus or such, then hope to keep future heifers as milk line replacements.

    Assuming you do find bottle calves. They will be at least four months old before they start to nipple pasture in any significant degree. Then, if bred at one year old (and just how do you intend to breed them) they won't consume much pasture as a yearling.

    You might get by with two acres subdivided into four paddocks and then use the rest for hay.

    Actually you might consider Boar goats. There seems to be a steady market for meat goes now.
     
  6. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    (I tried to edit/clarify my post and it doubled up...)
    Thanks Ken. There are several dairies 100 miles from here and they do sell them off cheap. For some reason, there are no milk breeds locally. Lots of hereford and some charolais. And angus.
    I have a couple books now on goats/dairy goats. I was quite interested in them, but seems they won't make efficient use of my luch pastures- more likely to escape into the neighbors brush lot. I wa also assuming cattle would be less prone to coyotes. They aren't terribly bad but they do come through and steal my ducks. Part of this is to help maintain and efficiently use my pasture.