Various Jersey Questions

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by CountryGoalie, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. CountryGoalie

    CountryGoalie Well-Known Member

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    What is the approximate average going price for a Jersey? We are going to begin getting raw milk from a Mennonite family that owns a dairy, but when we toured their farm we realized that their cows were mainly Jerseys (with a few Jersey/Holstein crosses in there as well). If I can convince my father that it's a good idea, I'm thinking of approaching them and seeing if they would have any stock for sale.

    I've heard quite a few people mention the idea of purchasing a cow that is no longer productive enough for the commercial dairy, but which would still produce enough milk for a small family (we're three, and if there was enough, there's also two of my grandparents). Does anyone have any experience with the going price on an older cow from a dairy?

    Also, what about breed crosses to a Jersey cow? I would assume that it would be smartest for us to breed to a Jersey bull to start off with, as this would be likely to cause the fewest complications. However, what other crosses have been tried that are not too tough on the cow? We have two Hereford beef cattle farms on either end of our road - has anyone ever succesfully crossed a Jersey cow to a Hereford bull (AI, of course)? If the resulting calf was a heifer, was it any good for milk production?

    There is also a new farm that has gone in a few streets up from us with Highland cattle, and from what I've heard from the neighbors, they are grass-raised. Has anyone ever crossed a Jersey cow to a Highland bull? And again, if the resulting calf was a heifer, was it a good producer?

    My last question isn't directly related to Jerseys but I didn't want to have to start another thread - the farmer's daughter (a friend of mine) at the dairy said that we could probably get a newborn steer to bottle-raise, for only around $10, because to them the steers are cheap, as they are only Jerseys and not a beef breed. I have heard that Jersey steers raised on their mother's milk are good eating due to the high butterfat content, but what about a steer that has been bottle-fed? As far as bottle-feeding goes, how quickly can you transition a calf over to grass?

    All right, I think that those are all of my questions at this point in time. :p Thank you all in advance for your help!
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    A bottle calf needs to be fed milk replacer 60 days. Can be weaned when they are eating grain good, and nibbling some hay or grass. Can start nibbling on grass but dairy steers in general will not do well on grass alone till they reach at least 350 pounds, 400 is better, so plan on feeding grain till then.
    Your market may be different than ours on cows, but here a 3 quarter cow that is otherwise healthy and bred back might sell for $800-$900. A dairy might consider parting with one of these, or a cow that simply doesn't produce enough volume to be profitable in a commercial operation.
    Jersey cows are surprisingly good at having calves from various breeds, but I would think angus would be a safe choice if you wish to breed her to beef.All breeds of dairy steers are acceptable fare on dinner table if raised & harvested properly........Good Luck...
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    You can pretty well breed a Jersey to a standard English beef breed, such as Angus or Hereford, without much concern about birthing. However, I would stay away from the larger European breeds such as Brown Swiss or Simintahls (sp?).

    Price is what the market is paying. If not bred they would likely go as killer (slaughter) cows, dictated by the market also.

    Right now the cattle market is high in this area. I have an old Black Jersey (looks just like a brown - only all black) with a large brown heifer calf and bred back to either an Angus or brown bull (probably the latter as he was the more sexually active of the two). Value is in the $1,200 range. She is just a calving cow for me but likely started out as someone's milk cow. Nice firm bag with finger-size tits.
     
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    I can't advise on the price you would pay for a cull cow from a dairy herd but this can be as good a way as any at starting with your first cow. Often these cows are culled and sent to the works as "boners" simply because they're production isn't up to scratch but will be fine for the family cow.

    The Angus over the Jersey produces an excellent calf and the Hereford can also be used successfully. Both these beef breeds produce small calves and this is what your looking for - easy birthing but rapid growth.

    In my opinion the Jersey makes for excellent eating and I deliberately rear a Jersey or JerseyX for our own freezer. All my calves are on grass from the day they are born and by a week old, are experimenting with it. By the time they are weaned at 8 weeks old they are eating grass, hay and chaffhage and by 12 weeks old they are on grass and hay only.

    Good luck, you can' go wrong.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  5. cdathey

    cdathey Member

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    About 2 mos ago, we just bought a Jersey/Holstein cross from a dairy. She wasn't a top producer for the dairy but healthy and friendly. She was $600. She was producing 1 1/2 to 2 gallons per day which is plenty for us (we are a family of 5). We were overflowing in the refrigerator with milk. I can't wait to see what she'll do after she freshens. We recently dried her up as she's due around Labor Day and that calf will be 3/4 Jersey.