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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a stupid question . When is a cow too old, we have had a couple of people with milk cows for sale , but they are like 12 years old. That seems old to me. I am not in the position really to buy one yet, but I would like to be prepared when I am. Thanks so much for any help anyone can give :):cow:
 

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A rancher friend of mine has had several cows over the years that continued to produce nice calves yearly into their early 20's, so I wouldn't necessarily dismiss a 12 or 13 year old milker.
 

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Age is not an issue I would put first. I would put health and udder attachment first. DH's family had a 27 year old cow, she was retired from milking at 25 because of a hard calving at 21. They just couldn't sell her after 19 nice calves from her.

Patty.
 

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Sabrina,
We do not push our cows here on our farm. One thing I have noticed about jerseys with age is they tend to have hip and rear leg issues. They get real creaky hips and tend to roll back on their rear hocks when gettting older. But, a cow with a good steep hoof angle and a real posty leg will last real good.
Bob
 

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I just bought a thirteen year old bred Dexter. She looks like she's four! Has had a calf every year with no problem and I expect to get at least three more calves before I need to worry. These girls seem to live a loooong time with a productive life. So 12 isn't necessarily too old. Karla
 

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There is a big difference in how long a cow will stay healthy on a dairty farm at age 12 vs a family cow at age 12. I bought Lucy when she was 12 (just this year) and the whole point of them selling her was that as she gets older the younger cow will push her around more and more. This way she has it a lot easier, no fighting for food and lots of love and attention. We are keeping her heifer too and when old enough she will replace Lucy as the milker and Lucy will become the companion. They get lonely all alone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am just so confused , lol The Jersey, who is 12, just freshened, she is on a dairy and looks to be sound and looks bright eyed and healthy. I am also going to look at her again today. He wants 800 for her and I have no idea if that is even a good price.
I think I may have a nervous breakdown before the day is over,LOL Who in the world gets in such a tither over a cow..:)
 

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I am just so confused , lol The Jersey, who is 12, just freshened, she is on a dairy and looks to be sound and looks bright eyed and healthy. I am also going to look at her again today. He wants 800 for her and I have no idea if that is even a good price.
I think I may have a nervous breakdown before the day is over,LOL Who in the world gets in such a tither over a cow..:)

Me! I do or I did! The price depends upon your area. Around here...people would be lining up to buy that jersey. Do not forget to find out if she can only be milked by machine. Especially if you plan on hand milking! A frustrated kicking cow can be more than a handful.
 

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Here in NE Okla, I would suspect, if one found a milker that old, she would be around 1/2 that. Milk cows are rather hard to find here just anywhere, even holsteins. AND, people dont let them get real old either,
 

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I'm going to go against the consensus of opinion here and say that I wouldn't even look at buying a cow that old. I have cows in my herd that old but I reared them from calves which is slightly different from buying in somebody elses old cow. They have already given me 10 calves, 1,000's of litres of milk, I know them and know what problems to look for and deal with.

While cows can and do live into their 20's, the average lifespan of a cow is between 13 and 15 years of age. By that stage they are often showing foot, leg, hip, spinal and udder problems and the costs of keeping them in good health outweigh the value of the cow and her production. Emotionally is can be hard too - you buy in this lovely old cow and 2-3 years later she's had it.

My advice would be to spend your hard earned dollars doing one of two things - or both. Buy a calf and rear her yourself. This way your going to get a friend who does you well for the rest of her life. Sure, it means waiting 2 years before you can milk her but believe me, the waiting is worth it. Or, buy in an in-calf heifer and spend time with her so that by the time she calves the pair of you have a rapport and again, she will do you well for a long time to come.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, we are going to get the Jersey, The Swiss were just too big and really not as tame as I needed. I know she is older, but she is in very good shape and has had a very good health and calving record. Wish me luck and I am so grateful for all the help and advice.You guys are so helpful, its like having an interactive information center at your fingertips.
We go get her on Monday so I will be getting the barn ready for her today, I am so nervous :) Thanks again.
 

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I'm going to go against the consensus of opinion here and say that I wouldn't even look at buying a cow that old. I have cows in my herd that old but I reared them from calves which is slightly different from buying in somebody elses old cow. They have already given me 10 calves, 1,000's of litres of milk, I know them and know what problems to look for and deal with.

While cows can and do live into their 20's, the average lifespan of a cow is between 13 and 15 years of age. By that stage they are often showing foot, leg, hip, spinal and udder problems and the costs of keeping them in good health outweigh the value of the cow and her production. Emotionally is can be hard too - you buy in this lovely old cow and 2-3 years later she's had it.

My advice would be to spend your hard earned dollars doing one of two things - or both. Buy a calf and rear her yourself. This way your going to get a friend who does you well for the rest of her life. Sure, it means waiting 2 years before you can milk her but believe me, the waiting is worth it. Or, buy in an in-calf heifer and spend time with her so that by the time she calves the pair of you have a rapport and again, she will do you well for a long time to come.

Cheers,
Ronnie
Well spoken, Ronney.
"A heifer has a future."
Well worth the higher initial investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well we can hope to get a heifer calf to put on her, as of now this is what we can find in our price range, :) WIsh me luck, and hopefully she will do well for us.
 

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If she's good and healthy, you got a bargain........
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Brought her home today, she is so sweet. She gave 2 gallons of milk..I was so surprised because she had really ben through alot. The Dairy we bought her from is a small family one and they awere happy she was going to ao family. She was their favorite cow. They are going to come and AI her when she comes in, so that is nice . I will try to post pics tomorrow.
 

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Sabrina, I really do have to ask this. If she was their "favourite" cow, why were they selling her?

While I recognise that there are going to be price variances between the States and NZ coupled with the availability of cows, I would think $800 was a lot of money to pay for a cow of that age. Cows that age are commercially well past their use-by-date and most end up at the works as boner cows where they may fetch $400.00, if a Jersey, probably less. I'm sure she is a lovely cow and I can only hope that she gives you a good run for your money. But everybody has to start somewhere and if this is it for you, I sincerely hope it all turns out well.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 
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