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Finding a Guernsey heifer

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Rusty Hills Farm, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Is it my imagination, or is it really hard to find Guernsey heifers? I can buy a Jersey from my neighbor, but nobody in the whole state seems to have Guernseys. The closest I can come is a Jersey/Guernsey cross in Tennessee. Is it just the wrong time of year or are they that scarce?

    I've tried google searches, craigslist, the national breed association and....nada. Any suggestions? I'm in northern Alabama.


    [​IMG]

    Rusty

    (oh, and I'm really not ready to buy yet--I'm just curious to find some sources, both for stock AND for hands-on information about the breed.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  2. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Guernseys are a much rarer breed than Jerseys... If you want something other than a Jersey or Holstein you're going to have to search long and hard. I've never had a Guernsey, but I love my Jerseys. According to research I've done they're very similar breeds. Because Jerseys are a lot more common, you could probably get a better animal for the money. A Guernsey's going to be a few hundred dollars more just cause it's a rare breed... Just my two cents! [​IMG]
     
  3. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    I did have a Holstein for about 8 months or so before I gave her to a neighbor who raises them. She was a sweet heifer, but I needed the stall for a filly I needed to wean. And she did seem to like the neighbor's cows better than being out with my horses, so it felt like the right thing to do. The neighbor made her his 4H project. So I do like Holsteins--but they give SO MUCH milk! And I really want to make cheese, so I figure the Guernsey would be better for that. Then there is the A2 stuff--more Guernseys have the A2 protein, I believe. Anyhow, I guess I'll just keep looking. Failing the Guernsey, I can always wangle a heifer from my neighbor--he's already offered to breed an open cow to a Guernsey bull for me if I cannot find a purebred.

    [​IMG]

    Rusty
     
  4. Alabama ee

    Alabama ee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2010
    We are in N. Al too. I see them from time to time on Craigs List. I think there is JErsey on there now . We had a Jersey at one time. They have the biggest, soulful eyes. She was a very sweet pet. I could even pick up her feet like a horse! She loved neck scratches, and to be brushed.

    This is the one I saw on Craigs list:
    http://huntsville.craigslist.org/grd/2122998714.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  5. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    I've had three Jerseys and four Holsteins. I'll never get a Holstein again. [​IMG] Compared to a Jersey, they're really big (more intimidating and it REALLY hurts when they stomp on your toes...), they eat a lot more, have a lower feed to milk conversion ratio, are more high strung, have a shorter lifespan, need more TLC to keep in good condition, and their milk is not near as tasty (tastes a lot like store milk [​IMG]). And like you said their milk is not as good for making cheese and butter, but you get more of it. Also, if you breed your milk cow and she has a steer calf, Jersey beef tastes much better than Holstein (or so I've heard). I'm a big Jersey fan, but if I ever came across a good reasonably priced Guernsey, I'd snap her up in a heart beat! [​IMG] I'm not interested in any of the other dairy breeds though...

    Also, whichever animal you decide to get, make sure it's polled or de-horned. Horns on a 1000+ pound animal that you spend a lot of time around is just a liability...
     
  6. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Quote:Yep, this is the local ad I saw, too! I do have some time on this project (I have to clear more pasture first). Mostly I'm trying to get a feel for how available they are or aren't so I know what to tell my neighbor about his offer to order Guernsey semen for one of his soon-to-be-open Jerseys (he has 3-4 I believe that will calve in the spring). Naturally I'd rather have a purebred Guernsey but....well, we'll see.

    Thanks!


    Rusty
     
  7. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Quote:Boy, do I hear you about the horns! Moo was dehorned. Cannot have horns in the same or next pasture to my horses--too risky.

    Thinking ahead here, I'm considering using sexed semen on my Guernsey, raise the calf and breed her with the intention of selling her when she freshens. Being Guernsey, I'm thinking there would be a market for this? Hand milking family cows are not so easy to find, I'm thinking. If I have to go with a Jersey cross to start with, would the same game plan still work?

    Any input appreciated!

    Rusty
     
  8. Hound

    Hound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    I wanted a Guernsey but they're really really hard to find in this area. I think I may just cross Bluebell with one for a replacement heifer.

    Strangely enough a few months ago I saw a Guernsey for sale in our local free ads paper. I thought it unusual at the time, as I hadn't heard any mention of them since I left England. Anyway, at the time I didn't think we'd be getting a cow so i didn't call. As soon as I started looking for a Guernsey I found out how hard they are to find in these parts [​IMG]
     
  9. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri Ozarks
    Quote:A Jersey/Guernsey cross would be worth just as much as a non-registered Jersey, probably even more. If you introduce Holstein into the cross she'll will be worth less.

    Sexed semen is only 90% accurate. There's still a 10% chance of having a boy, just so you know. [​IMG]

    BTW, if you like Guernseys because they're more colorful than Jerseys, people have started breeding the rare spotted Jerseys, and they're becoming more popular. Our two Jersey cows are solid-colored, but the Jersey bull we kept over the summer ("for his services," LOL) had several white splashes on him, and was really pretty. I hope he passes on his color to a HEIFER calf... [​IMG]
     

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