What type of cow?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CarlaS, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. CarlaS

    CarlaS Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2011
    I want to get a dairy cow but don't know what type. I was thinking Jersey but not sure. It'd be nice if it was small, good producer, and cold-hardy. Please help.
     
  2. BuffyGRL

    BuffyGRL Chillin' With My Peeps

    My grandpa raised jersey cattle for over 50 years, they were gentle, good mothers, good milk producers, and best of all is the meat. I can't say one bad thing about Jersey cattle. He raised the miniature rabbit-eyed Jerseys so the food consumption was decreased versus a larger dairy cattle. I grew up around them and I guess I am partial to them. The bulls don't get really aggressive and the heifers calved well. The difficult thing now is finding quality pure bred jerseys that aren't crossed with something else.

    Hope that helps

    [​IMG]
     
  3. CarlaS

    CarlaS Out Of The Brooder

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    That's very helpful!! Thank you so much!!!
     
  4. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    For the home cow, a Jersey is one of the best - they are small and easy to handle. They produce large quantities of milk.
     
  5. CarlaS

    CarlaS Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you know how much a good jersey calf would cost, roughly?
     
  6. BuffyGRL

    BuffyGRL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depends on the age, bloodline, etc. At the market most cows are bringing close to .80 to 1.00 per pound. Some Breed quality can go for as much as $2500.00. Its a large range from what I know. You may be able to find one for $200.00 to $400.00. Where are you located?
     
  7. CarlaS

    CarlaS Out Of The Brooder

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    Mn
     
  8. BuffyGRL

    BuffyGRL Chillin' With My Peeps

    I guess it would all depend on the age and what prices are like in your area. Sometimes I have found decent ones on craigslist for sale. The livestock market locally has them many times. If you want a pet that gives great milk and has all those qualities maybe just do some research online about Jersey cattle then look around locally to see what you might be able to find
     
  9. lasergrl

    lasergrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dexters are another great choice. Depends how much milk you really need. Can you use 8 gallons a day? You have to feed them alot to get alot of milk. Dexters dont give as much but they eat alot less. They are generally very mellow, and very cold/moisture tolerant.
     
  10. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri Ozarks
    Definitely get a Jersey! [​IMG] Can't think of a single bad thing about them... Except the Jersey bulls I've known have been aggressive (compared to our Angus bulls who are really mellow). The Jersey cows are sweethearts.

    A good healthy Jersey heifer calf that is about a week old (and would need to be bottle fed for a few months) goes for about $250-$300 in my area, depending on quality. Probably more if it included papers. A GOOD cow goes for about $1000-$1200. Closer to $1500 if you want the papers.

    If I were you, I'd skip the weanling, breeding age, and bred heifers. They need to be trained to the milking routine. Keep in mind they are big animals, training them is not for the average novice. Your best bet would be to get a good calm cow, who has had at least one calf before and knows the milking routine and is currently giving milk. That way you can start milking her twice a day every day and get a relationship going right from the start. Don't get a bred cow that's not lactating. When a cow calves her maternal instincts are very strong. Her first priority will be her calf. You want to have had built up a good relationship with her well before she calves. A "good relationship" definitely includes milking, not just petting and treats. She needs to be able to trust you to treat her calf well and to know how to milk. Right after a cow calves the udder is tight, swollen, and painful. This is NOT the time to learn how to milk.

    Second choice to a well seasoned good cow in milk would be a bottle calf. By the time she calves at two years old you'll be very comfortable around each other and the calving and training process should go smoothly. However, you will have to wait two years before she has her first calf and starts giving milk.

    I don't want to scare you away from getting a milk cow, it's definitely a very rewarding experience! But I would like to help steer you away from some of the most common beginner's mistakes. [​IMG]

    Currently we're milking two Jersey cows, "Jenny" and "Olga." "Lizzy," Olga's daughter, will be having her first calf this fall, so then we'll be milking three. We have been milking up to five cows at once, but have downsized since (didn't like the Holsteins!). Our Jersey cows have given about 6-8 gallons daily right after calving. After several months they'll level out to about 3-4 gallons a day and will keep this up for a couple years or more (assuming they're well fed), until they get to the mid-stage of pregnancy when the hormones start kicking in. By the time they're 7-8 months pregnant they'll be down to 2-3 quarts a day, at which point you can dry them up.

    BTW, a quick cow fact... A "cow" is a female bovine that has had a full-term calf. A "heifer" is a female bovine that has not yet had a full-term calf. [​IMG]

    Feel free to PM me with any other cow questions. I love talking about cows! [​IMG]
     

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