A MS girl with a love for Jerseys

farmerjan

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We have a couple of angus bulls that are pushing 8 years old. We have enough different places to put them with cows for breeding that I can pretty much make sure they don't breed their daughters. We run about 150 head of commercial beef cattle and I have the dairy animals "on the side" so to speak. I like my dairy animals. We keep about 8-10 bulls to use as we rent alot of "smaller pastures" ... 10-50 acres and need a bull at each that has cows to be bred. We rotate our bulls a bit too so they aren't constantly working and we have rented a few over the years to smaller farmers that have 10-20 small cow herds and don't want a bull around full time. So, using the beef bull to breed back your cows is smart. If a bull has a decent temperment, he can stay. We had one red poll bull til hje was 14 and his arthritis got to where we knew he would not be able to get up and down going through another winter. Both my son and I cried when Bubba had to go.
I get the whole "small dairy sellouts" , we have that here although maybe not quite so bad as you. As a DHIA milk tester, I have lost 10 herds in the last 2 years to selling out and 2 have quit testing. Have another couple that the owners are older, no one to take it over, and they will probably go out in the next few years. The ones staying in mostly are getting bigger.

Wish I could help you on the calves, I can come up with any number here, different stockyard sales locally 4 times a week within 50 or so miles of me. Still enough dairies for plenty of calves and many are breeding their lower end cows to angus or "black bulls" .... simmental or limousin.... as the calves bring more. Usually only breed the best cows AI and use sexed semen to get heifers out of those best cows. There are still holstein bull calves for sale but not like there used to be because there aren't as many dairies.

If you haven't found it already, try the website FTCLDF....farm to consumer legal defense fund.... it is all about protecting the farmer and has good info on small dairy operations and things. Also there is a website for REAL MILK.... Dr Weston A Price foundation. Lists alot of info on state by state for rules etc of raw milk sales. Here in Va we are not allowed to sell raw milk and cannot get any liscensing for small scale dairy without spending half the national debt. Most here do "cow shares or herd shares" so that people can get raw milk. Some states allow it, each is different. I wanted to do cow shares after I "retired" , but I am thinking that maybe not. Dealing with the public is just getting dangerous. Lawsuits and all that. We have over a million dollar liability farm policy in case anyone does stupid stuff and gets hurt or an animal gets out and gets hit by a car.... you name it.... I have a 350 gal stainless milk tank that I wanted to put on a trailer so I could move it and not have it in a stationary building.... to store the milk in so people could come get their own in their own jars.... less liability.... still might after I get my knees done and see how I feel and get along next year. I have 3 or 4 jer/hol cross heifers that are bred that will get a 2nd calf put on them this fall... plus my 2 young jersey cows are bred also.... going to have alot of cows to get calves grafted on this fall.... but the original idea was to use them for this "milk/cow/herd share" this fall. I didn't expect that the ankle replacement was going to be so successful that the knees would then hurt so much more... because the ankle doesn't hurt at all.... and am having trouble getting around with the knees. So they are this winters project.... then I might be able to get around like a normal person again and might have a better outlook on the milking cows.
Too bad we aren't closer, we might have been able to work out some sort of a partnership/deal/something since there are few that have the love of a family cow that can be a nurse cow also.... and understands the time and dedication and also accepts that they are COWS, and not make them into pets that you get over the moon about and then cannot look at them realistically. I could never take the heat in the deep south though. Our 85-95 degree days about do me in with the humidity.... Love the mountains here too.
 

Applevalley1

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We have a couple of angus bulls that are pushing 8 years old. We have enough different places to put them with cows for breeding that I can pretty much make sure they don't breed their daughters. We run about 150 head of commercial beef cattle and I have the dairy animals "on the side" so to speak. I like my dairy animals. We keep about 8-10 bulls to use as we rent alot of "smaller pastures" ... 10-50 acres and need a bull at each that has cows to be bred. We rotate our bulls a bit too so they aren't constantly working and we have rented a few over the years to smaller farmers that have 10-20 small cow herds and don't want a bull around full time. So, using the beef bull to breed back your cows is smart. If a bull has a decent temperment, he can stay. We had one red poll bull til hje was 14 and his arthritis got to where we knew he would not be able to get up and down going through another winter. Both my son and I cried when Bubba had to go.
I get the whole "small dairy sellouts" , we have that here although maybe not quite so bad as you. As a DHIA milk tester, I have lost 10 herds in the last 2 years to selling out and 2 have quit testing. Have another couple that the owners are older, no one to take it over, and they will probably go out in the next few years. The ones staying in mostly are getting bigger.

Wish I could help you on the calves, I can come up with any number here, different stockyard sales locally 4 times a week within 50 or so miles of me. Still enough dairies for plenty of calves and many are breeding their lower end cows to angus or "black bulls" .... simmental or limousin.... as the calves bring more. Usually only breed the best cows AI and use sexed semen to get heifers out of those best cows. There are still holstein bull calves for sale but not like there used to be because there aren't as many dairies.

If you haven't found it already, try the website FTCLDF....farm to consumer legal defense fund.... it is all about protecting the farmer and has good info on small dairy operations and things. Also there is a website for REAL MILK.... Dr Weston A Price foundation. Lists alot of info on state by state for rules etc of raw milk sales. Here in Va we are not allowed to sell raw milk and cannot get any liscensing for small scale dairy without spending half the national debt. Most here do "cow shares or herd shares" so that people can get raw milk. Some states allow it, each is different. I wanted to do cow shares after I "retired" , but I am thinking that maybe not. Dealing with the public is just getting dangerous. Lawsuits and all that. We have over a million dollar liability farm policy in case anyone does stupid stuff and gets hurt or an animal gets out and gets hit by a car.... you name it.... I have a 350 gal stainless milk tank that I wanted to put on a trailer so I could move it and not have it in a stationary building.... to store the milk in so people could come get their own in their own jars.... less liability.... still might after I get my knees done and see how I feel and get along next year. I have 3 or 4 jer/hol cross heifers that are bred that will get a 2nd calf put on them this fall... plus my 2 young jersey cows are bred also.... going to have alot of cows to get calves grafted on this fall.... but the original idea was to use them for this "milk/cow/herd share" this fall. I didn't expect that the ankle replacement was going to be so successful that the knees would then hurt so much more... because the ankle doesn't hurt at all.... and am having trouble getting around with the knees. So they are this winters project.... then I might be able to get around like a normal person again and might have a better outlook on the milking cows.
Too bad we aren't closer, we might have been able to work out some sort of a partnership/deal/something since there are few that have the love of a family cow that can be a nurse cow also.... and understands the time and dedication and also accepts that they are COWS, and not make them into pets that you get over the moon about and then cannot look at them realistically. I could never take the heat in the deep south though. Our 85-95 degree days about do me in with the humidity.... Love the mountains here too.
How far are you from MS? If the stockyards here had calves more than once every blue moon I would consider getting them. Even though I am not experienced with dairy cows, I have been raising bottle babies for 5yrs now and do have a good working knowledge with them. When I first started raising them, my first year I tried raising 13 throughout that whole year and lost 12 of the 13(the one I mentioned previously named brownie that had to go at 14mos when he picked me up by the butt with his horns which taught me the very valuable lesson that they are not pets and you are just a walking feed sack to them that they don't fear and when they r around ladies they don't want you in their way). By the 2nd year I finally had the calf raising figured out through trial and error and experiences. And now I haven't lost but 1(he didn't get colostrum and was free)in over 3yrs and I've had a great many. And I have a secret weapon that my husband bragged about to the dairy one day(not the actual secret, but the results)which is I have figured out how to prevent scours from ever occurring in the calves PERIOD. Never a scour, even the one that died from not getting colostrum never scoured once. But the reason I asked how far apart we are is because I don't mind driving a distance for calves as long as I can get a big enough load of them to make my trip pay for itself. And if we could get it figured out to where I could pay you in advance for the calves and your time getting them for me, I would gladly pay you for your troubles. I know you have a lot going on with your recovery and planning for another operation plus having your own livestock to tend to, so if you're not at a point to where you feel like dealing with it then I completely understand that too, but I had to ask because I REALLY want more calves. Have a great day! And thanks again!
 

farmerjan

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I am in the Shenandoah Valley on the western side of Va. I-81. Exit 200 area, so 200 miles to the sw Va/NC/Tn border on the interstate.... About an hour or so north of Roanoke.... I go to the Raleigh-Durham area of NC to the ankle Dr.... DUKE medical center area (more central part so not interstate very much) and that takes about 4 hours. I would imagine that it is at least a 10-12hr drive????? I once drove back from near Orlando Fl and it was over 13 hours if I remember.... it's been 10 years since then. I could find out where there are some dairies in NC or SC from our milk testers.... I think that you could find one closer to you and contract with them to get calves..... saves them the time and expense of taking them to a sale, and saves commission and they would get a set price. Some weeks the prices are up and sometimes they are down.,... some farms I test have someone that comes to get calves once a week.... less trouble for the farmer and they don't always get the best prices, but they figure it averages out in the long run. I would think you could find a dairy that you could work that out with.
 
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