We have had a jersey cow for 2 years and we love her. We are now ready to purchase cow #2. What we have found thus far is a 3 month old Brown Swiss from a dairy that is going out of business and selling their stock. Would ya'll give me some advice? Pros and cons of Brown Swiss. Possible problems from being bred for dairy production? Mom has already been sold so I can't look there. The age is not a huge factor. We are not desperate for milk right now and we have grass to offset some feeding cost. The cost is negotiable starting at $300. What do you think?
If the heifer is healthy and conformationally correct (good legs/feet, nicely shaped and spaced teats, etc.) it sounds like a good price.
Brown Swiss are generally BIG cows, think a Holstein-sized cow with Jersey coloring. They are supposed to have excellent longevity. I've also heard that they can be slower to mature and some herds breed so they calve at 3 years old (vs. the standard 2 years old for other dairy breeds).
If you are willing to raise and train a heifer, who will probably turn out to be a very large cow, and wait a good while for milk, it could be a good purchase to make.
Isabelle, 15 year old Guernsey cow
Clovis, Jersey bull calf born 6/2/2012
Post by BissyAndBessie on Nov 5, 2009 8:43:31 GMT -5
Make sure she has been tested for all the usual stuff. Also that she isn't a freemartin.
"Lord please help me be the person my dog thinks I am" Servant to Jesus Christ Wife to John, the best "DH" in the whole world!! Mom to 4 home schooled kids 12 chickens 2 dogs Java, and Bumble Bee 2 LGD Eddie and Pyrta 2 donkeys: Eyore,and "Donkey Hoetee"
Post by donahue12inchrist on Nov 5, 2009 9:05:45 GMT -5
Yeah, freemartin, lol, ask me how I know. We have a wonderful Brown Swiss here that we bought as an untested 3 mo. Unfortunately she is a freemartin (twin to a bull = 85% chance of being sterile) so the children ride her. Don't let anyone tell you that they "did the probe test" and they know she's not a freemartin either. A blood test can tell you for sure.
It looks as though your family could assimilate the quantity of milk a Brown Swiss would give, so if you like the larger size cow (a plus for taller milkers) then I's say do it.
Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.
I have a pure bred brown swiss cow. I absolutely love her! She is large....1600 lbs. She does like to eat alot, but I think for the amount of milk she produces it's a fair trade. Brown swiss cows have a very high protein milk which makes excellent cheese if you're into that. Poppy's milk is yellowish in summer and more whitish in winter. I wouldn't trade her for anything and I would definitely buy another BS! I also have a Jersey cow and have absolutely nothing against Jerseys, but I think it is kind of neat having a cow that not alot of people own. At least in South Dakota that is!
I have a lot of swiss and just love them they are laid back kind of cows, Aggie whom I am milking for me gives me a gt of cream per gal of milk, way more then my jersey, they are a high protien breed for cheese, the cream is not as heavy as jersey but makes excellent butter and they come in all sizes, I have 2 at a little over 1000 lbs and 2 that are holstien size and 1 inbetween they can be chunky monkeys or tall and lean, just depends on how they are bred, look at the other cows at the dairy udders and such as that will tell you what they breed for, I buy bull calves from a dairy that has all beautiful cows excellent udders excetera so I would not hesitate to buy a heifer from them Suzanne
2 children Steven and Leila
Brown Swiss Jersey X Cocoa
chickens and some guiny hens
house cats KC , Stinker + strays
LaMachin , and a Alpine nanny goats 1 sheep
1 cow dog X was my Moms Girl
Emmy a Fjord QH X mare
Porkett a blue butt sow
and the ever changing
Thank you all for your advice. I'll keep reading, but I felt like things were positive enough to call and schedule to go look. I did ask about her being a twin. He said they generally sold all bull/heifer twins for beef, but he would check before we arrived. I'm looking for general good health, good bone structure, and teat spacing . . . anything else? Would a dairy have records of maternal performance and maternal size?
moserfam6: I am in the Kansas City area and need some comfrey to make a poultice and/or feed to a cow that broke her leg. Anyone know where I can find some comfrey?
Dec 7, 2013 17:44:35 GMT -5
jettat: Need help yearling bull calf got into pig food sometime since yesterday and is down with diarrhea. Vet didn't come out but said only thing to do is give it Kaopetric (SP) but don't give us much hope. Any suggestions would be a big help.
Dec 8, 2013 15:26:03 GMT -5
hroewe: Just finished Joann's book. It was fantastic!
Dec 12, 2013 23:11:17 GMT -5
milkingoneand: Contact me off group and let me know exactly what you're looking for as I'm currently looking at heifers ready to breed soon. I have a couple of farm visits on my list, and might be able to help you out.
Jan 31, 2014 14:24:44 GMT -5
brassj41: Good morning folks!
Feb 1, 2014 7:52:41 GMT -5
brigitte: Contact me by PM I have a fancy MS registered heifer 10 months old
Feb 2, 2014 20:11:38 GMT -5
fordkevint: Hello, I am looking for a family milk cow in Southern KS this spring. Anyone have a reference out there?
Feb 13, 2014 10:59:18 GMT -5
littlebirddog: Getting some calves ready to be weened any good ideas
Feb 14, 2014 12:33:01 GMT -5
whitegas: I'm looking for our first family milk cow. We live in Michigan. Anyone have suggestions of where to find one?
Feb 16, 2014 20:02:00 GMT -5
FarmBoy66: Littlebirddog, get them started on grain, free choice. They also need to have water. Try to get them interested in it and then in small steps start taking their milk away. They should be fully weaned in about 2 weeks or so
Feb 17, 2014 20:21:25 GMT -5
fairfarmhand: I love this place. No one else, even my husband understands why I'd do all the work, spend all the money, just to milk a cow.
Feb 19, 2014 14:29:45 GMT -5
frauline214: oI am new to forum. I have a jersey/beef cow cross who is due to calve shortly. I plan on adding other calves to her after she calves. This is a first time freshener and she has been raised to let me milk her. Any suggestions how many calves I can add?
Mar 2, 2014 19:10:43 GMT -5
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