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.
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
Lilly a sale barn rescue jersey from a year ago
Sapphire a loner Jersey
and Chloey a Brown Swiss Jersey sale barn rescue
Ginger the Jersey/Highlander/Angus/Hereford heifer
Lettie the salebarn jersey heifer
chickens and some guiny hens
house cats KC , Stinker + strays
1 cow dog X was my Moms Girl
Emmy a Fjord QH X mare
Lacy a small mare and Filly
Tiny QH Appy X
2 Porkett daughters
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?
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maggiesherd: anybody with freshening problem/answers there?
Jan 23, 2015 16:20:21 GMT -5
maggiesherd: I've tried everything. Not eating since yesterday. Calved last night. nibbles at the most. tried horse feed, alfalfa and timothy hay, vit b shots, refuses molasses water. UGH UGH UGH. EVERY freshining is a PROBLEM. Could she be ketotic???
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Lee and Lynn: Nor'easter getting strong here!
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This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'