Hello friends! We have the opportunity to add an American milking Devon as our family milk cow. Here’s my current pros and cons list and a few questions for anyone who has had the breed.
Starting with the cons - I have a family of 11 and I’m concerned we won’t have enough milk and cream (for lots of coffee 😂). - price may be higher, not sure yet
Pros - the breeder feeds only grass and the cows, which are lactating have terrific body conditions. The breed seems very hardy. - the frame is smaller than my jersey and even though they have horns I felt very comfortable with my smaller children around them. -Temperament was good and that is important. - they are a beautiful breed and good dual purpose animal which fits our vision for our homestead.
The main concern I have is that it won’t provide enough milk for us with one cow and calf sharing. Does anyone have experience milking them that can give some feedback on how much milk we can expect on grass and if we add some sweet feed? Thanks
Post by kim'scows on Sept 10, 2019 14:44:05 GMT -5
You say the seller's cows are lactating--does the seller milk their cows, or just keep the calves on them? And if so, what kind of production do they get? I'd be wary of buying a cow for milking from a breeder who does not actually milk.
Post by sdmilkmaid on Sept 10, 2019 17:42:57 GMT -5
daisyhill has an AMD. I think she loves the cow, but keeps a jersey to milk. Rachel
Me, my Hubby, and four Littles one horse - Cappy A burgeoning goat herd 35+ British White and Angus mama cows, and several bulls My milk cows: Faith, Chick and Freckles Heifers coming up - Dolly Dixie RIP
You are right to be concerned about milk quantity. Ask them how much she is giving for them. If they aren't milking her, that would be a red flag. Depending on stage of lactation, great body condition usually means they "don't hurt themselves in the pail", as the old farmers would say (that is, they don't give much milk).
www.bestyetaisires.com Breeder of Milking Shorthorn and Dutch Belted cattle that have been in our family for decades. Our family can't imagine life without milk cows! We love to help others get started on a life with cows.
An option might be to sell the calf, so you have all the milk to yourself.
One of my Jerseys is from an old bloodline, so she does not peak in milk production like typical Jerseys. BUT, her milk is very consistent. I consider that a positive when it comes to milking - we pretty much know she's going to consistently give 3-4 gallons of milk, rather than peak at 7 and end at 2 or something like that. I could see an AMD being similar - maybe not a "lot" of milk, but a consistent amount. Personally, I wouldn't share-milk with a dual purpose breed animal, you're just asking to get no milk in a situation like that.
Jersey cow family: Samson's Rosita (age 3) & Virtuoso Briar Rose (age 2) An Akita, some kitty cats, 7 Border Leicester sheep & 53 hens
I agree on asking the seller if they're milking the cows. I bought a Milking Shorthorn from a person that never milked his. He said they used to, but evidentially just kind of bred the milkiness out of them. I wasn't offended or mislead, don't get me wrong, but I should have put that together as she wouldn't be a very milky cow. Now fast forward. After her second calf, I did milk her for about 2-3 weeks until her calf could keep up. This fall, for her 3rd, I'm hoping for a little more production, and for it to last a bit longer.
I also have a Milk Shorthorn X Angus cow that this freshening (her 5th) gave 4 gallons on OAD milking at 4 days fresh. She came from an actual dairy.
I'm in the camp that if you have that many mouths to feed, I'd buy a Guernsey, Jersey, Holstein, Brown Swiss or something that gives an equivalent amount of milk. Possibly a full Milking Shorthorn from real dairy lines.
The Long Acre: Home to a motley crew of milking and beef cattle, a couple yard cops (dogs), too many chickens, and 5 supervisors (cats).
Post by rainyclayday on Sept 13, 2019 11:02:42 GMT -5
We have an American Milking Devon and have had her for almost a year now. She's a great cow, very smart. She has horns but has never harmed anyone or anything with them and resides in the field with a polled Dexter bull and a dehorned Ayrshire cow. Her milk is delicious, white, and creamy but not a lot of it which we don't care about but which some people do, and by not a lot I mean not even a gallon. We milk once a day. She is a young cow and this was her first calf, she may give more next lactation, and this may not be he norm for AMDs or it may be, not sure. She mainly eats grass and hay, and we feed some alfalfa pellets and a very little sweet feed when we milk. By the way, we tried milking her when her calf was still with her and we got completely skim milk. Not a fan of skim milk, lol.
p.s. I don't think it's really a bother if the people aren't milking the cow, these are dual purpose cows and some people milk them and some don't, it wouldn't be the same as if they had a Jersey and weren't milking her.
Post by daisyhill on Sept 13, 2019 21:33:39 GMT -5
sdmilkmaid called it We have several AMD's and they have many great qualities (you mentioned many of them). They are hardy, intelligent, gentle, thrive on pasture only (even pretty marginal pasture!), and produce fantastic beef and lovely white milk. Like a lot of endangered breeds, not much selecting has been done so you would not be able to guarantee that you would get a particularly milky cow without knowing more of its history. Our Dolly put out about 3 1/2 gallons per day, at peak, without her calf. When we let her keep her calf, you can wring out about a half gallon of pretty skim milk (unless she absentmindedly forgets and lets down, which happens now and then). Lactation is pretty short--she dries herself up by the time she is about six months pregnant. We mostly use our AMD's for our beef herd. Maybe someday I'll get my oxen, too.
This is just my opinion, but if you have eleven children, and want to share milk, you want at least two Jerseys (or another standard dairy breed). I share cows with my siblings, so we're milking for my eleven nieces and nephews, plus their assorted parents and grandparents. Right now we are milking two Jerseys, once a day, with calves on during the day and separated at night. This is plenty of milk for daily drinking, but not nearly enough cream for all our butter and cream needs. We're keeping the calves on until the first week of November, because we want to go to a couple of weddings, but as soon as we wean the calves we'll be back in the cream business again.
We've been glad for the once-a-day break, but my one sister and I have been muttering about buying another cow! We have two heifers growing up now, one a full Jersey, and one a Jersey/AMD cross. We'll let you all know how the cross turns out--she has a great milk mirror, much better than her mama, so I'm hoping! And she's smart like a Devon, and smarty like a Jersey, so I don't know how that will be...
"And God said, "See, I have given you every green herb that yields seed which is on the face of the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food ... Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was very good." Genesis 1:29, 31a
"Then God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them: "...Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given them to you, even as the green herbs." Genesis 9:1,3
Given your situation, I'd steer away from this breed. Milking shorthorn are cousins to the Milking Devons. Even though I have the milk lines, you can still end up with a low production cow (I have one) Good on grass is praise worthy of lots of animals in lots of breeds. I'd be looking for New Zealand genetics (jersey) which are heavy graziers and relatively small. Or an F1 cross (first generation) jersey by just about anything. If you love cows long enough, you'll also be wanting a Guernsey for the quality and quantity of their milk. Depending on how experienced you are with cows, might want to start out with a cross (there are lots of jersey crosses out there) or an older proven jersey cow. Even though Devons tend to be docile and the horns don't bother anyone, they will sooner or later be swung at the wrong moment for an innocent reason and become a potential disaster.
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2019 21:50:05 GMT -5 by brigitte
You have a Jersey now, is she not giving enough? Or is she dry?
Did you miss the part about 13 people in the family? 😂 At least he’s moved the kids off the “con” list and over to the “pro” list. 🤣But regardless of which side they land on, they represent a prodigious amount of potential milk consumption.
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
May 23, 2019 13:07:11 GMT -5
Trim: I'm baaaaacccckkkk!
Aug 31, 2019 17:57:22 GMT -5
alpacalexi: My mini jersey cow is pregnant, however the last couple days her udder has deflated. My vet saw her on the 23 and said delivery in a couple weeks Is there a reason for her deflating?
Oct 2, 2019 17:17:00 GMT -5
Trim: She probably aborted a while back. That happened to one of my animals. She was bagging up but within a short while of her "due date" she began to deflate. I had no idea what had happened. I was seriously bummed out.
Feb 8, 2020 20:46:23 GMT -5
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