Like all diaries you should look into family lines. Look at three traits you MUST have and all the others can fall in line behind them. Cows that do not pass the blood and milk test are eliminated first, don’t look back. Bringing home ONE cow with Q fever will infect your entire herd and you will loose everything.
- First must always be fertility. Without that you loose your line. High milk production and fertility are often at odds. Remember MOST dairy cows are culled by 5 years of age because they can’t get bred back. Do not be afraid of the 8 year old cow, she has proven she can produce more milk in her litetime than most cows already. I rather have a cow that milks a minimum of 4 gallons a day and produces for 14 years. You want her daughters.
- pounds of milk per day. Once a day milkers produce 30% less so keep that in mind when you look at cows being milked once a day. How much milk do you NEED? Try and find two cows that can do this rather than 4 cows, remembering that too much can mean fertility issues in the future.
- mastitis history. Mastitis is usually something that comes back and back in cows.
- butterfat. Butterfat is genetic, ask for the butterfat records. Walk away from anyone that tells you there cows gives 50% butterfat. I see this all the time, not real.
Bess we bought when the herdshare first started. She is from an A2A2 breeder in OR, and is sired by a New Zealand Friesian bull (not the same as a Holstein.) Out of a purebred Jersey cow. This breeder was the first dairy we found that offered tested heifers.
The NZ Friesian is usually all or mostly all black, horned and a good milk producer on grass alone. It is my understanding that the bull semen came from NZ and she used it on her Jersey’s or bought the cross bred heifers from the Tillamook valley from Jersey dairies.
Bess’s Daughter LOLA:
Out of Bess and by a Normandie/Jersey cross bull. Freshening as a first calf heifer she produced over 7 gallons a day on once a day milking. She like most of Bess’s daughter are not super friendly, however they are a joy to milk because they are very respectful.
Lola’s sister Mo
Mo on pasture with Bess and Penny. This year (2020) was her first freshening and she surprised us with topping over 7 gallons of milk in the bucket on OAD. Her sire is No. 1 sire, 7JE1067 GR Oomsdale Tbone GOLDA-ET (+257). So Mo is 3/4 Jersey and 1/4 NZ Friesian. Still black as soot. Mo is due around Christmas with a Guernsey calf by the bull Latimer.
Latimer, Guernsey bull.
Mo’s daughter Dani will be bred in 2021. She is out of Mo and by the polled Jersey bull, Steph