Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jersey cows

I had gone for many years without a Jersey cow on the place when I began to look around for one four years ago.  You just couldn't find Jerseys, and when there was one for sale the price seemed exorbitant.   I bought baby Secret in 2008 and kept her around for over a year.  I kept up with the Homesteading Today cattle forum and decided to approach a lady just across the river a little way to see if she would sell me a heifer calf.  She agreed, and we went to pick up Secret.  I raised her with high hopes, but she was sterile.  She would come in heat, we'd haul her to a bull, but she never got pregnant.  In 2009 I saw a Craigslist ad for some bred Jersey heifers:  The prices were high, but the ad was worded in such a way that I knew these animals were owned by knowledgeable people, and they didn't seem like "traders" who buy culled animals at a sale barn and resell them trying to make a quick buck.
We paid the price for one of the loveliest cows I've ever owned; I didn't have to worry about another sterile animal, since she was bred.  She turned out to have a personality to match her looks.  

I've only had her four years, but it seems like I've known her all my life.
Good Jersey cows were scarce, in 2009, as hen's teeth.  Now fast-forward to 2013.
Two years ago I bought Jody from some folks who were buying healthy calves from a dairy and selling them.  I couldn't believe there were Jersey (mostly Jersey) calves available!  The same people usually have calves for sale for about a month in the spring and a month in the fall.  I bought George and Grace from them last fall, and of course Penny this spring.  
And now, if you type "Jersey" in the search feature on Craigslist, they are EVERYWHERE!  I can't help but think a lot of the reason is that these folks have supplied the area with the healthy baby part-Jersey calves, many of whom are all grown up, like Jody.  It doesn't take much to glut the local market, because people who want a milk cow are few and far between.  Most of them don't know my secret of letting the calf run with mamma and only milking when you need some milk, and nobody wants to stay home and milk a cow twice a day.  

Seriously, don't you just want to run down to Holden and buy a baby?
These folks have the art of wording a Craigslist ad down to a science.  I have all the cows I can handle at present, but I still want to buy another baby every time I read their ads. Click HERE to see what I'm talking about.  I must step back from the computer right now, or I'll be scrounging money together for another calf.  The last one took all the rolls of quarters I had saved up!  

We were expecting to have two more horses on the property besides the two that already live here, but Adam's girl friend has made other arrangements for one of them until next winter.  So there are three horses living here.  Maybe it will rain, and I will be able to keep ALL my cattle for another year!


Nance In CA. said...

Cute Lil 'Suckers'!!.....LOL. That ad does make a person want to run right out and buy a calf right now. I love the picture of Bonnie...such a sweet face.


They are all cute whatever their age. I remember the first time I came face to face with a field of cows covering a story for the local paper about a particular farm. I asked the man who owned it him what the cows names were and he had a fit telling me they were numbered not named. obviously that is not what I meant.

Forty Pound Sack said...

oh, how adorable!! I best not even look at the Craig's list link, LOL ~