Where do Jerseys come from?
They are old English cows from the island of Jersey. It's a small island in the English Channel.
What is a Jersey?
They are a smaller cow, usually gold colored. They do have a lot of color variations. We have a beautiful black Jersey cow. They are known for their easy temperaments, great personalities, and rich milk.
How long do they live?
A well kept family cow can live up to 12 to 15 years old.
How much does a Jersey cow eat?
Milk producing cows eat approximately 50 pounds of good hay a day and small amounts of alfalfa. They should always have grass, oat hay for roughage, and alfalfa is a rich hay that needs to be adjusted on a regular basis. No sugar or molasses - it causes the rumen to be to acid and could cause ulcers, bloating and other problems. We only feed our cows rolled oats when being milked. They will eat more in the colder months.
How much water do they need?
A healthy cow needs approximately 35 to 50 gallons a day. They need to drink more in the Summer. Water should not be rationed and needs to be always available.
How long can you milk a cow?
Every cow is different. Most Jersey will milk for several years without having another calf. They have been known to dry themselves off within a year, we have never had that problem. Our Jerseys have milked for over two years without having another calf.
Must they have a calf every year?
How much milk does a Jersey cow give?
Every cow varies. A young Jersey first milking gives three to four gallons a day. They are at their peak after their third calf. Depending on their bloodlines. They can give up to ten gallons a day, five gallons is the average a day. Depending on where they are in their lactation.
What is ''lactation''?
It is the period of time during which the cow is producing milk.
What is ''Colostrum''?
Colostrum (also known First Milk) is the milk produced by the mammary glands in late pregnancy and the first five days after the cow gives birth to her calf. It contains immune system components for the calf, microbe components for the calves digestion and is highly nutritious and important in the first 6 hours of life.
What is different about Jersey milk?
Jerseys have the highest protein and butterfat content. Other cows produce more volume but don't match the quality or nutrition value.
Can I get T.B. from my cow?
No! Human T.B. and bovine T.B. are very different and cannot be transmitted to the other. Only a sick human can contaminate the milk.
What about brucellosis?
Brucellosis is all but wiped out in the United States. However, most cows are inoculated for it between 6 Months to a year old. Some state borders will not let you cross without it.
How often do you milk your cow?
Twice daily is best. Once a day is possible but not all cows will do it. It should be as close to 12 hour intervals as possible and the time of day is not important. Big production dairies have cows in the milking rooms 24 hours a day. If a cow has to wait excessively long, it may engorge her and cause Mastitis.
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is an irritation of the milk glands which can lead to infections. It is best avoided through sanitation, complete milking, and adhering to a strict schedule.
How long is a cow pregnant?
Their pregnancy lasts nine months. Twins are rare.
What kind of shelter is needed?
Nothing fancy is required. A windbreak and some shade for heat, cold, snow, rain will do. They are surprisingly cold resistant. The heat of Summer is their least favorite time. They should not be closed in a heated barn, needs circulation, best to have it cool.
Do I need a milking stanchion?
Not necessarily. Our cows are halter trained and can be tied in a corner or against a wall. We prefer a stanchion, but Jerseys are very friendly and you can usually milk them anywhere.
What is different about Jersey Milk?
Where can I learn more?
Please go to the home page and click on the workshops button. We have one-on-one personals, families and group workshops available or call us at 575-586-1176.