Just the other day, we had another future Jersey milker born…and a very cute one at that!
Most Jersey cows do not have many, if any, white markings, but this little critter certainly has a lot of them…
Our current protocol is to give the heifer calves born on our farm at least three months of raw cow’s milk (sometimes longer if we have extra milk). Did you know if you feed your calves milk replacer they won’t be as healthy and if you feed them pasteurized milk more than half of them will get sick and die?!? Raw cow’s milk gives these little ones a great start in life!
Another important factor for a cow to have a long, healthy life is when to start breeding them. After they’ve gotten a good start of raw cow’s milk supplemented with grass and hay, we wait until they are at least 1 1/2 years old and often they are 2 years old when we breed them. This allows them to mature and grow in size which is important since it takes 3 to 4 years for a cow to reach it’s full size.
Commercially, dairy cows are bred much younger and that combined with a diet of corn, soy, out-of-date chocolate, bubble gum in the wrapper, and who knows what else that the industry hasn’t told us about yet, they only live a few, short years often having only 2 calves. On the other hand, a well taken care of cow that has been given colostrum and then raw milk as a calf, given time to mature before breeding, fed only grass and hay as God originally designed, and is having a few months rest from milking before each calving can live up to 20 years and could easily have a dozen calves or more!
Check out this short video below of our new, spunky little calf we’ve named Audrey and her mother Angel!