Friday, June 17, 2011

My Love of Jersey Cows!!

This is Buttercup. She is probably my favorite farm animal. She has been THE BEST and SWEETEST cow that I have ever seen. God picked her out for us, because we were clueless when we bought her. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. A friend's son took it. She was still young here.

This is just a month after we got her. She calved and gave us a beautiful little heifer. She picked the only muddy spot there was to calve in. She is the best Mom and always has been. We are not exactly sure how old Buttercup is, but this picture is from December, 1998 and this was at least her second calf. She has to be at least 3 in this picture. That means she has to be at least 16 years old now.

Here is that first little heifer calf all cleaned up. :) We named her Buttermilk.

This is a picture of Buttercup 4 years ago with her calf, Clover... another heifer. They told us they used Jersey semen when they AI (artificially inseminated) her. However, Clover now looks like a small Holstein. She is still brown in this picture, but she is much darker now.

We are not sure how long a Jersey cow lives. We were concerned about breeding her again. Dear friends in another state raise Jersey cows and they have the ultimate vet. The vet that you would love to have near you. She asked him about breeding some of her older cows. He told her that in nature, those cows would have a baby every 12 to 18 mos. until they wouldn't take anymore. He also told her that the most problems he saw in older cows were the ones that people had stopped breeding because they were old.

We are HOPING and PRAYING that Buttercup is pregnant. If she is, she is due in August. Her milk is THE BEST milk I have ever tasted. You may think I am prejudiced, but we have had others say that as well. The cream is so thick it mounds up on the spoon. She is easy to milk and very gentle. She just stands there. You could just go out in the pasture if you wanted and sit down beside her to milk her. Once winter comes though, she is very hard to keep weight on. We were really wanting her to give us a beautiful little honey colored heifer to replace her. Once she no longer gives us calves, she will become a pasture ornament. We will gladly let her hang around until she dies. So, we have been praying about what to do about milk.

I heard about a Guernsey heifer due to calve last week that was for sale. She was in another state, but it would be do-able to go and get her. We told the lady that while we were thinking about it (I think if she had been a honey colored jersey we would have said yes right away - we had not really thought about another breed) if someone else came along to go ahead and sell her. That is what happened, so we took that as she was not the cow that God had for us. The same friend I mentioned above that raises Jerseys has a beautiful little heifer calf we plan on buying. However, we would not get milk from her for at least 2.5 years. I have been saving up for her. I have to save outside our budget as we are on a schedule to get debt free. So, I have been selling things... dishes, books, etc. :) I also use all the checks that come from my affiliate links (in the side bar or down below) to put toward a cow. I have enough for the little heifer and then a bit. We also have another bigger ticket item to sell that would help put money there for a cow in milk.

Yesterday, I have found a Jersey cow that is for sale. She is
in milk and even closer to us than the Guernsey was. They will be emailing me pictures. They are wanting a fair price, but a bit steep for us. We talked at length and they are going to talk about maybe coming down in the price. I truly want God's will here, but I would be lying if I said that I didn't care either way. We are praying!!! She is young and she just freshened, so the milk would be immediate.

Who would have ever thought me, a born city slicker would ever be longing for a cow. :) God has truly changed me from the girl I used to be.

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