The Jersey cattle are smaller and shorter in height then the Holstein breed which sits at the larger end of the scale. A full grown Jersey cow can weigh much less than 1,000 pounds, making it easier to handle. But if the Jersey is still too large for you, you don’t have to give up on your home dairy idea; the dairy goat is also an excellent option to consider and you can still make your own homemade cheese at home.
Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, the Jersey cattle breed is quite gentle. As with any animal, a milk cow if treated with gentleness, kindness, and respect will be laid back and temperate. It can even become a pet of the whole family and will reward you with its delicious, wholesome milk.
The Jersey cows produce the richest milk of all dairy breeds. This makes the Jersey an excellent choice of dairy breed to produce milk for making your own homemade butter and cheese making. A Jersey cow can give you about 2 gallons to 12 quarts of milk per day.
It is interesting to note that you can sort of regulate a dairy cow’s milk production just by adjusting the amount of gain that you feed her. If you wish to increase the amount of milk that you are getting, try feeding your Jersey cow between 1 ½ and 2 gallons of grain at each milking. (I like to feed the grain to my cow while I am milking her. This helps her to stand still.) On the other hand, if you would like to cut down on the amount of milk the Jersey cow is producing, feeding her raw sugar beets instead of grain will cut back her milk production to about half of what you were getting before. The sugar beets contains all the nutrients needed to keep your Jersey happy and healthy. Although I do recommend making sure that you feed your dairy Jersey cow grain the last 3 months before she gives birth to a calf. (This goes for all cattle.)
One of the pluses of the Jersey breed is that they reach maturity at 25 months of age which is earlier than all the other dairy breeds. A Jersey cow will reach its prime at about 7 years of age (this goes for other dairy cow breeds as well). If your cow is healthy and well-cared for, she can produce milk well up to 10 or more years. Another point in the Jersey cattle’s favour is that they can handle climates from all around the world - from the heat and high humidity to the cold, harsh climates.
A cow will also give you a new baby calf once a year if she is bred. With today’s technology, you needn’t worry about managing or caring for a bull if you don’t wish too. With artificial insemination (also known as A.I.), it is fairly easy to have your cow bred again.
Jersey cows are wonderful little dairy cows and is great for the home dairy and cheese making at home. Soon you will be having fun experimenting with different home cheese making recipes and will be enjoying the scrumptious results.
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