A New Jersey Girl Comes to Misty Mountain Farm in Virginia

| 2/26/2013 10:52:13 AM

Maple jersey cowAdam and I got our chores done early so we could jump in the rig and head off to southern Virginia to pick up (hopefully) a new foster mom. After a 148 pleasant but uneventful miles, we arrive at our destination. The eager farmer had assured me that she was 900 pounds when I inquired about her size. Keep in mind, that to a farmer, bigger is better although we happen to like the smaller family sized cows.

How tickled we were to see that she would barely be 750 pounds if not very pregnant!  We wanted to jump up and down but calmly told Mr. Nice Farmer that we would take her.

We do not like to buy our Jerseys off dairies, especially conventional, so are happy when we find one from a small farm like this one. She was his only Jersey. All the other cows he had were beef and she spent her time grazing the fields with them. We liked the fact that she probably had not been blown out by too much grain and by talking to the farmer and the looks of her bag, it appears she has not been gorged on grain. I have learned a long time ago that you cannot trust what most sellers tell you, so sometimes we just have to make educated guesses.

In this girl’s case, she was bought off a dairy as a calf and raised by his friend who was going to use her as a foster mom and never did and then he bought her and intended to do the same and never did. She has had two sets of twin bull calves though and he said she looked pregnant with twins again. She is due the end of March, which will be good timing for our babies and give me time to test her for diseases.


If she tests positive for Johne (pronounced Yoonees) we will have to cull her.  A cow can be a carrier but not manifest symptoms as long as the immune system is coping with it. But it is deadly and symptoms would be foamy diarrhea, losing weight, and generally poor condition. You can’t test for it until after 30 months. We have a Johnes free herd.

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