June 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm #524376IdunaMember
They do look cute, reminds me of me. But I have a feeling I still can’t hide one that size. I wonder if I can make a goat look like a dog…June 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm #524377MelroseMember
Goats are too smart and get on everything. Standard poodles look like sheep. I reckon you could pass a sheep off as a poodle haha.June 15, 2012 at 1:52 am #524378MuddyfeetMember
The heifer is gorgeous, and being a heifer you can “afford” to get attached to her.
Now a note for others…
I know you said her twin was a heifer calf, but for others who may think they are getting a two for one deal with a bull calf and a heifer calf, please read carefully…
If the twin was a bull calf there is a very great likelihood, >92% that your heifer calf is what is known as a “freemartin”. Please google this term for the precise definition, but basically, she will not have the internal reproductive tract or organs to become pregnant. Remember this is only if the other twin was a bull calf.
During development inutero, the male’s dominant hormones adversely affects the development of the female reproductive tract. The heifer calf born will have the outward appearance of a heifer, but basically will have a blind birth canal.
Now, as your heifer is not a freemartin…
1. Ask the dairy or seller that you bought her off who they use to AI their cows (most dairies use AI, but will resort to live cover if AI is unsuccessful).
2. You can source your own semen for the tech to use, but then storage is an issue and all your ducks will need to be in a row if you don’t have access to a liquid nitrogen storage tank. However, usually, the AI technician will have or have access to a range of semen straws (a straw is what holds the semen for storage).
3. You will need to research the appropriate age to put your heifer into calf, no matter what the LBW genetics of the bull is. Friesians take a bit longer to mature than say Jerseys. Just because they are cycling doesn’t mean that it is good for her to get pregnant! She will have a much longer and more productive life if you allow her to develop properly first (I wasn’t suggesting you would do otherwise, but felt I needed to mention it).
4. A friesian is a big volume milk producer, less butterfat content, but lots of milk. Basically, a first calf heifer will not produce as much milk as during her subsequent freshenings. Friesians have been bred (or genetically tweaked if you like) to produce an abundant volume of milk, the biggest milk producers have been selectively bred to improve that quality. However, nature still plays a role in it. As with any mammal, initially, the mammary glands will produce an oversupply of milk, and then, it will eventually become a product of supply and demand. The greater the demand for milk, the greater the volume produced and vice versa. However, a friesian may consistently overproduce (particularly in subsequent freshenings) so much that mastitis may be a recurring issue. Unless you share milk with her, you will not be able to stop and start and stop and start with her, as you will be increasing demand and thereby production, and then leaving her overfull on the days you don’t milk. You can tinker with production somewhat by what you feed her. Unfortunately, some cows “milk off their back” and whatever you put into them via feed, they turn into milk, because they designed to look after their calves, and they will put no weight on themselves, they will begin to look boney even if your pumping food into them! You’re just fueling the fire. Certain types of feed is turned into milk more readily than other types… so careful selection of feeds stuffs will help moderate her production level.
And no, its not unusual to have a holstein-friesian as a house cow, its just that Jersey’s generally have a better weight to milk conversion ratio and so are cheaper to keep relative to a friesian for the volume of milk produced.
If you find that she had too much milk, you can put a second calf on her to foster at the same time, although it would be very unlikely that first calf heifer would accept a foster calf readiy, if at all…they are new to the job and are sometimes hard pressed figuring out what to do with their own calf let alone another one!
Okay, I’ve waffled on so long now that I’ve forgotten if you’ve asked any other questions. If I’ve missed anything, I’ll try and post later.
Bye for now,
Muddyfeet.June 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm #524379mauziMember
Nicely said Muddyfeet.June 16, 2012 at 12:45 am #524380MelroseMember
Muddyfeet – The second heifer we aren’t sure but she may infact be a twin with a bull calf. but if nothing else she will just be companionship for the other heifer. The fact they are twins is why they are where they are. The calves I feed are all destined for meat. So most of them are bulls with these couple of twins thrown in.
I’ve recently been studying dairies at university and I was worried that with her being the largest milk producing cow that with the influences humans have had on the breed she wouldn’t produce less milk. I’m glad to find out that she’ll only produce whats needed. I probably won’t stop start milk, it’ll either happen consistently or won’t happen at all haha. In the dairies I’m fairly sure they aim to get the first calf from a holstein friesian at 2 1/2 to three years. But we’ll see how these two mature before I go putting them in Calf. And thanks so much for the info on the AI, I’ve only ever seen it done in beef cattle and large mobs, never on two heifers haha.June 17, 2012 at 3:09 am #524381MuddyfeetMember
Nothing ventured nothing gained. I ask around, do my own research, and then try and filter out all the guff that doesn’t apply to my situation. I think you’ll do fine with these girls. You just need to be prepared to roll with the punches so to speak, and deal with what comes up when it comes up. If things go wrong, or not exactly to “plan” well, pick yourself (of the calf!) up and change the plan!
Its really good to be doing something new (to you) and learning as well.
Good on you. Keep us posted of how it all goes.
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