We bought a purebred Jersey!! We named her Josie, and she is due to calve any day!
We started looking around a while back, and learned that (in our area, at least) dairy cows are hard to come by, and very expensive. We saved, and saved, and got very discouraged because...they are hard to come by. DH ran across an old advertisement for some Jerseys, and I called just to see it they had any more. After looking high and low, a farm that raises Jersey's to sell to big dairies, is only about 15 minutes away. I guess it's one of those "best kept secret" type things. The family owns about 600 cows.....around $1 MILLION dollars worth of cows......which totally blows my mind.
Our milk cow Lilly, is only 1/2 Jersey, and gives us 3 gallons of milk a day, so we are excited to see how much milk Josie will give us. We've also been checking on Artificial Insemination (AI) for Lilly, only to find out that the success rate is only 60-70%, and it cost more than we were originally told. We are very thankful to have learned that Josie's former owner "rents" his bulls, and they are 100% Jersey from the University of Tennessee. Of course the success rate is much higher, and it is much less expensive than AI. We will have to "rent" the bull twice, since the goal is to have milk year-round (the cows do not need to be bred on the same schedule). We will be able to borrow a neighbor's bull to sire the beef cows, but we want the dairy cows' offspring to be dairy cows.
Emmi informed me that I had not introduced the pigs---so there they are in the picture above. Pigs and chickens are the only animals without names. Chickens; because there are too many, and the all look alike. Pigs: The just are cuddly and loveable, such that the kids want to name them.
Moving right along, 4 more new additions. New Zealand rabbits. They arrived just yesterday, so names have not been decided on.
These four girls will be our breeding stock, with the 2 bucks below. None of us have ever eaten rabbit....so we're not sure how this story will end. But their babies will be raised as meat rabbits. Can any of you share good rabbit recipes with me??