Sunday, July 31, 2016

Miniature Jersey Cows: A Very Functional Farmstead Choice

I admit, I am biased. How can I not be when these lovely creatures live here?


Miniature Jersey cows vary in size and production level. 

They do not usually breed true in size, so that inconsistently can make having a herd of really small Jerseys difficult, too. 

Their production can range from a gallon a day to 6 gallons a day, 
with the larger Miniatures giving more, as a rule.

I live on a hillside with little flat land. It rains a lot here, 
so erosion of soil in a huge concern. My original Jersey back in 2009 

Full size Jerseys actually used to be more the size of what we call
Miniatures today. Commercial Dairy farming and big Agriculture 
slowly raised the size of the Petite Jersey (the common
homestead cow) to a 900lb animal, instead. The commercial
Jersey produced more milk than the homestead variety had, too.

The Miniature Jersey is essentially the Original Homestead Cow. 
They are 40'' - 46'' (Miniature to Mid Miniature) where Standard
Jersey cows will usually be 48'' to 52''. They will weight 500-700lbs instead
of 800 to 1,000 lbs. Those differences may not sound massive, but 
 in terms of their impact on the land, their milk production and 
their ease of handling, it is substantial. 

They work very well here. We are able to have 2 Miniature Jersey cows here,
one is a Mid Mini at 45'' at the hip, and another is a Mini at 39' at the Hip.

They a perfect homestead cows. 

If you are interested in a Miniature Jersey but cannot find one for sale,
A cross between a Dexter bull and a Jersey cow will give you a
small homestead type cow, as well. While they look pretty Dexter,
they give you the benefits of a Mini Jersey. You can breed back to a
Miniature Jersey bull, and over time, you can breed "UP" to a
high percentage Miniature Jersey cow.

For our breed page, visit here

For a lovely herd of Registered Miniature Jersey Cows
in Virginia, Visit T Cupp's Miniatures 

If you'd like to be added to this blog because you raise Miniatures,
just let me know.

Rainy was 38'' Mature. Here she was at 18 months old. 


Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Ellie's first heifer in her home. She is about 42'' at the HIP
Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Elsie was about 46'' at the HIP and the dam of Rainy
Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Elsie was about 46'' at the HIP and the dam of Rainy

Ellie is the dark brown cow at 45'' at the HIP. Clemmy was about 37'' at the HIP
in this photo.

Clemmy will probably mature at 40'' at the HIP


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weaning Rings in cattle

This is a weaning ring.
It is something you will see from time to time on calves or even adult cows because they continue to nurse their dams (or other cows or themselves, actually) after a reasonable time period.
Folks do not realize that cattle will sometimes try to nurse for years. . . pulling their dams down in condition and causing issues if the cow is bred back.
Sometimes they are so persistent, even the mothers cannot be rough enough to deter them.
That is when a weaning ring can come in handy if separation isn't possible.
They are sometimes shown as torture devices by activists who do not understand or even try to find out why they are used.
They simply go in the nose and stay, for the most part, with no real pressure or discomfort in the nose. They can have spikes outside or not. The spikes deter the cows from allowing nursing to occur.
These are used in all breeds, not just in dairy. They are not used for keeping calves of the age to need to nurse from having the milk they need.
Now you know 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Worms and Goats: A Never Ending Battle

This is a weaning ring.
It is something you will see from time to time on calves or even adult cows because they continue to nurse their dams (or other cows or themselves, actually) after a reasonable time period.
Folks do not realize that cattle will sometimes try to nurse for years. . . pulling their dams down in condition and causing issues if the cow is bred back.
Sometimes they are so persistent, even the mothers cannot be rough enough to deter them.
That is when a weaning ring can come in handy if separation isn't possible.
They are sometimes shown as torture devices by activists who do not understand or even try to find out why they are used.
They simply go in the nose and stay, for the most part, with no real pressure or discomfort in the nose. They can have spikes outside or not. The spikes deter the cows from allowing nursing to occur.
These are used in all breeds, not just in dairy. They are not used for keeping calves of the age to need to nurse from having the milk they need.
Now you know 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Common Goat kid illness: Summer Pneumonia

This is, behind Coccidia, probably the number one killer of goat kids.

It sneaks up on the new or inexperienced goat owner, and before you know the animal is ill (especially if you aren't bottle raising), the kid has died quickly.

"Wet weather, hot temperatures coupled with high
humidity can be very stressful to goats. This type of pneumonia is a silent killer in many
cases. One morning the goat appears fine, and that afternoon he is down and dying."

This summer has been a prime set up for this awful illness, and you will find it in calves, as well.


At the first sign a kid doesn't run for his bottle, finish the whole bottle, seems to lag behind, cough or just seem a bit off, reach a temperature and get BANAMINE and Nuflor or another good RX antibiotic like Baytril or Naxcel started right away. You DO NOT HAVE TIME to waste. Kids will not just get over this illness.

Learn about treatment options here and here


Friday, July 1, 2016

The Thing about Sadness: It doesn't just disappear to make room for more.

The Thing about Sadness: It doesn't just disappear to make room for more.
When you experience a life shattering tragedy, as long as you live, tears and sadness are just moments away at any given time.
Even when you seem happy, almost believe you are happy.
It never leaves you, though you can be reasonable about it. . .work on channeling it and so forth.
It isn't as if people have an unlimited space to store sadness, you know?
Sometimes you might think of it. . .say in the middle of normal conversation, and you aren't sure where to go, what to say or what to do. You jumble the conversation and know. . . you failed.
You didn't keep it together. It didn't make sense, and you know folks do not understand.
As time moves on, you may be faced with inevitable, new tragedies, be they large or small. You may have guilt since these events are smaller than what happened before. You wonder how you can feel sad over small things when you have already been through so much more.
You struggle to forgive yourself for even being able to "feel' again. . .
During the aftermath of losing three siblings in fire and my father from 2007 to 2009, to say I searched my soul would be the understatement of a lifetime.
One of many questions that took some years for me to answer happened to be:
"After this, how can I ever care about anything else?"
What I know now, so many years later, is sadness builds up.
You feel, feel, feel. . .reach a point you can easily hold store nothing more. . .and find everything else cuts much deeper than it should because you can only be so full of sadness. There is no where to "hide" it all.
My capacity for despair is as full as it can be and has been for many years. No matter what else has come since those years of my life, large or small. I've felt them all fully and even more than before. More. Because there is no where left to tuck "that" moment or "another" experience.
They simply bounce in and then flow over. Where else do they go? There is no where else to store "more" sadness here.
Sadness is tangible, though we cannot hold it. If you leave with nothing else, leave with that piece of knowledge.
It exists in a way that takes up space. We do not seem to have infinite space that can store all of the the heartbreak we come across.
Previous Sadness doesn't empty out into space to make room for more without consequence.
The recent flooding reminds me of how compassion, empathy and sadness works.
There is a small and still voice that whispers to me when I hear or see horrors like this, "But you have lost so much more, Tinia, this is small compared to what you've seen before. . ." and I stop it.
How hateful and unfeeling.
That is no way to judge sadness. And in the end, it is only a small voice, and I do not truly think that way.
In 9 years, I have lost two younger brothers, my 19 year old sister, my father and grandfather, but when I dropped my phone in a pail of milk yesterday, I nearly cried.
I. Nearly. Cried.
Cried over a phone, over the cost to replace something I cannot afford to replace. . .BUT it can be replaced. Knowing that changed nothing. It made me sad, overwhelmed and there you have it.
How does a person who has lost more than half of her immediate family even care when a phone drops in a pail or a goat on her farm becomes ill?
The photos on it are with people you still have with you. Take them again. The phone is a machine. Save, and then buy another.
"Hush," I told myself. It is a phone. Things are things.
I have been angry that I went down the path where I decided what meant enough to be upset over, that I felt I had to draw such a line.
It varies person to person, but we all have a limit before the small things begin to carry more weight than makes sense.
Mine was passed a long time ago. It was full years ago. Maybe your's was, too.
Anything going in has to go somewhere. I cannot hold more.
It has to go out.
Cheeks. Blogs. Facebook. Conversations and sometimes areas that are darker.
Never marginalize it. . .even when black and white thought would do so.
Grief isn't black and white, and always,
Remember, it builds up, folks.



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LUCAS FARM

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27




"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington