Rosie… the dearest cow I’ve ever known!
I began researching dairy cows 5 years ago and dreaming about having my own. Two years ago we began our journey in earnest and I bought several books to research and countless blogs to read. The consensus of my research was that I wanted a Jersey cow (or a mini Jersey, but they are expensive and hard to find!). Jersey cows have a very high fat content, so that means more butter and cream for every gallon of milk collected. Jersey cows are also known for being calm and easy going. I read the best place to find a Jersey is to contact a small(ish) dairy operation and purchase a lower producing cow they might want to sell.
Spring of 2016, I contacted Kilgus Farms in Fairbury (about 70 miles north of us) and began the conversation. They are a dairy farm with about 100 Jersey cows. They are quite well known in the area and have a reputation of a quality operation. I let him know what we were looking for and asked him to let us know if they had a cow that would fit out needs.
Moving out here took longer than I anticipated, so I didn’t follow up with him until February of this year. He had a cow that would be great for us. My preference was to get a fresh cow (one that had just given birth) and also get a bottle calf with her. This one had given birth 3 months prior and they were going to inseminate her before she came home. This would have been perfect. In mid-March, they did the procedure. In mid-April, we found out that the pregnancy did not take. We had a choice to either wait for another month and try again, or look at the other cows.
There had been a big flood throughout the state, and the flood had halted the sale of a few cows that had been unavailable before. So now, there was a cow that was suddenly available. She was due to calve August 23, 2017. Since she would calve so soon, we wouldn’t be getting a bottle baby with her. This would mean she would be alone in the pasture and lonely until her baby was born. She was still in milk, but we’d have to dry her up by the end of June so her body could prepare for birth.
When we went to visit her, we knew she would be perfect! While we were at Kilgus Farms, the kids had a chance to tour the milking parlor and see the herd get milked!
We brought her home in May and only 3 hours later, she stood patiently while we milked her! All the kids have been helpful with her, and her patience is endless.