Milking cows and growing calves usually need a bit more feed. High-quality forages and grains are the base of all diets and will support good milk production.
Added fats, and other feed additives are needed by higher producing cows.
The goal of your feeding program should be:
To meet the cow’s nutritional needs while maintaining health.
To optimize milk production, milk fat and milk protein.
*Grass Fed Milker: Generally if you have access to high quality hay that tests at 16% protein or higher you can successfully grass feed. If you have access to alfalfa or a heavy alfalfa clover field that your cows can graze than you can have a grass fed milker. Another way to have a grass fed milker is to feed free choice hay or pasture and increase the protein by feeding alfalfa cubes to milking cows. Some cows do carry enough body condition can be grass fed with just grass others need a little help. Don't be afraid to step in a give your girl a little boost. Alfalfa cubes are my favorite.
*Grain Fed Milker: Grain fed milkers are usually fed a custom dairy ration. 16-18% protein. The recommendation is to feed about 1 lb of concentrate (grain) per 4 lb milk production with a maximum of 16 to 20 lb/cow/day.
*How much water do milking cows drink?: Cows should consume 3 to 5 pounds of water per pound of dry matter consumed. Example: 50 lbs dry matter intake at 4 lbs of water/lb of milk dry matter intake
= 200 lbs of water/day or 200 ÷ 8 lb/gallon = approx.
25 gallons/ water per day, per milking cow.
*Minerals:Dairy Cows need free choice loose minerals. There are different formulations for different areas and specific breed needs. Consult with your local feed mill to find the best loose mineral for your area. And always make sure to look and see if your area is Selenium deficient, this is something that can be added to minerals that is vital for cows and their unborn calves.
Mini Jerseys give between 2-6 gallons of milk per day.
A good indication of how much milk a cow will give is to find out how much her dam produced.
So many factors go in to a cows milk production. Here are some key things to remember when trying to decide how much milk a potential cow will give.
*Age: First calf heifers always give less milk than older cows.
*Body condition: A cow with more fat pad has more
energy to pull from to produce more milk. A cow that is too
fat on the same hand can get fat deposits in her udder and
that will reduce potential milk production. A cow in ideal
condition will produce the maximum potential milk. A
good indication of condition is how many short ribs are
visable. 3 short ribs are ideal. More to come later on
*Frequency in milking: The more you stimulate milk production the more you will get. Milking twice a day is optimal. Once a day is also totally acceptable, you will not get as much milk if you milked twice a day. Also the sooner you start milking after the calf is born the more it stimulates the udder to produce milk.
The main thing to keep in mind is protein makes milk. Anything they don't use for milk will be translated in to body condition. A cow fed a high protein dairy ration or sileage will give considerably more milk than a grass fed cow. So while one person may only get 2 gallons a day on grass, another may get 6 gallons of milk per day on full dairy ration from the same cow. Feed is a huge game changer when it comes to milk production.
*Genetics:Genetics play a huge role in the
amount of milk a Mini Jersey will produce.
When considering a potential cow, ask about
her background genetics. How much her dam
produced, how much sires dam produced,
as well as grand dams and sires. This will
help give you an idea of expected production.
How Much Does a Mini Jersey Eat?
A rule of thumb is that a cow will eat 2 to 2 ½ pounds of hay for each 100 pounds of body weight.
Mini Jerseys are by nature dual purpose breed. They are primarily bred for milk production, but with their compact size they they tend to carry more body condition. Which makes them suitable for meat and milk. which in turn makes them easier keepers.
With our cows we give them free choice grass/pasture or high quality hay (in the winter). Dry cows or heifers over 18 months old this is all they need.
How much milk does a Mini Jersey produce?
Haven Heritage Farm & Dairy