Channel Island Cows

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Cider Boys
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Channel Island Cows

Postby Cider Boys » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:37 am

During my recent visit to my old Agricultural Technical School, I spotted a rare sight nowadays (to me at least) they were milking a Jersey cow amongst the usual Friesian Holstein type. When I was a boy growing up in Somerset it was the premier dairy county in the country and it seemed all farms were dairy farms, arable farming was something that happened far away from the West Country. A farmer and his son could earn a living from milking 30 cows and many farmers near me kept Guernsey and Jerseys for the premium of their rich milk, farmers switching to the then British Friesians also would keep a couple of Channel Island breeds to maintain the butterfat of their milk produce. In those days the problem with Channel Island cows was the bull calves; they fetched no money due to the undesirable marbled meat at the time, whilst the Friesians became dual purpose animals and were often crossed with Herefords. However I understand that tastes have changed and maybe Channel Island breeds may make a come back, I do hope so. There is nothing more beautiful than a Jersey cow and even more lovely if they still have their horns (a rare sight – more the pity), but a Jersey bull was something else, a very temperamental and ferocious animal.

Barney
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Nature's Babe
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Re: Channel Island Cows

Postby Nature's Babe » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:23 pm

i grew up on the island of Jersey, and on Saturdays after shopping mum would take us to the ice cream parlour at the end of the high street for icecream made with rich full cream jersey milk, it tasted divine. There were Jersey cows in the field next to our cottage, one day mum fed them some beetroot leaves, of course they produced pink milk, lucky the farmer had a sense of humour and my mother promised not to feed them again.My best friends father was a farmer and we always steered clear of the Jersey bull!
There were some pretty aggressive geese in the next lane too.
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Re: Channel Island Cows

Postby Gerry » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:16 pm

Barney, I do think that Jerseys are making a comeback. Around here a number of farmers are keeping a few Channel Island cows with their herd of Friesian Holsteins and for the reason you quote. The higher the Butterfat content of the milk the higher the price they get from the Creamery.
Regards, Gerry.
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Nature's Babe
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Re: Channel Island Cows

Postby Nature's Babe » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:07 am

Another interesting snippet affecting milk yields, cows have best friends and if separated get stressed affecting milk their yields.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... rated.html
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Elle's Garden
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Re: Channel Island Cows

Postby Elle's Garden » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:22 pm

In our valley where I grew up (and stayed) we were surrounded by diary herds and had a wonderful jersey herd right behind us. Although we had our normal everyday milk delivered, whenever we needed extra we would walk up the lane and into the little honesty hut where the fridge was stocked with milk, cream and fresh eggs from his chickens. It was lovely, and the cows were so very gentle. I would often spend time with them in their fields and then go along with them when the farmer fetched them in for milking and of course they all had traditional names like 'Bluebell', 'Primrose' etc

Now the herds are all gone, replaced initially by sheep and latterly polo ponies. Polo ponies everywhere!
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