Update April 2014: I expect to have a total of 6 heifer calves for sale in the rest of 2014. None of them are born yet. They will all be A2/A2, registered Guernseys, and from a herd that is 100% grass-fed, and tested yearly for Johnes, TB, and Brucellosis (all negative). The first of those six are due in mid and late June.
We raise registered Guernsey cows. Guernseys are known for their golden creamy milk, gentle dispositions, and ability to produce well on pasture. At least 90% of Guernseys produce milk containing the protein A2 beta-casein rather than A1 beta-casein. As factory farming continues to take over the American dairy industry, Guernsey cows have become so few and far between that they are now on the American Livestock Breed Conservancy's watch list.
Our Guernseys have access to pasture at all times, and they obtain most of their food from it. We supplement them with hay and sun-cured alfalfa pellets when needed. We produce 100% grass fed, grain-free milk. Our cows are fed free-choice minerals and kelp.
THEIR JOB ON OUR ECOFARM
Our Guernseys are the largest grazers on our farm. We use their mowing services to trim, maintain, and improve our pastures. Their manure provides much-needed fertilizer for the entire farm.
In contrast to the mainstream dairy industry, we prefer for calves to be raised by their mothers. We find it advantageous for the calves to live with their mothers for several reasons. Our calf mortality rate is much lower than on commercial dairy farms because calves do better drinking small amounts of raw milk often rather than one or two large feedings per day of milk replacer. The mother cow teaches the calf to eat grass and hay and how to act like a cow. We find that calves raised by their mothers are more respectful of people and more likely to grow up into a calm, safe, well-behaved animal. We do handle calves and halter them daily so that they are easy to handle as adults. Nursing from the mother instead of from a bottle promotes better jaw and mouth development so that the adult cow will have a lifetime of more efficient eating. It is essential for a calf to drink colostrum within the first 12 hours of birth. Unless a calf is on its feet and nursing well within a few hours of birth, we milk the cow and give colostrum to the calf in a bottle. But we leave the calf with its mother and they eventually all do learn to nurse, preferring that to bottles.
Three Brooks Challenge Aris
Born 5/23/2008. Registration#: 68024206
Sire: Idle Gold E Challenge-ET
Dam: Three Brooks Reward Aniska
Aris loves taking care of calves and is a great mother. She will voluntarily stand still in the middle of the pasture to be hand-milked. She is easy to milk by hand or machine. She is a very steady, consistent producer, making six to eight quarts a day on once-a-day milking for the entire lactation, plus nursing her calf until it is around 5 to 6 months old. Aris has a strong immune system and is efficient on grass.
Bred to GOLDEN J RONALD GRUMPY (A2/A2) for May 2013. 100% chance of A2/A2 calf
Three Brooks Patrick Buttercup
Born: 9/2/2011 Registration#: 68047292
Sire: Three Brooks Lewis Patrick
Dam: Three Brooks Challenge RuthAnn
Buttercup was raised by her mother RuthAnn, nursing until 4+ months. She has never eaten grain and maintains excellent condition on 100% pasture/hay. She is going to be an incredible 100% grass-fed milk cow.
Possibly bred to ABIQUA ACRES ALSTAR V I P with sexed semen for Fall 2013. 100% chance of A2/A2 calf and 90% chance of heifer calf.
Three Brooks Daunte Dill
Born: 9/27/2008 Registration#: 68024215
Sire: Oak Knob Legacy Daunte
Dam: Three Brooks JB Daisy
Dill maintains body condition effortlessly on 100% pasture/hay. She reliably produces outstanding milk with particularly deeply golden colored cream.
Possibly bred to ABIQUA ACRES ALSTAR V I P with sexed semen due October 4 2013. 100% chance of A2/A2 calf and 90% chance of heifer calf.
Sunny Knoll Iris
Dam: Three Brooks Challenge Aris
Iris was raised on raw milk by her mother Aris for five months. She went through weaning well and is transitioned onto 100% grass and hay, with no grain in her entire history.
Three Brooks Challenge RuthAnn--83
Born: 3/11/2008 Registration#: 68024202
Sire: Idle Gold Challenge-ET
Dam: Three Brooks Ron Rawanda
RuthAnn is a big, strong cow and my top milk producer. She has excellent conformation and dairy character. RuthAnn is very sweet and good-natured.
Crown Stone Mint Valley--81
Born: 9/5/2009 Registration#: 68027896
Sire: Spring Walk Sherberts Mint
Dam: Crown Stone Maxie Karen
Valley has nice dairy conformation with a well-attached udder. She is calm, quiet, and gentle.
Bred to GOLDEN J RONALD GRUMPY (A2/A2) for June 2013. 100% chance of A2/A2 calf
Crown Stone Hazelnut Vicki-TW
Born: 10/26/2009 Registration#: 68027899
Sire: Bay Meadow Lewis Hazelnut
Dam: Crown Stone Card Marion
Vicki is strong and deep but small in stature, a good body type for 100% grass-fed performance. Indeed, her conformation is a good predictor of her performance. She is producing very well and maintaing good body condition on 100% grass and hay even though we are now heading into winter just a month after her calf was born.