Jersey breed of cows: description, care and feeding
The Jersey Cow belongs to the expressed breeds of the dairy direction. Many farms prefer to keep cattle for universal use, but this breed is popular in many countries of the world due to its high milk yield and excellent milk performance (especially in terms of fat content). Consider a description of this breed, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as features of the content and feeding.
This is an old breed of cows, known for its rich milk. Formed in England on the island of Jersey around the end of the 18th century.
Description of the breed can be seen in the following table:
|Horns||Small, may be absent altogether|
|Head||Small, with a narrow indented forehead and wide eye sockets|
|Neck||Long, flat and pleated|
|Chest||Narrow and deep|
|Body||Long and flat with a concave back|
|Skeleton||Light but strong|
|Limbs||Thin and long, the rear is slightly incorrectly positioned|
|Wool||Around the nose is a light ring of wool. The lower body is lighter. Bulls have a dark strip on their back, their limbs are also painted darker|
|Suit||Red, light brown, there is a darker color or white spots|
|Height at the withers||120-123 cm.|
Did you know? The record fat content of milk yield was recorded precisely in the Jersey cow and amounted to 14.06%. This quality of milk is perfect for cream, sour cream and butter, cheese production.
Advantages and disadvantages
- This breed is in demand nowadays due to such undoubted advantages:
- high milk yield with not the highest feed intake;
- excellent taste of milk;
- increased fat content and other chemical indicators of milk;
- excellent reproduction and high early maturity;
- rarely suffer from mastitis and other similar diseases that make milking difficult;
- strong hooves and low body weight are the cause of the absence of limb diseases;
- quiet non-aggressive behavior;
- almost do not trample the place of grazing.
- When breeding animals often used closely related crosses, and the breed has some disadvantages:
- dry, often overdeveloped build;
- often there are defects of addition;
- poor meat quality;
- timidity, long addiction to the change of owners and place of residence.
Maintenance and care
The Jersey breed of cows is not considered difficult to maintain. The usual conditions are enough for her - a warmed shed for the winter and grazing in the summer. Locomotor activity contributes to milk yield: when kept in a stall, they fall.
Therefore, it is acceptable to walk animals on the street even in winter, if weather permits, and you need to make a platform for it with a stack.
Important! Since Jersey cows are very shy, farms and grazing areas should be chosen in quiet places, away from busy roads, airports, railways and other noise sources.
This breed tolerates high humidity and cold, strong winds, but continental temperature and heat fluctuations are bad for animals. At temperatures above +20 ° C, milk yield is reduced.
Summer walking area
In a warm period of time, cows are gradually transferred to pasture feed. First, they walk for no more than 3 hours a day, and then in the summer they can be on the street all the time. It is better to graze cows and calves separately from bulls, as increased interest from males makes cows nervous, which can lead to a decrease in milk output.
Arrangement of a barn
Each animal should have its own separate stall with dimensions of at least 1.7 x 1.1 m and with a fence height of 1.5 m. Each stall should have two feeders, one of which is intended for hay, and the second - for animal feed.
Each should be about 0.6–1 m wide. Drinkers should also be nearby. All these containers must be made of durable materials that can be easily disinfected.
A bowel area should be provided at the back. Usually they make a drain there with a width of 20 cm and a depth of 10 cm, or install a gutter to remove feces.
The floor can be made concrete or plank. It will be optimal to make a flooring of hay (sawdust, peat) 10-15 cm thick on the floor.
Conditions of detention
Jersey cows tolerate our climate well, for the winter it is usually enough for them to have an insulated shed with warm flooring, while heating is not necessary. However, it should be ensured that the temperature in the shed in winter is not lower than +5 ° C, the optimal indicator is +15 ° C.
At temperatures above +20 ° C, representatives of this breed do not feel very well.
Good ventilation should be provided, but drafts should be absent. Most often, a supply and exhaust system is used.
Important! Due to stagnation of the air and an increased amount of ammonia in it, the mucous membranes in the described animals suffer.
In addition to natural light in the cowshed, additional illumination with LED lamps should be organized so that the daylight hours for them are 16 hours a day. Such lighting contributes to great milk yield.
It is very important to clean up behind cows in time: it can be used for cleaning water washes. A self-alloy system (special slippery slope) is also acceptable. Cleaning is carried out 2 times a day before milking.
Hay flooring is changed as it becomes soiled. Feeders and drinking bowls are washed at least once every two weeks. Disinfection is carried out monthly, and in case of detection of sick individuals - more often (the frequency depends on the disease).
Before approaching the cow, you should wash your hands and, if necessary, grease them with petroleum jelly so as not to scratch the delicate skin of the nipples.
These cows are very shy: it is important to be well prepared for contact with them during milking. First, you should talk to them gently and stroke, treat them with delicious, for example, bread. The udder and nipples should be washed, combining this with an examination of the udder.
What to feed
With moderate feeding, Jersey cows produce high milk yields. They always have a good appetite, they are not picky about food, but in order to achieve high productivity, their food must be balanced.
Livestock pasture and feeding in the summer
In warm times, walking on pastures rich in green grass provides animals with all the necessary nutrients. But with this method of detention, there is a chance of getting infection with helminths and other infections.
For grazing, you should choose places without a marshland or drain wetlands. And if there is a river or other source of water nearby, then the herd should be kept in a more remote area. In this case, the cows are equipped with drinking bowls.
Sample cow ration:
- roughage - makes up about 50% of the total diet. This is hay, straw, husk and husk;
- stabilizing - to replenish energy reserves;
- compound feed - improves the quality of milk yield. Give it in certain portions every 4 hours.
As a top dressing, you can give compound feed, sunflower meal, vegetables (beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes, etc.). The main food in the summer is meadow herbs.
Did you know? The productivity of Jersey cows is dependent on protein intake. Such a component in food can increase milk yield - from 4 thousand liters per year to 11 thousand liters. To improve the quality of milk, they give the feed concentrate, observing the following proportion: 0.3 kg per 1 liter of milk.
Dairy cows need more food than meat cows, as their metabolism is more active.
Differences in winter feeding
In the cold season, when grass on the pastures becomes scarce, cows are given hay and silage. A day, one individual should be provided with 13-16 kilograms of hay. Silage for feed consists, as a rule, of grass, vegetables, corn, sunflower.
In winter, the animal's body needs vitamins and minerals: for this, special supplements are acquired. It should be noted that silage and acid feed negatively affect the yield of milk, so the cow is given baking soda.
With a lack of protein in the diet include rape cake, as well as soybean meal. With an excess of protein, barley, oats and wheat are added. Root crops are perfect for top dressing.
It is recommended to feed the animal during milking so that the cow is calmer. At the beginning of feeding, they give a mixture of concentrate, and after succulent food - grass, root crops. At the very end provide roughage.
To get good milk yield, cows are provided with plentiful drink. Water must be warm and clean. In summer, up to 60 liters of drinking water is required for each individual, and up to 40 liters in the cold period. Recommended water temperature - 17 ° С. In the cold period, it is advisable to slightly warm the drink.
Animals prefer to drink before milking and after feeding, especially after eating compound feed. To control the drunk water, special meters are installed.
Did you know? For the production of a cow of the described breed, 1 liter of milk requires 3 liters of water.
Jersey cows have excellent dairy qualities - milk is characterized by high fat content and taste, and is excellent for producing butter, sour cream and other derived products. High and high-quality milk yields with moderate feed intake are offset by the fact that the meat quality of this breed is low.
Keeping animals does not require anything special, but they prefer free grazing and a humid climate with a mild summer.