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 Help me decide which semen to buy, please
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 25 2016 :  5:58:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello all.

I'll be AIing three of my girls this year. I was fortunate the last two years to have bulls from a cross of standard and miniature out of DC and Rocking Robin stock. But, I now need new blood.

Here's what I like about my girls and want to keep:

high butterfat (even for a Jersey)
nice udder attachment
average/long teats
good conformation
polled (one is Pp and the other two could be either Pp or PP)

What I'd like to improve or assure with a bull:

smaller stature (mine are around 49 inches)
higher butterfat
average/long teats
polled (because I don't want a herd both with and without horns.. and mine have none)

I am guessing mine are A1/A1, but I've never tested them. I do know the sires I used are DC Orlando and DC Prince JB Royal T. Both are A1/A1.

I also used Rocking Robin's Heath, but I don't know what type of milk he has.

I'm not really sure if I care about the type, but believing that I have only experienced the A1/A1 variety, I wouldn't mind trying to get a bit of A2 in there. If mine are A1/A1, then bringing in A2/A2 should give me A1/A2, right? Should there be any difference in the milk? I'm not as set on this as I am the other attributes.

Can anyone make some recommendations that fit my needs? Any advice is welcome.

Thank you!

-Reverence





txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 25 2016 :  7:41:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well i can't be of any help but i am interested in seeing what you decide. we need to AI two cows this year, one heifer and one cow. both are mid-size, and i like that size. and both are naturally polled and a2/a2 so we will breed to keep those traits.

i am planning on seeing if maryjane still has semen available, i believe she does. if you look in the forum area where people introduce their cows you'll see at least one in the last few months that had calves from maryjanes bull semen. and the semen is listed on here also.

what is important to me is being able to chat with someone about the actual traits from offspring of the animals. i personally can't get too excited about the AI catalogs, as i want the stats they list translated into the common sense areas of a homestead milker - good size cow for my height, nice udder and teats for us (don't need 8 gallons a day), docile and sweet so i can hug them and train them, etc.

whats fantastic is there is something out there for all of us. i'll stay tuned to this post to see what you end up with.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on May 25 2016 7:42:33 PM
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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - May 25 2016 :  9:10:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is Samson's write-up: https://heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=476

When I collected him, polled Jersey wasn't available from sources that I thought were reliable. That seems to be changing. I will see if I can locate some for you to compare (that have gone through the health screening I think is important.) On the other hand, availability of A2A2 in the mainstream catalogs has changed dramatically. It's fairly easy to find. Even so, A2A2 mid-size is rare. Polled mid-size is rare also. I haven't nosed around in a while. I should have some time this weekend to catch up on all things Jersey bull in the marketplace. If I find some leads that I'd be tempted to use, I'll let you know. I think it's exciting to mix and match. And dream traits. I just wish Jersey pregnancies and then first time freshening didn't take two years before you find out whether your cupid endeavors ended up the way you envisioned.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  05:18:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks maryjnae. our fairy cowmother is always watching out for us ;> of course, as far as AI and genetics I haven't a CLUE what I am doing so will get on it post weekend and I am sure will but y'all with a tone of questions.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  06:20:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MaryJane, I would love to get your take on what's out there now when you've had the time to look it over. I feel like there's much more now than when I first started looking and I have my eye on a few that I think would be good. I wish there were photos of the dam's udder on all bulls. It's helpful for me to see.

Samson looks great, MaryJane! His dam and sire are beautiful, too! The dam's udder looks a lot like my girls' grand-dam. I have since bred in slightly longer rear teats and a higher rear udder. How much is Samson semen? And, forgive me if I missed it in the post... How tall is he?
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  06:32:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Txbikergirl, your girls sound wonderful. Our ideal attributes are the same. I agree that talking with a breeder would be best.

I have a heterogeneously polled Dexter bull calf here that's going to be 9 months old in two weeks. Anyone have a clue if he could be viable for my ladies within the next three months? He's awfully short. He has a nice straight back and a good dairy look to him. He's not really approachable and I can't quite figure his height. But, he's small! He looks to be only as tall as my 5 month old Hereford/Jersey cross girls I bought. I will considered using him next year for those cross girls if he's not old enough to breed my Jerseys this year.
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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  06:52:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Samson is 49 inches tall at the withers. His semen is $85/straw. Heritage Jersey Organization members receive a 20% discount ($68/straw). Heritage Jersey Organization members with one HJO registered animal receive a 40% discount ($51/straw). Heritage Jersey Organization members with two or more HJO registered animals receive a 60% discount ($34/straw).

You can find it here:
http://shop.maryjanesfarm.org/Heritage-Jersey-Semen-Samson

As far as viability for your little guy, I will check with Dr. Pearson today whose specialty is Theriogenology. She will be here helping us with photos/edit. She comes on Thursday.


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  07:36:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's great, MaryJane. I admire how organized and devoted you are.

I haven't thought of what it would take to register my girls here. If it were possible, I'd LOVE to!

Violet, for example is:

grand-sire DC Orlando
grand-dam Unregistered PB standard Jersey

grand-sire DC JB Prince Royal T
grand-dam unregistered PB standard Jersey

Both unregistered Jerseys are from my neighbor. And once upon a time, he said they could be registered. But, that was 12 years ago. I'm not sure if he remembers who I even bought from him. And, I have since sold those original girls.

Are there DNA tests that I should order to confirm the ones I would like to register?







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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  08:51:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We would love to have your girls join us! (That way we'll get photos of your cowpanions:) As part of your registry with HJO, you'll get a DNA marker (for time and all eternity), a test for polled, and one for A2A2 (three DNA tests). Let me know and my SIL, Lucas, can walk you through it.

For those of you who know Sydney, she recently registered AppleButter and we're awaiting DNA test results right now.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  09:39:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would LOVE for Lucas to walk me through it.

I'm happy to have that help!

Just let me know what I need to do... I'm assuming my email address is a available to you, right?
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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  11:52:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome! The first thing you can get started on are photos of each of your cows taken showing its left side. Easier said than done sometimes:)

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  2:27:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Got it. I'll get pictures of everyone today or tomorrow. Hyacinth is in heat, so everyone is restless.
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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  4:06:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can send them to me, maryjane@heritagejersey.org. Looking forward to it.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  4:18:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so maryjane, i know there is probably not a right answer but i am wondering how many straws most people purchase. i realize they might have to pay storage fees at their vet or AI tech for unused straws - but do you see people buying a certain amount? do they AI once or twice during the heat normally?

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  5:08:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My answer to that has always been to first locate your AI technician who you'll be working with and ask her/him what they prefer. They all have different preferences. I've had some say to get them five straws and a few who've asked for only two. You'll need to discuss if they'll come to you based on when you tell them your girl is in heat or perhaps use hormone therapy and scheduled visits. I've done it both ways and they've both worked for me. Rosetta was AIed here when she was in standing heat by an AI tech (actually Lisa Pearson), and Miss Daisy was AIed using hormone therapy while at WSU (calf Beaumont).

Once you get your technician squared away, the straws will ship directly to her/him so you'll need to get all their shipping and contact information and they'll need to be on alert for when the container is scheduled to arrive (they put the straws in their tank and ship the container back). Most AI technicians will charge a small fee to store any they didn't need for use the next time.

One of my challenges has been to find AI technicians who are not only good at it but have small arms (usually females) because some of my girls are on the small side. It's stressful when a big guy's forearm goes into a small rectum. It can cause a fair amount of rectal bleeding. Sally won't have that problem.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  5:32:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Patricia, I was able to visit with Lisa about your bull. She suggested he undergo a Breeding Soundness Examination (BSE) by a veterinarian. The exam consists of the following:

1. General health examination (includes temperature, listening to the heart for murmurs, checking the eyes, body condition scoring, watching for lameness, etc)
2. Evaluation of conformation
3. Scrotal examination - palpation of the testes for abnormalities, and scrotal circumference. There are cut-offs for size by age.
4. Penile/preputial examination - the penis and prepuce are examined during semen collection for any abnormalities, including injuries, warts, congenitally short penis, penile deviations, etc which could affect breeding.
5. Semen collection and evaluation - semen is collected by electroejaculation, transrectal massage, or using an artificial vagina. Semen is examined for gross and/or individual motility, concentration/color/consistency, and percent morphologically normal.

You can also have a test for trichomoniasis (Tritrichomonas foetus) performed at the same time as the BSE. This is a sexually transmitted protozoa of cattle that causes miscarriages in the cows they impregnate.

Keep in mind that if your bull is a lot shorter than your cow, he might end up with back or hip injuries.

We’ve all heard the stories of bulls proving they were fertile before the owner thought they could be and it resulted in a surprise pregnancy. If you’re a planner like I am, I prefer going the BSE route. Plus I think annual trich testing for a bull is important. In Idaho, it’s mandatory.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  5:58:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh! I just realized I sent you pictures of their right sides, not their left! And, that's funny because it would have been much easier to get their left sides as they were in the pasture. Drats! I'll take more pictures tomorrow. Meanwhile, at least you can see what two of them look like... from the right side. : /
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  6:01:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the advice on the bull I have. I'll have to consider doing that. When I bought him a couple months ago, I had thought that's the exam he had, but it turns out that it wasn't.
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 26 2016 :  7:11:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks maryjane. turns out the guy we are buying the heifer from is an AI tech. i don't know that we would necessarily use him, but its an option.

interesting stuff here, i am enjoying the dialog with reverence.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - May 28 2016 :  3:29:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Find all your options, Cindy. My first option seemed perfect on paper and didn't work out. Then you will have a back up plan if need be.
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 31 2016 :  05:58:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks keeley. its so true isn't it - like a first date that doesn't really turn out to be what was promised ;> and then sets you back five years in your life because you wasted time and love on the bum that was never good material to start with!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2016 :  10:02:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by maryjane

We would love to have your girls join us! (That way we'll get photos of your cowpanions:) As part of your registry with HJO, you'll get a DNA marker (for time and all eternity), a test for polled, and one for A2A2 (three DNA tests). Let me know and my SIL, Lucas, can walk you through it.

For those of you who know Sydney, she recently registered AppleButter and we're awaiting DNA test results right now.



Hi MaryJane!

I have the correct pictures in the camera, so now I just need to get them in an email to you.

I'm going to be making an appointment for the vet to come out. What should I have him do for the required tests for HJO? Will he know what samples to collect and which labs to send them to?

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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2016 :  10:18:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Once you sign up online to register an animal, you'll get a form you fill out that you will attach some tail hairs to (your vet could pull them or you could) and an address to mail them to (regular USPS) for three things: a genetic marker, a polled test, and an A2A2 test. When we get the results back, we will forward them to you and finalize your certificates (with photos from their right sides of course:). Make sense?

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2016 :  4:15:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MaryJane, that sounds easy enough. So the tail hairs are all that are needed...no blood. That's something we can do without the vet of course.

You do mean the pictures of the left side, correct? Not the right side as your above post says.... you mean correct, not right? Sorry if that sounds funny!
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maryjane

6977 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2016 :  4:56:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Next time I think to try a bit of silliness in the a.m., I'll remember how well that rarely works for me:):):) That's right, it should be left, theirs. Photographer planted to cow's side, cow facing due north, cow butt to your right, cow head to your left. Right?

Yes, only tail hairs with a bit of follicle (skin matter) attached to each one per instructions on kit you'll receive.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Reverence

22 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2016 :  5:43:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, MaryJane. I do have the correct photos in the camera, then. : ) I'll work on this over the next couple of days. I'm thinking I need a herd name... or farm name...

Edited by - Reverence on Jun 02 2016 5:43:21 PM
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