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Mike

1667 Posts
Mike
Argyle WI
United States of America

Posted - Oct 12 2014 :  6:49:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maryjane and assembled Jersey fans,
Any comments on Riverview Farm bulls. I bought semen last summer and had it sent to my breeding lady. I had 8 Gene, 8 Son of Fat Louie, and 6 Bobby. Bred five girls, got two hits, the bull calves I mentioned a month or so back. The moms are all from Grassway Organics,<grasswayorganics.com>, near New Holstein, WI. They are registrable but I didn't spend the extra money at the time. I am way out of your league when it comes to genetics so need your considered thoughts.

God bless.

Mike
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maryjane

7071 Posts


Posted - Oct 12 2014 :  6:57:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you buy Riverview semen in order to size your herd down? GrassWayOrganics looks like an awesome operation. Didn't they have bulls or semen available?

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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meander1

5 Posts
Nancy
Ceres VA

Posted - Oct 13 2014 :  07:06:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mary Jane,
In the introduction of your article, published in March of 2014, in Montreal, it also states - twice;

' Noninfectious joint diseases are uncommonly diagnosed in cattle.'
and;
' Osteochondrosis is a complex arthropathy that is rarely identified in cattle.'

The fact that this publication emphasizes OCD as being a rarity in cattle simply speaks to me logically. If our cattle are inbred, we would have more incidence of it ,IF the disease is genetic and inherited as the sole or main cause of the disease. Especially since we are talking about a relatively small pool of cattle, Miniature, Mid and Standard sized Jerseys, vs. the rest of the beef and dairy breeds.
So, I feel assured that statistically, and in my opinion only, I am comfortable using Ambassador's semen. I also happen to have a beautiful healthy calf. Since I have only bred one calf this year, my statistical advantage is extremely high.

I am not a veterinarian. I do know that from all the literature posted one can cherry pick any information needed to make a particular point. Nor can years of research be negated by one article that happens to be the most recently published. I doubt any scientist would rely on only one source of information. Keep in mind that publication dates are not necessarily representative or indicative of how current the actual research is.

I think we are all adults embarking on the endeavor of breeding our cows for as many individual reasons as there are dairy cow owners. The decision is up to each individual. Only as individuals will we be able to make the best decisions for our cows, our goals, our farms. I only stated my personal opinion here as it directly relates to my circumstances.

There are a lot of really nice bulls out there. If you want small, not so small, painted, A2 genetics, great udders, long teats, there is probably a bull that best suits your needs and desires. Talk with the bull owners, see their farms and bulls in person if you can. Look at calves on the ground, and even better, mature milking daughters, if at all possible. That seems, to me, to be good general advice but I am no expert and don't claim to be.


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maryjane

7071 Posts


Posted - Oct 13 2014 :  07:49:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was trying to point out two things that weren't accurate assumptions you'd made:

The one about his report (not sure where you would have that information or why you would assume you had it):

"I believe your report diagnosed osteochondrosis with lesions found in other locations as well as the hip.

And also, a high caloric diet as a possible cause. (Outdated theory.)

You did point out that reporting incidences has its problems. Isn't there a breeder in the miniature Jersey world who has "sired" (AI semen) something like 19 dwarfism cases but continues to sell semen and cattle to the unsuspecting?

You offered this: "I don't know how to address obtaining that information but I have thought that perhaps a confidential reporting format (requiring veterinary verifications) is one way to accumulate data.”

In other words, people are hesitant to report an instance (probably the situation at hand) because of monetary and market consequences. Do you think medical records on Ambassador would be turned over (if there are any) if they cleared him?

In my case, I am certainly experiencing why one wouldn't want to report an instance in the only format available at this time, public disclosure. I'm saddened by the extent to how those involved are scrambling to protect their own interests first and foremost by trying to say and point out every way possible that I'm at fault somehow. I will continue to seek and build a group of people who are supportive and encourage public disclosure of breeding problems encountered along the way.

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

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 13 2014 :  08:11:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Elaine says " better safe than sorry "

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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Mike

1667 Posts
Mike
Argyle WI
United States of America

Posted - Oct 13 2014 :  11:01:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maryjane,
Yes, that is the intent. Grassway is a GREAT operation. Folks could not be nicer. Got two adults and four calves to work with. Hope to end up with midsized Jersey cows to sell for family cows. Or keep here.

I was caught up in the mini thing versus the larger cows and wanted to downsize.

God bless.

Mike
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  06:03:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pretty much the same here Mike. Want to down size othe cows and still be able to breed a quality animal for home use and other deserving family's. Right now been doing the Guernsey breed which has been a good choice here for many families on account of it is a much easier keeper that the bigger breeds some have been used to but too big for some and gives way more milk than we can ever use.
Be interesting to see how yours turn out.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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maryjane

7071 Posts


Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  06:52:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, do you have photos of your herd? Background? Pics of their udders? Any genetic testing on them yet? I'd enjoy playing around with ideas with you, perhaps a combination of downsizing and mid-sizing. When you downsize (they do give less milk and aren't as big to handle), but there are other factors to consider. Here's one possibility to consider when downsizing:

https://www.heritagejersey.org/chatroom/pop_printer_friendly.asp?TOPIC_ID=133

Ron, if you had a mini like my Miss Daisy or Etta Jane, you'd definitely need to get a machine. That's not a bad thing. You already have a hand-pump machine should your electricity go out. I considered buying your little hand-pump unit but hubby bought a generator for our camper so I decided I could just grab that instead if our electricity went out.

I know what you're trying to accomplish Mike (and Ron), but you need to proceed thoughtfully. It can be done, but right now it sounds like you have a good, viable herd and you want to be careful with what you do next.

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

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  06:59:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good morning MJ. Yep good solid thought is something I have been short on most of my life. I have learned by mistakes but am at the point where mistakes cost time and I do not care to waste any more of it. Guess that is why I try to get input from others that have been/are there already. Any input is always appreciated and criticism is always appreciated. We are beyond ever being offended by constructive guidance.

FYI. The hand Milkers was not offered for sale but being I never use it was offered to any fellow Milkers as a trade or here take it. If you want to fuss with it let me know.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.

Edited by - Ron on Oct 14 2014 07:03:34 AM
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maryjane

7071 Posts


Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  07:15:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's so generous. How about I bring it here and take good photos of it while in use and post it here as an option for people to consider who don't have reliable electricity or who live off the grid? And then if someone comes along who could use it, I'll pay it forward? I think it's a cool idea. I watched the video but it didn't answer all my questions. I'd enjoy getting my hands on it. Options are a good thing.

I bought a camper for my truck (great for travel--no public restrooms or restaurants, just eat and pee as you go) and my horse/stock trailer (set-up we took to Billings, MT recently). My fantasy is that I could travel (think glamping) and take one of my milk cows with me and milk her while I'm on the road, but with my generator, I'd probably just use my EZ Milker for such a crazy idea:)

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

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  08:06:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As soon as I can get a box big enough for it I will box it up and get it out. One more thing out ofbtheybway so to speak and you will be in a better position to find a home for it.
As far as the camper, everywhere I go especially when I take Elaine I have to bring the whole shebang. She will not drink municipal water and will not eat conventional food and getting Her into a public restroom is really a total problem at times. We are thing a motor home type of rv that will pull a stock trailer. This way I can have all the stuff in the rv and She can go in comfort of Her extended home and I can have my cow. Lol..guess there is more than one cow crazy in the world.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  09:02:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My family always teased me that when I went camping I would bring everything, including the kitchen sink! (But who would they come to when they forgot something??) Now, if I told them I wanted to bring Clover, they would definitely think I was off my rocker!! :-)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

11212 Posts


Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  12:12:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I'm pretty sure that would be the one that sends me away for good, so guess I will stay home with my girls. LOL. I think it sounds wonderful.
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 14 2014 :  2:42:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well I guess the off the rocker crew will be a full porch. Just look out for squirrels. Lol

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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happyfarmwife

64 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2015 :  8:58:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The saddest part of the Beaumont story is that the seller of the semen most likely knew there was a problem with the bull in question and rather than be honest and open with the potential problem, chose to continue selling the semen and disposed of the "evidence".......and yet still selling semen!

Recently, my husband and I helped at a friend's dairy goat Linear Appraisal and the judge/inspector was awesome! His first suggestion on breeding is "Don't follow fads!" and the second suggestion is: "GO see the sire in person, LOOK AT HIS OFFSPRING, look at his dam, look at his sire!" PUT YOUR HANDS ON THEM! and don't breed to anything just because of a single trait or characteristic and DO NOT FOLLOW FADS!!!!

We use artificial insemination and have been very very pleased with most of the offspring we have produced. However, one rare dairy breed has some less than desirable traits that showed up in some of our calves....an abnormality in their lower jaw.....and we contacted the seller of the semen and that bull is no longer available for breeding! Evidently we weren't the only person who reported some issues.

A responsible honest breeder that believes in what they are offering for sale, wants the long term experience to be a good one! That breeder has earned our respect for their devotion to the breed and their dedication to offering nothing but exceptionally good genetics!

The main thing to remember is that just because there is semen available from a trendy highly advertised animal does not mean it's a good AI sire!
The almighty dollar controls most people in a way honest people cannot understand.

I guess it's truly "BUYER BEWARE" even when it comes to semen for your dairy cow......As a result of the issues we had, we are now breeding to a different bull(from the same breeder) and we are thrilled that the breeder wants the breed to succeed and is not strictly focused on the $$ represented!

We looked into breeding to a mini Jersey bull because there is such a high demand for very small cows for small farmsteads. Then we looked at our girls and realized that mid-sized Jerseys are usually a perfect "fit" for the average farmstead.....and our little girls are so sweet and nice they deserve a long-term/permanent home with a good "match" of home and cow! Quality, quality, quality........not just tiny size should be our focus........And we refuse to breed for a single characteristic and want to consider the "whole cow" aspect of breeding!.....

So sad that all the hopes and dreams of the beautiful Beaumont were in vain.....
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maryjane

7071 Posts


Posted - Jun 06 2015 :  11:03:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said.

Call me a dreamer, but I hope to play a part in helping end the cattle hustle that's out there. I was naïve and vulnerable once, too. Plus I continue to get too many heartbreaking phone calls from people who've bought a cow they can't possibly milk or they’ve been misled in some other way. It isn’t enough for breeders to merely birth a future milk cow, even if from good stock. Heifers have to be worked with from an early age. Or if purchased from a larger dairy, have learned what their role is from the rest of the herd.

Recently a woman called who'd paid $5,000 for a pregnant heifer that can't be touched, let alone halter broke (the man who sold her mentioned she'd have to do that but “it's never been a problem with any of his cows, etc.”). The heifer paws the dirt and acts like it will charge anyone who gets inside the fence and in fact injured the woman early on and now she has what isn’t even close to the “dream cow” she told she was buying and she has no idea what to do with it. The guy who delivered the heifer to them had every excuse in the book for the heifer’s behavior, and even stayed for lunch (we both agreed, that somehow makes it even worse).

Another woman called me about six months ago to say she'd just bought a cow/calf and she’d been told I'd raised the cow and could I give her some advice. What she bought was a total fabrication.

And the woman who tried to argue in favor of the Ambassador semen she'd used (somehow her statistical advantage was extremely high), soon after offered her Ambassador-bred heifer for sale at just a few months of age for $4,000.

Fearing your bottom line when you realize you have a problem is fairly universal (cars, etc.) but making the decision not to pass it on (sell it to the next guy) and to make sure problems and potential problems are disclosed takes some class and gumption and it's something we need to shoot for and encourage and reward--lots of kudos to those who disclose. Sadly, not everyone has that as a goal.

I've been thinking about Beaumont lately because he would have been such a good match for my new little Ester Lily (coloration, size, etc.) Not to mention there is such a tremendous amount of effort that goes into a pregnancy through AI and the $ involved and the long wait for the end result. In addition to the hip dysplasia problem, the semen used (Lemvig Jacinto ET) to produce the bull that produced the semen I purchased, is on a warning list from the UK for another genetic issue, a mutation that affects fertility.
http://www.ukjerseys.com/jh1c/index.html

The problem with raising your hand and speaking out about a particular problem is the bullying you might have to endure. (I wonder if there are bullies in the UK—everyone seems more adult about it over there from what I can tell.) I posted what happened to my bull here and contacted two other people who were promoting his semen on their websites.

The response below almost seems like some sort of marketing effort. Or maybe it’s a way of saying to anyone else who might speak up, here’s what will happen if you do.

*******New Information on our Bull Ambassador*******
A few months ago, Mary Jane Butters from Mary Jane's Farm Magazine began an internet assault against me, my business and my cattle. She has made statements about this bull that are untrue, unsupported and unfounded. Although her statements might seem legitimate upon first hearing them, I can assure you that none of her allegations have any merit and I have retained an attorney to begin legal action against her. There are two sides to every situation. We are currently using this bull in our breeding program and he has given us some incredible calves and we are looking forward to many more. If you have been contacted by her regarding this matter, I respectfully request that you contact me directly at 303-931-9950 to discuss any concerns you may have. I am very interested in hearing how you were contacted and what was said. As you can see we have very beautiful, high quality cattle that are all genetically tested and free of disease. I look forward to hearing from you.

There wasn’t and isn’t any legal action, nor could there be. What still hasn’t been said is why Ambassador was put down at such any early age, nor his vet records provided. Wouldn’t that be an easier route to take? All I wanted to do was let people know that I lost an AI bull calf to severe hip dysplasia (mine was the first calf born from this bull) so a watchful eye was going to be important, like determining over time the genetic jaw thing you mention. If you’re breeding because you love the breed, you love animals, and you want people to have a positive experience, then public disclosure matters. A watchful eye matters. Discussion matters. I’m hopeful that not just money but honesty can be bred into our endeavors.

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

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Jun 06 2015 :  11:14:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You have a great way of putting things so nicely and yet informatively...thank you.

Guess out here in the wild would have marked the deceiver a d&@# head and moved on....( oops )

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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happyfarmwife

64 Posts


Posted - Jun 08 2015 :  07:23:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My recent contact with the owner of the contributing bull confirms the song and dance given. She refuses to communicate via email or put anything in print to me in regard to her bull, she will not give documentation of his parentage or his genetic purity from the Jersey breed. Her term "foundation" mini Jersey doesn't impress me....I want to know where those bulls came from!

I'm a pedigree person and like to follow particular lines that I have represented in cows I know or like, would love to own, have owned or currently own......and I wanted to know what lines of Jersey produced the bulls she markets.
The bulls seem to materialize on her farm and are now "foundation" Mini Jerseys.....I'm sorry........that is not the way good breeding happens!
I feel there is more ugly in the woods than we may want to uncover...
I have raised horses for most of my adult life. A wonderful old gentleman I met at a breeding clinic 20 years ago shared the following. He said if you want to succeed in the breeding industry, build a big fancy barn and do lots of high dollar advertising. With enough promotion and presentation people will pay big money to breed to your gelding!(the horse version of steer).....
I have considered that statement often and just went through an experience with a dear friend and her dairy goat that shows the value of the above sentiment.

I just returned from spending 4 days at a far away dairy goat show. Our friend and neighbor has a very impressive looking dairy goat buck that she is wanting to promote. She has shown him a number of times and he's big and correct in all the traits that seem to be the benchmark of an outstanding dairy sire. He won handily in the big show and came home a permanent champion.
Problem is I know his dam. She sported a lopsided udder with poor fore udder attachment and milked poorly(volume) and was a high maintenance type animal. Now the doe is deceased so she can be presented to the public in a certain way and nobody can prove otherwise. So as big and handsome as that buck is......I would never breed to him because I know what his dam is/was. However, the woman who owns him can afford to travel and promote and campaign him and advertise so I'm certain he will have a lot of offspring in coming seasons. Breed to that buck and what are you going to get???????With a really nice doe, he will certainly produce nice frame, good feet and legs and correct "type" but will the offspring inherit his dam's poor milking ability? Her poor udder attachment? Her lopsided/uneven udder? On paper, the buck has all the "right stuff" from show animals.......and there are some production animals in there too. But just because he is highly advertised and campaigned and wins a lot in the show ring does NOT make him a good dairy sire!

SO I guess the best we can do is remember BUYER BEWARE and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably will bite you in the end....

With the serious aspect of the mini bull, the word needs to go out.......and if the owner truly stands behind what she sells and promotes, then transparency is required! Show sire, dam, pedigree, longevity stats.....etc. There needs to be some documentation that shows where that bull comes from........what Jersey lines?? What farm? What caused that line to throw back to old Jersey type........IF he is really Jersey there is proof!

One more story and I'll quit....
Neighbors had beef cows...they had several Hereford cross cows and one spring they had a dwarf bull calf born to one of the mostly Hereford cows(dwarfism shows up in the breed). The little bull was cute as he could be as a newborn....He was sort of yellow and white marked like a traditional Hereford with some hints of evil lurking in his genetics. As time passed it became obvious that he was a dwarf. At weaning time they took him to a small sale barn that sells exotic livestock including mini cattle, buffalo etc. Because of the "cute" factor that tiny dwarf bull sold for $550. This was about 15 years ago and I'm certain that someone purchased that bull for his size with plans to use him as a potential sire of downsized cattle.

Remember, I'm very very pro artificial insemination because it allows us to breed to the best animals in the world not just the ones within driving distance or the best bull we can afford to purchase. But on the same note, we are really careful to purchase only from reputable breeders that are very OPEN and TRANSPARENT with the animals they offer.
That being said, the all-mighty dollar rules many people and when a new trend comes on the scene, the vultures are circling and honesty and truth go on the endangered species list!

Edited by - happyfarmwife on Jun 08 2015 12:28:42 PM
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Mike

1667 Posts
Mike
Argyle WI
United States of America

Posted - Jun 08 2015 :  07:51:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any comments on Riverview bulls and semen? Is that farm part of the problem? You can email if you like, <mikerock@mhtc.net>.
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Mike

1667 Posts
Mike
Argyle WI
United States of America

Posted - Jun 08 2015 :  07:53:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Comments sure welcome. Some days I get so frustrated with 'mini' that I want to chuck the whole thing and start raising stuffed parakeets.
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maryjane

7071 Posts


Posted - Jun 08 2015 :  08:53:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,
Riverview marketing and record keeping are the main culprits with what they sell, not so much the results of their tampering. I've posted lots of pics of the udders on my cows that came from Riverview stock. They are fabulous, like the udder and teats on Etta Jane who I recently sold. Miss Daisy's are fabulous also and she came from Riverview semen called Margarethe Dairyman from the UK. I arrived at those udders by doing essentially what you have access to. Good standard stock coupled with Riverview semen. Etta Jane birthed two heifers here, I'd milked and trained her during those years and sold her pregnant again with Samson. The heifer between those two (that I still have--10 months old) seems perfect in every way. I had my doubts along the way because of the misleading marketing. I encourage you to hang in there. You have some good genetics if you want to sell smaller stock. If not, you can go back to Grassway. I'm sure they have a handle on semen. Or you can try Samson. Keep in mind that genetics and training go hand in hand.

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

1667 Posts
Mike
Argyle WI
United States of America

Posted - Jun 09 2015 :  03:12:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hugs and Kisses, Maryjane!!!!!! I was about ready to give that semen to the dumpster! I will get you photos of the 'herd'.
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Jun 09 2015 :  06:42:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmm. Wonder if there is a market for stuffed parakeets?

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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Sydney2015

1156 Posts


Posted - Jun 14 2015 :  3:02:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MaryJane, I saw their website a few months ago, I saw what she said.

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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Sydney2015

1156 Posts


Posted - Jun 14 2015 :  3:20:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I checked, the date of birth or the age of every bull they own is on there, all except that bull. The youngest(other than the bull you used) is 18 months.

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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