Friday, January 18, 2013

January's Cow of the Month

So I thought it would be kind of fun to introduce you to some of the Ladies here on our farm with a focus on one of them as the Cow of the Month! So more then a little late, but here is Miss January!

For the first one I thought it was only appropriate that it be our oldest and highest producing cow.
January 2013 Cow of the Month
  Born May 23 1998 Abiqua Acres Goliath Velma (EX-90) is the oldest cow in our herd at 14 years young! She is also our highest producing with 210,922 milk, 10,800 fat and 7,178 protein. For you non-dairy people hitting the 100,000lbs of milk milestone is a great achievement, so for her to be over 200,000 in her lifetime so far is very exciting. These numbers land her a spots on the American Guernsey Association's top 10 living lifetime cows in the country for milk, fat and protein. That means of all the living Guernsey cows in the United States, Velma is among the top 10 highest producing currently! To put it into perspective she has made 24,525 gallons of milk! Velma is also the American Guernsey Associations highest living NM$ cow. 

Personality wise, Velma is the quintessential mellow Guernsey. She is very easy going, but in no way a push over. While she's not on the top of herd hierarchy, she definitely isn't on the bottom either. In the stanchions she is passive aggressive, if she wants something she's going to get it. Velma has just been one of those Ladies that is a complete pleasure to work with. She's not a problem causer in any way, although you do have to tell her when it's time to leave the parlor, she likes her grain! Always an easy milker, Velma is just what we would love to have in every cow!
   Velma is the first daughter of Abiqua Acres Nicks Vanilla (VG-87) who also put up a solid lifetime record with 102,939lbs of milk. Velma is currently in her 10th lactation and is still going strong. I would love to say she has been as prolific in the daughter department, but we have only gotten two, she has given us eight bulls! Neither of her daughter are still in the herd with us today. Her older daughter born in July of 2002 Abiqua Acres Lorrys Veda, was strong and high producing, but her line stops there with no daughters. Velma's second daughter in July of 2003 Abiqua Acres Lewis Velvet gave us 94,751lbs of milk in her lifetime and three daughters.  Her youngest Abiqua Acres Yogi Veronica is the only other relative of Velma in our herd today. We were trying to add to her offspring with flushing Velma, but the first try was unsuccessful. Maybe Velma's legacy will just have to live on through her sons. 
Abiqua Acres Banger Verdict
Two of Velma's sons were selected by A.I. studs to be sampled for young sire proving. (A bit of a complicated system, I promised to address this whole program for you non-dairy people in another post!) Abiqua Acres Banger Verdict 1GU435, was her first son selected. Long story short, Verdict did not graduate to the active list. But we still have several of his daughters in our herd, and actually currently have several new pregnancies that will give us calves later this year. Verdict's most notable daughter still in our herd is Abiqua Acres Verdict Beatrice. She finished her first lactation with 18,706m, 804f and 625p for a 21,029ecm. Unfortunately Beatrice hasn't give us a daughter yet! 
Abiqua Acres Verdict Beatrice-87
Abiqua Acres Alstar VIP 7GU450  is her second son that was chosen by Select Sires. A look at VIP's numbers, has us very excited about the future of this bull and his possible impact on the Guernsey breed! You can find him on the American Guernsey Associations herdlife boosters young sires and those predictions sure are exciting. He is outranked in Productive Life and Net Merit Dollars by only one young sire on that list, our own. But a NM$ 507 and PL 5.5 are in the same margins and completely impressive. But the number that has me most excited is Daughter Pregnancy Rate, an area the Guernsey breed really needs to focus on. VIP's DPR 2.7!! The next closest is Sergeant again, but his DPR is only 1.5. I hate to hold my breath and be too excited, but the Guernsey breed needs bulls like VIP. I am not just saying this because he's our own bull, I would be equally impressed in these numbers if he was owned by someone else. But what makes it exciting is that our entire herd's focus is represented in his numbers. Hard working, long lasting Ladies that breed back!
Abiqua Acres Alstar VIP
   Well this one was a little more in depth and more technical then I am thinking our usual Cow of the Month posts will be. But Velma deserves the long winded recognition! She truly is one of those once in a lifetime cows that will always be fondly a great part of our farm!
Velma (bottom right) makes sure Blaine Crosser from Select Sires knows who she is!

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