We welcomed a new arrival to the farm today. Our neighbors down the road milk Jerseys and often give us a call when they have an extra bull calf. They milk in an old style stanchion barn and always have more work than the two of them can manage.
Sending a calf our way means fewer chores and less worry. A young dairy calf can be pretty vulnerable to sickness, and demand a lot of time on an already busy farm. Farmers often prefer to devote that time to raising their heifer calves instead. If they don't join the herd later on as milking cows they can bring a good price for the farm at the sale barn.
There isn't much demand for Jersey steers in a conventional market that favors the blocky Angus, and it often doesn't pay for farms to keep their bull calves around. Fortunately grass-fed Jerseys produce truly excellent beef. More and more they are becoming known for their wonderful flavor and their ability to "finish" on grass.
We've already put this calf outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.