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FEEDING MINI JERSEY CATTLE - HOW TO FEED A MINI JERSEY COW
Information researched by Jewell's Jerseys.  Visit them at www.minijerseycows.com.

I have been raising miniature dairy cows since 2008 and dairy goats since 2007.  I am not an expert on mini cattle or goat nutrition but I have spent time learning about my animals and researching what I should feed them.  Prior to buying my mini cows and goats, I didn't know much about feeding livestock and I was afraid I would make a mistake and the animals would suffer.  I had a hard time finding a website that laid out in simple terms what to feed my mini cows.  I am providing these feeding suggestions on "How to Feed a Mini Jersey"  for new owners of mini cattle who are looking for some guidelines..
 

General Information:
Mini cattle eat between 2% and 4% of their body weight everyday. The more milk the cow produces and the more "dairy" the animal is, the higher the feed requirements. Generally speaking, beef cattle eat 2% of their body weight daily while dairy cows eat 4% of their body weight. My mini dairy cows were  crossed with Galloway dual purpose milk/beef cows to increase their feed efficiency and carcass weight while still maintaining high milk yields. I feed my cows about  3% of their body weight during the winter.  I keep an eye on my cows, if they start looking too thin, I up their hay if they start looking too fat, I reduce it.
 
Feeding Lactating Mini Jersey Cows

Feeding Instructions for Lactating Mini Jersey Cattle.
My 42" Mini Dairy Cows average about 450 pounds - other mini dairy cattle may weigh more or less.

Hay:  About 12 to 15 pounds of good dry hay per head of cattle for 450 lb cows (3% of body weight). I prefer square bales to round bales because I can control how much my cows eat every day.  I usually feed hay once a day.  Ideally I feed a good quality grass hay such as Brome, Timothy, or Orchard Grass. In addition to hay, I feed a SMALL portion of alfalfa to my girls (no more than one small leaf a day). Too much alfalfa can cause diarrhea in cows and in cases of high protein alfalfa, it can lead to mastitis. If it is first or second cutting, I feed more alfalfa. In don't feed any hay during the summer since my cows have access to pasture all year long.



Grain: Approximately 3 pounds of grain for every gallon of milk produced at each milking.  Three pounds of grain equal one scoop of grain. Whole or chopped grains are better than pelleted grain feeds in my opinion. I use a COB mix (equal portions of chopped corn, whole oats, and steam rolled barley).  A scoop of dry grain is pictured to the right.  I usually put 2 to 3 scoops of grain in a 5 gallon bucket to mix it with molasses and supplements.


 

Molasses: 1/4 cup of water down molasses mixed with the grain at each feeding.  I purchase molasses in bulk from my local feed store (I buy about 2 gallons at a time) and then I mix it with about 1 gallon of water until it is the consistency of syrup. I put 1-3 scoops of grain in a separate 5 gallon bucket. I pour 1/4 cup of molasses per scoop of grain and the stir until the molasses coats the grain.  By coating the grain lightly with molasses, the supplements stick to the grain and get eaten. It also increase energy and milk prodution.




Supplements: 2 Tbls of minerals, 2 Tbls of Diamond V Yeast, 2 Tbls of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 T
bls of Kelp with grain 1x per day plus free choice loose minerals throughout the day.  Minerals are VERY important.  Without them you animals can have a variety of problems.  Our feed stores do not have lactating dairy minerals so I use Super 10 Cattle Mineral (use the best loose minerals you can find - mineral blocks do not provide enough minerals). After mixing up the grain, I stir in minerals,  yeast,  ACV and  kelp.  This ensure they get proper supplements every day.  After graining, I put out 1/2 scoop of loose minerals for the mini cows to snack on throughout the day. For some of my cows, I use hand mixed minerals using the Pat Colby recipe ratio of 6 pounds high quality dolomite, 1 pound copper (blue variety), 1 pound sulfur, and 1 pound Kelp (fed 2 Tbls per day). Some of my cows don't like flavor of the Pat Colby mix so I don't use it for them. When I remember, I add a few tablets of Vita C to their grain.  They don't notice it is even there.


Water: Clean water at all times.  I also mix it with  Apple Cider Vinegar.  It is hard to get too much Apple Cider Vinegar.  I add a 2 cups to my 40 gallon tank and  1 quart to my 100 gallon tank whenever I think about it - about 2 times a week. Feeding ACV increases you chances of a heifer calf and improves general animal health.

Dewormers: 2 TBLS Herbal Dewormer 1 time per week during the summer and 1/2 cup of DE during the winter mixed in the grain.  We use herbal and natural dewormers so we can drink out milk at all times. Our favorite dewormer (although it gets expensive) is from Fiasco Goat Farm.  We give herbal dewormers according to instructions (2 Tbls per cow) once a week).  In addition to Fiasco's Herbal dewormers, we use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) as well. We alternate between the Herbal and the DE. DE is much cheaper but I worry about the effect on lungs. DE is not good for your lungs if you breathe it. I give my cows 1/2 cup of DE a day during the winter and Herbal Dewormers during the summer.
 

Feeding Dry
Mini Dairy Cow

Feeding Instructions for Dry Mini Jersey Cattle.
My 42" Mini Dairy Cows average about 450 pounds - other mini dairy cattle may weigh more or less.   

Hay:  About 12 to 15 pounds of good dry hay per head of cattle for 450 lb cows (3% of body weight) or fresh pasture.  About 3 weeks out from delivery, I feed them 1/2 to 1 leaf of alfalfa a day. See lactating section for details.

Grain: Approximately 1.5 pounds of grain a day or 1/2 a scoop.  See lactating sections for grain detail details.

Molasses: 1/4 cup of water down molasses mixed with the grain at each feeding.  See lactating section for details.

Minerals, Yeast, ACV and Kelp: 2 Tbls of minerals, 2 Tbls of Diamond V Yeast, 2 Tbls of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 Tbls of Kelp with grain 1x per day plus free choice loose minerals throughout the day.  See lactating section for details.

Water: Clean water at all times.  See lactating section for details and mixing Apple Cider Vinegar.

Dewormers: 2 TBLS Herbal Dewormer 1 time per week during the summer mixed with grain and 1/2 cup of DE during the winter.
 

Feeding Mini Heifers
4 Months to 2 Years Old

Feeding Instructions for4 Months to 2 Years Old.  

Hay:  About  3% of body weight in hay or fresh pasture. Heifer may be 100 to 400 pounds depending on age and size.  See lactating section for details.

Grain: Approximately .5 to 1.5 pounds of grain a day or 1/4 - 1/2 a scoop.  See lactating section for grain details details.

Molasses: I mix enough molasses into the grain to get the minerals to stick to the grain.  See lactating section for details.

Minerals, Yeast, ACV and Kelp: 1 Tbls of minerals, 1 Tbls of Diamond V Yeast, 1 Tbls of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1/2 Tbls of Kelp with grain 1x per day plus free choice loose minerals throughout the day.  See lactating section for details.

Water: Clean water at all times.  See lactating section for details and mixing Apple Cider Vinegar.

Dewormers:  1-2 TBLS Herbal Dewormer 1 time per week during the summer mixed with grain and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of DE during the winter.
 

Feeding Mini Calves
New born to 4 Months

Feeding Instructions for New Born Mini Calves up to 4 Months old.
  

Milk:   I feed my mini calves 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of milk. Standard sized calves drink 1 gal to 1.5 gal of milk a day. 

           Week 1  -  Four feedings split equally throughout the day
           Week 2  -  Three feedings split into 3 times a day
           Week 3  -  Three feedings split into 3 times a day
           Week 4  until 3 Months Old  -  Two feedings split into 2 times a day
           3 Months to 4 Months Old  - Wean from bottle

Hay:  Free choice hay at all times or fresh pasture.  See lactating section for details.

Grain: Free choice grain at all times until they start eating up to 1/4 scoop at day.  See lactating section for grain details details.

Molasses: I don't usually worry about molasses until they are older.  See lactating section for details.

Minerals and Kelp: Free choice at all times.

Water: Clean water at all times.  See lactating section for details and mixing Apple Cider Vinegar.

Dewormers: 1 TBLS Herbal Dewormer 1 time per week during the summer mixed in the grain.  1/4 cup of DE during the winter.