Happy and healthy cows are an important part of creating delicious cheese. That's why Evans Farmstead Cheese does everything possible to keep our registered Jersey cows happy and contented. We have between 130 milking cows, in addition to about 150 calves and heifers.
Have questions about our dairy cattle in the Buhl, ID area? Email us now.
The Jersey cow originates from Jersey, the largest island in the British Channel Islands. Jersey cows are a smaller breed, weighing about 900 pounds at maturity and only about 4 feet tall. They have color ranging from medium brown to dusty grey. They are known for their big, beautiful eyes with long lashes. In contrast, the typical Holstein dairy cow weighs about 1,500 pounds and stands close to 5 feet tall. And are black and white in color. Our top reason for choosing Jersey cows is the quality of milk they produce. It is incredibly rich and wholesome. While Jersey cow milk is known for the very high butterfat content it also has 15% to 20% more protein, 15% to 18% more calcium, and 10% to 12% more phosphorous, as well as higher levels of vitamin B12 than typical milk. We don't skim any cream from our milk or change it in anyway during the production of our cheese. High quality milk makes for high quality cheese. In addition to the superior milk, we have also chosen Jersey cows due to their good temperament. They are characteristically friendly, docile, gentle, and cooperative. These attributes make for cows that are easy to train to lead for showing at the fair, visiting the veterinarian or an appointment at the hoof trimming chute (pedicure time). If you are interested in a house cow, please contact Eric Evans. We often have available cows that would make a perfect addition to your little homestead.
How are the cows cared for at Evans Dairy? Our cows are our livelihood. Keeping them healthy and happy are a huge priority. We recognize that good animal welfare practices lead to the production of high-quality, safe, and wholesome milk. Our cows always have access to fresh food and water. Our cows go out on a grass pasture Spring-Fall but also benefit from specially formulated rations developed by our PhD nutritionist. Dairy nutritionists recommend scientifically formulated and balanced diets that consist of hay, grains, protein sources and other vitamins and minerals. Our cows also have shelter that is designed for the weather conditions in Southern Idaho. We work to assure the comfort of our cows. We have bedding made of straw in winter that makes for a clean area for the cows to rest. Our cows are free to move about to eat, drink or rest whenever and wherever they like. We provide comfortable bedding for our cows in the form of dry compost in the summer. Corrals are cleaned often, to keep the cows dry and clean. Each cow has plenty of space to lay down, eat, and move about as she desires. Our calves have their own straw-bedded hutches that they stay in for the first few months of their lives to keep them healthy and safe. In the winter, depending on the age of the calf, it is housed in a warm nursery, or an insulated calf jacket is placed on the calf.
At every milking the health of our cows is monitored. On the occasion that one of our cows gets sick we choose to treat our animals promptly and sometimes that means with specific necessary antibiotics. We believe this is the most respectful and compassionate approach to the health and wellbeing of our herd. We do not give our cows any preventative antibiotics, but we do use antibiotics if a cow is sick. We do not believe in destroying a sick animal that could be effectively treated with antibiotics. Any cow that receives antibiotics are removed from the herd and won't rejoin it until their milk tests free of antibiotics. Milk that tests positive for antibiotics is not permitted in the food supply and is immediately discarded. We do not use Growth Hormones (rBGH/rBST).
We maintain a good breeding program for keeping our herd productive using AI (Artificial Insemination) and IVF (Invitro Fertilization). IVF programs allow for the greatest genetic progress in the least amount of time. Decreasing generation intervals serve to improve the genetic base of the herd, which will result in more milk with greater components and a cow that ultimately lives a longer and healthier life in the herd. If you have questions about IVF, feel free to contact Eric Evans. Eric is not only a dairy farmer and cheese maker; he also is part owner of Intermountain Embryonics.
Why have registered cows? Registration papers show the ancestry of each animal and provides legitimacy to the pedigree lineage. Registration allows you to track and document the ancestry of past generations and future offspring and take pride in associating your name with animals that you breed. Genetic lines can disappear, become too inbred and a breed's existence can be threatened. Knowing and documenting the pedigree ensures that the ancestry of an animal is known. Listing the breed makeup and breed percentages of your animals on registration papers can aid in making breeding decisions. If you have questions regarding breeding decisions with your family cow or herd, please fill free to contact Eric Evans as he has a wealth of knowledge regarding dairy cow lineage.
What is a grade A dairy? The grade of milk indicates its degree of sanitation. "Grade A" means a higher quality milk that has been produced under more sanitary conditions. Grade A dairy farms are inspected regularly to ensure that Grade A conditions are maintained in the production of milk, cleanliness of the facility and of the cows, suitability of the milking parlor and sanitary handling of the milk. Also, specific bacteriological limits are placed on Grade A milk. Grade A has the lowest bacteria count.
Grade A dairy plants are inspected at a minimum of 4 times a year. Aged cheeses are the only product currently acceptable to be made with raw milk. Raw milk cheeses must be aged for a minimum of 60 days. This reduces the quantity of possible harmful microorganisms present in raw milk.