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My Mini Jersey Buying Experience

Having zero cow experience prior to purchasing our first milk cow in 2022, we were excited to hear that there was such a thing as a mini dairy cow! That excitement was quickly dampened by the fact that reputable breeders are few and far between. After deciding on Purebred Mini Jerseys for our personal needs, we quickly found the Purebred Mini Jersey Society and were fortunate enough to get in contact with one of the breeders and board members, Sabrina Pack Massie, of Oak Spring Meadows Farm, NC.

Sabrina was a wealth of information. She answered all my questions and then some. She encouraged us to start considering things outside of just acquiring a milk cow, like having a plan for breeding back and keeping a companion cow instead of just the single heifer we’d be purchasing from her. Sabrina guided our thought processes and spent a lot of time answering questions as they came up.

​We put a deposit down on a heifer from her at the end of 2021 and our little heifer was born in April of 2022. About 4 months later, we drove from Middle Tennessee to North Carolina to pick up our future family cow who we named Oakley Rose. 

Meeting Sabrina face-to-face was a great experience and she showed us a good portion of her milking and herd-share operation. During pick-up, Sabrina carefully went through all of Oakley’s registration paperwork, A2 results, disease testing results, as well as the feeding schedule that we should keep. Sabrina made sure to inquire about our feed quality and nutrition to ensure that little Oakley was going to be receiving the diet she needed to stay healthy and grow into her full potential. Oakley was small enough to fit into a dog pen in the back of our Xterra and that’s exactly how we transported her back to Tennessee.

​​”She encouraged us to start considering things outside of just acquiring a milk cow, like having a plan for breeding back and keeping a companion cow.”

– Sarah

Buying your first Purebred Mini Jersey can be a bit intimidating, but I’d like to stress the importance of picking your breeder before you pick your animal. Sabrina was not only a wealth of knowledge, but she also gave us peace of mind about owning such an involved animal. She offered her help in many ways, including letting us know we could reach out to her at any time with questions about raising these animals up. She also let us know she’d be happy to help us pick a quality bull when the time came to breed Oakley. This was a topic I knew nothing about at the time of purchasing our heifer so to have that guidance was incredibly valuable.

By making sure you are buying from a trustworthy breeder, you can almost completely rid yourself of all headaches that could potentially crop up as a result of keeping a large animal. Things like weak stock, bad genetics, communicable disease, and poor temperament essentially cease to be an issue when you choose a breeder who is intentional about their herd goals. Unfortunately, the truth about livestock is that weaker animals will cost you more money in the long term in the form of nutrition supplementation, vet bills, and heartache when things don’t work out.

​Additionally, when you choose a high-quality breeder, you build a relationship that helps you grow as well. Though we haven’t been back to Oak Spring Meadows Farm for any more heifers, I look forward to the day when we are in a position to be able to do so again. My long-term goals are easier to achieve when I know that my animals are the result of someone else’s hard-fought long-term goals.

Oakley is a smart, healthy, and ever-so-sweet Purebred Mini Jersey. Of the three dairy cows I have, Oakley is by far the most docile. We owe this in part to Sabrina’s good husbandry practices and dedication to producing exceptional cattle. Above all else when purchasing a Purebred Mini Jersey, I recommend picking a breeder you trust. Someone who gives you their time generously within reason, offers help and guidance and makes you comfortable to be around them. A relationship with your breeder started with a foundation like this can only lead to good things.

Happy Purebred Mini Jersey shopping!
Sarah, PMJS Lifetime Charter Member

About the Author

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Sarah Burton, MSN, RN, PMJS Board of Directors, Sabbaticus Farm, TN has written 1 posts.

Sarah is the herd manager on their newly established A2/A2 micro dairy, Sabbaticus Farm, in McMinnville, TN. Her husband and farm manager, Matt, along with their two young children, are all about raw milk, real food, and making use of God’s bounty for medicinal purposes. Their priority is to farm sustainably while regenerating the land through rotational grazing. Sarah is a Registered Nurse, with a Master’s degree in Nursing Informatics. She runs the public-facing aspect of the family farm business and handles most of the animal husbandry decisions.

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