Happy news about animals
Duchess, the cow that broke records during her last lactation by milking 80 litres a day, has just given birth to a baby girl which is already showing signs of being a big producer.
Proud owners and Dairy Farmers suppliers, Cameron and Marie Lou Janke, of Westbrook, 15km west of Toowoomba, said the yet unnamed baby heifer has already shown traits of her mother.
“She’s huge,” Cameron said.
“And very particular – she’ll have a go at you if you try to get close.”
Cameron said he named all his cows, but so far, had not decided on a name for Duchess’s newborn.
“Somebody suggested Isabella because it was what Princess Mary called her new baby,” he said.
“I quite like it, as we think Duchess has a touch of royal blood.
“But I’d love to hear if anybody else has got any other suggestions – it gets hard finding names for a whole herd.”
Duchess is still recovering from the June 24 birth, which coincided with a cold snap.
“Also, it was a big baby, so she needs time to recuperate,” he said.
During her last lactation, Duchess produced 80 litres of milk per day, more than double the litres of any ordinary cow.
In an amazing feat, this genetically superior Holstein Friesian clocked up 17,750 litres at 3pc protein and 3.7pc butter fat within 305 days on just two milkings per day.
With Cameron’s herd average peaking at 35 litres per cow per day and considering Duchess was fed the same ration and mix of silage and grain as the rest of the herd, 27 year-old Cameron admitted she was a “pretty special” cow.
“We bought Duchess as a dry cow from a local breeder for $1200, but she originally arrived in Australia as an imported embryo from the US,” Cameron said.
“Her genetic make-up has a lot to do with her ability to produce milk, but you only get a cow this good after many generations of balanced breeding.
“She’s tall and wide and has a dominant personality – she also has a top udder.”
Interestingly, Cameron’s current number-one milk producer is actually Duchess’s first daughter, which is on her second lactation and producing 67 litres of milk per day.
“This is currently double that of my herd average, which leads me to think, she may even outperform her mother,” he said.
Cameron and Mary Lou manage a herd of 350 cows with Cameron’s parents, David and Cindy Janke, who own 400 hectares of land which they use to run their milking and dry herd, and grow silage crops.