THE HOLT CREEK JERSEYS DIFFERENCE: Grassfed, A2A2, Polled Jersey Genetics for the Modern Grazing Dairy
Prospective customers often ask us: “What’s the difference?” What sets Holt Creek Jerseys apart? In order to maintain our herd of Grassfed, A2A2, Polled Jersey cattle, we really only do a few things, and they are very simple.
We focus on fertility. When it comes to performance, one element seems to be the indicator of many other desirable characteristics: the ability of a cow to breed back and calve in a 365-day cycle. Cows that can do this repeatedly are efficient, sound, and productive in many other ways. They last longer than their herdmates and they generate more profit, returning your investment in raising them many times over. Bulls whose mothers consistently calve in a 365-day cycle get more cows pregnant, and their offspring perform better.
Our cattle are ranch-raised. Our calves are born on pasture and are raised on their own mothers or on a surrogate mother, in a herd setting. After weaning, calves are kept in 100% grain-free management all the way through breeding and production. They must have the ability to adapt to challenging weather, harvest their own forage, maintain body condition, conceive and maintain a pregnancy on grass only, with minimal inputs. They must first pass this real-world, no-nonsense forage-only test under variable conditions before they are able to pass their genetics on to the next generation.
Our cattle are pasture-proven. Our cattle live outdoors and have a 100% forage and roughage diet. During the growing season, they are intensively grazed on subdivided paddocks and moved at least once daily. In the winter, cows receive stockpiled pasture, native grass hay, native baleage, and alfalfa. We use a very simple free-choice mineral program. When their health is challenged, our cattle must respond to natural remedies and nutrition-based preventative maintenance. Cattle that must have antibiotics are removed from the program. Over several generations, this has developed a herd of animals with high-functioning immune systems that can take care of themselves, so we don’t have to waste valuable time and money to maintain their health and productivity.
We only offer semen from bulls we have used in our own herd. We develop almost all of our own bulls. We sometimes, very rarely, bring in genetics from other herds. These are bulls and cattle that we have physically inspected, in person, from herds with programs similar to our own, raised by trustworthy people who share similar goals and philosophies. What we offer to you, our customer, are the same genetics we use to achieve our goals of using Grassfed, A2A2, Polled Jersey cattle to sustain and improve our quality of life.