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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Fortieth annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Beloit, Wis., November, 1911. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests

Woll, F. W.
The Wisconsin Cow Competition,   pp. 19-26 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 22

Fortieth Annual Report of the
pounds green peas and oats, 578 pounds clover hay, and 722 pounds
mixed hay. Estimating the cost of the feed at ordinary market prices
and pasture at $5 for the season, we find the total cost of the feed for
the year $129.40. If we only consider the value of her dairy production
we may figure this in various ways: (1) if her milk was retailed at
five cents a quart it would bring $512.00, or (2) delivered at the fac-
tory at $1 a hundred it would bring 219.73, or (3) if the butter fat
in her milk is valued at 28 cents a pound, the average price we received
the last two years for the production of our University dairy herd,
888.2 pounds would be worth $248.68, adding to this the value of the
skim milk at the rate of 20 cents a hundred, we would get 21972.9X.80
X.020 or $35.16, and this would give us $283.84 as the value of her
year's production.
The last method of figuring is doubtless the most satisfactory and
practical method and shows a net return of $154.44, if we consider
that the labor of caring for the cow is largely, at least, offset by the
value of the manure. In this figure for net returns the value of the
calf she dropped last year is not considered, as stated, and we find
nevertheless that the cow produced as much net profit as three or-
dinary good dairy cows, with emphasis on good, and about as much
as eight or nine ordinary cows, such as are found on most of the
farms in our state which supply the milk used for direct consumption
or in the manufacture of butter, cheese or condensed milk.
Can these cows, or any appreciable number of them, be made to pro-
duce some eight or nine hundred pounds of butter fat a year? Hardly,
and if not, why not? Is it the quantity or the quality of the feed the
cow received that is responsible for her wonderful production and the
large net profit she yielded? We have seen about what she ate and
fail to find in the list of feeds anything that is not within easy reach
of most dairy farmers and as a matter fact now used by many of them:
the quantity eaten (about 20 lbs. of grain feed per day, on the average)
is not excessive either, considering the fact that she is a large cow,
weighing perhaps 1400 pounds and produced nearly as much as three
ordinary good dairy cows. Most cows would not be able to eat as
much grain feed as she did, and keep up a healthy appetite day after
day and month after month, and there is where the skill of the feeder
came in, but back of that is the skill of the breeder and of those
that bred her ancestors so that she could reach the dairy production she
did. We have hundreds of good dairy herds in the state, many of
them averaging over 300 pounds of butter fat a year and a few even
over 400 a year, and some of the breeders at least know their business
quite as well as Mr. Schaefer does and are as skilled feeders as he is,
but it is only in very exceptional cases of cows bred for generations

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