Katharina Bleis lives with her parents on a farm near Bremen. They have had a herd of around 300 Holstein dairy cows here for generations. Katharina has always been fascinated by cows, but one breed won her heart from the very beginning. It's why the family gave their dad a Jersey calf called Paula for his birthday. Paula is still milked as part of the herd today and is a very special animal for the family. The arrival of the seven-year-old cow marked the start of a new era on the farm, as more and more animals followed.
In her master’s thesis, Katharina took a closer look at owning Jersey cows and went over the investment meticulously with her consultants. Once they were sure that this step could have a beneficial financial impact in the long run, they went for it. She headed to Denmark with her consultant Frank and visited a number of companies. She chose herds she wanted to source animals from. VikingLivestock worked with her to select the animals that matched Katharina’s vision.
A professional transport company brought the Danish animals to the family. "They were all relaxed, and it was easy to get them out of the transporter so they could eat straight away," they tell us. During our visit, 10 new animals had just arrived in the night and were being integrated into the herd. They are virtually unidentifiable among the herd and act as if they have always been part of it. The family tells us about their first few days with the VikingJerseys: "On the first day, they walked under the neck brackets on the feeding table, where we found them eating happily. We were amazed, and we had to move quickly to optimise the situation."
Minor changes were enough to keep these intelligent animals in check. Minor improvements also had to be made in the milking parlour, as the much smaller animals in the side-by-side facility could fit through the smaller gaps. The family's enthusiasm hasn't dimmed to date, and they bask in the sight of the herd in their stable every day.
"In the beginning people laughed at us for the journey we embarked on, but many now seek us out to ask us for our opinions and about our work, because they see how well it works here," says Katharina. Her mother is also thrilled, not least because of one major change: “Since we’ve had more Jersey cows, we've been able to reduce our milking time!” she says with a laugh. With the exception of a few animals, the herd will soon be comprised entirely of Jersey cows.
The cows will now be inseminated by our X-Vik™ semen, taken from bulls including VJ Haiko, VJ Honda and VJ Luxplus. When selecting bulls, high-concentration solids are prioritised to keep the herd highly productive and profitable in the long term. We are delighted for Katharina and her family and wish them all the best with their great herd.