Ethiopian and Canadian cows are the same except….Part 2

The milk production is less from an Ethiopian cow that produces approximately 20 liters a day average; 2/3 of what a Canadian cow will produce. An Ethiopian Holstein is about ¾ the size of a Canadian Holstein. The smaller stomach leads to less production. The feed is good but still not as good as are prepared Canadian feed. We are not being paid for the cream or fat content in the milk. We are paid on a per liter basis. This will change as soon as we get a cream separator. We also milk by hand which is not a way to maximize production. We look forward to the day when we can purchase a machine that will milk; but other than that cows are the same except…….
In Ethiopia cows are a status symbol, a show of wealth, not a tool to obtain cash flow. This leads to bad management where old cows are kept beyond their productive life and a poorer breeding program. Bull calves are not castrated or fed out for slaughter as soon as possible. The cowboys have not seen the necessity of taking the horns off at birth, therefore injuries happen. I have seen too many cows with horn scares on their sides because of the head boss cow putting the underlings in their place. These same cowboys insist that a newborn calf can be cold in sunny Ethiopia. They want to cover them up in a warm barn with dirty straw infested with disease. I am still trying to educate them that is it the damp, dirty straw and the closed in area without air circulation that makes them cold and sick. I need to video a calf being born in the -20 winter wind of Southern Alberta with snow on the ground to show them the durability of a newborn calf; cows are the same everywhere except…..
The breeding program is free range. There is little thought about trying to improve the gene pool. When a bull and cow are free with no fences it is unreasonable to have a breeding program; each farmer will have 3-4 bulls or cows and a couple of calves in tow!! Our dairy cows will be artificially inseminated from top producing bulls from Europe; so all cows are the same except…..
Our Ethiopian milk cows will give as much milk over 6-7 lactations or milking cycles as a Canadian cow does in 3-4 lactations. An Ethiopian milk cow cannot be pushed as hard due to feed, management and labor issues. The weather in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia is 25 c degree days, 15 c nights, 365 days a year.
See I told you all the cows are the same.

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