A number of young Guernsey bulls, without official proofs, have daughters classified.

The Hoard Farm team headed up by Jason Yurs continues to be pleased with the performance of young sires’ daughters. On October 20, a number of young bulls had daughters either scored for the first time . . . or very early in the evaluation process.

The Hoard's Dairyman Farm is consigning some top-notch genetics to the International Guernsey Classic Sale, to be held on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 7 p.m. at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. This sale will be featuring an elite offering of cows and heifers from the Hoard's Dairyman Farm.

What can photos tell us? A lot, when we discuss pedigrees and breeding. On Wednesday, September 14, Hoard’s Dairyman pictured 14 of the farm’s best Guernseys. The day began early, with two staff members washing in the pre-dawn cold in preparation for photographer, Kathy DeBruin of Agri-Graphics, to arrive for a full day of photographing.

At the Hoard Farm’s recent classification, farm manager Jason Yurs and the Hoard’s Dairyman editors were discussing the best bulls used over the past decade. Idle Gold E Challenge-ET 1GU418 topped the short list of two with 7GU394 Penny Lane Royal Oak Turley coming in a close second. So far, Challenge is topping Turley based on health traits and higher udder scores.

Today, we are expecting at least 150 visitors at the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm as part of a tour sponsored by M & I Bank for its dairy clients. At the suggestion of M & I loan officers and because of the current dairy situation, we will be focusing on how we have made use of some of our older facilities to expand our herd and provide better care for our close-up cows.

Last Tuesday, the Hoard Jersey herd which now numbers 147 cows was appraised by AJCA appraiser, Leah Johnson. We purchased the Jerseys from three Wisconsin herds, one Illinois herd, and one in Ohio. Most Jerseys are housed in our old tie stall barn that recently made a complete transformation into a free stall facility; a few dozen can be found in the new free stall barn, as well.

As a group, the Hoard Guernsey herd had outstanding feet and leg scores, averaging 81.86 points on 342 cows at the most recent classification. There are a number of reasons for their solid feet and legs: some is genetic, some is the facilities, but a lion’s share can be attributed to a diligent hoof-trimming program and the steady use of footbaths by the Hoard Farm crew headed up by Jason Yurs.

There is always something going on at the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm. This week, one of the irons in the fire has been looking at the impact of buying 35 Jersey cows.

Here’s how we approached the issue: First, our Jerseys are eating 40 pounds of dry matter, which we value at 9.6 cents per pound or $3.84 per cow per day. For the group, feed cost would be $134.40 per day.

On October 25, the American Guernsey Association appraiser stopped by the Hoard Farm to score the Guernseys. Here are a few highlights from that day:

Late last month, the entire Hoard Guernsey herd was appraised as part of June's scheduled rotation in Wisconsin. The youngest cow to receive a score was Dairyman Ben Neater, #1167. She calved on May 31 and will not reach her second birthday until September 19. She is a well-grown heifer that scored VG-82, with an 80-point udder, and an 87-point foot and leg.

Hoard's Dairyman: HD Herdbook