My family has been showing dairy cattle since the late 1800’s. In those day the premier breed was Ayrshires. Today the Ayrshire is listed as rare breed with Holsteins the predominant breed not only in Australia but also world wide
She is an example of the best of the best Ayrshire of her era. According to www.illawarrasqld.com.au she carried the Champion Dairy Cow of the world title in the early eighteen nineties, she was also invincible in the show ring and winner of all the milk and butterfat awards. Honeycomb is also the cow that inspired Australia’s own breed of dairy cattle the Illawarras,
As point of interest note her very long teats – in those days this was a huge positive as cows were milked by hand. The introduction of milking machines has seen cows bred with a much shorter teats like in this picture of one of the show stars from our Holstein team
Tangalla Leduc Fond.
Another interesting aside on this is Fond holds the milk production record for her age in NSW and produces 50% more milk than Honeycomb who produced the most milk in one day in the world at that time. It doesn’t take much to see that Fond has a much more compact udder than Honeycomb which flies in the face of the animal activists who say dairy farmers are deliberately breeding cows with huge udders and forcing them to produce huge volumes of milk. This is rubbish. All good dairy farmers are doing the opposite. We are selecting and breeding cows with the genes to indeed produce large volumes of milk but in vessels (udders) that sit as snuggly and comfortably on the cow as they possibly can. Just like Fond
Off my soap box and onto the centrepiece of this story. We have regularly exhibited Holsteins at International Dairy Week (IDW) the premier stud cattle show in Australia. See previous story here “Gearing up for the Countdown”. We have only exhibited on and off since we began focusing on the milk business including moving to milking 3x daily in 2005 and less on breeding stud cattle.
This year was a first for us and we took our one and only Jersey cow who we have nick named Princess Eileen
This is the flyer which our professional cow fitter at IDW Brad Gavenlock created for Shirlin ILB Eileen to tell visitors all about her. As you can see has previously starred at a number of high profile Jersey shows in NSW.
Eileen handled the 800km journey to IDW with no effort and apparently alighted the truck bright eyed and bushy tailed and scoffed down grains and hay that awaited her as she joined Brad’s team of stars
Eileen enjoying the luxury conditions show cows are afforded.
The big day arrives and Eileen enters the ring looking fantastic. What a great job Brad has done preparing her. By the way that is Brad leading her.
How excited were we when the judge pulled Eileen in 2nd
The judge eventually had a rethink and placed Eileen 6th but when you think this is the final line-up and there were 45 cows in Eileen’s class she did very well and we are very proud of her
Eileen proudly shows off her ribbon.
Maybe next year we will have a whole team of Jerseys. There is no denying they are just adorable to look at.