They're here! A bull calf and heifer calf! What's so special, you say? Well, my bovid buddies, they are the first foundation stock calves born as my trademark dairy breed! They are the DeJe Wu's!!! Yes, just like Deja VU but different. Let me break it down Barney style for ya.
First, you must remember that in Ignus Fatuus, everything works out the way I want. Everything. Even if recessive, dominance, little a, big A, blah, blah, blah...(which are actually really fascinating but pretty blah for this blog) come into play, they line up perfectly here.
Second, yep, I said trademark. Basically this is my intellectual property put into play to create my very own breed of cattle. Specifically, dairy cattle for smaller homesteads with superior milk quality...and quality is where it's at. Again, for the small homesteader. Trust me, ANY cow, large or small will produce far too much for you to consume in one day as fresh drinkable milk unless you have a gaggle of children in the teens. These are small dairy cows. They consume less, need less space and are cute. Which meets the requirements of my farm: must be functional and look cute doing it.
Third, the science behind the trademark.
My first calf was a heifer born out of a small Jersey sired by a AI (artificial insemination) Watusi Ankole bull. Effectively a Jerusi. My bull calf was out of an American Milking Devon sired by an AI Zebu (oh my goodness...tiny cuteness!) Effectively a Devu. Still tracking?? Once of age, the Jerusi and the Devu got together and produced a Deje Wu. All clear on the breeding? GREAT 'cause here's WHY I chose those breeds.
I need to make clear here that I chose the Jersey out of vanity and not their milk production or quality, even though they are far above average in quantity and quality. Just look at their faces. Even if you're not a cow person I think we can all agree that the Jersey is the Marilyn Monroe of the cow world. Great tits, pretty face AND a sweet disposition=WINNING!!! Back to the science-y portion of this. Jersey's have 4% butterfat which is the highest you see in a typical commercial dairy operation. Plus, they are great producers...up to 7 gallons per day. SEVEN gallons! PER DAY!
Truth be told, I never considered this breed. I thought they were cool to look at but that's where it ended UNTIL I found out what percentage of butterfat these horny devils were running! A whopping 12%. I don't do public math but...I know that's a LOT!!! I know!....I'm excited too! But here's where I have to pop the bubble. Their production is terrible...but who can blame them when they have to roam the deserts of Africa looking for water. So how do they compensate? Retain the fluid but up the butterfat...that's how. Their production is so low that we're talking quarts here folks, not gallons per day. Another silver lining is those horns!...What the Dickens!???
American Milking Devon (AMD)
It's no secret that I am an Anglophile and regionally I'm a Devoniphile. I am a sucker for anything from Devon England. I would buy ice from an Eskimo saying it was from Devon. So, naturally I NEED this breed in the mix. Interesting side note here. The American Milking Devon is what the colonists brought over from England and have been preserved here as rare breed cattle. In England, the milking Devon no longer exists. Devon cattle (Ruby Reds because of their coloring) are what remains of the breed. They have been bred specifically into beef cattle. AMD's are decent producers are gentle ruby pasture ornaments and have high quality butterfat at the 4% range.
Just look at them! They are tiny!!!!! Usually around 36" inches at the shoulder. Zebu's are an ancient breed of cattle dating back to, well...a long time ago. Incidentally they are usually called mini-zebu. They are NOT a mini-breed of cattle. They have always been tiny. Not bred down to tiny. Usually a mini-breed is one that has been, well, miniaturized. They have in the 5-6% range of butterfat but are not great producers in the realm of the dairy cow. But to that I say, who cares!!!! When you are 36" tall I challenge you to make gallons of milk per day!
So the Deje Wu's have the small stature of the Jersey and Zebu with those fantastic dished faces that both Jersey and Zebu have. And those eyes!!! The body type of the AMD and horns of the Watusi. Of course we have the increased butterfat and average to low average production. This is quality...quality milk!
All of the breeds selected are a heritage style breed...meaning they are an old breed. Breeds prior to industrial agriculture. Most -not all- heritage breeds naturally carry the A2 milk protein...which makes digestion of milk much easier on the human system. Many people who cannot normally tolerate typical "grocery milk" CAN tolerate A2 milk. Similarly they can tolerate sheep, goat and...um...human milk as these are ALL A2. The best milk you can get with that beta caesin protein is A2A2. I'm not going to go into detail here about A2A2. Feel free to review Punnett Squares at leisure. Fascinating stuff...fascinating. If you'd like more reading information on A2A2 here's a link for you: https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/category/a1-and-a2-milk/
Finally the name.
I'm sure you've figured out that the name is just parts of each breed mashed up to make "deje Wu". That's exactly what it is. I settled on this one because I liked the tie back to "deja vu" and it's meaning; something that's already been seen. Way back when, small milking cattle were the norm, not the anomaly. Cattle have been selectively bred up to bigger sizes to accommodate big production. I'm breeding down; down to something that's already been seen before: smaller cattle. I had other names like DeJewsi but that sounded more like beef cattle and I'd sink a fork into a steak called DeJewsi over Angus any day! Juicy steak over anus steak. Look people, I'm going off the names. Angus is just one letter off from butt hole...DeJewsi=brilliance. However, since we are talking about dairy cows here, they are DeJe Wu's.
They are still in the very young stages of the breeding program and it will take several generations to get a stable breed but these are the start. Our breeding program here at Annie the Arable is always undertaking avenues less traveled even if it is a long road to the finish. We believe the time is well spent developing genetics of superior quality. Sparkle On!