4-H Agriculture Dairy Cow Guernsey

New to the Farm

This past weekend we welcomed two Guernsey cows, Buttercup and Tulip, to our farm! Buttercup is a 4-year-old cow and Tulip is her 10-month-old daughter.

Getting ready to load them in the trailer.

We have been looking for a Guernsey for several months because Colton asked for one for Christmas and his birthday. He has wanted to do the dairy cow project in 4-H for a couple of years. This year Lance and I decided he was old enough to do most of the work caring for his cattle by himself, with our supervision, so we said yes.

I found Tulip on Facebook in a Guernsey cow group. When I found out that Buttercup was available too and they checked all of our boxes I was excited! A bonus is that Buttercup was recently AI’d so hopefully she will calve again in December. We will test her in a few weeks. The only problem was that they were in Ohio! Thankfully, the family that we purchased them from was able to hold them for us for a couple of weeks until we could get there to pick them up.

Early Friday morning we loaded up and headed to Ohio to pick them up. We spent about 11.5 hours in the truck Friday so we could pick them up early Saturday morning. It was so nice that the previous owners had halter broke them because it made walking to the trailer and loading very easy. After loading them up early Saturday morning, we started the drive home. They have settled in nicely and everyone is getting used to each other and the routine.

Tulip was still nursing on Buttercup. We decided to put a calf weaning ring on her nose to start weaning. She was not happy at first but is finally not hollering at us every time she sees us.

We milked Buttercup for the first time on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, she stepped in or kicked the bucket three times. And since we are currently hand milking, the milk was gross or on the ground. Wednesday was much better, with her giving us just under 2 gallons of milk! I am looking for a milking machine to help us keep the milk cleaner and make milking a little more efficient. My patience while looking for the perfect cow paid off so I will continue to be patient until I find a machine that will work for us.

Several people have asked us why we decided on the Guernsey breed, especially when there aren’t very many of them in Kansas. I have always loved heritage or old breeds. Guernsey’s are a heritage breed with lower numbers and being a small part of helping to boost the numbers to keep the breed alive is something I enjoy. They are also a breed that does well on grass and a variety of forages with a lower feed-to-product conversion compared to other dairy breeds which is important to us. We don’t want a breed that has to have a ton of grain to keep milk production and body condition.

Here are a few facts that I find interesting about the Guernsey breed. These are quoted directly from the Livestock Conservancy website. “A distinctive characteristic of the breed is the golden color of its milk, which results from exceptionally high levels of carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A. It is thought that the Guernsey excels in its ability to absorb this nutrient and transfer it to butterfat. Guernsey milk has been promoted under the trademark “Golden Guernsey.” Butter made from the milk is distinctively golden. The milk is also naturally high in A2 Beta Casein.” “Cows are noted for their quiet dispositions.”

We are all very happy with Buttercup and Tulip. They have sweet personalities, are easy to lead around and work with, the kids can handle them by themselves, and we think they are the perfect fit for our family.

Colton’s ultimate goal for his little dairy herd is to start an ice cream business using milk from his cows. We have been experimenting with ice cream recipes using milk we purchased from a friend for several months and have finally found one we like. He is anxiously waiting for the first batch of ice cream using milk from Buttercup!


I never did get a new product of the month post up and March is half over so our Goat Milk Soap will continue to be our featured product for March. Use code Featuredproduct24 for 10% off of your order!


The cattle were one of two new species we will be adding to 14 Hands Ranch this spring. Stay tuned to see what the other species is! Hint: it will be a new 4-H project for Lane! One of my favorite things about 4-H is that it gives the whole family a lot of learning opportunities!

Here are a few pictures of Colton’s new dairy cow herd!