Avi-Lanche Jerseys and D&E Jerseys is a family-owned and operated dairy located in Dalhart, TX. Family history in the dairy business dates to 1888, experience with Jerseys to 1938.
The herd consists of D&E Jerseys, owned by Elsa Sherman and the late Donnie Sherman, and Avi-Lanche Jerseys, owned by their daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Richard Avila, and their girls, Sidney and Caitlin.
The Registered Jersey herd numbers 2,000 milking cows and 2,000 replacement heifers. The dairy is situated in the Panhandle of Texas, in Dalhart.
Component-rich milk is sold to the Hilmar Cheese Company, the largest, single-site cheese and whey product manufacturing facility in the world.
Cows are fed a total mixed ration (TMR) that is based on alfalfa hay and corn silage. The milking-cow ration is supplemented with a mix of high moisture earlage or steam-flaked corn, dried distillers grains and canola and/or cottonseed meal. The dry cow ration is supplemented with a mineral package and balanced to minimize milk fever. No anionic salts are fed.
Heifers are fed 2-3 pounds of a grain mix with Rumensin and offered free choice of alfalfa hay from weaning to six months-of-age. They are then given a TMR of alfalfa hay and forage silage with a Rumensin mineral package until two weeks before calving.
Heifers are bred beginning at 12 months-of-age and have an average age at freshening of 22 months. Cows are bred starting at 60 days and have a calving interval of 13.4 months.
The herd is fully-registered and has been enrolled on REAP, the American Jersey Cattle Association's total performance program, since it was introduced in 1995.
The Sherman family takes a pro-active approach to on-farm biosecurity. They strive to control factors that impact the environment, including the movement of people and animals, exposure to disease-causing agents, handling of feeds and manure and the purchase of animals. The farm also has a thorough vaccination program.