The autumn weather was at its finest when on the 7th of Octobre 2002 Denmark's oldest Jersey herd at Landsledgård on the island of Møn celebrated its 100th Jersey anniversary. The Danish Jersey Cattle Society and Uffe Gottschalk Jensen (chairman) contributed to the celebrations by presenting Finn and Charlotte
Jørgensen with a memorial plaque and a bouquet of flowers. A bouquet of flowers was also presented to Ettie Henriques.
On the 7th of Octobre 1902 the first Jersey animals arrived at Landsledgård on the island of Møn. This event was duly noted by the local paper which published the
following notice on the 8th of Octobre 1902: "Jersey Cattle Supplied On board the
SS 'Stege' a group of 8 heads of young cattle of the well-known English small dairy
breed arrived here yesterday. There were 6 heifers and two bulls. One of the bulls is, however, to be included in the Gaardbygaard herd in the district of Vendsyssel - the northernmost manor in Denmark.
The group was purchased by gentleman farmer A. Henriques, who intends to see how the small-framed Jersey cow - which yields almost pure butter - will thrive on our island".
Since the Jersey cows made their entry at Landsledgård in 1902 the farm has had 4 owners. Albert Henriques who took over in 1888 and ran the farm until his son Verner was appointed its manager in 1916. Ettie Henriques, Verner's daughter, assumed control of Landsledgård in 1955 and ran it until 1989, when Finn Jørgensen, Ettie's former farm hand, took over. Ettie Henriques still lives very close to Landsledgård, and when Ettie sold the farm to Finn in 1989, a clause was entered into the contract to the effect that Ettie can go where she pleases on the farm. She visits Landsledgård nearly every day to fetch her jug of milk, and she still takes a keen interest in the day-to-day activities on the farm and in the breeding work going on with the Jersey cows.
Over the years the Landsledgård Jersey herd has been expanded regularly with young stock reared on the farm.
No new animals have been purchased for the farm since 1930. Until August of this year the nearly 100 Jersey cows were housed in a tie-up cowshed from 1875. The fact that Danish Jersey yields have developed considerably over the last 100 years is also reflected in Landsledga rd data. In 1903-04 Landsledgård had a herd of 12.9 cows/year. They each milked 2,111 litres of milk with a fat percentage of 4.65% or just under 100 kg of fat. Today, the 100 cows in the herd milk an average of 5,936 kg of milk with 360 kg of fat and 236 kg of protein.
During the last few years Finn and Charlotte have been seriously considering whether they should renovate the old cowshed, build new facilities or sell their herd.
A renovation would be very expensive seen in relation to the expected returns, and so they chose to build new housing facilities. The plans for the building were approved by the authorities of the County of Storstrøm - but not straight away. They did, however, end up giving their approval for 170 animals units on the farm.
The old cowshed has, however, not yet quite outlived its purpose and will be fitted up as a deep litter facility for young stock.
As well as celebrating the Landsledgård 100th Jersey anniversary Finn and Charlotte were thus also able to show off their new housing facilities to all of their invited guests - Jersey breeders, neighbours - Ettie among them - parents, builders and bankers alike. The new 1,370 m 2 facility has 113 cubicle boxes for lactating cows, which have a 2x8 herringbone milking parlour at their disposal. The housing facilities have been constructed in such a way that milking robots can be fitted in later if the need should arise. In addition, there are a little more than 50 cubicle boxes which are at present occupied by dry and empty cows plus some in-calf heifers. Two calving boxes have been fitted up and there is room for young calves.
Finn and Charlotte reckon that they need to have a total of 130 cows/year, and this will be possible without exceeding the limit of 170 animal units as the farm rears no bull calves. The transition to the loose housing system went extremely well. Within a very short period of time the cows got used to being able to move about. After a few weeks it seemed as if they had not ever been doing otherwise.
Both the cows, the farm hands and Finn and Charlotte are extremely pleased with the new loose housing facilities, and so there will probably be a Jersey herd at Landsledga rd for many years to come.