Thursday, June 13, 2013

What I've learned about cows

What I've learned about cows and choosing one for a homestead in the past 4 years.

Most people do not need a cow on the farm. It is a huge commitment and one most people aren't really wanting to take part in, as romantic as it seems.

If you get a cow, getting an old pro already broke to hand milk and halter broke is ideal.

Getting a dual purpose and lower production cow or a cow that can be grass only or nearly is best for most families - good milking lines of Dexters, Mini Jerseys, Jersey /Dexter crosses and even Jersey crossed with beef breeds will be the best starter homestead cows. . .

Consider an outlet for the bull calves - if you're hoping to sell breeding bulls, you need to go with Dexters or foundation pure mini Jerseys. If you're looking for family meat production, a Dexter or full Size Jersey bred to a Angus or Dexter is ideal.

Think long and hard on the breed choice for your land, your milk needs, whether you want butter (Holsteins and Dexters and goats will not provide much of this), read up on A2/A2 milk verses A1/A2, consider how much grain the breed you chose will eat and the impact cattle make on land, especially hilly or mountainous areas. . .

And then look at my lovely cow and calf and do what I did and throw all you already knew out the window. . .lol!!!!



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington