Grass-fed Dairy Cow

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Farmerboy16, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Farmerboy16

    Farmerboy16 Rebuilding my Farm

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Sparta, MI
    For years, I have been wanting a cow just for milk, and there is a possibility that in the spring that we can have a cow when my dad gives an ok. We just got 2 bull calves to raise as a steer, we will have one to be butchered, and sell the other one to pay for the cost of raising them, and feed. Right now the calves are in my coop, and we will build them a 12x12 shed with at least 3 to 5 acre pasture in the spring. My goal to have the cattle grass-fed as much as possible, and am wondering is it possible to have a dairy cow fed just grass in the growing season, hay in the winter, and no grain at all? We just want a few gallons of milk a day, and am thinking of finding a jersey cross type. I am still learning, and will appreciate any links and info regarding grass-fed dairy cows.
    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  2. Nicola

    Nicola Chook Cuddlin' Aussie

    Feb 23, 2009
    ACT
    I think you will get more than a few gallons a day from one cow, especially a jersey or a jersey cross they produce alot of milk. They can give anything from 3-6 gallons a day. Not owning any form of milking cow before or having a relative that owns one ( only have one that breeds beef cows) i wouldn't know about their diet.
     
  3. Farmerboy16

    Farmerboy16 Rebuilding my Farm

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    I know that a dairy cow will produce less milk if not fed grain, but is wondering if it is possible to have the cow eat just grass and hay, and produce a few gallons day.
     
  4. turney31

    turney31 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2008
    palestine texas
    Around here its one cow per 5 acres.
     
  5. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    When I was a kid we always had a milk cow. Most milked around 4 to 6 gallons a day. We had jersey, guernsey and crosses. Our milk cows were on pasture and creek water in the spring, summer and fall, got hay during the winter along with the creek water.
    We always gave them a scoop of homeade sweetfeed in the trough every morning and evening while they were being milked. More to keep them occupied than anything else.
     
  6. D3invertebrates

    D3invertebrates Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2011
    Brookshire, TX
    Miniature cattle are a good alternative if you want less milk, theyll also require less space.
     
  7. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Quote:X2


    But they also cost 10 times as much to buy a good one.
     
  8. Farmerboy16

    Farmerboy16 Rebuilding my Farm

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Sparta, MI
    Well, I have 8 siblings, but 2 cannot have any kind of milk, and 2 are married and out of the house. Any milk that we can't use can go to the chickens. The owner of 20 acres right next to our 5 acre land is trying to sell it for the past 2 years, and I would just love to buy it to start my own farm, but have no money. [​IMG] Anyway, the owner lives in the city, and he has lets me put my portable coops on his land, and let us fence part of it for the horse that we were taking care of for almost a year, as an excuse not to mow that area. He told me that he would not mind us using the land as long we are not ruining anything, it has a creek and a old barn that is about to fall apart. We are planning to fence the area that has lot of trees and bush and a large meadow, so the owner does not have to mow those areas. The creek comes from the foundry dump site across the road, and there is a chance that it could be contaminated. The only way to know for sure, is to have the water tested. [​IMG] The only problem is finding the right cow that is young, and cheap. I will really look for one in the spring. Thanks for all the help. [​IMG]
    Now I got to go and bottle feed those 2 bull calves. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. GrassfedNetwork.com

    GrassfedNetwork.com New Egg

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    Dec 13, 2011
    Hey Farmerboy16,

    I have the exact experience that you need! We use to run a grass based dairy in NE Nebraska. We milked 64 cows and they were fed nothing but green grass. We were also a seasonal dairy so when the grass stopped growing we stopped milking until the Spring. When they were being milked we gave them free choice Redmans Salt topped with organic iodine and we kept apple cider vinegar in their water trough. You can absolutely milk a cow feeding nothing but grass. We did this both in Nebraska and in Texas and it worked great.

    If you have siblings that cannot drink milk, maybe instead of a cow you should consider milking a goat or a couple of goats. Folks that cannot drink cow milk can almost always drink goat milk. We use to milk 16 goats as well. If you want to do a cow, consider using a milking shorthorn. You will probably get a shorthorn cheaper than a Jersey and their genetics have not been so messed up that they are too big. The added benefit of a milking shorthorn is that the bull calves are excellent for grassfed beef. You will not enjoy all animals raised on grass only, their genetics have a lot to do with the quality of the beef when feed grass only.

    Not to burst your bubble her Farmerboy but if those are two Holsteins I am seeing in your picture; you are not going to get those two steers to fatten on grass only. Holsteins have been breed to milk high volumes of milk with tons of grain poured to them which directly affects their calves ability to gain weight. Those calves will require grain to properly finish. I have been assisting in the training of producers to raise cattle on grass for the last, almost 2 years now. If you want to know how to raise cattle on grass, the GrassfedNetwork.com is the site that I run for monthly trainings.

    What else can I tell you?
     
  10. Farmerboy16

    Farmerboy16 Rebuilding my Farm

    2,485
    59
    208
    Dec 30, 2010
    Sparta, MI
    GrassfedNetwork.com :

    Hey Farmerboy16,

    I have the exact experience that you need! We use to run a grass based dairy in NE Nebraska. We milked 64 cows and they were fed nothing but green grass. We were also a seasonal dairy so when the grass stopped growing we stopped milking until the Spring. When they were being milked we gave them free choice Redmans Salt topped with organic iodine and we kept apple cider vinegar in their water trough. You can absolutely milk a cow feeding nothing but grass. We did this both in Nebraska and in Texas and it worked great.

    If you have siblings that cannot drink milk, maybe instead of a cow you should consider milking a goat or a couple of goats. Folks that cannot drink cow milk can almost always drink goat milk. We use to milk 16 goats as well. If you want to do a cow, consider using a milking shorthorn. You will probably get a shorthorn cheaper than a Jersey and their genetics have not been so messed up that they are too big. The added benefit of a milking shorthorn is that the bull calves are excellent for grassfed beef. You will not enjoy all animals raised on grass only, their genetics have a lot to do with the quality of the beef when feed grass only.

    Not to burst your bubble her Farmerboy but if those are two Holsteins I am seeing in your picture; you are not going to get those two steers to fatten on grass only. Holsteins have been breed to milk high volumes of milk with tons of grain poured to them which directly affects their calves ability to gain weight. Those calves will require grain to properly finish. I have been assisting in the training of producers to raise cattle on grass for the last, almost 2 years now. If you want to know how to raise cattle on grass, the GrassfedNetwork.com is the site that I run for monthly trainings.

    What else can I tell you?

    Some of my siblings cannot have any kind of milk, that is cow, goat, etc. My neighbors have a few dairy goats, and I love the raw milk, but I am the only one in my family that is willing to drink it, the rest of my family thinks that it is [​IMG]. So, goats are out of the question, besides I love cows, always have since I was a young child. My first word was ''moo''. Really. [​IMG]

    My dad wants the steers fed with corn for fattening proposes, and will be on a pasture year round, with hay in the winter. They will be ready to be processed at 23 months old. They are on calf starter grain.
    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. [​IMG]

    ETA- [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011

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