I have a quick questions on dairy cows.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by HeatherLynn, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentucky, Cecilia
    i already check out the sister site and registered but honestly everyone seems to have such varied and strong opinions I am having difficulty finding what I need.

    I want a cow to milk. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a jersey but they are expensive. I mean wicked expensive. Someone is selling a 6 day old jersey cross angus heifer. She is so dang pretty. Soft brown little sweetheart. Now we have raised cows before but these were beef cows turned pet cause we are wimps. So I know nothing about milk cows. I know full jersey would be better but there is roughly an $1100 difference in price for same age heifers. Anyone have a clue if this cross will be a decent milk cow. This milk would just be for our family of 8.
     
  2. seymore0626

    seymore0626 Out Of The Brooder

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    I bought two beautiful jerseys in milk, one with papers, one registered but without papers, both former show heifers, both bred back for $600 here in Kentucky. Send me a pm and I'll give you the name of the dairy. I bought the third for $800 and she doesn't have papers, but came wth a cream line that is unbelievable!!!!
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I am a lot of decades away from fooling with cows, but I did grow up on a farm where I milked the cow for our milk. There were five of us kids. Dad never kept a purebred cow. We could not afford one. Twice a day, I would milk the cow and take it to Mom. She would strain it through a pretty tight linen cloth (lots of threads per inch), then let it set in the fridge for several hours in gallon glass jars. Before we drank it, Mom would skim off the butterfat, which had floated to the top. I always hated getting a glob of that butterfat when I was drinking the milk but Dad really enjoyed it.

    A Jersey is not know for giving a huge quantity of milk. Get a Holstein for that, but don't expect much butterfat. Jersey (and Guernsey) are known for giving milk with a whole lot of butterfat. You get lots of rich cream which makes great butter. The dairies around would keep one or two Jersey or Guernsey with their herd of Holstein to get the butterfat content up and get a better price for their milk.

    I'm sure the purists will get all upset with me, but for your family, I think that Jersey-Angus cross will give you a fairly good, compact milk cow that gives a fair quantity of rich milk. Dad was always glad to get a milk cow that had some Jersey or Guernsey in it. I can't tell you how much milk she will give. Even with purebreds, how much milk you get depends on the strain, not just the breed. I don't know how much milk your family needs anyway. Her calves will be fairly good for beef if that matters to you, thanks to the Angus in her. It is a risk. You never know which traits she will inherit from which parent.

    Seymore0626 brought up a good point. Is a lot of the $1100 difference in cost for purebred registration papers? For your purposes, you do not need a registered championship line purebreed. Somebody's cull will be great. It may be worth keeping looking for a while.

    Good luck!
     
  4. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I did not know that about the butter fat. I would love to have my own butter. Nothing beats real butter and some of my brothers honey on biscuits. So another point for the Jersey. I would like to say if she dropped a bull calf I could send it off for meat. I could. My husband could. My parents who live on the farm with us. Not so much. Nice to know though because that would be a good situation and worst comes to worst I know someone who would raise any boys for us.

    I will keep looking. This cross is only 6 days old. She is a beautiful soft brown and is $100. I can spend that much just going to tsc once. I have the idea I would like a very docile tame cow. One that the kids could actually help with. So bottle feeding one and hand raising it would probably be a good thing.

    I don't have an idea on how much a cow can produce. We drink right now roughly 4 gallons a week. yea I know its alot. My kids love milk. My parents love milk. I won't deny any of them if I can help it.
     
  5. arabianequine

    arabianequine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 4, 2010
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    With our non-dairy non-purebred milk cows we would get about 2 to 3 gallons a day. If you only want 8 gallons a week, you sure don't need a purebred. Bottle raising it will make it a lot gentler, but you will always be unsure just how good a milk cow it will make if you get it as a calf. There are always trade-offs.

    Different people do it different ways. We would keep the calf locked in the stable all the time. The cow would be outside grazing and let in to the calf twice a day. We'd feed the cow grain, usually corn, while we milked it. The calf would get the two teats on the cow's left side and we would strip the two teats on the cow's right side. When the calf got veal size, around 210 pounds, it would go to market and we would then get all the milk.
     
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Another thing to keep in mind is that a milk cow ties you down since you have to milk her twice a day. She also will need to be bred once a year and to be dry for about 2-3 months (at least that's what we always did with ours) while her body prepares to calve again.
     
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Their are mini cows too, if a big cow will give more milk then you can use or you have small property. I was told we can expect a gallon a day from our mini Zebu heifer when she gets old enough... hehe
     
  9. High Roost Ranch

    High Roost Ranch The Chicken Whisperer

    Too bad you couldn't make it to FL. They're almost giving cows of all types away down here. You can get a full sized milking cow for the same price as a calf. Have you tried the livestock auction barns in your area? The local cattle market barns?
     
  10. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Yea I know we would be tied down but we are sort tied down now also with chickens, parrots, dogs, cats, older parents, and kids. The max time we can get away now is overnight. In preparation for this I am also looking at older kids out here in ffa and 4h that might be hired for extra help now and then and for when we need to be gone.
     

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