After three years of dairy goats, my husband has suddenly come round to the idea of a milk cow. Why I do not know, but i'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He would like to get me one for Christmas, not necessarily actually at Christmas though, we may wait until the spring. The first question I have is which breed? We live on a large cattle ranch in NM, but she will not be mixing with the beef cattle. There is plenty of grazing, but I think we'll keep her penned on hay when she's in milk so that we won't have off tasting milk. I have narrowed it down somewhat. I know I absolutely do not want a Holstein or a Dexter. I want good rich milk that I can use for a variety of things including my homemade ice cream. We don't have a family, there's just the two of us. I think my first choice would be a Guernsey, I am somewhat familiar with them after growing up in England. I have read about their calving ease in comparison to a Jersey, and thriftiness when grazing. Is this accurate in your experience? I also like the slightly larger size. My second choice would be a Jersey. My concern with Jerseys is calving problems. I'm also interested in Brown Swiss, I love their appearance but I think they may be too large and eat too much. I'm not a big person, and an 800lbs cow may be easier to deal with than a 1500lb one, although either could wipe me out if they wanted! The other breeds are most likely too hard to find in this area and too expensive. I don't need a registered cow. The nearest dairy communities are 3-4 hours away as it is. I think I want a cull cow rather than a calf or heifer. A top-of-the-range cow is too expensive. I think i'd be happy with an oldish cow that I could keep a heifer from to eventually replace her. The chances of me being able to ship an old cow are slim to none though, I just don't think I could do it. I don't want to wait 2 years for milk and then also run the risk of losing my heifer to calving, or find she won't settle. It would be nice to have a calf to handle a lot, but I think the pros of having a cow outweigh the cons. Would you agree? We do have beef bulls (Hereford/Red Angus/Longhorn/Gelbvieh composite), but I think i'd rather have her AI'd for a purebred calf. In very rough terms how expensive is this, and what is the price difference between sexed and non-sexed semen? Would it be within the realms of possibility to breed a Guernsey to one of our beef bulls? Thanks so much! PS PLEASE don't recommend I go to BYH instead. I already tried that and activity is slim to none.