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Dairy Cattle

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  • Dairy Cattle

    Here is a list of a few of the best dairy cattle. Depending on the quantity of milk needed and the uses used for. Cows produce milk after calving and need to be freshened up( bred) to continue milk production. Cows need breed every year with milk production being best first 2-3 months after calving. Breed the cow after she has the calf, continue milking until 2 months before calf is born then allow her to dry up so the cow can be ready for the new calf.

    ARYSHIRE Medium sized cows with good udders, long lives, hardy, good white milk. 15- 19 months to mature

    BROWN SWISS rugged and long lived give milk with a high butter fat protein content. Good for milk butter and cheese.15-19 months to mature

    GUERNSEY mild tempered, easy birhts,yellow milk that is rich in butterfat. Mature early breed quickly. 14-18 months to mature

    HOLSTEIN very popular for sheer volume of milk produced. Low in butterfat and calves tend to be big. Big cows with heavy bones. Dairy bulls are viscious. Good for milk but to freshen I would use a beef bull or a small dairy bull like a jersey.15-19 months to mature

    JERSEY small cows that calve easily, mature quickly and are very fertile.They produce the most milk for their size than any other cattle and is the richest in butterfat. 13- 17 months to mature

    MILKING SHORTHORNS hardy,long lived,easy calving.Milk is richer than holsteins but not as good as Jersey or Guernsey. 15- 19 months to mature

    I am buying 2 dairy cows or calves this year. I will buy a Jersey for the butter fat and a Holstein for mass production. To Freshen I will use a beef bull but I may purchase a Jersey bull as well as a Holstein Jersey cross heifer would produce less milk then pure holstein but more than a jersey. Less rich than a jersey but richer than a holstein. Hybrids are vigourous and more diesease resistent.

    Buying calves or adults... It takes13-19 months for a heifer to be ready to breed and it takes 9 months for gestation.
    It is cheapest to buy bottle babies but it is harder to raise them and higher mortlity rate. ( I bottle feed) Bigger the baby the more you pay. Beef prices are always rising so these prices are ideas.

    bottle baby dairy $150- $250 each depending on breed and if it is pure bred.
    weaned dairy calves $400-$500
    open heifers(not breed yet) $800-$1200
    mature milking cows $1600-$2000
    Mature dry cows $1200-$1600 will be 9-16 months to milk again as she would need to be bred first.

  • #2
    Good information for any one starting a small farm. Look back in history almost all people moving west took a milk cow with them for the milk she gave, the calf's she gave birth too, and the meat for the table in the end. Just how green can you go!

    One other item during the first 2 weeks after birth, the calf must drink the milk straight from the teat. It is full of things to help the calf remain healthy! Better then a vet on site!


    • #3
      yes they need the colostum to build up the immune system. Thing is it is still best to bottle feed the baby with the mothers milk for 2 reasons. 1 the baby loves you and will be tame and 2 a cow gives any where from 5-15 gallons of milk per day. A calf can only eat 1 gallon per day so the rest is yours.


      • #4
        When I was farming a long time ago we had Jerseys. Used in Wisconsin for milk, butter, and cheese production. I never had problems herding them into the barn for milking.

        Very few gave my family problems when it came to giving birth. I do remember a few where they had a breech-birth and needed help getting the calf out. Mostly it was the first birth for the cow.


        • #5
          In a homesteading magazine I was reading there was an ad for "miniture" cows.

          Can you explain what these are? My understanding was the benefit was they eat less, and give less milk, 2-4 gallons a day, so for a smaller ranch/ single family maybe a good choice?????
          "Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland"

          "The constitution does not guarantee our safety, only our liberty!" Robert Steed before congress 3/2013

          Skills Beats Stuff


          • #6
            yes they do have minis. Dexter cattle are minis as well as mini zebu, mini jersey, and I think mini brahma.They give about 3 gallons per day. If you are limited on space those would do well or buy a goat. Goats are hardier about what they eat and produce 1-2 gallons of milk a day. Minis are more expensive it a newer thing more like exotic.


            • #7
              How much land do you need to have a herd of about 4? I am intrested in having about three cows and one bull?


              • #8
                I've always been told you need an acre per head, but that's SW MO folklore, nothing scientific :)