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Old 01-18-2013, 12:50 PM   #21
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* for the record goats do not in fact have to be milked twice a day. You can milk them in the a.m. then turn her out with her babies then put her up in the evening away from the kids and milk again in the a.m. and repeat
Not sure if this works with cows as well.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by CntryMama View Post
Goats milk is better for you then cows milk.. But they are a pain - mostly because you can not milk them unless you keep breeding them, so they need to have babies, then produce milk for a little bit. You would need a few unless you can breed them with someone else around you.

I don't know about the pp comment but goats do not have to be milked twice a day. Our family does it once a day for 20 years with no problems! Cows are twice a day...
Ah didnt see this. Sorry for the redundancy
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:51 PM   #23
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

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Originally Posted by mama2cntrykids View Post
If you don't like goat milk and a full-sized cow would give too much milk, you could look at mini cows. I've looked at Dexter cows before. They're dual purpose (meat/milk) and about half the size of a standard cow.

In fact, I'm seriously considering a mini cow for us. She would have to be kept "in-milk", so she'd have a calf by her side every year. Then, when the calf is big enough, you have him butchered and put the meat in your freezer.

Just what we've been thinking here!
I have been researching a milk cow for almost two years now....DH says I can get one only after he gets a vasectomy

Cows are much more docile than most goats. Goats are usually friendly, fidgity, and much more difficult to keep fenced in. Cows can be fenced with a single strand of electric fence or evem kept on a picket-pin, which is like a leash on a halter. Most goats would strangle themselves in that kind of setup with all their dancing around.

Dexters are excellent family cows. The general rule of thumb is 1 acre of good pasture per year per 1000 pounds of animal, so a Dexter can do well on about 1/2 acre of quality grass. Contrary to popular belief, cows do NOT need to be milked twice a day, as long as you leave their calves with them. You can "steal" the milk whenever you run low by penning up the calf separately for a few hours first and then milking her (assuming your cow sharemilks well, which is what it is called if a cow will tolerate both nursing a calf and getting milked--some will refuse to let down if their baby is anywhere nearby).

Equipment for milking varis on your situation and on the cow. Some will stand quietly in the pasture while you milk, some need to be in a full stanchion to keep them still while you milk.

I highly recommend the book "Keeping a Family Cow" as well as the website by the same name.

Last edited by Melinda29; 01-23-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:06 PM   #24
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I have a jersey milk cow. She is currently 10 months into lactation and not bred back, giving 2.5-3 gallons a day. We do not pasteurize! If I wanted "dead" milk I would buy it from the store, I love the health advantages to raw milk!
She is super easy to care for. She grazes all day and has free choice rye/Bahaia hay and gets a small bucket of grain/manna/beet pulp mixture to keep her pacified during milking. I milk her twice a day on a 9am and 9 pm schedule although exact 12 hour intervals are not necessary... Just consistency. You can also wean a cow down to once a day milking just the same as a goat. I just prefer twice a day because I don't want her to drop production!
There is a great forum for family cow and wanna be family cow owners called "keeping a family cow"
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