House Cow

Now we can all talk about milking our cows and goats, all things house cow and milking goat.
admin
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 12:32 pm

House Cow

Postby admin » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:55 am

Hi Glyn,

What a good idea, and as you say you know what's in it and what's not. I use UHT for starters as well so when we 'eventually' start to milk this is a better way to go. After all the litres in the fridge and freezer keeping up with Fatima, it's a huge amount of space.

Thanks for putting up the information I'm sure plenty of people will use it.

Hi Hayley,

Missy over on the dexter board had some worthwhile things to say about when she was looking for a house cow that you may like to read as well, http://dexter.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=331 one thing that even she agrees with now is the need for a bale of some sort to be able to treat a cow when sick. She's just tried needling hers with no success, and I know how difficult it is just to put pour on, on them at times without a bale of sorts.
:D
Vicki

Heidi
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Re: Home made UHT milk

Postby Heidi » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:01 pm

Hayley,
I have a Jersey, who suits us to a T. She produces enough milk for the family of six, with extra to let me indulge in making cheeses, icecream, and butter. I'm not milking her at the moment, (had to let it go about three months ago for health reasons), but I did put a foster calf on her, a $5 dairy bull (which we steered), who will go into our freezer in about 18months time. So she is still earning her keep, so to speak. I share milked, which is very successful and leaves you a great deal of flexibility to have a "life"!
Read read read! Learn as much as you can about the questions you need to ask a seller, but don't scare yourself off. Nothing ventured nothing gained! Look at all the different breeds out there, and also, their pros and cons too. Also, if you have neighbours that have cattle, speak to them about cow things, their experience is invaluable, and if you can learn from their mistakes or advice, then all the better.
Somehow, I think Vicki may be partial to Dexters ( :lol: :roll: )
Bye for now,
H

minnie
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
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Re: Home made UHT milk

Postby minnie » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:17 am

Somehow, I think Vicki may be partial to Dexters


Yes she is :lol: :lol:

In dairy cattle I've had a jersey and a freisan (both bucket reared), and I just loved them. I think the jersey cow is a beautiful animal and my girl just had the most beautiful gentle nature... I absolutely loved my 'Salomi' and 'Pansy' the freisan.

With a large family a jersey is a good fit, because they have more milk than a dexter, but the butterfat content for cheese etc is comparable to the dexter. There's a couple of special things in the dexter though, one is the smaller fat gobule, so for people who have problems with milk and change to goats milk they often can change to dexter milk (I wondered if this was why Fatima leaned on the side of constipation with the dairy milk). The other thing of course is the beef side, you'll get better quality beef from a dexter, although they say jersey is good eating. And of course the dexter is smaller than the jersey so small cuts for the freezer and lighter on the land. But dexters are cattle and they're not curiosities for pets and mowing lawns (something that rankles me when people promote them as such :twisted: ).

But at the end of the day it's about what clicks for you and your family, and before you buy visit the cow and see how you get on with her... Missy had a bad experience with her first milking cow and you want your first to be one you love and can manage easily. :D

Just wrote in another post and thought this was a good place to put it. A few years ago after we got our first two dexters we were going to buy a jersey cow and calf and went to see it with a small trailer (big enough for a jersey). The fellow was milking and had never had cattle before and got his milking 'jerseys' from a dairy farm. My DH hadn't had cattle until we got our dexters so we got there and here's this 'big' cow with a very jersey bald calf (it had Rain Scald) and she was a cranky cow!!

It wasn't a jersey at all or at least pure jersey, because it was mainly Swiss Brown (a big milking cow). We couldn't have fitted her in the trailer and said we'd have to have a rethink, I didn't to say it wasn't a jersey... anyway on the way home I told DH and he wasn't sure so when we got home I showed him an old photo of me with Salomi and her calf (her second calf) and he could see the size!!! So always, always, always make sure you buy from reputable people. I wondered why the dairy sold her, and of course it was because she was a cranky cow and hard to manage, which was why he was selling her.

Vicki

Glyn
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:42 am

Re: Home made UHT milk

Postby Glyn » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:11 am

Xena is Fresian/Jersey cross, I like the cross breed for hybrid vigor, the intermediate size and the nice long slim teats,and her temperament is better than either fresian or jersey - though she is still a silly. Over the years we have had several fresian, jersey and their crosses and generally for hand milking I would avoid the straight fresian- far too big and they can be dangerous at close range! Some of the most vicious cows I've known have been spoiled fresian hand raised pets, but the last jersey we bought was also a tiger (I wrote her story here viewtopic.php?f=11&t=855&p=6064&hilit=HONEY#p6064 ). Jerseys if you get a nice old one can be a love -some have teats like champagne bottles which can be hard on the hands - (but then so are those itti-bitti-titties on the young jerseys that are a bit hard to master - thumb and one finger jobs).I have never milked a Dexter but I personally find even the some little jersey cows too low down to sit comfortably at, Vicki do you put them on a platform and milk them like a goat? ;)

I wouldn't necessarily be anti getting an ex dairy farm cow - just as long as you know why shes being sold.You don't want high somatic cell counts (Ticking mastitis bomb), or temperament problems, fertility issues etc. But when we used to cull it could be for other reasons. Udder shape not suited to the milking machine, feet couldn't take the long walk in from the back of the farm, calving at wrong time of the year, age and even just slow milkers. All of these still make good house cows, but if she is your first I would go for one that has been hand milked for a while as the dairy cows are often not use to close human contact - at the head end for tying up.The first house cow we got was a old jersey who had been a dairy cow, then been a nurse cow, and house cow. She was a delight - walk up to her in the paddoc with a bucket and milk without even tying her up. Put a new calf in her paddock and her look said "OH LOOK -- FOR ME--- OH THANK YOU !!! :D :D :D " and she'd adopt it.She loved people and she loved-- well pretty much everything. It was our dealing with that old darling that led us on to buying a dairy farm.
I wouldn't buy an in-calf heifer unless you have trained one into milking before- both learning is not a good combination.They can even be tricky for the learned, as we well know!! Raising your own heifer for the first time is also a trap. A cow that has been too much of a pet as a calf can be difficult if she decides she belongs higher in the 'herd order' than you. They are bigger after all so must be kept submissive for you to safely take control.She needs to trust, respect but possibly even fear you a little.
How much milk a day do you want and what do you want to do with it? The answers to that can have an affect on what breed to look at, but largely the choice is generally down to what's locally available at the time you want her. Destiny perhaps?
Anyway we love them and enjoy them.
Glyn

Heidi
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Re: Home made UHT milk

Postby Heidi » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:42 pm

Excellent post Glyn.
H

minnie
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
Contact:

Re: Home made UHT milk

Postby minnie » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:00 pm

Yes Glyn a great post so much information.

Vicki do you put them on a platform and milk them like a goat?


Some people who have 'shorts' do need to put them up, but the non-shorts (which we have) no-one seems to have problems, and they were once a commercial dairy cow in the UK. The shorts are a bit of a bone of contention with dexter people and some just love them, but to my mind only with uniformity in a breed can you call it a breed and they carry a dwarf gene that means they throw shorts, non-shorts, and bull dogs (dead calves), dependant on the carrier status of the bull.

I was surprised at the size of their teats, our graded from jersey cows teats are smaller than the purebred dexters to my eye, especially one.

And those spoilt cows, just brings my naughty little Fatima to mind at the moment, she dawdles along of a morning taking her to the herd it a real pain, and today I had to push her along as she would rather have spent time under a grass tree (formerly called black boy), but I won! :lol:

Vicki


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