Many homesteaders out there dream of one-day owning dairy cattle to provide their family with homegrown milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and cream. Dairy prices are rising rapidly all the time. Owning your own dairy cattle can mean that your family is getting the very best at the best price. The one thing that a homesteader such as yourself has to be when it comes to raising dairy cattle, is prepared. You don’t have to give up on your dream just because it’s a little difficult. With the information below, you can be far more prepared so that you can make the right purchase from the start.
Raising Dairy Cattle: What You Need To Know
It’s exciting to go and visit dairy farms and inspect cattle for purchase. But there’s no point in doing anything until you’ve gone and spoken to someone with regard to preparing your land. You could also feel much better prepared for the task of raising dairy cows by working as a dairy manager in other fields. If you’re looking for further experience, you can contact agricultural jobs websites for help.
The most important thing you need to know here is that you need acreage to allow cattle to roam and graze. Your cows will need the right housing as well as protective fencing. Cows need a sufficient supply of water and straw for keeping dry. Ensure that you are adequately prepared before you get going.
Most homesteaders are already aware of the merits of a Jersey or Holstein cow, but a Holstein will often produce far more milk than a family requires. It’s best to go with a Guernsey or Milking Shorthorn cow. These both produce higher-than-average butterfat content with up to seven gallons of milk a day.
Finding the right cow will depend on your knowledge of the local area and the dairy farmers that sit close enough to you. Buying directly from a local farmer that you are familiar with will mean that you can see that the cow that you are buying is from a strong dairy area. Check online auction sites and websites for local farms if you’re not certain of where to go.
Dairy cattle are robust animals, but their udders are sensitive and need a great deal of care. It’s the most susceptible to illness and disease, with mastitis a common theme in dairy cows. The important thing is to keep your cow clean, especially before and after milking where the teat is open. if you are caring for your cows’ shelter and bedding, you can reduce the risk of infection greatly.
It may have escaped you, but dairy cattle need to calve yearly to continue to milk. Speak to local farmers about matching a bull to your cow to prevent issues in pregnancy and birth later on. You can choose to keep and raise the calves or sell them on to other farms that can cope with a bigger volume.
Owning a family cow doesn’t come naturally to some, but for a homesteader, it could be everything your family needs. Take your time, be prepared and choose the dairy cattle that’s right for you.