Alright, so I want a cow really bad. I want to hear some pros and cons, how I can find cheap ones, regular prices, everything! Can someone help me?
when I set my mind to something, I go crazy! When I wanted goats, my parents were like "learn about them, then we'll talk." I read three goat books front to back, and spent every hour of every day on the computer looking up info and made a binder, sorted into "chapters!":slapfloor: Oh Sarah! :lol: there are some cow people here, hopefully they'll jump in
DAIRY CATTLEAlright, so I want a cow really bad. I want to hear some pros and cons, how I can find cheap ones, regular prices, everything! Can someone help me?
Wow, thanks so much!!!DAIRY CATTLE
Pros of buying an open cow:
-milk and byproducts
-additional income (whether calf or sold milk)
-test results (Johne's and DHIA/DHIR)
-check teat ends make sure they're tight and flat, no donut teat ends.
-cheaper than preg cow
Cons of cow:
-Scarring in the repro tract
-no history of cystic ovaries or not
-mastitis damage possible
-SOOO touchy to feed changes initially
-increased health issues
-need feet done regularly
-nutritional needs for a newbie are difficult to maintain proper body condition
Pros of Preg cow:
-you know she settled
-2 for 1 price (or 3)
-reg calf if cow is reg
-comes with AI info typically from sire
-time to prepare and settle her nutritional needs
-time to vaccinate accordingly
-time to adjust to the "new bugs" at home
-longer time to Learn lactating nutrition
Cons of preg cow:
-bull/heifer calf (??) unless US done
-no choice what you'll get for calf from sire (conformation, udder)
-cant see udder or teats properly-even mastitis or dead quarters shrink up nicely while dry
Pros of buying yearling (breeding age) heifer:
-easier to change diet
-smaller feed amounts
-usually mom will be on site still
-get a good idea of FF udder from rump structure
-pedigree info typically
-choice on who/what to breed her to
-best choice for implanting or sexed semen
-time to train
Cons of yearling heifer:
-feeding long time til financial return
-still awkward growth stages
-sometimes needs hormone to cycle
-feet react to feed changes and growth pattern. Make sure to buy a correct feet/legged heifer. Highly important.
Pros of calf:
-long time to bond, set nutritional plans, train
-mother normally guaranteed on site
-easier to learn with than older animals
Cons of calf:
-milk feeding is a harder than people think, and replacer is highly expensive.
-dehorning still needed unless polled
-nearly 2 years to feed until financial return
-no proof of what baby drank initially. Sometimes never received colostrum or received Johne's positive.
If you so choose that you would do better with a dual purpose, this is your choice. Or possibly a Brown Swiss or Milking Shorthorn out of the dairy breeds.
It really narrows down to what YOU want. If you don't care, cross breeds are the way to go. Literally you'll make more long-term and be happier with an all-around animal.
I'd be pleased to help you with any further questions or assist you in whichever path you may so choose.
This statement is pure BS! I am a rancher's daughter and I've raised more bottle calves of different breeds than I can count - every one of them raised on milk replacer. Every one of them thrived , grew out beautifully, and didn't scour unless I screwed up and gave them too much, too soon. That was MY mistake, not the fault of the milk replacer. Stop propagating lies and myths! If you buy cheap, soy based milk replacer then your bottle calves aren't going to grow. If you buy good, milk/milk by-product based replacer that has at least 20% protein and 20% fat your bottle calves are going to grow just fine provided you feed them enough of it. They also need more than a gallon of milk a day. Even an average beef cow will produce 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of milk a day - I've milked enough of them over the years to know that for a fact. That is what her calf would be getting on the dam, why would you feed less than that to a bottle calf? I have always fed my bottle calves 2 gallons of milk replacer a day, along with a quality calf starter/grain and grass/alfalfa hay. You usually couldn't tell the difference between my bottle calves and the dam raised weaning calves....using replacer for that matter. With replacer they dont thrive on it, and scour really easily,