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Alright I have been wanting a Jersey cow ever since I can remember and I have hated goats nearly as long. (Ever since I went to the zoo for the first time) Those goats are nasty mean little creatures.

But a goat is much more feasible for milk for a single family. We drink about a gallon a day. We have tried store bought goat milk (didn't like it), but not fresh. I'm hoping when we try it, we will like it.

Can anyone give me their pros and cons to either goats or cow? Thanks for all your input in advance.


Edited to add: Wow all great responses. Here are some answers to some of the questions.

We have about 2 acres fenced off with field fence 4 ft high.

We will be tasting some fresh goats milk sometime in the next couple of weeks

If we pick goats we will probably get 2 and a cream seperator. As we intend to make butter and I am interested in cheese too. Yes we have appropriate shelter and husband will build a milk stand.

If we pick the Jersey we will just have one. Either way they will be in with chickens and turkeys.

Given the right opportunity I think I could like goats too, but the zoo goats are sooooo mean they chase you around and butt you. MEAN MEAN ANIMALS. I still have no idea why they are allowed in the petting zoo. I try to avoid that part of the zoo at almost any cost. However I understand they aren't all like that, that has just been my experience so far.

The goats that I particularly like are the Oberhaslis. I think they seem to be the least goaty looking :) They however seem to be hard to find and expensive. Would I be better off going to another breed? From what I have seen for the cost of 2 Oberhalsi does I could buy or nearly buy a Jersey cow.

Certainly we would care for either animal we pick. And as long as the goats/cow were nice I would enjoy caring for either one.

Thanks all keep it coming!!
 

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I prefer goats myself. They are smaller so they need less room and less feed. I don't like cows as they seem like nasty creatures, at least the ones I have been around. My goats are clean and not having a billy around keeps them from smelling goaty. Both of mine have wonderful dispositions and are a joy to milk. Can't say that I have ever milked a cow so they may be wonderful as well.

Just my .02 worth,

Sherry in GA
 

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One cow will give way more milk than you need, but you can make butter & cheese.

Both are herd animals & should have a buddy.

I vote for goats, but then I am partial. ;)

Goats are not nasty at all.

They are way easier to handle than cows because they are smaller & you can man handle them if need be.

They don't hurt you as bad if they step on your foot. :D

They won't swat their tail in your face when you milk.

They poop nice little berries instead of big old piles.

They eat a lot less than a cow does.

Two goats would give you enough milk. You can stagger breedings so you would have one of them in milk all the time.

Store goat milk is nasty!! :p

Fresh goat milk is awesome!
 

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One word: poop.

Wendy is right - berries beat plops any day. Goats are so much easier to clean up after.

And I think they just have way more personality.

That being said, they are pretty high maintenance, though I guess any dairy animal is.

Also - a dairy goat in milk is easier and cheaper to find than a dairy cow in milk. I would suggest starting with a goat -- if you don't like it, trade her in and get a cow. :)
 

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I have had beef cattle for years, and now we have two goats, one of which we are milking. I love the goat milk, and it is *nothing* like the store bought stuff. Use good milk handling practices, and it's much better than the watered down stuff that most folks buy as cow's milk in the store.

Goats are much tidier than cattle, easier to feed, smell better, and they have wonderful personalities.

I like my goats better than my dogs.
 

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Consider that when you have your own delicious fresh milk, you all may find yourselves drinking more than you do of store milk. Also, think of how much yogurt, cheese, etc., you use.

I'm partial to cows, myself. We like the cream and butter. I am milking 2 cows and sharing with extended family, some friends, pigs and chickens, as well as making butter, cheeses, yogurt, kefir. Nothing goes to waste!

Cows do take more space and when I clean up after them, I do envy goat owners. We are very lucky that our cows are gentle and very easy to handle.

Fresh goat milk is very good also and goat cheese can be delicious. If you can, taste the milk from the actual goat you will be buying. The flavor varies from animal to animal.
 

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Rose said:
I have had beef cattle for years, and now we have two goats, one of which we are milking. I love the goat milk, and it is *nothing* like the store bought stuff. Use good milk handling practices, and it's much better than the watered down stuff that most folks buy as cow's milk in the store.

Goats are much tidier than cattle, easier to feed, smell better, and they have wonderful personalities.

I like my goats better than my dogs.
Smell better!!???!! I beg to differ. Nothing beats the smell of a sweet Jersey cow, except for maybe a horse :)
 

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Manure is an interesting subject.
I like all the stuff I get from my cows.
Goats don't provide me with much good manure at all.
They're fussy about what they eat when in pens over winter. I didn't have to bed them at all...but that pricey 2nd crop hay really could have gone to better use than on their floor.

We have had both and if you don't need much milk, a goat or 2 is OK. But if you want to make butter, cheese, or any other dairy goodies, a cow will be a better choice. Unless of course you get more than 2 goats which would drive me crazy.
 

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I've had both and would vote for the goat! Goats will eat what you get them used to - and LOVE brush (and roses). They will eat LOTS less than a cow, they love apples, onions, lettuce and bananas. You'll need a place for them to get in out of the weather, but a cow can do without (as long as they can find shade).
If it was me, though, and I was deciding SOLELY on the milk - I would get the cow! Even though I prefer goats, I HATE the milk!
You can make cheese out of goats milk, too.
 

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If your really love cows and dislike goats, by all means, get a cow. You can always find something to do with the extra milk and that animal is going to be around all day every day and life is too short to feed something you hate. If, however, you think maybe you could like goats you could always try a couple and get rid of them if you decide against them. They are not that big or expensive.
 

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DownHome said:
Alright I have been wanting a Jersey cow ever since I can remember and I have hated goats nearly as long. (Ever since I went to the zoo for the first time) Those goats are nasty mean little creatures.
That is reason enough not to have goats. If you don't like them , you probably will not do as good a job caring for them. I never raised pigs because I hate them and didn't want to change my opinion of them. :nono:
 

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Having milked cows growing up and having had 89 milking does at one time, I vote for goats. Taste the chilled milk of the goats you're thinking of buying first. Goat berries are inoffensive to start with, but a doe can be trained not to poop in the milking room. I've yet to see the cow that can be trained that way! If you want to make your own butter, get a cow. There just isn't enough butterfat in goat milk to bother with.
 

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This is a perfect thread for me right now, I am debating this same thing. My thought was to try goats for a while, and see what I think. If I do switch to cows, it would have to be Dexters. They are small and gentle enough to not be as hard to handle as the larger breeds, and they supply a much more managable amount of milk. Plus, I don't think I could bring myself to eat goats meat. Beef I can do!
 

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Ivy DragonWind said:
Plus, I don't think I could bring myself to eat goats meat. Beef I can do!
Goats meat is delicious. As good as beef and better than lamb in my opinion. Of course it must be butchered correctly. :)
 

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I like goats just because they are cool creatures, but not their milk... blech.

I would like to have a mini cow in my future. A mini cow can produce 2-4 gallons of milk a day. Unfortunately, that's about how much milk we drink in a month, just not a big fan, but would make butter, cheeses and yogurt with the excess, trade the rest.

http://www.miniaturejerseys.com/char.htm
Aren't they cute! :)
 

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There just isn't enough butterfat in goat milk to bother with.
Untrue!!!
Goats have a higher butterfat count than cows. But it is "naturally homogenized" and doesn't seperate out on its own.
To make goat butter you need a cream separator. And goats milk does make good butter.
 

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Ivy DragonWind said:
If I do switch to cows, it would have to be Dexters. They are small and gentle enough to not be as hard to handle as the larger breeds, and they supply a much more managable amount of milk. Plus, I don't think I could bring myself to eat goats meat. Beef I can do!
We raise Dexters, but have yet to milk them. (Plan to change that in the near future)

Couldn't agree more about how gentle they are. Ours like to be scratched behind the ears, and will always come up to investigate anytime we go out in the pasture.

Downhome,

A big factor for us would be how much land we had to manage goats or cows. We had pygmy goats (hard to milk), but had to make room for more cows when the started calving.

GR
 

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The flavor varies from animal to animal.
It also depends on what they are eating.

I would not advise getting just one of any animal. Sounds like if you go for a cow it will be one cow. They are herd animals & really need a buddy. 2 cows will cost a lot more to feed than 2 goats.
 

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Wendy said:
I would not advise getting just one of any animal. Sounds like if you go for a cow it will be one cow. They are herd animals & really need a buddy. 2 cows will cost a lot more to feed than 2 goats.
Actually cows do very well by themselves. Unlike goats. They do well alone or some will buddy up with anything you keep with them. Even chickens in the same pasture. :rolleyes:
 
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