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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are looking for a good dual purpose bread she wants the milk and I want the beef to add to the freezer or sale.

What would you recommend and why ?
 

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Retired farmer-rancher
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Shorthorn works well as dual purpose,,,also Gelbvieh. I'm sure others have a favorite dual purpose breed, but those are what I have experience with.
 

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Describe what you plan to feed and your facilities for managing the animal.
 

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Hi there Slugmar! If you are looking for something smaller I have Dexters and think they are great 'beefy little milkers'; as the saying goes! Cheers, Liz
 

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Why would you want to have a duel with bread? Wouldn't pistols or swords be more appropriate to defend one's honor?

:)

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fixed the spelling, Sorry.

Anyway as far as feed going they will have grass hay (Red Clover/Grass mix), also Oats and alfalfa. We have around 40 acres but during the summer they will be near the barn we're we are installing acouple stanchion we do have a coral system set up for all the medical purposes need.

My Dad and Grandfather use to run cows here when I was younger.

As for breeding We haven't decided on bringing in a bull,AI or purchasing a bull just for acouple heifer's.

The main goal is to be able to supply our selves with milk,meat and they by-products from the milk. To help become a little more self sustained and help with the cost of grocerys for feeding the 5 of us.
 

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Slugmar don't be sorry....I think everybody, or almost, who answered understood you. Seriously though, I milk, veal and beef my Dexters, make cheese, dairy (butter, milk, yoghurt) and sell a trained milk cow (hopefully :) ) a year. They are environmentally friendly, don't compact the earth, great imune systems so great for organic nuts like me and well they more than pay for themselves. A dual purpose cow, whether big or small, is the way to go. Just make sure that you are informed about the milkyness as well as the beefyness of what ever bread :))) you choose because unfortunately dual purpose is not 'in vogue' right now and people choose for dairy OR beef and not for both, at least up here. Let us know what you guys choose, L
 

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How could your choice not be a Jersey? Eats’ less, its size is usually not intimidating, most seem loveable, nurse cow traits, and milk high in butter fat. If it throws I bull calf well raise it for the freezer, sweet tasty BBQ product. If it throws a heifer well now you own a hot selling item most folks are looking for....Seems like it's hard to lose with a Jersey....If I seem a little partial, it’s just cause I am….......Topside
 

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Slugmar,

Here's a plan that a new Dexter owner can follow:

Buy a bred cow or two. Milk them and raise the calves. If one is a bull, use it to breed back for terminal calves (ones you're going to eat). Once the bull calf reaches a few years old, or a better looking bull calf comes along, change bulls and eat the older one. The older Dexter bull will taste just as good as a steer or heifer.

As your cows age, pick a good heifer for a replacement and buy an unrelated bull as your new herd bull. later you can pick one of his sons to replace him.

You'll have excellent, easy to digest milk, butter and cheese all along, and have what's been judged to be the best tasting beef at the same time.

Genebo
Paradise Farm
 

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Ahh Topside, I milk a Jersey too, Brigit (Bardeau, although I think that joke is an age thing :shrug:) but she is an honourary Dexter in attitude! Anyway that's right too, buy a Jersey and breed her beef, why not?! L
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How do Dexter handle heat ?

and

Has any of you raised a Belted Galloway ? and if yes how do they handle the heat ?
 

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I don't have anything as far as th op goes but thought i would ask along the same lines. what breed should i get for my desires which are. 1) milk for the family ( at least 2-3 gallons a week 2) well marbled good tasting meat for the freezer 3) items 1 and 2 requirements met with just grass and hay. 4) only 5 acres to meet the above requirements.5) reasonable to acquire cost wise. ai allowed to archive set goals
 

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Dexters do okay in the summer heat in VA, but they must have shade and access to all the water they need (this would be true of just about any cattle, especially black ones).

I saw some Belted Galloways here in mid-summer a few years ago. Felt really sorry for them...their coats were heavy and covered in mud from trying to cool off in a small stream. They looked miserable!
 

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I like the milking shorthorns. Classy looking animal. Milk well and make a decent amount of beef from what I've gathered talking to folks that have them.
 

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Our belties handle the heat quite well. They love the pond and shade during the heat and humidity of the day. And they were out grazing in -20 last week. I don't milk mine, so cant comment on the dual purpose aspect, but I have been told they are very good milkers with a high butter fat content. My calves are quick gainers.
 

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I have bred my dun colored Dexter cows to my Jersey bull. Already have 2 on the ground 1 heifer and 1 bull. I'm anxious to see what they look like and how they do when grown. Right now they could pass for either to a casual observer, you have to know the two breeds and look look pretty darn close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well in the summer they will be moved to our hill side with lots of oaks and fig trees to walk through they will be there with about 4 goats.

I'm thinking about just two cows for starting out with, Shouldnt cost me anything to raise the babies up to butchering weight or sale weight.

It will probaly be awhile before we pick them up.

I'm still working on my chicken set up, Getting ready for hay season so lots of equipment to work on, our first farmers market, taking order for turkeys and meat birds also plus looking for more pigs to butcher out. It always seams like with work school and work at home my plate is full and I never sleep.

I know two milk producing animals will be a new adventure since they have to be milk twice a day ever day there will be no vactions.
 

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The cheap option is to go to the sale barn and buy an unbred young cow of any beef breed. Preferably one whose body condition is good. These open cows in late winter will be the least expensive at the sale barn.

After you get her condition right AI the cow with any dairy breed. For more milk Holstein. For more beef Brown Swiss. For a smaller more heat tolerant animal Jersey or Aryshire. You can use sexed seemen if you want although fertility is not as good. A month or so after the birth and your heffer calf is weaned sell the cow back and get your investment back minus the feed you put into the cow.

This option produces a crossbred animal which makes a very good duel purpose cow. A Brown Swiss or Holstein/ Angus cross will give you as much or more milk and more beef then a Jersey or Dexter. The only problem with a cross is their offspring are not as valuable. I personally would not overlook the beef side of the equation. Last spring I sold four 100 lb quarters for $550 each. My profit afetr slaughter was $2000. All of the buyers have already put in their order for this year. In the end making the right choice forces you to think through the whole generation to generation process. Blessings/RA
 
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