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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm new to this area. We currently raise sheep and poultry and are thinking of bringing in a Jersey for some fresh milk. We have wonderful hay, some grass and tons of brush. I want to learn all I can before bringing our girl in. Where should I start?

Thanks in advance,
Marion
 

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Well finding one may be your first obstacle. What are you going to do with all the milk that should be the next question you ask yourself. How will I get her breed or re-breed for milk needs. I love cows, but I don't need one, goats give me all I want and sure eat a lot less....start there.
 

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You could go here: http://familycow.proboards32.com/index.cgi

The book Keeping a Family Cow is sold at that site also.
Another book is The Family Cow by Dirk van Loon.

A local dairy farmer was very helpful to us and sold us our first heifer. Is there someone in your area who would be available for advice?

You will probably find that you will use more milk and other dairy products when it is available and tastier than storebought. If you find you have more than your family will use, pigs, chickens, turkeys and dogs love skim milk, whey, cheese mistakes and any dairy product too old for human consumption.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a few phone numbers a Coleman dairy driver gave me who might have cows. As far as uses for the milk, I have several friends who want milk and one is seriously thinking of helping with the investment of the cow, as well as our poultry and 8 dogs, and another friend just started raising pigs. I go through a gallon a week just by myself on my cereal, and if we had more good yummy milk oh the uses are endless. We used to get milk from someone but they've gotten out of all animals. For rebreeding her, our hay guy raises Brangus and AIs a lot of them, so we thought we'd go that route with him when the time comes, buying the appropriate straw.

I know goats would be less work, but I do not like the flavor of goats' milk and I've tried many different ones, some started out tasting like regular milk, but the aftertaste always got me. I'm too sensitive to it, can't even let my DH cook any game in or near the house. We've thought about sheep's milk too and someday will go that route, it is a dream of ours.

Thanks for the link, I'll go check it out,
Marion
 

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Mouse said:
As far as uses for the milk, I have several friends who want milk and one is seriously thinking of helping with the investment of the cow, as well as our poultry and 8 dogs, and another friend just started raising pigs. I go through a gallon a week just by myself on my cereal, and if we had more good yummy milk oh the uses are endless.
Maybe you need 2 cows! :)

I just realized that I bought chicken aprons from you awhile back for my dad's pet chickens. He is very happy with them.

Good luck with your cow project.

Jean
 

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Mouse said:
Hello,

We have wonderful hay, some grass and tons of brush. Where should I start?

Thanks in advance,
Marion
You should start by learning about calving out a cow and learn how to recognize the symptoms of milk fever. From 3 days prior to calving out to 10 days post-calving is when a dairy cow is most likely to die.
As a cow owner, you will need to see that the calf is delivered successfully.
Then you will need to see that the cow has cleaned out(i.e. discharged the afterbirth.) During this entire time frame you will need to keep a close watch for milk fever( an acute calcium deficiency that can quickly kill a cow if left untreated.)
If you have never owned a cow before, you may wish to have your Vet's Phone number on speed-dial during this time.

The grass and hay will be an asset. The brush will not. A modest amount of grain would serve a Jersey Cow well in addition to the grass and hay.
 
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