Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Namaste
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone, I'm usually on the sheep & goats sections however have been reading that cows following sheep or goats is very good for internal parasite control of pastures and thought to get some advice here. So, would/could this make sense for us given that we do not sell anyone for meat (not usually the Buddhist way). We have about 15 acres of pasture overall, each meadow is about 3-5 ac and we are fencing each with 5 strands +/- smooth wire. A dairy breed would be ideal if the calf can be sold for breeding, working or field ornament. I have begun to do some googling about mini-breeds but not finding much info but sales sites. Will need some more learning before I'll be able to weed out the truth from hype on those. I handle the farm chores mostly so would want the smallest, gentlest breed - preferable polled but hey, can't have everything. Thanks :bow:
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
Liese, other than the initial cost associated in buying a dairy heifer calf what you are suggesting is very achievable. From my experience there remains a constant demand for replacement heifers into the dairy herds. It is possible that you could make some income by contracting to raise several weaned heifers for some of the dairies without having to purchase the animal. I know that in western NC it costs some dairy farmers up to $2200 to have their weaned calves raised by others to the age they are ready to be reintroduced into the herd. These would be dehorned Jerseys.
 

·
Namaste
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
agmantoo said:
Liese, other than the initial cost associated in buying a dairy heifer calf what you are suggesting is very achievable. From my experience there remains a constant demand for replacement heifers into the dairy herds. It is possible that you could make some income by contracting to raise several weaned heifers for some of the dairies without having to purchase the animal. I know that in western NC it costs some dairy farmers up to $2200 to have their weaned calves raised by others to the age they are ready to be reintroduced into the herd. These would be dehorned Jerseys.
Wow, that's a lot of money to pay to raise a cow, even half that is rather serious money! I'm in Caswell Co. so the upper piedmont area, would you suggest I contact the county ext. agent? Anyone else? Since I'm not an experienced cow person would a dairy farmer even consider my farm? I am familiar with the health & medical of goats & sheep tho.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,039 Posts
Liese, most NZ farming is done on a rotational grazing basis and where climate allows, is a practical method of both keeping parasite numbers down as well as keeping pasture clean and tidy - what the cows won't eat the sheep will - so can be a good method of controlling (not elimating) weeds. However, the sheep and goats follow the cattle, not the other way round.

As Agman has suggested, calf grazing is an option but keep in mind that you really will have to get organised because these calves are going to need the best grass at all times. These people will be paying top dollar for grazing. Also you only have 15 acres so you will have to think very hard about your stocking ratio. If you are already running sheep and goats that are keeping on top of your grass you would have to seriously look at cutting down on their numbers to make running any sort of cattle a viable proposition.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

·
Namaste
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi Ronnie, yes stocking rates here are 1k #'s/good pasture. Since I would rate mine less than stellar I would be extremely conservative - this is our 2nd year and we will be involved in pasture improvements for several years to come. My goats are on browse not grass. So I'm looking for the benefits of the cow(s) rotationally grazing the former sheep fields and cleaning up the internal parasite eggs/larvae whilst the sheep are rotating on other fields. Then switching fields the following year - that's the idea at any rate. According to the current word that I'm reading this works better than just rotation. Because I will be so limited in carrying capacity a dairy farmer might just laugh but nothing ventured...
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top