Selling price of Cow with calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Cheryl in SD, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    Hi,

    Yesterday I mentioned to a dairy farmer that SOMEDAY I would like to own a cow to milk. Today (less than 24 hours later) he calls with a 'deal for you'.

    He has a 4 yo holstein cow. (ok, he said 3-4 years, but I figured better go with 4). It is 'milking on 3 teats', but is giving, "by his best guess" 4-5 gallons a day. He is willing to let me have her with a bull calf, for $1000.

    AND he needs my answer ASAP. Tonight would be good. I told him I would need time to think about it I would call him tomorrow.

    What do you all think? Last time my dh bought a cow his dad bought it for $400 or so in 1983. So we have NO idea of going rates. What other things should we know? We don't have much land so would have to buy hay too. We already have goats, which will be needing milked come spring.

    I need ADVICE!

    Thanks,
    Cheryl
     
  2. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like a pretty good price for a cow and a calf. But you also need to think about if you have a set-up ready for a milking cow, if you can handle all the milk, and ask why she has a non-functioning quarter. Holsteins give a lot of milk, but a lot less cream then other dairy breeds.
     

  3. LuckyCharm

    LuckyCharm Member

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    That sounds like a very good price. If I could get one that cheap in OK I would jump on it. Is she bred back? That would make the deal even sweeter!
     
  4. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Is she registered? If so she is worth the price.
    Can/has she been hand milked? Better find out before you bring her home.
    Do you really want a Holstein? They give lots of milk and not much cream. Probably the least favorite breed for homesteaders. Also, they are huge and eat a lot.
    Find out if the farmer tests his cows for Johne's. Do a little research on this board and on the net and you'll see how important it is.
     
  5. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Milk is not free. It is made from grass, with plenty of rain and sunshine. The more milk you get, the more you have to feed.

    Make sure you have the facilities to feed a heavy milker. If you don't have the grass, you'll be buying hay or grain.

    Beyond the cost for milk, the cow's body has to be fed, also. A 1200 lb. cow will eat twice as much as a 600 lb. cow. Add the cost of milk production to that. So a cow that gives twice as much milk will need twice as much feed for that.

    Think about how long it will take to milk 5 gallons by hand.

    Those are the real reasons that smaller, lower milk production cows are in favor with small homesteaders.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  6. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    CRAZY IDEA!!!

    I got another wierd phone call last night. Someone wanted to know if (knowing I don't have $1000 laying around) they could help me buy the cow, pay for boarding in exchange for milk. Ok, now what??? Here is what I came up with. They have at least 10 shares sold if I would do it, just to guarentee a good milk supply. They only need 10 more to make this work (and they got those 10 in 30 minutes of phone calls). And I could keep the calf and extra milk for my labor. I would NOT own the cow however.

    Here is what I wrote up. Did I cover everything??? What would you change? AM I NUTS????

    Old Sawmill Homestead
    Cow Share Program

    The ownership of the cow would be divided into shares. Each purchased share would be worth $50.00. Twenty (20) shares would be sold.

    Each share would pay a boarding fee of $10 a month. Boarding fee will provide a place for the cow, feed and care as laid out in this document. Boarding fees are due the 5th of each month. They may be paid the first time you pick up your milk in a month as long as that event is not past the 10th of the month. As this is a share program, you will be responsible for this fee even in months when the cow is not milking, provided the cow is not milking due to being freshened for calving. See fees at the end of this document. Any other reason would fall under medical conditions later in this document.

    Ownership of a cow share entitles you to one gallon of milk a week per share at any time the cow is milking. With a average of 40 gallons a year of milk per share.

    Milk not taken during a week is forfeited unless prior arrangements are made. Two months of non-payment of boarding fees and you lose your share in the cow. The unpaid boarding fee would be deducted from the share price and the remainder returned, ownership of the cow share would go to The Old Sawmill Homestead. Old Sawmill Homestead would have the right to hold the share or sell it to another person.

    All care and feeding of the animal would be determined by Old Sawmill Homestead with the following exceptions.

    1) As far as is possible, the cow will be kept chemical free.
    2) As the quality of feed determines the quality of milk, good quality feed will be provided at all times.
    3) A clean and safe boarding area will be provided for the cow.

    In exchange for the care of the cow, any monies left after expenses from the boarding fee will go to Old Sawmill Homestead and any calf/calves will become the sole property of Old Sawmill Homestead. Any expenses incurred for the cow will be paid from the boarding fees. Any milk over and above the owner’s share will become the property of Old Sawmill Homestead, as part of the boarding fee.

    Any vet bills under $100 (limit $300 a year) would be paid out of the boarding fees. Over $100, the owners would be notified and as a group be responsible for the fees, with the bill being divided equally between the owners. In the event a vet determines that the cow is unable to be saved, due to causes not the fault of Old Sawmill Homestead, the group forfeit’s the share price. If Old Sawmill Homestead is at fault, share prices will be refunded.

    If the cow becomes unable to produce the amount necessary to provide a gallon per share, the owners will be notified. The cow will be sold and the owners and Old Sawmill Homestead would decide at that time if the monies from the sale would go toward purchase of a new cow or be returned to the owners, being divided equally per share. If an owner chooses to leave the program, Old Sawmill Homestead will refund the share money, and has the right to either keep the share or sell it to another owner. No more than 3 shares a month may be redeemed in this manner. This option would be paid on a first come basis.

    Old Sawmill Homestead will not be responsible for the quality of the milk. As much as is possible we will provide a sanitary operation. Any illness caused by the milk would be the sole responsibility of the owners of the cow, not Old Sawmill Homestead. The owners will provide clean jars for the milk. The jars will be re-sanitized before use. If jars are not provided an extra $1.50 jar fee will be assessed.

    To purchase a share, you must have share price + 3 months boarding fee up front. The three months would be due at the beginning of each year, but the two months she is dry for calving you would not pay boarding fee. Or $80 a share.


    Conditions -

    We have 20 share owners (10 right now). The Buettners would be willing to help with milking in exchange for milk and ½ the calf when made into meat. We are able to have share price and 3 months boarding fee up front.
    This will allow us money initially to purchase the cow, get feed and set up the corral and fencing. We also need another refrigerator. People are either willing to pick up milk on Sunday or Wednesday at church, or at a set time at our home.


    BTW, this means a gallon of milk would cost $4.25 and the cow would be paid for at the end of the year. I also ran figures to make sure I can pay for everything for this.
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Be very careful on how you structure the deal to keep it legal in the eyes of USDA for unpasturized milk. Your concept is all of the consumers have a financial share in the cow, so essentially they are getting milk from their own cow.

    Once the cow is paid for, they will still have to contribute (maintenance on their share) for upkeep, etc.

    See if you can round up Milkstoolcowboy. He is very knowledgeable on dairy aspects such as this.

    I can see problems with trying to keep a constant supply to all and to keep everyone happy. Remember the cow will be dry for 2-3 months.

    What are you going to use for milk containers? How will you sanitize them.

    What about product liability on your part.

    Your doing this on a shoestring budget with no real prior experience besides getting the milk into the bucket somewhat concerns me.
     
  8. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    Ken,

    It somewhat concerns me! I am not sure about this at all. I will see if I can find milkstoolcowboy. I also know of a raw milk dairy here in SD. I am going to call them and see if they have advice too. I told everyone I need at least until the first of December to think about it and would need until the middle of Feb. or so to be up and running, at least until then.

    Thanks!
     
  9. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I hate to sound a discouraging note here, but. A lot of commercial dairies keep cows on a diet meant only to encourage maximum milk production, ultra high protein and little roughage. Those poor cows "burn out" very quickly. A friend who works at a dairy told me at the Small Farm Today show earlier this month that their cows are lasting an average of less than 3 lactations. He says they go down in the loafing area and don't get up again, he kills and composts one or two a month. Said he can't convince his boss, who's complaining about not making any money, he's committing economic suicide. The answer he gets is " that's the way everybody does it". I would think hard about buying a cow from a dairy. Breeding practices have caused a lot of undesirable traits compounded by poor husbandry have almost ruined the Holstein breed.
     
  10. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    You know, I was thinking about that today. I talked with a gal that is suggesting we test her first too for problems and have HER milk tested. Also, I was thinking about finding a milk cow that has been hand milked before. Won't a cow that has always been machine milked be hard to milk by hand?

    Cheryl
     
  11. furholler

    furholler Cedar Cove Farm Supporter

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    Not only does the price sound good but so do all the offers! I would go for it myself. I'm no expert, mind you, just been doing a lot of watching, reading and learning. I am thinking of "selling" milk coupons in advance to help pay for our first cow.