First no such cow exists, everyone thinks their particular breed is the "perfect homestead cow". What we've found in the last 3 years is that any cow with that label will be exorbitantly expensive, hard to find and usually hard to get bred due to lack of breeders.
To me the perfect homestead cow should be easy find, the breeders should be friendly and have cattle that have been worked with (ie: don't market them as a multi-purpose milk/meat breed when none of your breeders sell halter broke cattle much less broke to milk), the cows need to be multi-purpose and reasonably priced.
If anyone knows of any cattle like that let me know!
If you ever by a cow from me it will be at regular market prices or less, reguardless of the breed (I have registered Milking Devons struggling to reproduce), and they will be halter broke when young, and broke to milk once they have had their first calf. Folks, it just ain't nothing but right!
A smallholder ought to raise a milk cow as if it were going to be used as a family cow even if it never will, and should gentle a beef cow for easy handling. It just makes sense for the cow and any future owners.
As for charging big money for some rare breed, it's a rip off. I bought what I wanted and paid too much (likely twice too much), but will be selling at rational prices.
This is just something to do for most of us and a business for those really into cattle in a big way. Some joker with 2 or 3 head of some exotic breed charging high prices is someone to steer clear of period.
Recently a fellow Minnesotan tried to sell me some registered Highland cattle; all heifers, for $5,000 a head. He said they were show quality: etc. etc., ad nausium, ad infinitum, yadda-yadda. I said I didn't need $50,000 worth of cattle getting killed by wolves or shot by local hunters. He then said he would sell me the same cattle for $500 per head without papers. So what was their true value to the smallholder? I'd say something well under the last offer. It was all or none; I past. I will find someone with a decent price and get the papers too.
I'm on a rant so please forgive me, but higher than market prices for cattle just a little more specialized in one area than another doesn't make sense. It's like one farmer saying, "My chattle are beef breeds so their worth more than dairy breeds," and the next person says, "Yeah well mine are dairy and worth more than beef chattle," and the price keeps going up. Meanwhile, the next huckster comes along saying, "Mine are fair at beef and middlin' at milk so they're worth more than a beef cow and a dairy cow put together."
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