If you have a farm and you have an acre, I think you should consider a cow.
Really. The world has gone chicken crazy, but I think they are just scratching the surface.
The backyard cow is the next big thing as far as I’m concerned. At least, they should be.
My life is better with a cow.
Chickens, ducks, guineas, turkeys and other feathered friends are making a comeback in a big way. They aren’t even living on homesteads. Poultry are gaining popularity in backyards and neighborhoods everywhere.
I love seeing everyone enjoying a taste of the country spirit. It is such a blessing to keep your own animals who produce food.
It’s sustainable. It’s healthy. It’s entertainment.
It doesn’t have to stop with a chicken.
Cows are the next big thing… at least, in my book.
Why Own a Cow?
- For meat
- For milk
If you don’t want to get too personal with your first cow, get a beef cow. You can pick up a bottle-calf almost weekly and it will be an easy road to get you comfortable with cow ownership.
If you bring home a calf you will get to bottle feed it. You will love your little calf. They are ADORABLE.
Most calves can be fed 2 bottles (feed them one bottle in the morning & one in the evening) for the first few weeks. We make some baby-cow vittles available (feed & hay) for them to munch. Then, we love them like kittens.
As your cow grows he will eat your yard and the occasional dry hay for digestion & extra forage. In addition to the bottles & hay you will want to give him some minerals & some scoops of healthy feed (if you’re into that sort of thing) and let him grow.
It’s not hard. Grass, hay, minerals & water.
You’ll have hundreds of pounds of beef in your freezer in no time.
If you want to skip the bottle feeding, simply start with an older calf.
I know a family who purchases a 6 month old beef cow each year. Because he’s already weaned & eating big boy food they just have to finish him on grass & deliver him to the butcher. This only takes them 6-9 months.
This is where my heart belongs….. to my milk cow. She is the queen. She is my doll. She brightens my day. She makes me sing. She makes me baby cows every year. And she gives me all things dairy.
Just imagine: milk, cheese, butter, sour cream, whip cream, cream fraiche, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, whole cream, butter milk… all fresh. All raw. All from your yard.
It is a game changer. It will fill your body with natural probiotics. It will give you health.
Here’s an interesting tid-bit: Many folks who have a “dairy intolerance” or “lactose intolerance” can consume raw milk products without problems.
If you get a milk cow you won’t be in prison. You won’t be stuck at your farm. You won’t have to get up every day at 4:00. And, you won’t have to be home every night to milk.
I milk when I want and when I don’t want, I let the calf do the milking. It is a beautiful arrangement.
I don’t milk on weekends. I go on vacations. I am in the driver’s seat.
And you can be too.
It is so simple. When your milk-cow has her calf, simply keep the calf with the cow. You can milk your cow & get all the milk you want for your family & let the calf have the rest.
If I would like to milk my cow in the morning-
- I separate the calf from her (in a different pasture or pen).
- First thing in the morning, I milk my cow & then I let my calf back in with the Mama-cow.
- The calf gets the milk the rest of the day.
The calf gets plenty to eat and I get everything I need too. Everybody’s happy.
We even went on a 10 day vacation this spring. We left the calf in the field with our milk cow & she did all the milking while we were out of town. No one had to come milk the cow while we were away.
To see how we own a milk cow & have a life go here.
How Cow Ownership Can Make Your Life Better-
#1 A Cow Gives Your Day Structure
She provides structure to my days. Everyday I milk the cow at about the same time. This ensures that my day starts on time, early, and consistently. Without a cow I am all over the place with my morning routine.
#2 Your Cow Will Keep You Active
Because of her I get exercise everyday. If you don’t think having a milk cow is a workout you should try it. There’s the walk to and from the field, the milking, the cleaning, the feeding, the mucking, the sweeping, the straining, and the skimming. Lots of exercise.
#3 Your Cow Will Ensure You Spend Time Outdoors
Everyday I get fresh air. I have to go outside and care for the animals no matter what the weather is doing. Freezing, raining, snowing – the cow must be milked and fed.
I love this. I think it is important for our healthy to be outside, breathing fresh air and moving.
#4 Your Cow Will Give You Fresh Dairy Products
I always have fresh, raw milk. Home dairying makes me giddy with happiness. The probiotics. You won’t need to eat that yogurt or take probiotic pills anymore. Fresh, raw cow’s-milk is full of beneficial bacteria as well as CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). CLA is a superfood that you want in your diet. More on the health benefits of pastured milk & dairy here.
#5 Your Cow Will Save You Money
Whether you get a beef cow or a milk cow, you will save money. My cow saves me money at the grocery. I don’t have to buy beef, milk, cream, butter, cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, whip cream, or ice-cream….. EVER. Happiness!
Of course, you’ll have expenses associated with owning a cow, but I would rather pay for the cow.
#6 Your Cow Can Improve Your Allergies
Because of our raw milk, my children no longer get allergy shots. I have 2 children with severe seasonal allergies. Once we got our cow, they no longer needed their allergy shots. The cow is in the pasture eating all the grasses, weeds, mold and allergens that send my children into hives and sinusitis land. When we drink her milk it is like a natural allergy shot.
#7 You will Probably have fewer visits to the Doctor
Less frequent illnesses means you’ll have a happier home and you’ll be spending less on doctor visits and meds. I have no doubts that we are healthier since we started drinking raw milk from our cow. She has absolutely improved the healthy of our entire family.
#8 Your Cow will Be Your Friend
Companionship. If you want a friend, and some fresh milk – get a jersey cow. Our jerseys love people. When she hears us she comes to greet us. If anyone is near her field she comes over to them hoping for a little scratch behind the ears or a treat. If you are in her pasture you will have a cow in your lap. She’s a doll.
#9 Owning a Cow Will Make You More Self-Sufficient
You’ll gain some lost, life skills. Because of our cow I know how to milk an animal by hand and with a milker. If all the grocery stores closed we would still have ability and resources to get all the dairy products we want (as long as we have a fresh, dairy animal).
#10 You’re Family will Know Where Food Comes From
She reminds us where food comes from. I love that my children know where milk, eggs, butter, cream, meat, and vegetables come from. And it’s not Kroger.
#11 You Cow will Give You Baby Cows
Last but not least, she gives me baby cows. Milk-cows who are bred back after calving will produce at least 1 calf each year. Calving time is almost as exciting as Christmas. The calves can be used for food, for a future dairy animal, or for income.
I have never regretted getting cows. I am blessed to be able to spend time with my sweet cows every day, especially my milk cow. She has given so much to our family. Our health is better because of her. Our life is better because of her. I am so grateful for our sweet cow, Trinka. I tell her all the time.
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