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Miniature dairy cows
January 24, 2011
12:12 pm
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SarahGrace
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Is anyone familiar with miniature dairy cows?

Pros?

Cons?

Advice?

January 24, 2011
12:26 pm
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Suzanne McMinn
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I think they'd be great because they probably wouldn't overload you with milk.  They might be more expensive because they're specialty breeds.  But–they'd save money in the long run because they'd eat less!

Clover made me do it.

January 24, 2011
12:46 pm
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SarahGrace
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I wonder how to calculate out difference of price of miniature cows versus a large dairy cow?

I'd think we'd have enough meadows to hay for either, so feed costs would mainly be the grains that are needed.

I also wonder how hard it'd be to breed and get different blood lines for breeding the minature cows as they are more of a specialty breed?  I forsee me emailing questions to one of the farms I've found.  :)

How hard is it to get different blood lines for breeding with a big cow?

January 24, 2011
12:47 pm
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SarahGrace
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Looks like the minature cows need more shelter during the winter then the big cows.

January 24, 2011
1:43 pm
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Suzanne McMinn
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That would definitely be something to consider, whether you can find a bull!  You might have to get your own!

Clover made me do it.

January 24, 2011
8:56 pm
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Flatlander
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What kind of cows are you talking about?

I think if you go with a rare breed you pay a lot, but take Dexters, they are not more expensive than a Jersey (at least not here in Canada I don't know prices where you life)

Dexters are not real miniature, but a very small breed, they give milk similar to Jersey, in taste and vet content) and dual purpose.

I know I always talk about Dexters…I love love LOVE my Jersey, but I wanted to go with a Dexter and got talked into a Jersey.

Not that I would ever get rid of her..but sure would love to “add” a Dexter.

January 24, 2011
9:19 pm
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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Astrid!  Would you really milk TWO cows?!  with as much milk as you have already from your Jersey?

Clover made me do it.

January 24, 2011
10:13 pm
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Ross
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When we had cows there were six kids and mom and dad at home . The morning milking was always separated and the skim fed to the pigs. Milk was the beverage of choice and we never ran short. We fattened a dairy steer on whole milk and rolled oats one year. Before you acquire a small herd decide how you will use the milk. Morbier cheese uses morning and evening milkings . http://www.artisanalcheese.com/cheeses/Morbier

January 25, 2011
1:07 am
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Flatlander
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NOOOO I would get a milking machine and a few steers to feed the extra milk.

January 25, 2011
9:04 am
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SarahGrace
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Suzanne McMinn said:

That would definitely be something to consider, whether you can find a bull!  You might have to get your own!


I found a farm in Utah that will mail out and the vials are anywhere from $50-$100.  I don't find that too bad.  There's also a place in Oh. but I'm not sure how large their stock is at this point.
January 25, 2011
9:11 am
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SarahGrace
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Thanks for all the replies!

We're making our lists of pros and cons.  There may be a possibility of a move in front of us, so that would definitely play a part in which type we would get.

We drink a lot of milk in our household.  We already make our own yogurt.  I'd add butter and some cheese to that, probably.  It would all depend on what time I have and what location we're in.

I wonder if the care of the small ones are more, less, or the same?

It is fun learning!

January 25, 2011
9:18 am
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Suzanne McMinn
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SarahGrace, that's cheaper than keeping the bull yourself, LOL.

Clover made me do it.

January 25, 2011
9:24 am
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SarahGrace
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I guess it is cheaper, isn't it?  lol

I was thinking about how a lot of people do it around here.  Walk their cows to the neighbor's bull.  hehe

January 25, 2011
10:28 am
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Jersey Lady
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If you are interested in mini Jerseys, here are two places to find info.

http://minijerseysbydexter.homestead.com/

http://miniaturejerseyassociation.com

The fella at the first link can tell you all you ever want to know about these little cows. Give him a call.

Look on the breeders list of the second link to find folks who are in your area. Go for a visit.

Plan what you will do with all the milk before you start. We raise calves, pigs, feed it to our chickens besides what we use in the house. Our standard Jersey house cow gives 6-7 gallons a day.

January 25, 2011
11:03 am
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SarahGrace
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Thanks for the links!

We are in the process of planning what we want to do with the milk.  Of course the first determining factor will be in what location we will be.  :)

May 13, 2011
11:23 pm
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Kat43082
Central Arizona
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SarahGrace,

Forgive me if you have already answered this (I'm new), but did you decide between a Jersey or a Dexter?  I have limited pasture already with my 3 horses, but I'm looking in to a smaller milking cow.  I was leaning towards a Dexter because of the dual purpose and thier size, so I was interested in you final chioce (if you've made it).

 

I see there are lots of Jersey owners on here, are there any Dexter owners that would be willing to answer some of my silly newbie questions? moo

May 14, 2011
6:20 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Hopefully she'll be showing us pictures today!!!  https://chickensintheroad.com/forum/the-old-barn/cow-shopping/

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

May 14, 2011
9:06 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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I know it has been spoken of in one of these threads, but at the risk of repetition, keep in mind the cost of breeding them, and the limited options due to their size.  If you don't live near a good live Dexter bull, then it's getting either a vet or an A.I. technician to breed to one.  If it's a case of getting a cow to freshen for milking I'm sure a smaller bull could be found if you live in farm country, but it's definitely something to consider.

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 14, 2011
3:25 pm
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Jersey Lady
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Here is 2 places with portable milkers:

http://www.perrysmilkers.com/  We got ours from this fella. He also sells on Ebay.

http://www.portablemilkers.com  We know someone who ordered theirs from this place.

May 14, 2011
6:33 pm
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Kat43082
Central Arizona
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Thanks CindyP & BuckeyeGirl,

 

I have considered the bull situation.  I guess coming from a horse background were in my experiance live covers are rare, I naturally gravitated to AI.  I've found a couple of services that will ship straws, but it is worth looking into further.  I'm leaning towards the breed for many reasons, 1) Dual purpose, 2) some are natually polled (this I find to be a big plus), 3) heardy & heat tolarent (I live in phoenix) and 4) they don't produce as much milk as a jersery (I would never beable to use 4-8 gallons of milk a day).  I have considered starting with goats but after some research I think I have decided against goats. I do find the mini Jersey interesting and will be doing some extra research on those.

 

Thanks for all the info!

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