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Keeping a Family Cow - Should You Just Buy Your Own Cow?

If you have been drinking raw milk for any length of time, it has probably crossed your mind that keeping a family cow of your own might be a grand idea. And if you own property where you are able to keep livestock, this is a very doable idea!

However, before you go out and buy a family cow, be sure to check out a few things first.

Do you have enough land to sustain a cow? If you don't have enough grass you will need to buy a lot of hay. This can get costly, so factor that in to your decision.

Next, some sort of shelter will be needed, at least a 3-sided shed to get out of the wind, rain, and sun. If you live in cold climates, a fully enclosed barn would be needed.

If your cow is in milk you'll need to commit to milking your cow every day either once or twice a day. If not you will need to have several calves to drink the milk. Some cows will accept a foster calf and some will not.

Now, what breed? If you go searching for info you are likely to hear you need to buy a Jersey cow if you plan to have a family cow. I am not sure why everyone and their brother thinks like this. The fact is there are 6 dairy breeds and I would encourage anyone interested in owning a cow to do careful research of all 6 breeds. But not only the breed, also evaluate the milk and try some if at all possible.

I much prefer the milk of Brown Swiss, Guernsey, and Ayrshire over Jersey milk. I find it much sweeter, and there is still plenty of cream. Many people love Jerseys, and you might as well, but don't discount the other breeds without doing your research. You might be surprised at what you find.

Learn how to buy a family cow and get started milking!

 

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