Having your own herd of cows can reap a lot of benefits like a rich supply of fresh milk and beef, but it’s more daunting than you think it is. Because they’re bigger than your usual farm animals, they take up more space and cost more to maintain them too. Long story short, it’s a huge investment when it comes to raising cows.
However, if you’re passionate about rearing cattle and homegrown produce, then don’t let us stop you. In fact, we’ve gone ahead to compile a couple of helpful tips to assist you in this journey. If you would like to learn more about raising cows, keep on reading!
Figure Out Your Purpose
Raising cows is no easy feat — it’s no cheap feat either. A lot of time, money, and effort goes into it, so knowing the exact purpose of getting cows is the top priority when it comes to justifying the intended investments. Additionally, it helps justify the resources you need; like land and equipment.
The two common purposes for raising cows are for milk or meat. Additionally, you could also sell calves. You could save these products to use for sale or to keep for your own use. Knowing what you want to do with your cattle, it’ll narrow down the planning and preparation processes.
Milking The Situation
If you’re solely raising cows for the production of fresh milk, there are some expenses you have to consider. It’s going to be a huge investment considering that cows are only able to produce milk when they turn two years old and also when they birth a calf. It’s important that the cow has to have offspring before being able to produce fresh milk — and then they can be milked for two years without needing to give birth again.
This means being able to afford to care for cows and their younglings, and having enough resources to cover the time needed to wait. Economically, keeping cows for personal use will be quite pricey. Additionally, if you intend on selling the milk, there are some guidelines to follow depending on where you are. For example, some states allow you to sell milk at your own place, while some only allow for milk sales to be done at retail stalls.
If you’re worried about having too much fresh milk at hand, you could use the milk to churn butter or cheese too. This saves you so much in terms of groceries and can earn you a pretty dollar if you choose to sell that too.
Raising cattle for homegrown beef requires a lot more resources compared to milk production. You have to know how you plan to go about processing the beef, care for the cattle’s diets, and consider meat storage options. When it comes to raising cattle for beef, you have to note that if you choose to feed them grain, they can only do so at around 15 to 16 months. On the other hand, you can only feed cows grass after around 30 months.
Keeping the beef for personal use allows for more space in terms of how you go about processing your meat, but if you’re planning retail, it’s a whole other ball game. You’ll have to be ready for your products to be subject to inspection, and to find a high-quality meat processor. It’s important to have a good plan in order to be able to book a processor and have your meat processed in time. Most owners raise a calf during spring until they’re big enough for slaughter in autumn. This can be more tedious during winter, as you would have to invest more in feeding and keeping your cattle warm.
If you plan to have your cows reproduce on your farm, this hands-free feeder will certainly come in handy. It is powder coated for added protection and rust prevention and can be mounted.
The ultimate heavy-duty cow magnet, it has solid steel end caps to prevent corrosion as well as a solid steel connector rod to prevent breakage. Not to mention that it easily travels to your cows’ stomachs.
Make perfect splices every time with this tool that works to cut wire fences, mend them or make them entirely brand new. It has 22” handles to make your job easy in applying the right crimping pressure.
Do You Know Your Markets?
Knowing where to sell your products, be it milk or beef, can make all the difference. For example, finding a market that is willing to pay top dollar for homegrown beef could earn you the profit you’ve been looking for. Being able to market yourself well will work in your favor too, but do take note of the costs that go into that. So go ahead and find your niche, see if there’s a market for it and sell, sell, sell!
Caring For Your Cows
Just like any animal you care for, sometimes there are things only a professional veterinarian can handle. So before you consider raising cows, ensure that you have access to a good vet nearby. This helps to ensure that you have disease-free, healthy, and vaccinated cows. Sick cows can affect the quality of meat or their milk, so be extra cautious! If you need a recommendation, you can always ask your seller or hop onto a search engine online.
Resources You Need
Cows are relatively big farm animals, and that means they occupy quite a bit of space. A single cow requires at least an acre — so a mother-calf pair would require a little bit more. Additionally, the quality of the land holds equal importance to the amount of land. A rich pasture could mean a healthier diet for your cows, so definitely take some time to test out your pasture’s soil.
Others make up for lower-quality pastures by feeding grain to their herd. However, if the quality is what you’re after, you do have to prioritize the quality and quantity of land. Remember, whatever goes into your soil goes to your herds’ stomachs too. You could also invest in a feed that consists of the essential nutrients, hay or high-protein grain.
A specially formulated general-purpose potting mix, it is not only perfect for planting, but also for soil conditioning. It is packed with coir, growstone, perlite, composted topsoil, and rock powders.
A multi-purpose tub in a sweet sky blue color, it is great for carrying, mixing, scooping, and gardening. It has strong handles and a flexible body for easy transportation; it is even UV-proof.
Aside from having land to roam about, it’s also vital to have a strong enclosure to protect your cows from natural predators and also from escaping. Find a steady fence because cows can easily knock over any flimsy wiring.
If you’re wondering what to do during winter, it’ good to have a barn or shelter to rest and keep warm.
And there you have it — all the essential tips you have to know about raising cows. We hope this article has come in handy!
|1||Calf Bottle Holder|
If you plan to have your cows reproduce on your farm, this hands-free feeder will certainly come in handy. It is even powder coated.
The ultimate heavy-duty cow magnet, it has solid steel end caps to prevent corrosion as well as a solid steel connector rod.
|3||Crimp ‘N’ Cut Splicing Fence Tool|
Make perfect splices every time with this tool that works to cut wire fences, mend them or make them entirely brand new.
A specially formulated general-purpose potting mix, it is not only perfect for planting, but also for soil conditioning.
|5||TubTrug 10.5 Gallon|
A multi-purpose tub in a sweet sky blue color, it is great for carrying, and gardening. It has strong handles and a flexible body.