Archive for January, 2010

Family Milk Cow 101: Chapter 3

January 14th, 2010 by Kim

If you’ve just found us – Welcome!  If you’re looking for information on finding a family milk cow, we hope to help you with that.  This is the third part of this month’s article, so if you haven’t read the first two yet we encourage you to start at Chapter 1.

Chapter 3:  The Animal

After you know that your facilities are ready and that you know how to take care of your cow, it’s time to bring the RIGHT cow home!  So many cows to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?  Here are some questions you’ll need to answer to help you make that decision.

Do you want a registered animal?

Registered animals will cost more – but if you sell off calves, that cuts both ways, and you’ll have a guaranteed market, too.  Figure out if you’ll have a market for unregistered or composite animals.  Breed associations can be a great source of information & other members will often be quite helpful to the beginner.        
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Family Milk Cow 101: Chapter 2

January 6th, 2010 by Kim

Welcome to Hope Refuge Farm and our new website! We want this blog to be a place where you can learn what you want to know about keeping a family cow.  Not that we’re experts yet, but we have learned an aweful lot over the almost 3 years that we’ve owned cows.  We invite you to come learn with us!

If you’re thinking ahead to spring and looking forward to buying that cow you’ve been wanting, before you get too caught up in the excitement of all the pretty girls, there are  some other things to think about.  Here’s the follow-up to last week’s installment.  After you’ve assessed your facilities, you’ll need to prepare for the health & well being of your beautiful bovine.

Chapter 2:  Healthcare

We always like to assume that our animals will stay healthy and be able to survive on the pasture provided them.  But sometimes there’s more to it than that, and unfortunately, sometimes bad stuff happens.  Here are some things to keep in mind.

Vet:

First & FOREMOST, do you have a vet who is cattle savvy and near enough for emergencies?  If you don’t already have a large animal vet you trust, establish a relationship with one through a simple routine checkup when your new cow comes home – BEFORE something bad comes up.  If you’re not familiar with the large animal vets in your area, ask other cattle owners nearby – they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.  You’ll want to make sure the vet makes farm calls, and that you know what their after-hours/on-call & emergency policies are.  There are some indicators of how well you & this vet will get along.  How well does the vet explain things and answer your questions?  Are you comfortable with the way he/she handles your cow?  Does he/she seem to enjoy the work?  If you don’t like this one, try another.
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Family Milk Cow 101

January 1st, 2010 by Kim

Hello, Happy New Year & Welcome to Hope Refuge Farm and our new website! We want this blog to be a place where you can learn what you want to know about keeping a family cow.  Not that we’re experts yet, but we have learned an aweful lot over the almost 3 years that we’ve owned cows.  We invite you to come learn with us!

As winter really sets in here, each day is hay, hay & MORE hay!  But now, with the holidays behind us, people start thinking ahead to spring – and buying that cow they’ve been wanting to provide dairy products for their family.  Oh, the joys of cow-shopping!  But before you get too caught up in the excitement of all the pretty girls, there are  some other things to think about.  A lot of things, actually, so I’m going to post this month in three installments – here’s chapter 1.

snowblog

Family Milk Cow 101: So You Want To Buy A Cow?

There are many things to consider before buying your first family milk cow.  When we bought our first cow, we were really only about halfway ready, but we jumped in anyway… and learned a lot of things the hard way.  Things probably would have gone easier if we had had a clear plan & finished facilities BEFORE we brought home our beautiful bovine.  So here are some questions & ideas to get you started on your way to being a milk cow owner.
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