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Mini Cattle!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Rebecka, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Aug 3, 2010
    elijahboy

    elijahboy Lovin' The Homestead

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    Plus cows don't climb last time I checked :gig would love to see it though
     
  2. Aug 3, 2010
    Farmfresh

    Farmfresh City Biddy

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    I think if I had too little space for even a mini cow a milky sheep like a Katahdin would be my choice before a goat.

    I know there are a lot of goat lovers out there but sheep just seem to be more my speed. Plus their milk is supposed to be about the best for cheese.
     
  3. Aug 3, 2010
    PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Humble Ambitions

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    Sheep are a very attractive notion to me, but i don't know much about them. I think, in my mind, they need rolling hills and whatnot. Seems like a couple of beautiful sheep in my dinky little space might be insulting to their beauty. :/ Maybe i'm overthinking it. :D
     
  4. Aug 3, 2010
    Farmfresh

    Farmfresh City Biddy

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    You need to talk to Beekissed. She is the one 'been there done that' with the sheep situation.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2010
    patandchickens

    patandchickens Crazy Cat Lady

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    The main two disadvantages of sheep as milk producers are that a) their lactations are generally fairly short, like several months or you can stretch *some* of them up to half a year, as opposed to cows who can go most of a year or even (in some cases) most of *two* years before drying up and needing to be rebred. And b) even from dairybred sheep you don't get all that much from one individual sheep, and since it takes about as long to milk a cow as a sheep, it ends up taking more time per day to get X quantity of milk, unless you only wanted a very small quantity of milk in the first place (like 1 sheep's worth).

    That said, I have sheep :) -- the short lactation was actually a selling point for me, as I am not sure I *want* to be milking year-round.

    After I've had them for a few years I will be better able to decide whether I want to stay with them or switch to a (small, small!) cow or try goats or just quit trying to keep ANYthing to milk. I really have no idea which way it'll go.

    Pat
     
  6. Aug 3, 2010
    PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Humble Ambitions

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    In the interest of not hijacking this thread, i'm taking the milking sheep discussion over here. http://www.sufficientself.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=160682#p160682
     
  7. Aug 3, 2010
    PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Humble Ambitions

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    omg! there's so much to think about. i really want something that makes milk! maybe i should get a donkey! :D
     
  8. Aug 3, 2010
    Wifezilla

    Wifezilla No-Carb Queen

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    Adding a few more points to the cow vs goat debate...

    In the goat's favor, they will eat poison ivy according to OFG.

    In the cow's favor, the boys don't stink to high heaven.
     
  9. Aug 3, 2010
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Almost Self-Reliant

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    I'm not trying to discourage you from getting mini cows. I'm just trying to help you understand that it will cost you more than a $1 per day to feed them on only an acre. Especially if there are 4 of them. There are also the "hidden" costs that you don't realize you will have. All that manure has to be cleaned up and if they are in a barn in winter, then you will need to put something down in their stall, so that costs money. Also, they will need hay and grain in the winter and I would think the milking cows would need some type of grain to keep producing milk. I go through 400-500 bales of hay per year and right now I'lm paying $4.50 per bale. These are the small square bales. If you can do round bales, then you need a way to move them around so you would need a tractor. I would think that the bull would have to be kept separate from the females so now you are looking at dividing that acre. Al;so housing. Things like that. They will just cost more than you think. Especially just starting up.
     

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