Meet Buttercup, our new cow



  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning CONGRATULATIONS on your newest member, Buttercup!! (Love that name)

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Love the name you chose @LaurieLovesLearning .

    And seeing all the things you're making has me seriously considering adding a cow to our homestead. Though it's a scary thought, given I know nothing about cows.🤔😬

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 739 ✭✭✭✭

    Her chin icicles are so cute!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina I think you have lots on your plate right now. Of course I'd like to tell you to go all out and get a cow, but I think you need to focus on what you are doing now, and instead of buying a cow, keep that in mind as you get your place set up.

    Maybe in the meantime, see what is available fairly close by and go over what type you might want if you did get one. High cream is jersey & guernsey...and they still give more milk than you'd ever dream of. Holsteins give lots of milk & little cream. Brown Swiss are a bit higher cream than a Holstein. These breeds seem to be the most sought after. Most dairies up here are Holstein (1st) or jersey (2nd), yet a few have a little extra variety. Our milking shorthorn was pretty good, but she was large...still different than a Holstein, but still fairly big.

    There are other dairy breeds though. Try to find charts & associations by breed. You will find a lot of great information (and breeder contacts) if you check breed associations.

    You also want to think about feed conversion. Smaller is more efficient and of course, a small cow will eat much less than a large one.

    Teat size is something that sometimes draws people toward the larger breeds. Jerseys typically have smaller teats, but the cream makes up for that (in our opinion at least).

    Is there somewhere you could learn about handmilking? Would someone be willing to teach you? If not, there are individual milking machines out there. I just figure that it's easier (and chemical free) to wash hands instead of a machine.

    If you can find a copy of a book I mentioned at some point in the forum...It's called "The Family Cow" by Dirk van Loon, that is one I recommend to new cow owners. It's pretty good. Although having a mentor with years of knowledge behind them is awfully handy!

    I could give you more information (like traits to look for/avoid, etc.), but that would come in time as you start to research and have questions.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @LaurieLovesLearning!

    I'll try to see what I can locate around here in my area. And look into finding that book as well.😊

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Brings back fond memories. When my kids were young, I would buy milk from a small local dairy and skim off the cream and the kids and I would make butter. So much more tasty. Miss that.