Husband wants to expand

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Katonk

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Hello all,
Looking for opinions from experienced hands.
I've never owned cattle. I've never known any who did before moving to texoma. I've never worked with cattle.
I was raised in southern California and had awesome grandparents from different walls of life, so I got a feel for what I might expect from country living.
Fast forward to now.
Husband works on another state. We have a little bit of heaven and I raise our 5 boys best I can. With what's going on in the ag world he brought up getting a milk cow for our little homestead instead of goats.
He asked I consider taking on one milk cow. So I'm considering.
I'll go to him when I'm done, he's not put a time expectation on me but myself? Im starting a new animal breed in the spring, not two.
Milks cows over goats:
I'm very unsure. I had planned next spring to grow our homestead with goats. I've the same experience with them as cattle but they're smaller which I feel simplifies all including home doctoring.
All I have at the moment is meat rabbits and chickens, and they provide well for our table. I do all my own processing because it's really not that big a deal.
I don't sell eggs, but I'll sell excess meat pens if Camp Fridgidare is at capacity lol. We volunteered at stables so I could get aquatinted with large animals. Verdict- I can do the work but I'm not fond of inexperienced people intruding on an owners decisions, and a lot show up around horses. After doing that work for a few years husband doesn't want any either. They're very nice, glad I gained that insight.

What are your thoughts and experiences with owning milk cows for home use?
I'd have to have two in my inexperienced opinion because they're herd animals. I haven't begun to fence the part of pasture I'd use so I'm not sure two is possible considering our rural regulations.
I'll step in to my local ag office and ask about restrictions on that.

Husband's reasoning is: goat milk is weird, we're used to cow milk, beef is much better on the table (calves), easier to sell calves, it would be easier to get stud service.
I have my own opinions but I'm not looking for support against him here, he's the best man in my earthly world I know so no hate, just be free with some honest thoughts on ownership.
Details on experience with specific breeds would be so lovely.

Also I don't own a tractor so hoisting up a full grown heifer that needs to be processed is out of the question.
Picture of my sancho for attention.
Thanks all,
Katonk
 

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Hpacres440p

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I would star with the goats,if simply for size and volume of milk produced. Either animal has to be pregnant and deliver to produce milk, a goat gestation is 5 months, kids can be weaned at 3 months-double that time for cattle. If it’s you and kids, I’d start smaller and work my way up.
 

Cowsout

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I've never owned goats, but I grew up around beef cattle and horses. I always wanted a Jersey and bought a 3 month old heifer in 2013. I trained her the same as I would a horse, she ties, cross-ties, is easy to lead, picks up her feet and all of the things you'd expect in ground manners from a horse. I breed her to my Angus bull, and have thoroughly enjoyed the milk (and buttermilk and butter). The major drawback for me is I wasn't aware of the proper teat care at drying time, and she developed mastitis in one quarter last year that was a nightmare to treat.
 

farmerjan

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If you are thinking goats would be a better fit, then I would suggest that you follow through in that direction. All the reasons listed for faster turn around, easier to handle...etc. One thing to consider is the breed of goats. I have been told over the years by several that Nubians and Lamancha's have the best tasting milk and Toggenbugs the most off flavored. People say Nigerian Dwarfs' have very good milk, but little tiny teats for milking...
I do not have goats. I have several jerseys and crosses and use them for the house and as nurse cows to foster calves on. They eat alot more than goats, and require a time commitment for milking, if you do not have calves to nurse them. In the current times, goat kids and lambs are very saleable at much younger ages.... there are diverse ethnic groups of people in this country that want the goat and lamb meat and therefore a good market for any you do not want to process for your own use.

My suggestion is to go on another "homesteader type" forum.... BackYardHerds...... I frequent that one also, since I am more of the homesteader "type", even though my son and I run a cow/calf operation.... I think you will find alot more people there that can give you more detailed pros and cons.... more of them have smaller livestock, sheep, goats, chickens etc.... and a few head of cows on the smaller farms.
There are advantages of cattle, and yes I like beef. You could raise an animal for beef and still have your goats for milk. Many people raise calves on goats milk in bottles. You don't have the quantity of milk from goats and can dry them up when you want to cut down or stop milking, a little easier than cows...
Fencing needs are more exacting with goats as they are known to be escape artists.....
Cattle can be trained to a halter and leading, my old guernsey and jersey cows, both would tie out on a tether rope to graze in the yard and I could lead them down the road to another pasture. AI will be easier with a cow unless you are in an area where there are other goat people, then you might be able to get them AI'ed or buy a young billy strictly for breeding and then sell it when you are done, or lease one.....Different options.
 

Ferd

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If you aren’t drinking milk fresh out of a cow already the milk will taste different even if you go with a cow. When I started kindergarten I had my first taste of processed milk. Even though it was whole milk it tasted like white water to me. If you get goats don’t be surprised to see one standing on your car.
 

snoopdog

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I've never owned goats, but I grew up around beef cattle and horses. I always wanted a Jersey and bought a 3 month old heifer in 2013. I trained her the same as I would a horse, she ties, cross-ties, is easy to lead, picks up her feet and all of the things you'd expect in ground manners from a horse. I breed her to my Angus bull, and have thoroughly enjoyed the milk (and buttermilk and butter). The major drawback for me is I wasn't aware of the proper teat care at drying time, and she developed mastitis in one quarter last year that was a nightmare to treat.
Jersey butter is the BOMB
 

snoopdog

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I second what jan said, if in doubt start small, do research, and let us know your experience. Plenty of room in this world for everyone.
 

TdJ

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Grew up on a dairy farm, Jersey predominantly. Lovely animals for the most part, just make sure dehorned if more than one - they're as competitive as all other breeds. When you're milking one and she's producing it's a total gas, but milk twice a day you will. Come rain or shine, birthday or vacation. Until dry season. But fresh milk, full fat with coffee is incredible.
 

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