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Anybody got their own cow? I mean, in your backyard?

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  • Anybody got their own cow? I mean, in your backyard?

    I have acreage, not all of it is fenced but that could be remedied in time.... I was wondering if anyone here has their own cows that they take to get butchered?

    How much acreage does a cow need? is this more cost effective to "grow" your own cow than to cowpool for grass fed? Could I possibly live next to my future steak and go thru with the butchering?? How much freezer room does a whole cow need once butchered? where do you take your animal when it is "Time"?

    Just pondering
    Holly and the Greyhounds-Cabby, Bully, Nelson, Stepper, Streamer and Fiona
    Adopt a greyhound! www.GALTx.com An ancient (Primal?) Breed

  • #2
    how much land do you have? we raised quite a lot of goats on about an acre or so of pasture growing up. i would think about an acre of pasture for one cow would probably be enough, especially if you supplement with hay. go to your library - they should have a book or two how to do it for the 4-H kids.

    i would think that raising your own cow would be VERY cheap - especially if it's grassfed. we didn't have a lot of money growing up, but we managed to raise 100 chickens most summers & survived on that over the year. we couldn't have done it if it was expensive.
    And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
    Kahlil Gibran

    http://simplesunshine.wordpress.com

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    • #3
      We have 75 acres but the main problem is that it is not fenced and THAT is expensive!! it is a work in progress Some of it (maybe 20 acres?) is also leased to a guy who plants corn or wheat (blech) every year so we can have ag exemption.

      did you eat the goats? I had a pet goat once
      Holly and the Greyhounds-Cabby, Bully, Nelson, Stepper, Streamer and Fiona
      Adopt a greyhound! www.GALTx.com An ancient (Primal?) Breed

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      • #4
        Oddly my brother is raising goats as of this last year.

        Can't help ya with the cow thing dude.

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        • #5
          Cows are slow and placid animals... you don't need big strong fencing like you would for horses or pigs. Look into pole & wire fencing. Tons cheaper than chain-link or plank and it you make the top wire electric the cow will just avoid the fence completely.
          ~ I don't talk to people with closed minds; they tend to harbor brain fungus. ~

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          • #6
            chain link and plank are not even options that crossed my mind. more like T-posts and barbed wire.... I do have a pasture for horses but I am not sure how a big cow and my mini horses (about 38 inches tall at the shoulder) would get along The horses just have straight wire fencing.

            Anyone know anything about the butchering part and what to do for that? do those of you with goats butcher them (being smaller) yourselves?
            Holly and the Greyhounds-Cabby, Bully, Nelson, Stepper, Streamer and Fiona
            Adopt a greyhound! www.GALTx.com An ancient (Primal?) Breed

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            • #7
              There are miniature cattle to you know . . .
              http://www.miniaturelonghorns.com/

              Check your zoning laws and butchering requirements. You may be required to take the cow to an off-site abattoir.

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              • #8
                Do ex girlfriends count?

                Sorry couldn't help it

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                • #9
                  LOL @ mini cows!!! hahahaha!!! I could have some pygmy goats too huh? have a mini herd of tiny food excluding the horses of course!

                  I called a local butcher (that advertised processing wild game like deer) and the cow would evidently need to be taken to be inspected by the USDA then transported (killed already) to the butcher shop. I have emailed a place that does the inspection now... maybe they know of a place that does it all

                  It may not happen tomorrow but it is an idea.

                  PookDo, you have an Ex living in your backyard or did you want to know how to get her "processed" ??? ewwwwwwwwwww
                  Holly and the Greyhounds-Cabby, Bully, Nelson, Stepper, Streamer and Fiona
                  Adopt a greyhound! www.GALTx.com An ancient (Primal?) Breed

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheUnrulyHound View Post
                    LOL @ mini cows!!! hahahaha!!! I could have some pygmy goats too huh? have a mini herd of tiny food excluding the horses of course!

                    I called a local butcher (that advertised processing wild game like deer) and the cow would evidently need to be taken to be inspected by the USDA then transported (killed already) to the butcher shop. I have emailed a place that does the inspection now... maybe they know of a place that does it all

                    It may not happen tomorrow but it is an idea.

                    PookDo, you have an Ex living in your backyard or did you want to know how to get her "processed" ??? ewwwwwwwwwww
                    The thread asked if anyone owns a cow.Used to dated a woman about 20 years ago that could have passed for one and I don't have a back yard
                    Last edited by PookDo; 04-02-2010, 05:07 PM.

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                    • #11
                      @ theunrulyhound: yes! not all the time, but we did drink the (pasturized) milk & make cheese out of it. we actually got pigs & a few feeder calves to dispose of all the extra milk. one family can only drink so much, & you can't sell it unless you had an official dairy of over 30 milkers or something & a lot more equipment.

                      goat tastes a lot like good venison, rather than lamb, in case anyone is wondering.

                      as for fencing, we actually did electric! four strings i think, & it was solar powered, so not a lot of cost. PLEASE do not use barbed wire though - shouldn't ever be used for livestock. they'll seriously damage themselves if they touch it.

                      we used to use stockpanel to keep the other animals in - craaaazy cheap stuff.
                      And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
                      Kahlil Gibran

                      http://simplesunshine.wordpress.com

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                      • #12
                        Completely different rules etc here in the UK but please do one thing - get two or three, not just one. They are a herd animal A handful of miniature ones would be better than one massive beast.

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                        • #13
                          When you referred to a cow, I assumed you wanted to milk her, but upon reading your post, it looks like what you actually want is a steer. I've had steers, and I've had goats, but I've never owned a cow. Beware if you've never butchered an animal you've owned personally; it's one of the hardest thing you'll ever do. I raised my steers from babies, and I ended up selling them all, just couldn't eat them. I had the same problem with my pigs and goats, and the chickens and geese I butchered turned me off from poultry meat for about 3 years. Since then, I only raise chickens for eggs, and buy my grass fed beef and pastured pork from farmers. Don't underestimate the softness of your heart when it comes to killing something that reacted with pleasure to your presence every morning. It's tougher than you think.

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                          • #14
                            Had a think and came up with a couple of things that could apply regardless of geography

                            If you want this to be a long term project, you could buy a cow and her calf, and set up a rotation where she gives birth to a new calf the spring after you've slaughtered the eldest calf. Depending how big you want the carcass, it could be a 2-3 year rotation or even longer. However if she produced a female calf you may want to reconsider.

                            Or you could buy a couple of steers as-and-when.

                            Sounds obvious, but if you want milk she needs to be in-calf or have a calf - so you'd have that youngster to raise, eat, or sell anyhow. (Not meaning to sound patronising, even I've had moments of forgetting that )

                            Depending on the quality of your ground and pasture, consider your choice of breed carefully. A traditional, hardy, native-type (again not sure what is around where you live?) will do better on poorer ground and will need less mollycoddling. A modern beef breed needs a lot more input. Consider it the difference between your free range chicken with the brains to keep itself safe, vs the modern broiler chicken that probably wouldn't survive outside the system.

                            Talking of chickens, would it be worth testing your emotional response to slaughter . butchery by raising and killing a couple of chickens first?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Willow_NyteEyes View Post
                              Cows are slow and placid animals... you don't need big strong fencing like you would for horses or pigs. Look into pole & wire fencing. Tons cheaper than chain-link or plank and it you make the top wire electric the cow will just avoid the fence completely.
                              My family raised cows for years -- we slaughtered one a year -- and I have to disagree about them not being hard on fences. Cattle may be placid, but they're also massive, with tough hides. T-posts (plus good, braced, pole corners and anchors) with field fence, topped with barbed wire and an electric strand, is about as good as it gets, but they'll still scratch and lean on the fences, resulting in the need for frequent maintenance.

                              If you want meat that's relatively easy on fences, try sheep.
                              Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

                              Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

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