Dutch Belted Cows: Marvelous Milk and Meat

This heritage breed cow is an affordable, low-maintenance addition to the homestead. We had a pasture. We had a barn. All we needed to make our homestead complete were a few cows to make our homestead complete. Homesteading and heritage breed cattle seem to complement each other, so we consulted the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy … Read more

Dairy Cattle Breeds: An Illustrated Guide

This guide to the classic breeds of milk cows is the perfect starting point for deciding which breed is right for your small farm. Ayrshire Vigorous and hardy, Ayrshires graze in sun, rain and cold when others might seek shelter. Their butterfat-laden milk is ideal for making cheese. Average mature weight: 1,200 pounds (cow) and … Read more

Raise Small-breed Milk Cows

If you want fresh milk and cows that are easier for beginners to handle, these small breeds of cattle are just the right size for a homestead. In 2006, Pat Schout and his wife, Elia, began homesteading in east-central Illinois. They wanted to raise their own food, including dairy products. They considered a milk cow, … Read more

Question When Buying a Dairy Cow

Buying a dairy cow for the first time is a big deal! We bought 2 cows from trusted friends (thankfully!). Had we purchased from any stranger off of Craigslist, we might have purchased a dud cow. There are so many things to know about a dairy cow and keep the milk safe! Keeping a dairy … Read more

Identify Cattle Breeds First!

This is a guide to help you understand the different physical characteristics that make each bovine breed unique so that you can make the proper judgement on what breed a bovine may or may not be. 1. Start by typing in “Cattle Breeds” in a search engine like Google or Yahoo!. You will find many … Read more

Choose Cow Species and Managing It

Building Your Farm Select cattle breeds to raise when starting your farm. There are over 100 breeds of cattle in the world, and all of them are different. For the greatest chance of success, choose breeds according to the goals of your farm or ranch, not what you like or are willing to work with. Find … Read more

Stages of Start Cattle Farm

Cattle farming is filled with opportunities, from dairy and beef to selling calves for shows at local fairs. To start a new farm, you need a business plan, a plot of land, and start-up money. Build all of the features your farm needs, then start with a couple of cows. Turn those cows into profit … Read more

Points That New Cow Owner Should Know

I have some VERY, VERY exciting news (and I bet you can guess what it is!) – in a month’s time, we are going to become first time cow owners! (Cue the excited squeal!)  For months I’ve been connecting with an amazing farm that raises Jersey cows, waiting patiently to see if there would indeed be a … Read more

Guide to Buying a Family Milk Cow

The Perfect Family Milk Cow Buying a family milk cow is not a small decision. It’s an investment and a big responsibility. There are many factors to consider when you’re looking for just the right brown-eyed beauty who will provide your family with fresh milk, cream and potentially calves for meat. I’ve compiled a list … Read more

Questions Answered about Owning a Family Milk Cow

If you don’t have room for a cow, there’s no shame in a dairy goat (or sheep) instead. Regardless of what species you choose, home dairying has got to be one of the most satisfying aspects of homesteading–even if you aren’t as prejudiced as I am. However, since it’s been several generations since the family milk cow … Read more