How to Pick the Best Dairy Cow for Your Farm
The milk industry is one of the most massive industries in the United States, producing more than 215 billion pounds of milk annually. With such an enormous industry supporting dairy, it’s tempting to join in as quickly as possible.
If you’ve been interested in purchasing a dairy cow, you’re in luck. Here are some of the most important things to consider when deciding how to choose a cow.
Watch for Temperamental Behavior
When choosing a dairy cow, you don’t want to pick a cow that’s going to be difficult to work with. Some breeds are known for having temperamental issues, making them a poor dairy cow breed for a beginner.
Holsteins are known to be a more nervous breed, while Jerseys are known to kick. If you’re inexperienced, having an animal that can quickly become violent is often a no-go.
Brown Swiss cows are considered to be the most docile of the dairy cow breeds. This makes them an excellent dairy cow breed for those that are just beginning their dairy adventures.
Gauge Needed Milk Supply
One thing that many beginning farmers misjudge is their needed milk supply. Many assume that more is better, and will purchase a dairy cow based on getting as much milk as possible. Some may even begin with multiple cows and think only about their milk supply.
However, having excess milk can lead to waste or an overwhelming amount of work. You may end up with considerably more than you can store. Make sure not to get a dairy cow breed that presents more milk than you can handle.
Consider Your Facilities
Another important facet to consider is what sort of facilities you have for your cow. You won’t be able to give a cow a happy, healthy life inside of your garage. Make sure that you already have your facilities prepared.
Some breeds need considerably more room than others will need. Others need to be able to exercise more, eat more, or any other myriad of needs. Ensure that you’ve researched your dairy cow thoroughly and know exactly what you can offer them.
Don’t Buy Discount
One common practice is for livestock to be sold at a discount, often referred to as “cull stock.” As the name suggests, these are cows that are being culled from their herd due to not being able to properly provide.
If you’re serious about dairy farming, you won’t want to start with a cull cow. These dairy cows may present extra complications, subpar milk, and any other myriad of issues. Make sure you’re purchasing the best cow of your chosen breed you can, and invest in cull cows later on when you can afford the extra complication.
Picking a Good Dairy Cow
A good dairy cow is integral to your growing dairy operation. Make sure that you’re picking a high-quality dairy cow that fits your needs and what you can support.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to choose a cow, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help you with choosing a dairy cow.