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Cow loan idea

 
David Livingston
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I have thought about having a cow ,I have a couple of acres of grazing, the weather here in this part of France is very mild and I suspect the grass grows at least 11 months of the year . What I dont have is much money
Cows seem to be very expencive compared to goats . My next door neighbour is a milk farmer, conventional unfortunetly . I was thinking of having a word with him and wondered if we could come to a deal where he loans me a cow , one of his older ones, past its best is fine, along with the use of one of his two bulls when needed and in return I give him the calf when weaned ( if she has twins I get to keep one ).
Since this will have to be explained in french I thought I would ask someone else first if they see any problems with this issue .

David
 
Mike Cantrell
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You're wanting the milk and the pasture improvement, right?

And in return, you're feeding and caring for his animal(s)? That sounds approximately fair. If this were a beef cow where you were going to be increasing its weight and making it more valuable, he would owe you. (They call that "custom grazing.") But if not, then it sounds fair enough.


It occurs to me you'll want to be explicit about responsibility in case, for example, the cow becomes sick or injured. Having mismatched expectations about that could really ruin your relationship forever.
 
Adam Klaus
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I think that sounds like a decent arrangement. I think that Mike brings up really good points about being clear on expectations. There are more ways for things to go wrong in the details than right in principle.

Really though, why not offer to purchase a retiring cow from your neighbor? At the point that the commercial cow isn't viable in the business anymore, your neighbor would probably sell it real cheap. You could get a great deal!

good luck!
 
David Livingston
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There are a couple of reasons for not buying the cow
Firstly I worry about the regulations as we are in the EU the farmer next door can still include it on his rolls and claim whatever from the EU I dont mind
Secondly I need ... ok the cow will need the services of one of his bulls
Thirdly if it does not work out then I can give the cow back

David
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the Bull next door
 
Gail Gardner
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David Livingston wrote:I have thought about having a cow ,I have a couple of acres of grazing, the weather here in this part of France is very mild and I suspect the grass grows at least 11 months of the year . What I dont have is much money
Cows seem to be very expencive compared to goats . My next door neighbour is a milk farmer, conventional unfortunetly . I was thinking of having a word with him and wondered if we could come to a deal where he loans me a cow , one of his older ones, past its best is fine, along with the use of one of his two bulls when needed and in return I give him the calf when weaned  ( if she has twins I get to keep one ).
Since this will have to be explained in french I thought I would ask someone else first if they see any problems with this issue .

David


You probably do not want to borrow a bull because when you try to separate them again he will go right through or over the fences (unless the bull owner has truly bull-proof fencing). While some do run a bull with the cows, many just pay a veterinarian to inseminate them. You didn't say what your goals were, but if you want milk a goat is a lot less milking to do than a cow.

I don't know about in France, but in the U.S. dairy farms breed their milk cows and when they calve they immediately take the calves away so they can sell the milk. That is not optimum for the calf, but that is what most do. Some may leave them on a while - four to six months would be nice.

Assuming that is what your neighbor does, you could acquire newborn calves inexpensively and bottle feed them until they're old enough to go out on pasture. Or maybe the neighbor has a cow that is not producing as much as she used to that he would let you borrow to nurse a couple newborn calves. (Some mammals will nurse the offspring of others - some won't.)

Another way is to make deals with families for them to buy a couple calves and let you raise them and then split the meat. This is a common arrangement and fair to both parties as the people with no land or time invested make the initial purchase and the other person raises them to butcher size. Most families don't want more than half a steer at most at one time and cattle do best raised in pairs or groups.  So you could get 2 other families to go in on the deal and each would get half and you would end up with one full (or sell it or split it any way that makes sense to everyone).
 
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