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Hybrid cow?

 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1261
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Is there a cow that is adequate at both milk production and meat production? We'd like to get a milk cow but we'd also like to eat the offspring. What would the ideal cow be for that?
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 699
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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there is a pretty solid argument for brown swiss here.

they give large enough amounts of milk to keep the heifers around - and the bulls (steers) can grow to be big enough to keep a family in beef all winter - in under 12 months.

sort of depends on how much milk you are wanting.
you can also cross brows swiss with beef breeds if meat is the desired product.

i think dexters are other mentioned for what you want to do as well - but i have no experience with those.

are you set on cows? what about goats or sheep?
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1261
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I had been pretty determined to do goats but we have fencing that would keep in a cow, but not goats. I believe the dogs are cow trustworthy but I'm not sure about goats. Plus my husband wants to make a lot of cheese. For these reasons I think a cow might be better in the end. plus you can eat the babies, which sounds rather gross but yeah, great plan.

We drink 2 gallons of milk a week right now. Because of that 1 milk goat would have been sufficient for our needs. I believe a poor milking cow would probably give us more than we could use. I would like to get a good hybrid though. If we take to making our own cheese and such I could see us using a gallon a day for either drinking, cheese, and other dairy products.
 
Rhys Firth
Posts: 120
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Dexters are what mum has for their small(er) size, decent milk production and good meat production. Some bloodlines are more one way or the other, dairy vs meat, but the breed standard is to be a good dual purpose cow.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1261
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I haven't looked at Dexter's yet but the online descriptions of brown swiss look nice. Hardy, gentle cow. Sounds like my type of animal.
 
Heather Ahrens
Posts: 22
Location: NW Nebraska
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I raise Normande Cattle. They are often referred to as dual purpose. I think of them as tri purpose for along with their wonderful milk, and high quality meat they has beautiful hides.
You can learn more about them off my website... www.outtaboxranch.com.
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Ursa and her Easter Baby Cadbear
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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What are you going to feed it?

A good cow on an average dairy that feeds grain or mixed feed may struggle on only pasture. Same thing for most feedlot beef breeds.

What we are doing is jersey and Swiss crossed with a highland bull. Highlands are a hardy dual purpose breed already that are adapted to our low protein pastures. The first generation cross heifers are due in a few months, we will see how they produce.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 453
Location: North-Central Idaho
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Red Devon or American Milking Devon cattle might be a good choice for you. The Red Devon is more of a beefey cow, but will produce good milk, while the Milking Devon is more of a dual purpose. Both produce great on grass. I don't know if your still looking around, but that's what I've decided to go with out on our place. I've got a couple videos on my website if you want to see the Red Devons in action. There's a link in my signature line.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 453
Location: North-Central Idaho
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books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Red Devon and American Milking Devon video (compare and contrast)
 
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