Adam Klaus

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since Apr 16, 2013
6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Recent posts by Adam Klaus

Thekla McDaniels wrote:Thanks for this great thread.
I've been contemplating getting a small cow. I had heard of Dexters and did not know there were small Jerseys. I only have 2 acres, and possibly when I get the pasture developed, I will begin to look for a Dexter Jersey cross. Any recommendations where to look for her?

Karen and Adi VanGotherd (sp?) in Paonia have been crossing Dexters and Jerseys for a few years. I don't know the specifics of their operation, but they brought Dexters into Paonia and would be a good resource to talk to.
6 years ago
yep, i cannot get it to work.

chickens work way better for me than the internet most of teh time anyways....

Kirk Schonfeldt wrote:I agree modern "mini-cows" (cuz they look cute) are gimmicky, pricey and not bred for production. However, you do (or CAN) get better feed-conversion with a smaller animal, more milk and meat for the same amount of forage. Mini (aka Island) Jersey cows are the original Jersey cows and though they produce less volume their milk is richer yet than modern American Jerseys. I've also read of a mini- or micro-cow developed in the last couple decades in Mexico and Latin America for home milk production (from zebu genetics). I think smaller livestock in general is a good direction to head for a post-industrial future, but getting quality, affordable genetics is a long way off and will require a concerted breeding effort of networked small producers. One day perhaps.

I agree completely Kirk. Huge potential, but not there yet. Great post.

The only way larger animals are superior is for efficiency of dairy management and beef slaughter. Simply fewer udders to milk and care for per hundred pounds of butter. Fewer carcasses for a ton of beef.

Other than that, smaller cows would be my ideal for permaculture cows.
6 years ago
I would pass on the buffalo. The fencing needs are extreme. The handling dangers are significant. To me, the risk outweighs the rewards in a cost/benefit analysis.

I dream of one day being a water buffalo dairyman. That's another bad idea for another dreamy day.....
6 years ago
Dexters are an awesome breed. 'Mini cows' on the other hand, are a gimmick.

I like Dexters a lot for homesteads, there is nothing bad you can say about the breed. If you plan to milk them, be sure to look for milking genetics, as a lot of Dexters have been used just for beef and have lost their dairy quality.

Mini cows are great for the breeder, who sells them for a small fortune. For the homesteader, I am skeptical that they have the constitution to be reliably productive permaculture cows. All the breeding programs I am aware of are raising mini cows under very un-permacultural systems. Making the transition from conventional management to pasture-based management is a big ask for any cow. It is a super big ask for a cow that has been bred so far from its original form. Don't believe the hype, the unrealistic 'efficiency' numbers, etc.
6 years ago

Miles Flansburg wrote:Is it a book or an e-book?

Through amazon it is a print book.

THANK YOU!!! Cassie and Paul! Tons of folks have purchased books this week, so glad to be doing this promotion.

And just a reminder that I am happy to offer free phone consultations to anyone who helps promote my book in any way, such as amazon reviews, facebook shares, etc. I'm serious, and a handful of folks have gotten personal phone calls to talk cows. If you're interested, just send me a PM.

6 years ago
There is a German saying, something along the lines of "half the milk comes from the brushing". I believe that lactation is a highly emotional process for cows, as it is for humans. Showing the cow some love during milking definitely increases their desire to give more milk to the farmer.

Cows are sacred beings, ask the hindus that have been around cows for millennia.

Yes, animals have feelings. Yes, treating them well has positive effects.
6 years ago
Clay is a challenge, for sure. From my experience, I would say that if you seal over the surface of the soil with the bricks, you will create a predominantly anaerobic soil environment, with disastrous consequences.

The biggest challenge with clay is maintaining the water/air balance in the soil. The rotting wood will help to create air space in the soil, but too much air is worse than too little, if you can believe that.

Maintaining healthy capillary channels in the soil is the most important task with clay soil. The soil needs to be able to breathe, literally.
6 years ago

Juniper Zen wrote:Adam, thanks for the details. What is the purpose of the egg soak?

The egg step is analogous to braining. Eggs are a perfectly comparable replacement to using animal brains in the tanning process. And they are much, much easier to obtain and cleaner to use. The fats from the brains/eggs are a key part in the brain tan method, making the hide supple.

hope that helps!
6 years ago