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10 years 10 months ago #28458 by joanie
Hello everyone was created by joanie
We live in the West Coast in the Grey Valley. We have a couple of acres. At the moment we have 5 saanen cross goats. 2 dogs, 1 cat and 5 hens and a rooster.

I milked two goats last year and made cheese. It was an incredible learning curve. I found out that the most important thing to do was to get the milk cooled as soon as possible. My cheese was more reliable once I have mastered that.

My dream is to have enough pasture land for a house cow. Our property is pretty rough. The goats have a dual purpose. It remarkable how they deal to gorse. I am sure I have lots to learn from all of you. Joanie

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10 years 10 months ago #388903 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello everyone
Hi Joanie and welcome. :)

If you have a house cow, will you get rid of the goats? I've watched people up here try to keep cattle on a couple of acres and they invariably hit trouble when the grass stops growing! Cows eat a fantastic amount of grass compared with five goats.

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10 years 10 months ago #389090 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello everyone
Hi Joanie. I agree with Ruth. Also, cows are herd animals so they are better if there are 2 of them .... or at the very least a herd over the fence for the cow to talk to. Cows have 4 teats, so I would have thought that 1 cow takes as much time as 2 goats to milk. And when a cow kicks the bucket .... of milk :-) .... more gets spilt.

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10 years 10 months ago #389194 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Hello everyone
A cow also produces a lot more milk than two goats LR so they take correspondingly longer to milk.
As to how much they eat, if a goat is equal to a sheep then a cow will eat about as much as five goats. We run both on about three acres effective grazing but we buy in our hay.

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10 years 10 months ago #389218 by kaybe
Replied by kaybe on topic Hello everyone
Hi joanie, nice to meet you.

Tomorrow is the day I will stop procrastinating.

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10 years 10 months ago #389318 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello everyone
igor, since the stock units idea was postulated, cows have got much bigger and sheep have got bigger. The SU is (more-or-less) based on 50kg of animal, which is about what a sheep used to weigh. A cow used to weigh about 200kg, so 4 SU. Now a dairy cow weighs 300-400kg, so 6-8 SU, and sheep weigh 70kg, so 1.4 SU. Goats weigh about 40kg (well most of our Boers and Angoras have), so about 0.8 SU. So, one cow will need about as much food as 7-10 goats. If the land is only running 5 goats now, trying to feed one cow will be very tricky, and trying to feed it's friend will be even harder.

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10 years 10 months ago #389378 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Hello everyone
LR, I have read a few articles in the farming papers recently about the change in stock unit calculations as sheep have got bigger. One suggested that an adult ewe is probably about 1.2 SU now. Since my cow (age 4) is a wee Jersey who was a twin and will always be a bit smaller than the usual run of dairy cows I remain of the opinion that she is equal to four sheep for the purposes of calculating feed requirements. As a comparison the R4 Highlander cross steer we killed a few months ago looked like almost double the weight of the cow and was certainly equal in feed requirements to many more than four sheep. This supports your postulation that big cattle are equal to 6-8 SU.

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10 years 10 months ago #389478 by The Kats Place
Replied by The Kats Place on topic Hello everyone
welcome joanie, another goat lover, Yah! I milk 3 goats, they are the best company

kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]

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10 years 10 months ago #389496 by joanie
Replied by joanie on topic Hello everyone
Well, thankyou that was opening a can of worms. Firstly,as I said there is not enough pasture where I presently live for cows and secondly probably not enough when some of the young goats I have are fully grown. I also supplement their feed hugely. I do love them they have interesting and passionate personalities but I have wanted cows all of my life. It may sound sentimental but thats how it is.

My greatgrandfather was a bullock drover in the forests of Northland and the other side of my family were dairy farmers so its genetic...

Plus there is always the lowline or the dexter.

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10 years 10 months ago #389517 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello everyone
But Dexters and Lowlines are rather more beef animals than milk producers, so are less likely to have been trained to stand to be milked. Because they are beef animals, getting a calf to be handreared might be very difficult, because they are almost always raised by the cow.
Definitely not a "can of worms" though .... just an interesting question :-)

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