Eight Acres - the blog — cow

Supplement feeding your house cow

May 25 2016 0 Comments Tags: cattle, cow, feed

I wish we had luscious green grass for our cow year round, but like most places, we only have green grass for short periods. In winter, we don't get much rain at all, and our sub-tropical grass species die off with the cooler weather. This is when we need to feed our house cow extra hay and grain to supplement the meager offerings in our pasture. Understanding how much to feed is important, as you...

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What time of year is best to have calves?

Apr 20 2016 0 Comments Tags: calf, cattle, cow

Its mid-autumn and our nine angus-cross heifers are currently calving. This may seem an odd time of the year to have calves, and certainly in the temperate areas you would expect to see baby calves and lambs in spring, but in the sub-tropics we can do things a bit differently as we don't have a cold winter. The problem is that cow gestation is around 9 months, so you really don't know what...

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Raising a baby house cow

Feb 10 2016 0 Comments Tags: calf, cow

Our first house cow Bella came to us from a dairy farm and had already had two calves.  She came with her second calf, Molly, who is also a full Jersey cow.  We raised Molly to be our second house cow.  With Bella now having an uncertain future after having difficulty with her last calf, we decided to raise some future house cows.

I think they two most important inputs are human interaction (to...

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The story of our house cows - Part 3

Nov 04 2015 0 Comments Tags: cow, house cow

Another year has past and things have changed again for our two house cows Bella and Molly.  Catch up with part 1 and part 2, I have been waiting for the right time to write part 3, so much has happened in a year!

If you need to catch up, you can read part 1 and part 2. In summary, about five years ago we bought our first house cow, Bella and she came with a young heifer calf, Molly. Since then,...

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How to clean a milking machine

Aug 10 2015 1 Comment Tags: cow, house cow, milking

People often assume that using a milking machine would be more work that milking by hand because of the time to clean the machine. Actually its surprisingly quick to clean after milking. And it only occasionally needs a more thorough clean. Much of the information you find online about cleaning milking machines refers to large scale dairies that are milking a hundred or more cows a day. If you are...

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Managing house cow body condition

Jun 15 2015 0 Comments Tags: cattle, cow, house cow, natural cattle care

Dairy cows are naturally skinnier than beef cows. They are bred to produce milk, not meat! But it can be tricky to know whether your cow is too skinny, or too fat, as both can cause serious problems.

house cow ebook - cow body condition
Bella a few weeks of calving and Molly inspecting my boot

A useful method for assessing cow condition is the “body condition score”, which is basically a method of ranking how boney a cow looks (more...

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