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Best Age for Purchasing First Cattle?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Cattle' started by arsmagic, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Aug 31, 2017
    arsmagic

    arsmagic Just born

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    Hello,

    I'm brand new to both this forum and raising livestock, so excuse me if my terminology is incorrect. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?
    I am no where near buying cattle yet, but I enjoy researching and thinking about my future in my spare time. One question has been bugging me for awhile. I stumbled upon this forum, and it seemed like a nice place to ask. Excuse me if I do something wrong here!

    First, to get one thing out of the way- my plan is to raise purebred cattle as pets, as well as do some light breeding (to sell the calves as pets as well). My dream breeds would be Brahman or Highland cattle, but that doesn't really pertain to the question! (unless one of these breeds is perpetually unfriendly? I've heard good things about Highland, but Brahman tend to be skittish)

    Raising them as pets is important to my question, which is: What is the best age to buy a cow at, in order to tame it? It might be easier to buy a calf to hand-raise how I'd like it, but then there are health risks and loneliness factors (I could get 2 to start, but that's an even bigger challenge). I would love to start with a mature heifer/cow, but I'd be afraid that she would not be as tame and friendly as I'd like. It's not easy to find hand-raised, pet cattle for sale in California.

    I might be confusing you guys here, but I really wanted to put this question out there because when I try to Google this question, it's hard to find any information on pet cows (dairy cows might be considered pets, but I'd like to raise really friendly, family cows). It's important to me to start with a calm, outgoing mama.

    I appreciate corrections when it comes to things I'm doing wrong, but please no rudeness :)
    Thanks to any responses!
     
    Baymule likes this.
  2. Aug 31, 2017
    Bossroo

    Bossroo True BYH Addict

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    The question is WHY ?
     
  3. Aug 31, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Cattle can be tamed to be friendly. But you must understand their behavior patterns and their thought process. Throw out every Disney movie you ever watched and realize that animals do not follow human thoughts and emotions. A tame cow will treat you like one of the herd. Cows play rough, they knock each other around, butt each other and exhibit other behaviors that could prove to cause you injury. If something frightens them, they will run, if you are in the way, you get trampled. Cows will knock you down to get to their feed.

    There are tame cows that are calm, gentle and very sweet. But they are still cows and they think and act like cows. Do not ever forget that.

    What is your goal? Do you want to raise a family dairy cow? Bull calves must be castrated and they go for meat. Can you deal with that? Not too many people want a 1,000 pound "pet" that eats his head off. Do you want to raise a beef breed? Can you send the calves to slaughter? Farm life is real. Real life. Real death. Yes, they die. It hurts and you pick yourself up and go forward.

    Maybe you should start with a dairy cow as a family milk cow. Jerseys are usually the breed of choice for this. You don't have to keep a bull, dairy bulls are notorious for being some of the most dangerous. You could have her Artificially Inseminated also known as AI. You have a vet do this. If your cow has a bull calf, have the vet castrate him, the vet can advise you on what age to do this. If your cow has a heifer calf, then you can raise her up to be a milk cow.

    It is possible to have a gentle cow and enjoy her. It takes a lot of time, care and daily commitment.
     
  4. Aug 31, 2017
    arsmagic

    arsmagic Just born

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    First to clear up the way I'm using the word pet. I say pet, because many cattle are simply left alone to be cattle and that's fine. But when I say pets, I'm talking about dairy animals that are raised as part of the family until old age.

    To answer why- because I'd like to :) SMALL farms selling cattle as pets are not unheard of, as many people would like a cow or two to milk that they can enjoy being around. Its a big deal for those people to find an animal who is used to humans. This is an even bigger market for goats.

    When it comes to the nature of cows- I AM NOT expecting cattle to be anything like dogs. I just want to raise reliably docile animals for families to milk and raise themselves.

    When it comes to bulls, yes they would be castrated. I don't think that I would be breeding so much that I would have more animals than I could find good homes for.

    Honestly, although I talked about my goals a lot in this post, I'm not looking for advice on that aspect.
    My main question is, what age is the best age to buy my first animal?
    I see the post above me said a cow, and that would be great! But can cows easily get used to a new person?
     
  5. Aug 31, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    There is a farm several counties away from me that raises Jersey and Guernsey milk cows as nurse, meaning you can foster several baby calves on them, or as family milk cows. They sell them on milk for $1800 to $2800 each cow. Something like this would probably be the best way for you to start. Or find a dairy because when a cows production drops, she gets replaced. You might pick up a good cow that way.
     
  6. Aug 31, 2017
    arsmagic

    arsmagic Just born

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    Oh, I didn't know that was a thing. I'll have to look into that for the future! Thanks for the idea :)
     
  7. Aug 31, 2017
    Simpleterrier

    Simpleterrier Overrun with beasties

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    Let me get this right. You want a pet cow for milk to breed and sell the calves as pets. Bull calves will become meat just a heads up. And heifer calves u could raise and tame to become milk cows then sell. Also it was confusing when u named two meat breeds. I was thinking you just wanted a pet for no purpose. But a milk cow is something different
     
  8. Aug 31, 2017
    arsmagic

    arsmagic Just born

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    Yes, sorry if I was confusing. Basically want to raise very tame and calm milk cows to sell to small family farmers. I really am hearing you guys on the bull calves. I would rather not raise animals to be sold for meat so I may have to rethink some things about my goals.

    I know Brahman is a meat bread but they are so endearing to look at that I think they could do well as a sort of 'trophy' cow, even if someone didn't want to milk it. I've heard Highlands are good for both meat and milk with high butterfat, but may be wrong. They are both charming enough to make up for the weaker milk I think. I have found that people with fewer cows like to pick and choose breeds and traits differently, rather than buy whatever gives the best meat/milk.

    The breeds are not set in stone anyway. More common breeds might end up making more sense when it comes to taming.
     
  9. Aug 31, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Not trying to be rude or mean, but cows aren't generally used as pets. Males are meat, nobody keeps them for yard art. You have extremely thin chances of anybody wanting to buy your pet steers just so they can feed them and look at them. Farm animals serve a purpose. Mostly that purpose is meat, milk, eggs or breeding to make more animals for meat, milk or eggs.

    If you want a pet cow for family milking, by all means get one and enjoy her. Nobody will buy your steers with the stipulation that they not eat them.

    And raising Brahman cattle for "trophy" cattle? :lol: :lol:
     
  10. Aug 31, 2017
    arsmagic

    arsmagic Just born

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    Like I said, no plan for males atm. Early planning stages. I feel like people are getting hung up on what I said and not necessarily answering my question. I only gave background to why I wanted a tamer animal.

    I've come across many people who like interesting looking breeds to keep and enjoy, rather than all of the black Angus breeds that fill farms. Maybe 'trophy' was the wrong word to use but no need to laugh at me :) Not everyone wants farm animals for the same reason. There is a huge slaughter-free farm near me with over 150 cattle. And they are mostly Highlands, a 'meat' breed.