Hay question: 1000 lb cow for 2 gallons of milk

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newbn00b
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Hay question: 1000 lb cow for 2 gallons of milk

Postby newbn00b » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:49 am

Say I buy a 450kg /1000 lb cow, and keep her indoors only (no pasture.)

If my goal is to get say 7-8 liters of milk (roughly 2 gallons) what is the least amount of
good alfalfa hay I can get away with? No grains, and as I said no pasture.

I am trying to get an understanding of cost, because presumably she will eat a lot of more if
fed but I don't need the extra milk.

On the other hand, I don't want to make the poor thing suffer or starve her by barely giving her
anything to eat. I read that about 3% of live weight should be enough, but I am not sure if that meant
after pasture or not.

Would 30lbs of baled alfalfa be enough as the only source (90% source) of feed? Is it cruel to
feed her just that a day?

Thanks.
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farmerjan
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Re: Hay question: 1000 lb cow for 2 gallons of milk

Postby farmerjan » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:42 am

No, 30lbs of alfalfa will not be enough to maintain the cows condition and produce milk. Part of her production capacity will be genetic. A cow will milk what she is "programmed"to milk in the beginning, and will lose weight if the feed is not enough to maintain body condition and make milk. They will literally milk the fat off their back. You should think twice that amount. to make some milk and keep her condition up, and just alfalfa will not provide for all her nutrient needs. I am not saying you have to feed grain, but just alfalfa hay is not enough.

If you are looking for milk, and have limited area and will have to keep an animal in confinement, I would definitely suggest that you find someone and do cow shares or just buy milk. It will be cheaper in the long run and you will not be tied down to a daily milking schedule.

A cow not only has to maintain her body, and make milk, but also must be able to build up her body reserves to be able to get bred back and carry a calf so that she will be able to go dry and then calve again so that she can start the cycle all over again . Get a couple of books like Heather Smith Thomas' on keeping a cow , one of the "Storey Publications"and do some real in depth studying before you commit to getting a cow.
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newbn00b
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Re: Hay question: 1000 lb cow for 2 gallons of milk

Postby newbn00b » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:36 pm

Thanks! So roughly twice that much. And add corn, wheat and some other kinds of grasses every x days as supplements.

Where I'm now (not in the states) a lot of people /subsistence farmers keep them tied or in small pens. Land is limited but most will say that you need at least a small square bale a day, roughly 50lbs. (25kg). But that yields about 12-15 lts a milk and they sell the milk. Profit is close to nothing of course....and a lot of work.

I thought that it may make sense economically to lower the intake for a reduced yield, obviously without making the poor thing suffer. Te bales can be sold and I can buy enough milk for 1/2 of what I sell a bale (the buyers with 100's of milking cows get grants and tax breaks from the government, plus they do all the little things). The only thing is that I want to know what I'm drinking...otherwise we're talking a few dollars a day in difference.

I guess milking goats or a smaller breed of cow, but that I'd find to find out if the vet has sperm for her, given her size.
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Son of Butch
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Re: Hay question: 1000 lb cow for 2 gallons of milk

Postby Son of Butch » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:25 pm

newbn00b wrote:Say I buy a 450kg /1000 lb cow, and keep her indoors only (no pasture.)

If my goal is to get say 7-8 liters of milk (roughly 2 gallons) what is the least amount of
good alfalfa hay I can get away with? No grains, and as I said no pasture.
I am trying to get an understanding of cost, because presumably she will eat a lot of more if fed
but I don't need the extra milk.
Thanks.

Local store doesn't sell milk?
IF so wouldn't it be cheaper to buy milk from someone that knows what they are doing?
You can get any size needed and you won't even have to clean the litter box for your indoor cow.

Otherwise... once I tried to train a cow not to eat... almost had her fully trained, but then she died. :(

p.s.
you can even get chocolate milk and butter at the store.
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greybeard
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Re: Hay question: 1000 lb cow for 2 gallons of milk

Postby greybeard » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:04 pm

Son of Butch wrote:Otherwise... once I tried to train a cow not to eat... almost had her fully trained, but then she died. :(

.

I'm pretty sure, that my wife, unabashedly assisted by my diabetes dietitian is trying the same type of training thing with me..
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