Monday, August 9, 2010

Cheaply Preparing-Homesteading

When you desire to raise your own food, for what ever reason, you will need to consider space.  For now, I am sticking to animals, but will branch off into gardening later.

In my opinion, after you get your feet wet with some chickens, a good family milk cow is the next investment.  The breeds are myriad but I would stick to the smaller framed bovine.  They simply fit the homestead better and are, generally, easier to handle.  Disposition is crucial when choosing a milk cow, for several reasons.  You want to be able to milk her, not fight with her every time you grab the teat.  If you have children (like us) a gentle cow is a must.  I want my kids to love animals and be able to have confidence around them.  A mean cow can change all that.  I had one, trust me.  She scared the fire out of my girls.  Our current cow is a sweetheart and the girls love to "love on her".  If you rotationally graze (which you should), you want her to move when she is supposed to, so she needs to be gentle.  Also, if you have to "doctor her up", you don't want to feel like you have to sedate her to give her medicine. 

On the medicine note, I want you to know that the anti-biotics no longer phased the mastitis our cow had.  I was getting very worried.  I decided to religiously give her apple cider vinegar, which takes care of mastitis via the minerals, etc.  The apple cider vinegar did it, period.  It took some time, but it worked.  I made the connection when the stringy stuff stopped when giving the apple cider vinegar.  Then I would relax and quit giving it.  Within 2-3 days the stringy stuff would come back.  This went on for a couple of weeks, that's when I got regular (every milking) with the vinegar.  It has cleared up and both the cow and I are happy.  Just a tid bit for you.

More on the family cow next time, see y'all then!

No comments: