Buying a Cow

Did you know that many of our animals we did not set out to buy? They sort of just happened at the right time and place (seller). Guess what? We bought another cow. Yes, another cow. Heifer actually since she has not yet had her first calf. It’s an investment really. You see, Eclipse (a.k.a.) Miss Moo is struggling to carry a calf. We are pretty sure she’s been successfully AI’d (artificially inseminate) twice now but has lost both calves early in pregnancy. We AI’d her again last Tuesday with a Dutch Belted cow (oreo cookie cows! :) ). Due to the trouble we’ve been having with her, I’ve been in touch with the farmer who had Miss Moo before the man we bought her from last spring. That farmer, farmer J, has been very helpful and resourceful in answering my questions and giving me more of Miss Moo’s history. When I reached out to farmer J a few weeks ago after Miss Moo’s most recent pregnancy loss, farmer J shared she was about to put Miss Moo’s daughter up for sale. This cow has the same calm temperament, is purebred Guernsey and is just going on three years old – due to calf in September with a Guernsey/Jersey cross! This cow wasn’t even been named yet so B got to name her Comet. Comet was delivered to our farm on Friday night.

FFR Comet 041214

Another reason to buying a cow (or another cow in this case) is because when you have more than one cow it is easier to document their heat cycles. Now B has been very good at noticing Miss Moo’s cycles but with our less than stellar success rate in getting her bred/carrying a calf, another cow could help us in that process. Plus, we’ve wanted a calf from Miss Moo and this guarantees we have one, in case we continue to fail in breeding Miss Moo. We have a nice retirement plan in place for Miss Moo if that happens.

Things we look for when buying a cow:

– Temperament is the most important to us. Yes, even more than production at this point. If our children are going to be the ones handling 1200 pound animals they’ve gotta have a calm disposition.

– Udder. We look at her udder. Though in Miss Moo’s daughter’s case, she hasn’t produced milk yet but B will want to check her teats etc. to see how she looks and will be like to milk. Otherwise we would try milking her to see how well she stands etc. We missed seeing Comet has a fifth teat, but that won’t affect her milking since it is behind all the rest. This would be important if she was being showed, but she won’t be.

FFR Buying a Cow 041314

– Body condition, though we didn’t know anything about this when buying Miss Moo, I didn’t suspect it would be a problem since she is coming from a good farm. But we are still learning about body condition for heifers so what do I really know?

– Halter and leading. We halter Miss Moo and lead her with a lead rope. Comet has not been led or haltered so we had an interesting time of it on Saturday the day after she was delivered. I was quickly reminded why I was so hesitant to buy a young heifer! Comet has not been handled much at all since birth as she was put out to pasture with the herd until she was bred and ready for sale. I am happy to say she is slowly getting better.

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  1. Liz Mays says:

    There’s quite a lot to consider. I didn’t realize all these things!

  2. Kelsey Apley says:

    What a cutie pie!! I am not a farmer but it sounds like you really got to think a lot about things before buying! I would have never realized that!!!

  3. It’s utterly fascinating that cows have multiple teats and it’s not standard (like…I only have two, and so do all women :) )

  4. Sheri says:

    There is a lot to consider! I had no idea but I love to learn these things. I also didn’t know you could halter a cow. I have farms all around me and I’ve never seen that before!

  5. I can barely keep my daughter’s tropical fish from keeling over, nevermind a critter with multiple stomachs…lol

  6. Tammy says:

    Aww so nice that mom and child can be together again! I got to visit a cow/calf ranch in Nebraska a number of years ago and I learned so much about the industry that the regular city person just doesn’t realize!

  7. Lisa says:

    We have tossed around the idea of buying a cow to supply all the milk our children drink. I have no idea where we would put the little guy though. :)

  8. Kathleen B says:

    What a lovely addition to your farm family. I had no idea that the number of teats would matter on a cow.

  9. Congrats on your new little girl :) Who knew one could help you regulate the other’s cycles?!

  10. Colleen says:

    How cute, I had no ideas of everything that goes into owning farm animals.

  11. It’s such a tremendous undertaking. But it is an adorable cow.

  12. Donna says:

    This made me think of how female friends that are around each other a lot will end up with monthly cycles that are on the same schedules. :) Congrats on your new cow!!!

  13. Very good point, Donna!

  14. I never thought about all that goes into buying a cow! Congrats on the new addition(s)!

  15. Congratulations on the new addition to the farm.

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