Jeff wants cows…. the neighbor has already okayed the use of his land to pasture them, but I really really don’t want cows. They eat a shit ton of food and take forever to grow out. I told Jeff we are better off using it for meat goats or the pigs first and then rotating meat chickens in like our original plan.
It’s just cows are expensive and I know nothing about them. I know what I’m doing with goats and pigs. Also I would like to get some piglets from Niles - I like owning the pigs but the whole point of getting them was to breed them. I think we are better off sticking with animals we know instead of jumping into ones we know nothing about. Of course this is all for next year. We have other things to worry about right now. Although if we want to get meat goats we should probably get a few does and a buck to breed over the winter so the kids will be ready to slaughter by the fall/winter (they take 6-8 month to reach market weight although some slaughter as young as 12 weeks - I’m guessing for religious purposes). Easter is a big holiday for goat but we would have to get them now for them to reach market weight by Easter and that’s not going to happen.
Cows on the other hand take at least a year to reach market weight from what I’m reading. Pigs take about 6 months (a little longer with the breeds I raise). So from a business standpoint I might get more meat from a cow, but it’s going to take longer. A goat I’m only going to get about 40lbs per head if I slaughter at 100lbs, but if I invest a little more money and get good breeding stock I can sell some of the kids for breeding and make extra money that way. With the pigs slaughter weight is around 225lbs more or less which also takes about 6 month to reach, but you end up with about 140lbs of meat.
Goats and pigs have better feed conversion rates than cattle, so I’m better off going with them or even sheep. Also there are less people raising goats and sheep than cattle. It would be a niche market, but considering we are very small scale we will probably be better off that way.
Now I just need to convince my husband and his father of this. His dad is the one who offered to help us put up the fencing and shelter on the pasture next to us.
- krippner said: Definitely stick with what you know, at least for the first couple of years. It will make life a lot easier. Cows are difficult to deal with, often just because of the sheer size of the beasties.
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- caviarmpits said: goatssss. so efficient and also as a woman easier to manage! smaller and if you have a breed with horns, you can grab ‘em.
- jedijen said: You should get mostly pigs and like two cows! Cows are a lot of fun and as long as they have some other animal around they will be happy. My cow used to play with our goats and pig. Hahaha
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