Starting Your Own Cow Farm for Food, Milk, and More
What is the main element you should consider when taking care of cows? You don’t need to be a farmer to answer this question properly. Although cows have a variety of needs, just like any other animal, there’s one need that outshines the rest: water.
A cow that is milking drinks anywhere from 3 to 30 gallons of water a day. When there’s too much heat, the consumption can even double. And while the food cows eat usually consists of things that people would throw away, water cannot be overlooked. Just like us, they require fresh, cold and clean water.
So in order to take care of your cows, we recommend searching for a cattle water trough. You’ll find a variety of models with numerous benefits. It’s almost impossible not to find one that suits your homestead and your exact needs.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat, so you should consider providing the best you can for your cattle and other farm animals. Keep in mind that there are water troughs that are thought-out to quench the thirst of several animals at a time, so you might also want to look into those.
The other necessary things
Now that we’ve got the water issue out of the way, here are a few other things to note if you ever plan on starting your own cattle farm:
If you’re not necessarily looking to produce milk, but rather make more money at a time, you might want to consider ranching. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s the practice of raising cattle and other animals until they’re ready to be sold. Apart from proper hydration, you should look into feeding your cow nutrient-rich food if you’re looking to sell at a good price.
To have a healthy herd, you should offer them as much land space as possible. The cows roam around and forage a lot. You’ve got a lot to learn from the old cowboys when it comes to this practice. They basically perfected ranching as we know it today, and as long as you’ve got enough land, it’s easy to just follow the same steps that they took.
On the other hand, if you want less but constant profit, you should look into raising your cows for milk production. The startup process is higher and dairy cows need a special diet and constant attention, but a good cow can give out up to 9 gallons of milk daily, the equivalent of approximately 128 glasses of sheer nutrient-packed goodness.
What about raising calves?
A lot of farmers often overlook another possible money-maker: raising calves for veal or selling them to other people. This practice is somewhat similar to dairy farming but without the need for milking equipment. You might want to keep a bull handy to inseminate the other cows. Otherwise, artificial insemination also works.
The downside of this is that you have to keep a separate calving barn. Otherwise, calves will provide a quick profit, as they don’t need to grow as much in order to be slaughtered for veal or sold to other farmers. However, you might want to keep a few calves around in case some of your cows die. It’s always good to have a replacement.
The legal issues
Every businessman’s biggest fear is the law. There are so many things to take into consideration when starting any business, and farms are no exception. So before even planning out your farmland, milking equipment or water troughs, you might want to consult a lawyer specialized in farming laws.
Since the laws differ from state to state and sometimes even from county to county, you’ll be glad you’ve invested in a specialist rather than trying to resolve the legal issues yourself. You wouldn’t want to have fines arriving in your mailbox, or worse, having your cattle confiscated by the state, so tread with caution.
Once you get through all the necessary hoops and fill out all the necessary forms, you’ll be ready to make a profit regardless of what cattle farming method you choose – be it dairy, ranching or calving. Good luck and don’t forget to take joy in providing food to your fellow humans!
Photo: Evi T.
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