Adding Mini Cows to our Homestead

While I’ve been away taking a break from life.

I’ve acquired two of the sweetest mini cows.

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Ferdinand & Clarabelle.

They arrived home on November 8th.  I used an Essential Oil concoction with Lavender Essential Oil to make their ride a little less overwhelming.  They were after all both being removed from their Mama’s for the first time.  I will say they were pretty calm and relaxed considering.

To be honest for the months leading up to their arrival there was a phase where I begged and pleaded with my husband to reconsider the arrival of these mini cows.

Fast forward almost a month later and I couldn’t be more in love.  In a few years when they breed we will be able to get our own fresh daily milk.  I am excited at the idea of providing ourselves with a little more sustainability.

After a lot of research we decided on the Mini Belted Galloway  breed known for their hardiness since we happen to live in the arctic some days.  They are feed efficient, and naturally polled.  For the inexperienced that just means in simple terms the bull does not have horns naturally.

I’ll be honest the bull is in fact the sweetest.  He’s like an enormous dog with a hoarse raspy moooooo that loves apples and carrots.

Both greet me each day with such enthusiasm and the sweetest cow faces.

Clarabelle is a little more reserved, but being an introvert myself I don’t fault her one bit.  In time she will come around.

Part of our homesteading journey was to get animals that would give back to us in some way.  Provide us with a service.  For now they eat hay (and not that much I might add) and they help eat the green waste around our homestead.

I love that they aren’t full size.  It makes handling them, feeding them, and space requirements much easier to handle.  Considering I barely know a thing about cow ownership it’s going pretty flawless.  Even with a mild escape a few weeks back.

I would most definitely recommend adding mini cows to your homestead if you are considering it.

There is something so sweet and gentle about a mini cow.

 

Pros & Cons to goat ownership

I’ve been discussing autism lately, and thought I’d switch gears for a bit and share in our homesteading journey.

I want to talk about goats.  And share just some thoughts on them.  Maybe you are a long time goat owner, maybe you are considering getting a goat (remember if you get one you should get two.)

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Goats are social animals so you should always get at least two, that’s how we ended up with Gus and Randy.  If you were a fan of Love on Netflix you might recognize the names.

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So here are just my personal pros and cons to goat ownership from my own experience.

We purchased two baby nigerian dwarf wethers.

Side note a wether is a castrated male goat.

I know I can still get confused with goat lingo.

Pros

  • They will most definitely eat your weeds.
  • Gentle animals.  Ours are so gentle with our kids.
  • They don’t cost much to feed especially if they have some where to graze.
  • You can feed a lot of your yard trimmings to them.  I’m all about recycling.
  • They don’t require much time or effort.
  • They are really cute and funny.  (The humping cracks everyone up)
  • It’s a great experience if you have kids
  • It doesn’t cost much to startup.  We built our goat house from repurposed barnwood.
  • Goat poop when added to compost is great for gardening.You can make a little extra money renting goats out to neighbors needed help with weed control.  With the recent fires in California neighborhoods are seeing an increase in rental goats to help control the brush.

     

Now let’s talk the cons.

Cons

  • They will most definitely eat something of yours that you don’t want them to.
  • They are little Houdini’s, ours eventually find a way to jail break at some point, and they let all the animals out too.
  • They poop everywhere.
  • The poop is seriously hard to rake up.  (just being honest here)
  • They beg, and beg, and I usually give in and give them a treat or two.
  • They jump on everything.
  • One of the most stubborn animals I’ve ever owned.  Have you tried pulling your goat somewhere you want him to go?  It’s harder than you’d think.
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All in all I think adding Gus and Randy to our mini farm has been great.  It’s nice to be able to throw them a lot of yard waste as we clear more areas on the farm.  They are really sweet and gentle with the kids and our other animals.  I think it teaches the kids such a valuable lesson as well.

If you are considering adding goats to your homestead do you have any questions?

I know before getting goats we researched and researched.  But overall it’s been a pretty simple adjustment and we’ve really loved having them around.  I’ve been letting them wander in the evenings while I do yoga, and I think the belly laughing has done some soul healing.  It’s not nearly magestic as people on social media would have you believe.

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Danielle