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Cultivate Simple 18: The Family Cow

February 11th, 2013

An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a more simple life. This is episode 18 and today we are discussing the family cow and home dairying.
the family cow
For this episode, we will be talking with our friendly local dairy farmers from Ohio. We met Mike & Dawn many years ago while searching for local eggs. A few months later, they decided to make the switch from selling their milk to a big dairy to selling directly to people in the community. Brian and I signed up for their herd share program.
Roberts Farm 1
Today we’re talking to Mike & Dawn about maintaining the family cow. We’ll cover topics like rotational grazing, once a day milking, the benefits of pasturing, and all things pertaining to maintaining a cow.
The Farm 5
Topics Covered:
pasturing and winter feeding
breeding & calving
once a day milking

Visit Mike & Dawn’s Blog to find out more about them and their wonderful NE Ohio farm.

Books of the Week

3 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 18: The Family Cow”
  1. Megan on February 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for the information about dairy cows. I had to laugh about the talk about bulls. We have a few beef cattle but not enough to need a bull so we do rent a bull every year from a local farmer to “clean up” all the cows that did not take from AI. We still are thinking about getting a dairy cow or two since I have not been able to find a herd share program in my area. Looks like I have a few more books to read!

    Reply to Megan's comment

  2. DebbieB on February 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Great interview. I really like the thought that the cows feel the sun and see the sky and wander the pastures. A good life.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  3. Mich on February 13, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Having kept a small herd of Dexter cattle in my past; I would say that keeping a dairy cow on a small acreage requires alot of extra work because in reality you would have to keep the cow in a yard overwinter. You wont have enough ground to have a winter sacrifice paddock, you need to buy in hay, the yard needs mucking out (great for the garden).
    Also use AI it doesnt pay to have a bull.
    If possible buy a cow with a calf at foot & pregnant, that way you can steal some milk & she can suckle the calf whilst you get to know her and hone your milking skills!
    Learning to milk makes your hands ache… lol

    Reply to Mich's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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