Homestead Cows
164 pages
English

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164 pages
English

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Description

Every farm needs a cow – open the gates!


  • Differs from other cattle raising books as the focus is for the small homestead looking to raise one to a few cows to supplement their homestead, rather than to run a cattle business
  • Differs from other books in this genre as it covers both milk cows and beef cattle.
  • The authors have over 50 years combined experience working with animals.
  • Both are involved in the Livestock Conservancy.
  • Callene is the Senior Zookeeper, Children's Farms, Sedgwick County Zoo and writes for Grit Magazine.
  • Eric is a life-long farmer and the owner/operator of the Rare Hare Barn.
  • Both are regular speakers at Mother Earth News Fairs and Livestock Conservancy events.
  • Cows are one of the most versatile and productive animals on the farm.
  • This book provides beginners with all the information they need to start and run a sustainable cattle business.
  • Contains information on management issues, how to keep cows healthy and happy, how to invest in a long-term herd, cattle behaviour, and basic cattle husbandry

Audience: People interested in cattle but not familiar with raising them, people looking for animals for a small homestead, homesteaders, DIYers

Regional: Kansas, author's home state; leading homestead states, Maine, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, New York, North Carolina


Every farm needs a cow – open the gates!

With an approach built around investing for the long term, Homestead Cows prepares homesteaders and small farmers to open the farm gate to cattle, whether a single milk cow or a small beef herd.

Homestead Cows covers the A to Z of husbandry:

  • Cow history, biology, diet, and nutrition
  • Understanding what you want, what's involved, and creating a plan
  • Selecting breeds and determining herd size
  • Housing and facilities, transportation, and equipment
  • Financial management and the dollars and cents of cows
  • Breeding and reproduction
  • Cow health and happiness, including safety, handling, and good husbandry
  • Processing, products, and cooking.

Cattle are the most productive, versatile, and low-input sources of food and revenue on the farm and can help regenerate and build soil. The secret to success is excellent management, and Homestead Cows distills decades of hard-won, practical knowledge into an essential guide to successful small-scale cattle farming for every homesteader and farmer.


Dedication

Acknowledgments

Introduction


Chapter 1: Humans and Cattle

A Brief History of Cattle

What’s Your Plan?


Chapter 2: Breeds and Cow Selection

Breeds of Cattle

Dairy Cattle

Beef Cattle

Breed and Environment

Temperament

Where to Get Your Cattle

Selecting Breeding Stock

Health Papers


Chapter 3: Handling, Transportation, and Infrastructure

Working Safely Around Cattle

Transporting Cattle

Fencing

Facilities and Equipment


Chapter 4: Cattle Biology

Forage and Digestion

How Cattle Handle Heat

Cold Weather


Chapter 5: Nutrition and Feeding

Major Nutrients

Concentrates

Choosing Quality Hay

Body Condition

Determining Supplemental Feed Needs


Chapter 6: Reproduction in Cattle

Estrous in Cattle

Pasture Breeding

Puberty

Artificial Insemination


Chapter 7: Calving

Stages of Labor

When Things Go Wrong

When to Rebreed

Calving Season

Care of the Newborn Calf


Chapter 8: Raising Calves

If Mom Does the Work

Bottle Raising a Calf

Weaning from Mom

Buying a Calf for Beef

Considerations for Bringing Home a Bucket Calf


Chapter 9: Cattle Health

Castration

Behavior and Appearance of Healthy Cattle

Antibiotics

Immunity and Vaccinations

Common Health Problems in Cattle

Health Problems for Calves

Health Problems for Cows


Chapter 10: Milk and Milking

How the Cow Makes Milk

Milking the Cow

Milking Equipment

Raw Milk

Milking Basics

Handling Raw Milk


Chapter 11: Beef

When to Process

Freezer Space

Beef Cuts


Chapter 12: Cattle and Environment

Grassfed Beef

Grazing Systems

How Grass Grows

Types of Grasses

Grazing Behavior

Implementing a Grazing Plan

Evaluating Pastures

Creating a Sacrifice Area

Deciding Paddock Size


Glossary

Additional Reading

Index

About the Authors

A Note About the Publisher

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 29 juin 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781771423366
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 5 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1250€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Praise for Homestead Cows
Homestead Cows is a gem of a book full of great advice for anyone thinking about keeping cattle. It s a must read for newbies!
-Jeanette Beranger, senior program manager, The Livestock Conservancy
This book covers all the aspects of cattle raising for the beginning farmer who s trying to traverse the landscape of farming. Callene and Eric have drilled down into the how- to, without being preachy, to build the knowledge you will need when you put your first animals in your first pasture and watch them thrive. The only thing it doesn t cover is the number of old and new curse words you ll learn and use when you hit your shins on the trailer ball. I m going to order a bunch and it should be a paperback that will fit in your back pocket or that Carhartt jacket pocket.
-Carrie Balkcom, executive director, American Grassfed Association
In Homestead Cows , Callene and Eric Rapp take us on an epic journey that covers everything bovine in a uniquely approachable and systematic way. The book covers everything from the history of cattle to the ins and outs of choosing a breed that s right for you and gives you the tools to manage your experiences in a way that s humane for the cattle, the homesteader, and the land. This book is a must-read for every homesteader and small holder with an interest in keeping cattle for virtually any purpose, and would help bring husbandry back to large-scale operators who view cattle as a mere commodity.
-Hank Will, editor, Mother Earth News
Homestead Cows is an excellent book for anyone interested in raising their own cattle. This book is chock-full of fantastic information useful for experienced cattlemen and novice farmers alike. I would feel confident putting this book in someone s hand and knowing they have all the information they need to raise their own cattle. Callene and Eric did an excellent job writing a book that was easy and enjoyable to read!
-Emily Nyman, heritage livestock expert, photographer, living history reenactor
Homestead Cows chooses a delightful approach that helps drive our passion for raising cattle. The authors realistically cover the joys and stressors related to raising cattle and through this work offer tools to help make good decisions that work safely for both animal and homesteader, and improve the homestead environment in the process. The book should be required reading for anyone with cattle or considering cattle for their place.
-Joanna Will, head herdswoman, Prairie Turnip Farm
Cattle have been domesticated for over 10,000 years and people have worked side by side with them, benefiting greatly from the relationship. Dual and triple purpose breeds had many uses including draft power, along with milk and meat. Since 2008, Eric and Callene Rapp have owned and raised Pineywoods cattle when they acquired a bull and seven cows to help conserve this triple purpose breed. They ve now compiled all of their cattle raising knowledge into an easy to read book that is perfect for someone who is interested in raising some of their own. Homestead Cows is a comprehensive guide that is perfect for the beginner, but is still useful for the experienced cattleman.
-Alicia Boor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Cottonwood District, K-State Research and Extension
Homestead Cows
ERIC RAPP AND CALLENE RAPP
Copyright 2021 by Eric Rapp and Callene Rapp.
All rights reserved.
Cover design by Diane McIntosh.
Cover photos: iStock. Bottom left supplied by Eric Rapp.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos and illustrations by Eric Rapp.
Printed in Canada. First printing June, 2021.
This book is intended to be educational and informative. The author and publisher disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk that may be associated with the application of any of the contents of this book.
Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part of Homestead Cows should be addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below. To order directly from the publishers, please call toll-free (North America) 1-800-567-6772, or order online at www.newsociety.com .
Any other inquiries can be directed by mail to
New Society Publishers
P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada
(250) 247-9737
L IBRARY AND A RCHIVES C ANADA C ATALOGUING IN P UBLICATION
Title: Homestead cows : the complete guide to raising healthy, happy cattle / Eric Rapp and Callene Rapp.
Names: Rapp, Eric, 1959- author. | Rapp, Callene, 1965- author.
Description: Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: Canadiana (print)
20210169168 | Canadiana (ebook) 20210169176 | ISBN 9780865719477
(softcover) | ISBN 9781550927405 (PDF) | ISBN 9781771423366 (EPUB)
Subjects: LCSH: Cattle.
Classification: LCC SF197 .R36 2021 | DDC 636.2-dc23
New Society Publishers mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision.
Contents
Dedication
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: Humans and Cattle
A Brief History of Cattle
What s Your Plan?
Chapter 2: Breeds and Cow Selection
Breeds of Cattle
Dairy Cattle
Beef Cattle
Breed and Environment
Temperament
Where to Get Your Cattle
Selecting Breeding Stock
Health Papers
Chapter 3: Handling, Transportation, and Infrastructure
Working Safely Around Cattle
Transporting Cattle
Fencing
Facilities and Equipment
Chapter 4: Cattle Biology
Forage and Digestion
How Cattle Handle Heat
Cold Weather
Chapter 5: Nutrition and Feeding
Major Nutrients
Concentrates
Choosing Quality Hay
Body Condition
Determining Supplemental Feed Needs
Chapter 6: Reproduction in Cattle
Estrous in Cattle
Pasture Breeding
Puberty
Artificial Insemination
Chapter 7: Calving
Stages of Labor
When Things Go Wrong
When to Rebreed
Calving Season
Care of the Newborn Calf
Chapter 8: Raising Calves
If Mom Does the Work
Bottle Raising a Calf
Weaning from Mom
Buying a Calf for Beef
Considerations for Bringing Home a Bucket Calf
Chapter 9: Cattle Health
Castration
Behavior and Appearance of Healthy Cattle
Antibiotics
Immunity and Vaccinations
Common Health Problems in Cattle
Health Problems for Calves
Health Problems for Cows
Chapter 10: Milk and Milking
How the Cow Makes Milk
Milking the Cow
Milking Equipment
Raw Milk
Milking Basics
Handling Raw Milk
Chapter 11: Beef
When to Process
Freezer Space
Beef Cuts
Chapter 12: Cattle and Environment
Grassfed Beef
Grazing Systems
How Grass Grows
Types of Grasses
Grazing Behavior
Implementing a Grazing Plan
Evaluating Pastures
Creating a Sacrifice Area
Deciding Paddock Size
Glossary
Additional Reading
Index
About the Authors
A Note About the Publisher
For Arnold
Acknowledgments
W HILE WRITING may be a solitary pursuit, making a book definitely is not. Thanks to the folks at New Society Publishers for making this book happen. Thanks to Emily for all her photographic contributions and moral support; and thanks to Ian, who edited this book into cohesiveness. As people whose organizational style can best be described as There appears to have been a struggle, we appreciate how you folks all helped to keep us on the straight and narrow, and we hope to work with all of you again on future endeavors.
-Callene and Eric Rapp Kansas, February 2021
Introduction
I F YOU VE PICKED UP THIS BOOK , I m guessing and hoping that you re already interested in getting cows, or a cow. Congratulations! Cows were one of the best decisions we ever made for our farm.
When I submitted the first draft of this book to the publisher, the editor pointed out that it really needed a section on Why should people get cows?
I was floored. I mean, why wouldn t people want cows?
But he was correct in that there is a lot to think about before taking the plunge into cattle ownership, and like any livestock decision, it should not be taken lightly.
No livestock of any kind is labor free. They will need things like feed and water on a regular basis, and they will need it when the weather is 112 F (44 C) or when it s -12 F (-24 C) and snowing. They need it in the dark before and after work, and often at the time least convenient to you. Taking on the responsibility of owning livestock, especially larger animals such as cows, means putting their needs and well-being above your comfort many times, but they give us so much more in return. And, while (once again) no livestock is labor free, a cow contentedly grazing on well-managed pasture comes pretty close at times.
Cattle can, over time, improve your land and soil. The soil we have now is a result of millions of years of synergistic efforts between animal, plant, and microbe. Degraded soils can be improved by careful management of cattle and pasture. It would seem a shame to have cows just for the land improvement benefits and not take advantage of their other good qualities, but soil improvement alone is reason enough to have grazers on the grass.
Another key benefit to having cattle is a deeper understanding of the human-animal connection. We have evolved with animals as our companions, our responsibility, and our source

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