December 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm #256198
HI, Im new on here and have been researching Herd Sharing. I live on 5 acres at Tamborine QLD and am wanting to start up a herd share so that families can have access to organic raw milk. Im thinking of having cows and goats.
Would anyone be interested? Also does anyone know the costs to charge etc?
I also will have organic free range eggs to sell too.
Bek CouperDecember 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm #515786
Where would the cows be living? They eat heaps of grass, so your 5 acres won’t be enough!December 6, 2011 at 11:07 am #515787
uglybetty is right- we were told to keep on average 2 acres per cow for sustainable stocking levels.December 6, 2011 at 11:09 am #515788
and goats will rapidly denude any paddock they are kept in.December 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm #515789
5 good acres could be sufficient for one cow (remembering you will also have a calf for a while as well- so technically two animals) or a couple of goats if managed well (but not cows and goats),and cell grazed with supplements both of soaked grain and minerals or vertical fodder and herb hedgerows. It is also difficult to put a figure to pasture as in many instances much more acreage would be required to run even one dairy cow. It depends on the soil, type of grasses available and how much you want to supplement feed, including hay, as roughage is vital for ruminants. I have known some properties that you could not run a dairy cow on 25 acres, but that same property was more suitable for goats anyway. Just something to think about.
I am not sure what your intentions are but it sounded like you might be thinking of more stock than this.
With pasture management you are looking at keeping enough grazing throughout the year with supplementation for winter and in the case of dairy animals, supplementation during the lactating period to ensure good milk supply and animal health. Overgrazing or set stocking on this amount of land will cause you soil problems as well as animal health issues so it is something to research well. Happy to answer any other questions on this.December 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm #515790
Would you be allowed to sell those products anyway? I thought it was illega to sell raw milk, and organic eggs certainly have lots of regulations attached to their sale.December 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm #515791
Yes you can sell raw milk for “cosmetic” use. I’ve looked into it. And also it will be for friends and family only…not a business. I am only planning on having two cows on our acreage and also the goats will be in a clsoed area so they dont eat all my fruit trees! We will also buy hay etc for them to eat.December 16, 2011 at 2:09 am #515792
The stocking rate that you’re suggesting, cows (plural) and goats is too high for your property, even given its beautiful rich soils in that area.
On 5 acres of useable land (is that pasture, or does that area include your dwelling etc), you would have one Jersey cow and be feeding her at least a biscuit of hay morning and evening. Assuming you do two milking, expect to double that amount of feed, plus possibly some grain or meal. A dairy cow will milk “off its back” so she will sacrifice body condition for milk production. You may end up with a ketotic cow if that’s the case.
You can rotational graze, by setting up a good electric fence system that you can move daily. This ensures that the strip is grazed down evenly, thus avoiding selective grazing, and the less palatable grasses being undergrazed, going to seed, and proliferating at the expense of the “good” grasses.
The two smaller varieties of dairy cows that would suit your circumstances are Jersey and Dexter. However, if you source a Dexter ensure she is from “milky” lines, and not from “beef” lines. Don’t fall for the standard “dual purpose” breed party line without looking totally into it. Even studs are now revising their suggested areas for keeping Dexters, and the more realistic studs are advising about their stock’s genetics for milk and/or beef production. A Dexter will not produce as much milk as a Jersey, but it is beautiful milk, very different to Jersey. Jersey milk is rich and creamy, very different to Dexters, and has more “body” to it.
Also you need to factor in bad climatic conditions where you find your pasture has gone completely because of too much rain, too little rain, or temperature extremes. You need to buy in feed like you wouldn’t believe! Ask me how I know (and I’m on 18 acres of Prime Agricultural alluvial soils!).
To my knowledge, there is no lawful means of “herdsharing” cows in NSW. The legislation is extremely tight regarding it, in terms of the milk produced. Please if you do find a lawful way around it, PM me because I would love to know. Herdshares or milkshares are common in parts of the States. Also, should you go ahead with herdsharing, you will need to ensure that the shareholders cows are tested for all diseases, including Q Fever, which can be transmitted by raw milk. You don’t want that hanging over your head, that the milk has infected someone, or they “think” that the milk infected them (there’s more than one way of contracting it!).
Okay, I don’t want to rain on your parade at all. Just investigate stocking rates more fully, and the legalities too, before you sink any money into it.
Now, if you just want milk for your own family’s consumption, you won’t need to push for milk production, and you could share milk the cow with the calf on her, take holidays when you want, and your calf is your relief milker! Also, once a day milking will require less feed imput.
PM me if you want to discuss this further. I’m in Northern NSW too.
MuddyfeetDecember 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm #515793
sounds great, but! gave you checked the state and fed’ gov’ laws on selling milks and eggs? milk particularly is a heavily protected industry and generally fresh from the animal milk can only be sold as pet food, or for bathing/beauty treatments.
now 5 acres you need to research the grazing rate on a rotational basis, that is whatever land is left after you infrastructure, could be 3 or 4 acres, will have a grazing rate ie.,. 1 head to 1 acre is considered pretty good, generally it probably come closer to one head for every 3 to 10 acres.
goats are generally considered to be equivalent to 1/2 a beast so then you might be able to graze double the amount of goats as cows. cows also need access to a lot of water.
me if i lived next door i would buy it in a heart beat.
hope all goes well
lenJanuary 20, 2012 at 10:30 am #515794
I have recently signed up for a Herd Share program to regularly obtain organic raw milk to make cheese and yogurt.
I can tell you about it if you wish.
I also thought about cows and am thinking about goats for meat and milk as I have a little man can’t process chemicals well.
Just message me. I live down the road at Logan Village.
PaulaJanuary 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm #515795
Does anyone do this on the eastern side of Melbourne ? If so PM me as I would love to be part of this.February 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm #515796
Does anyone know if herdshare runs in Melbourne? Could someone please send me a link to the herdshare website, is it still going? Thank you :wave:February 5, 2012 at 1:32 am #515797
Just found this site and joined up.
Can’t help with your enquiry but I am very keen on purchasing raw cow and goats milk. Can you explain the concept of herd sharing please ?
I am curious – many years ago I had my own milking goat – just the one, and her milk was very creamy and much nicer than cow’s milk, and did not have that ‘goaty taste’ so associated with goats milk and cheese. My theory is that the strong ‘goaty’ taste is due to bucks in the herd. Could this be true? I would like to have another milking goat – have checked with Brisbane City Council a couple of times now, and they have no information on whether this is allowed or not – no one seems to have asked that question before !
I look forward to the day that our street verges are productive vegetable gardens and fruit and nut trees !
All the best with your project/s. Kind regards. Corry.March 12, 2012 at 12:21 am #515798
We get raw milk through HerdShare / Foodconnect. You buy a share, become a shareholder and technically you do not “buy” the milk, but “get it from your own cows”, or at least that’s the legal theory behind the scheme. It’s delivered once a week in some member’s driveway, where you go and get it.March 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm #515799
Hello, just wondering if you might know where to obtain raw goat or cows milk for my daughter in Gladstone queensland. I have my own milking goats in wa and would love for them to have the benefits of raw milk with two little boys. Thanks. Ps we make cheese and kefir with our milk.
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