Aussies Living Simply

House cows.

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    So I posted previously that I may be getting two heifers well sadly one of the heifers died but the other is still alive. She has been weaned and I was playing with her today. She is not halter trained yet but she is very friendly and eats out of your hand in the paddock so I don’t think it will be that difficult. I have halter trained beef steers before and they were around 200kg so training her shouldn’t be to difficult. But I have some Questions.

    So to keep her my dad says that she has to be in some way productive. So She’ll have to be in calf when she is old enough and the calves will be sold off. So i’ll put her in calf most likely to a beef breed. She will also possibly be used for milk.

    To put her in calf it’ll be by AI. But I have some Questions regarding this.

    how do I find the AI technician?

    Do I have to source the Bull semen Myself or will the technician find it for me?

    Also any other information regarding this would be great =]

    Thanks. Oh and I’ll find some piccies of the little heifer when I can =]

    Lady Bee

    When we had our cow AI’d I searched the semen and ordered it myself, although the AI technician will tell you if there’s a ‘sperm bank’ in your area. Agrigene in Wangaratta was good or us. We had the semen on order and then when we were ready, the AI tech picked it up, came and did the deed.

    One bit of advice. I don’t know what sort of house cow you are talking about, but if she’s a small one like a jersey, don’t get a big beef breed bull semen, particularly for her first calf.


    She’s a Friesian Holstein, so a bigger breed But i’ll definately be using a bull with a small birthweight EBV for her first calf.

    How did you find the AI technician?

    was it expensive to have to one cow done?

    Lady Bee

    Oh a Friesian is a good big cow. Funny I never think of them as a ‘house cow’. Probably because they give SO much milk. Which brings me to another question. How will you milk her?

    How did I find the technician? If I remember correctly, I found her through Agrigene in Wangaratta. I was after Highland semen and they had a choice of four bulls. The chap I spoke with was very helpful and put me on to the AI technician.

    The costs are:

    Semen itself – prices vary widely depending on breed and sire.

    AI fee – cost of ‘doing the deed’

    Travel – depending on where your technician lives/works this could be quite hefty.

    For the times we have used AI, cost was around $100 – but we are 60km from Wangaratta.

    I presume you are able to tell when your cow is ready for mating.


    My computer is being annoying I wrote a whole long reply and it didn’t post for some reason. So I’ll try and remember what I wrote.

    This brings me to my next question :laugh:

    So I’m pretty sure from info that I’ve gathered that if you have a jersy you can leave the calf on her and she will only produce tha amount of milk needed to feed the calf not the extra milk she would need if she was being milked regularly. Would this be the same with a friesian holstein. If you didn’t start milking her would she only produce the amount of milk needed for her calf. This would make sense but with the way humans have bred them I’m not overly sure =/ I have seen them used in herds of beef cattle to be there incase calves need to be fostered and she’ll take on two or even three calves.

    So the question really is if I never start milking her and she just has to look after her calf will she only produce enough milk for the calf. (ie. supply and demand) or will she over produce and risk various infections and whatnot?

    As you can imagine there is lots of info on Jerseys and other breeds such as brown swisses.

    If you are wondering why I would get a dairy heifer when I may not be milking her it is because I Have been feeding dairy bull calves that will eventually be sold for meat. this little heifer came in with her twin. And I wanted them both but sadly the twin died. So she will just go for meat like the others. but she is so friendly and I’m really attached haha.


    Basically with any dairy cow she will replace what is taken apart from when the calf is first born and then there will be oodles of milk (more than calf will need). So if you milk her and feed the calf on her she will produce enough for both. We are awaiting the birth of a calf here and we plan to lock the calf up for the night and milk the cow in the morning and then let them hang out together for the day. Our cow has fostered calves before quite successfully.


    We have a 3/4 jersey cross angus girl that we milk daily. She has a calf on her (now 10 months old) and produces enough milk for her calf (who is extremely well conditioned :D:) and us. We take about 2 to 2 1/2 litres per day, which is more than enough for us and she has plenty for the calfas well. We could take more but with a new property and other ventures I don’t have a lot of time for making cheese etc at the momentso will leave that for next year. Basically the cow will produce what you milk and enough for the calf as well providing she has sufficient nutrition.

    We lock the cow up at night and the calf stays in the shed area beside her but has free access to join the other cattle. I do it this way so that I can ensure the cow has extra feed (otherwise the bull would steal it all and he is quite fat already :lol:)


    thank you for your replies =]

    So she won’t produce more than neccesary(sp?)? thats good!

    We have only ever had a beef herd and I don’t know how she will deal being on her own. Do they get funny on their own?

    I have horses. But I thinking of possibly getting a second cow so she had some company. 😛

    Is there anything else I should know?


    Melrose, I think it depends on the individual cow, how she has been raised and your circumstances as well. Cows are a heard animal and do like to at least have other cattle in view. It depends on how much time you have to spend with her as well…and presuming she will have her calf. When we first purchased this current cow, we had excellent pasture and the people we bought her off were very short of pasture so we borrowed her sister as a companion (which worked well for them and us) until her calf was born but we have had other cows that were just happy to see cattle in the next field and were very human orientated and others who were happy to have other species companians. If you have the pasture and space a quiet companion is a good way to go but many house cows do live alone except for their calves. See what works for your cow and you as well.


    Hi, I looked up AI technicians on the internet. I used Robertsons AI who are 70km away. They service most areas I think and any number. I only had one heifer and it cost me $11 for the semen straw and the rest was the set call out fee. So it was $66 all up. They chose the semen, I told them the breed I wanted. I wasn’t too fussed on the line of the bull as the calf isn’t for showing and it will basically be for the freezer or if its a girl maybe I will train her and sell her as a little house cow.

    My cow I handraised along with a lamb. I got her at 3 days old and she is very attached to us. very…very attached. If she gets out, she comes to the back gate to wait for us. It is handy I guess, but it also has the downside of she needs to be somewhere near the house so she has regular contact with us. She has company – sheep, pony, goats, us. When she has her calf I will have a better idea of whether she will be more settled with bovine company or not. But basically she is with all the animals and people she has been raised with. I totally agree they need company as they are a herd animal and if I did it again I would make sure I did 2 at a time instead of one. But I have heard mixed feelings as to whether other animals are ok as company. Mine groom each other and will sleep together and hang out, but its us that she wants to be with most of all. (which is sweet, but potentially very dangerous when she comes lumbering down the hill at full speed or when she tries to lean on you. As a consequence, we don’t go in with her – just because she is too affectionate and she has horns which hurt….) I don’t have a comparison at this point as to whether she is happier with other cows.

    Good luck with it!


    thank you everyone for your replies!

    She would have horses for company if she were on her own but in a new twist, I may be buying another little heifer, she is still on milk and will be weaned at the end of june. Which will be great for company. Haha ‘Lumbering down the hill’ haha, love that and that is exactly how they move. At the moment I’m feeding around 60 calves, we have a machine but the new ones don’t get it for a little while haha, so you get mugged by alot of calves as soon as you step in the paddock. gypsyoak – thank you so much, the info on AI is very very helpful!


    I Promised Pics So here they are.

    Cuties 😛


    I want a cow now, but I don’t think I can hide one in my backyard.


    Hehe Iduna, I’m sure you could Hide a lowline =]



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