Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Investing in...Cows???

Yup, Cows.

Perhaps you never thought of cows as an investment.

Well, since my parents run a dairy farm, buying cows is an investment like any other. Recently we've bought two cows to bring up to the farm and add to the herd. My parents have mostly holstein cows, with a few jerseys and milking shorthorns mixed in.

One of the cows we bought recently was a Brown Swiss. This is a hardy breed with good milk production (high butterfat) and a pretty docile nature. We paid $1300 for this cow. Seems like a lot for an animal?

Well, we think this cow was worth the money. She's four years old, and is due to calve next month. This means that we could be potentially getting two cows for the price of one.

Adding her milk to the herd will bring more money, though not much initially, because of the low prices that farmers are getting these days (Around $12 for hundred lbs of milk - which means farmers get about $1.50 for every gallon of milk they produce.) However, we're looking at the demand for raw milk, and thinking that we could sell that. The person we bought her from was getting $4.50 for each gallon of raw milk she was selling to people who stop in, and she couldn't keep up with the demand.

The second cow we bought for $600. She's a smaller cow, three years old, needs to put on a little weight, but has good potential. She is a white milking shorthorn.

Both of the cows are also registered, which increases their value. A registered cow has a documented pedigree, which means you can trace their background, and know the strengths and weaknesses of the lineage. It also means that they are a purebred animal.

We'll try and keep you posted on our latest adventures in dairying!

Edit: A couple people have raised the issue of whether raw milk can be legally sold. In the state where I live (NH) you can sell up to 5 gallons a day without a permit, and with a permit you can sell more. Since my father already sells milk commercially, the proper facilities are already in place to make sure that the milk is handled safely.

For the laws in your state, visit


Loi Tran said...

Interesting post about cows. I always wondered how much farmers get for the milk they sell. I used to breed birds to sell. I had cockatiels, parakeets, canaries, parrotlets, finches, lovebirds, and many other birds.

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