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Where Can I Buy a Dairy Cow?

 

You've made the decision to buy a family dairy cow! That's great, but now you may be left scratching your head about where in the world to start looking for one. You may have picked up your local paper, checked the "pets" classified, and saw nothing about milk cows. Don't worry, there are many ways to conduct your search.

The first place I always look is the online classifieds such as Craigslist.com. Not that everyone lists their cows for sale but many do. But the key is to check daily when you are in the market because the dairy cows, at least where I live, get snapped up fast. If there are any agriculture/livestock-related local online classifieds, keep your eye out on those too. In my area there is Ocala4sale.com. If you have something like that, it's a great place to search for a cow.

Next, I would go to any dairy-cow-related message boards and see if there is a section where people list animals for sale. There usually is but if not, you may be able to find some contacts. Try Yahoo Groups and join any cow-related email lists.

Another thing you can do is go to the breed website of whatever dairy breed you have decided you want to buy. If it's a Jersey, go to the official website, or if you want an Ayrshire, try their site. Breeders are listed there and you can search for one near you. However, these are by no means all the breeders, just the ones that pay to be listed.

If still no luck, try the local university that has a dairy science program. In Florida you can try the University of FL. These people can be valuable contacts.

Is there a local or state fair going on soon? If they are having dairy cow classes, and especially if this is a big state fair, you can go and chat with different breed owners. They may or may not have a heifer or cow for sale, but they might know of someone who does. Plus, it's really fun to see all the cows. In Florida, try the state fair in February in Tampa.

Local dairies may have cows they want to cull. Find out the reason they want to get rid of the cow. The usual reason is low production. However, their idea of low production is generally more than enough for a family. Sometimes they will also cull small cows.

Local 4H and FFA clubs oftentimes have heifers for sale. The kids get the calves to show and once they reach the age where they need to be bred they will generally sell them off. Sometimes you will find these 4H heifers at the local dairy.

Last but not least, place a "wanted" ad.

If you still cannot find a family cow to buy after trying all these methods, you must live in an area where there simply are no dairy cows for sale. In that case you may have to expand your search to include other states and then have your cow shipped to you or else go and pick her up.

 

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