Keeping a pet cow on 1 acre?

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Mummyto4's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 21/09/2014 - 4:06pm
Keeping a pet cow on 1 acre?

Hi, we've been looking for a 5-10 acre farm for a while but haven't found our perfect property yet. We have found a 1 1/2 acre property that other than being smaller, ticks every single one of our boxes in terms of house and yard for the kids etc. The problem is, one of our kids is dead set on getting a pet cow (probably a mini).

I've read some stuff that suggests 1 acre is enough for 1 cow plus a few goats to keep the cow company, but I'm just not sure. We'd probably get a steer as we don't really want to milk or breed and I have no issue buying in hay to supplement feed, but is if fair? I have mixed feelings about keeping a single cow even with goats for company and am also not sold on the idea of 1 acre being enough land for it.

I was thinking one way around this might be to raise a poddy calf or two for a local farmer? We did that as kids but I'm not sure if it's still done these days?

What do you all think?

charlie's picture
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 31/05/2011 - 9:44am

Hi Mummyto4,

Welcome to Farmstyle and the forum, nice to have you here and asking plenty of questions.

The number of cattle or goats that you will be able to run will be dependent on anumber of factors including the soil type, pasture type (improved or native), fertiliser history, rainfall and management. My gut feel is that 1 acre of land would be too small for a full sized cow. I would suggest that a full sized cow even with some supplementary feeding would require approximately a minimum of 1-2 hectares or 3-5 acres.

I would look into a minature sized cow which should be able to be run on 1 acre with some assistance from supplementary feeding. 

Other articles regarding keeping a house cow which will provide you with further information include:
Self sufficient farming: Milking a cow
Keeping a house cow

One of our contrbutors Liz Beavis has also written and excellent e-book ($4.99) titled, 'Our experience with house cows' which may be of interest.

Hope this information has been of assistance.


Mummyto4's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 21/09/2014 - 4:06pm

Thanks Charlie! (Great name by the way - my youngest is a Charlie too!)

That's very much what I was thinking - it's not quite enough land. I think I'll keep trying to convince the kids that we can get a few miniature goats instead. :)

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