Looking for Pasture for Dexter Cows

Last weekend my family drove up to 150 Mile House, BC to look at Dexter cows. Dexters are a small Irish breed of cattle that produce excellent milk and meat. We are trying to find pasture to lease near our home so my family can have real milk. If you are wondering why we are going to so much trouble to get real milk please read: The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid. It is available in the Kamloops Public Library.

The Untold Story of Milk

This book is a wonderful history of raw milk.

Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find pasture for lease in our area. We would also consider hiring an Agister to pasture and milk our cows. Agistment is legal in Canada. It is equivalent to boarding your horse with a stable or farmer. If anyone reading this post knows someone with pasture for lease or an interest in an agistment contract please contact me.

Update June 25, 2009: We found a Jersey cow and calf in Langley, BC. They are now pastured in Kamloops, BC. We had our first drink of real milk since November 2008. It is wonderful to have such a delicious, healthy food back on my family’s table. A big thank you, to all the people that helped make this possible. If you have ever wondered if you would like your own cow please read The Family Cow by Dirk Van Loon.

the-family-cow

A practice book that will help you decide if you want a cow.

Update August 4, 2009: We have been getting milk regularly from Patty our Jersey cow. She has a very good disposition. Over the last week, I have been learning how to milk. My hands are not very strong but I take it slowly. I enjoy the early morning drive out to the farm and the warm smell of the hay. I am getting about 5L in one milking a day. I have started to freeze milk for the winter months. Milking while the cow is on pasture makes better quality milk. Cows on hay in the winter make a poor quality milk and it is very hard on the cow’s system to be milked during pregnancy. Our cow will not be milked during her pregnancy. Traditionally, fresh milk was consumed during the summer season and cultured butter and raw cheeses were consumed in the winter. The modern convenience of freezing allows us to now enjoy milk later into the winter without harming the cow. I am hoping to freeze 120L of milk and put away about 10kgs of raw butter.

6 thoughts on “Looking for Pasture for Dexter Cows

  1. Hi! Love that you have found a milk solution. I would love to do the same, I have access to pasture but I don’t know anything about what is involved with having a milk cow. We primarily are looking for a source of milk to make yoghurt and soft cheeses. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

  2. How much pasture do you have and where are you located? We could put together a cow/herd share program here in Kamloops. We need a group of interested people, we need pasture and housing, and we need milkers.
    In the mean time, Gort’s Gorda in Salmon Arm has wonderful yoghurt and raw cheese. You can get them in Kamloops at Heartland Foods.

  3. I too would be very interested in getting involved in a cow share program in the Kamloops area, so please post any updates with respect to that endeavor! 🙂

  4. Hi Sarah,

    We are going to start having potluck dinners in October 2009. We are trying to decide if the second or third Sunday of the month would be best. I hope there will be discussion about the possibility of a cow share program for Kamloops. I would like to see a cow share program in Kamloops by this coming spring. It will take a community of like-minded individuals to make this possible.

  5. Thanks for your quick reply Caroline – I would love to be involved with the potlucks and/or discussion, and really hope there is enough interest to get a cow share going…keep me posted 😉

  6. Hi Krystal,

    Raw milk, yoghurt and soft cheeses are unavailable commercially in Canada, so you are on your own if you want raw milk products. I would ask your circle of friends and family how many people are interested in quality food. You may find many like minded individuals that can help each other out and find a creative solution to a quality food supply. As for raw cheese aged over sixty days, Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm is a good source. This is a link to their website:
    http://www.gortsgoudacheese.bc.ca/

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