How well do they get along? How big (breed) are they? It can work, but I warn you, you'll have lots of poo to clean up and they'll have poo-y stains on their sides (for extra smelly milking!) from laying in the close-quarters' manure.
I let mine have free access, they can go in if they want, or stay outside. (I have a run-in type shed.) Before I had the shed made, I put the cow in half my garage (dirt floor) when she was about ready to calve. Yes, she got awfully dirty/messy and the floor has never been the same in that half of the garage. (Doesn't help it leaks over that part now, either!) Janene
Occasional steer for the freezer
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*~*Proud Mother of 2 Military Sons*~*
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Post by BlackWillowFarm on Nov 26, 2009 6:55:17 GMT -5
I have 12 x 12 horse stalls! I used to have horses. I cleaned four horse stalls all winter long. The horses are gone and now I have Jersey cows. ;D
Comparing the amount of mess a horse makes to a Jersey, I would say one cow in the stall at night is the equivalent of two horses in there.
The mess one cow can make of a box stall is amazing. I don't know about your cow, but I swear mine purposely laid her udder into a pile of poo everynight. The new cow is doing the same thing! It must be a cow thing to lay down in poop.
This winter I put up a cattle panel/ tarp shelter for the cows because I don't like dealing with poopy udders and sloppy, dirty stalls all winter long.
You would have to be vigilant to avoid mastitis as this would be a very warm & wet!!! environment,ideal for mastitis bugs to get in the udder.Cows are fine in cold wet weather,try a horse rug if unsure.I dont know about snow though!
My cow has a box stall all winter. It's 9x12, with 3' blocked off for a small calf pen, so 9x9. She is a large cow and this is an OK size for her (she'd always like bigger). It is true that despite pine shavings for bedding she is generally dirty in winter. My cow and my bull both seem to like to dig holes in the gravel floor ... the shavings get dirty and wet there and of course that's where they lie down. I clean my stalls every morning and the livestock are outside all day. My cow has never had mastitis.
The big thing I would be thinking about, if I were thinking of confining two cows to one stall, would be aggression. When cows start throwing each other into walls, to establish who's boss, not only could your walls and posts suffer but the lower pecking order animal as well. I guess I just wouldn't confine two to one small enclosure. My foster calf stays in Katika's stall but she can't reach him in his creep area. Otherwise she might kill him, almost inadvertently.
Milkmaid to Katika, Canadienne x Jersey born 5/12/2002 Moxie, Jersey rescue heifer, born 8/2009 Rocky, Katika's steer calf, born 4/27/2010 Duke Wayne, foster Jersey bull calf born 10/10/10 Phoenix (Fee), Katika's heifer calf, born 7/3/2011 Birch, 25-year-old Azteca gelding 11 Clun Forest and cross ewes dogs and cat
My "Plan B" was to divide one horse stall with a half walls making walk in cow stalls with eye bolts all the way through the wall to chain them in all night during the worst weather. The poo and pee are in back, feed in front. I made a large trough feeder for hay & concentrates in front. The cows wore cow neck chains and there were ~18" chains from the eye-bolts with strong clips on the ends.
My cows were used to being tied/confined and did not break the chains. I had an extra layer of thick stall mats on which the cows layed to keep the poo/pee off them. (Since I did not have a gutter.)
Another idea is to install stanchions and leave them in the stanchions while in the barn.
(has been SallyMA, and SallyCA in prior years.)
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'