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Comment: Cover shows minor wear with bending. Pages are crisp, clean, no markings found. Binding is tight. Softcover. Looks like picture. Please contact us directly with any questions. Thanks! 151806NVR
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The Family Cow (Garden Way Publishing Book) Paperback – January 3, 1976

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is the basic book -- yet with all the essential details -- for the family that decides to keep a cow for all the benefits she can provide. Learn first the costs, the gains, what she gives and takes. There are practical, fully illustrated chapters that include:

 

- The history and behavior of the cow.

- Nutritional needs, from grass to milk.

- Buying a cow -- the sources, breeds and factors to consider.

- Handling techniques, housing and fencing.

- Feeds and feeding -- cow and calf.

- Milking and uses of milk.

- Health and diseases, breeding and calving.

- Growing feed crops, use of manure.

The Family Cow is complete with data charts and tables, a glossary of agricultural terms, and source lists of books and equipment.

About the Author

Author Dirk van Loon has written two Storey books, The Family Cow and Small-Scale Pig Raising. He publishes a monthly newspaper for small-scale rural producers called Rural Delivery. Dirk is a graduate of the College of Agriculture at Cornell University and now lives in Nova Scotia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Garden Way Publishing Book
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; Second Printing edition (January 3, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882660667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882660660
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've lived on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia for more than 40 years in an old farm house with barn and outbuildings. E.B. White called his farmstead on the Maine coast a saltwater farm. Maybe that's what I found in 1970. I know I was inspired by descriptions of life on his farm by the author of "Charlotte's Web," through his series of "Letters from Down East" written for The New Yorker magazine.

While not from a farm, I was raised in farm country with corn fields and pastures of dairy cattle all around. In high school, I spent many weekends farming.

For all of that, formal education leading to a BS from the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell did not prepare me to raise pigs or any livestock for that matter. The BSc was in Wildlife Management, a profession left behind upon graduation. Medical research and a stint in the Peace Corps (Colombia 12) were side trips on the way to three years in journalism, working for daily newspapers in Missouri and Colorado. Freelance writing and a children's book published by Lippincott were next, followed by the move to Nova Scotia. To live out White's dream? Perhaps. It was but a matter of months before the back-to-the-land movement - inspired by another Mainer, Scott Nearing ("Living the Good Life") - swept across Canada's maritime provinces.

Before long I had my own small pastures and barns overlooking the ocean and soon had a cow. Then came pigs, followed a few years later by how-to books, "The Family Cow" and "Small Scale Pig Raising," which were intended as management guides for newcomers to farming. These were published by Garden Way Publishing in Charlotte, Vermont. At that time the company, along with Troy-Bilt, was owned by Lyman Wood, with Walter Hard Jr. retired editor of Vermont Life serving as editor. Quite a team. It was a pleasure working with them.

Now, these many years later, it is a pleasure to have the chance to work with Echo Point Books bringing "Small Scale Pig Raising" up to date.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully entertaining book. It is full of essential knowledge, as well as humor. I'm the son of a dairy farmer who is the son of a dairy farmer. I will be the first person to admit that I learned a lot from this book. The subject depth that the author goes into in each chapter is great. Everything is explained in simple terms yet gets very detailed. I would compare his ability to keep a complex subject simple to the writings of Isaac Asimov. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a serious interest in small scale farming, the family farm, or simply wants to know all the essentials about cattle.
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Format: Paperback
This book has everything you need to know about owning your own cow...kinds of cows and their temperaments, purchasing a cow, how to care for it, fences and barns to build for it, milking, foods to prepare with the milk, breeding and calving, you name it. Much detail is given in each subject, including drawings and pictures, but the author avoids being a bore with his dry humor. We knew absolutely nothing about cows, but now feel some confidence after reading this book!
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Format: Paperback
Broken up into vital aspects of cow ownership and handling, this book is a god-send for anyone venturing into this arena. Van Loon has a great sense of humor that adds to the value of the material. We now have our Jersey milk cow and the book is constanly open. And yes, God did put cows on the earth to be eaten as well as milked!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was not only inspiring and reassuring to read the first time for first time milkers, it has become a reference goldmine for all things milk cow. It was also an revealing look at the history, governmental diminishment, and eventual popular reemergence of the family milk cow.
Amply and simply illustrated no-nonsense text on everything from the raw vs. pasteurized debate to milking technique and milk product recipes. Lots of charts and graphs and anatomical renderings for thoroughly understanding the animal and the functions of milk production at home.
There isn't a question that's come up that I couldn't find the answer to in this book and we have a happy Family Cow because of it.
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After owning my first cow without knowing any of the basics, this book is invaluable to me. The information on how and what to feed my cow and calf helped me immensely. I wandered from feed store to feed store trying to obtain information on what to feed my dairy cow. The chapter on nutrition includes diagrams of the ruminant digestive system, which helped me understand why the right diet would protect my cow's health, and make her more productive over the years. There are great stories about how to choose your own family cow, and how to match the animal with your capabilities, farm and goals.

Consider this book a necessity for your farm library.
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This book is loaded with information! If you're even just thinking of keeping a cow then this is a book you'll want to have. I have to compare this book with Keeping The Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman and both books were very good. This one does have pictures and that's a plus but reading Joann S. Grohman's book was more interesting for me as she seemed to share her own personal experience with readers in a way that Dirk Van Loon did not. I gave them both five stars and recommend both books equally. Read them both!
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I have several books on raising and caring for cattle, but purposely didn't buy "The Family Cow" because it seemed cheesy. I was wrong. The other books in my collection are focused on larger scale beef or dairy operations, calving and veterinary care. I couldn't find information on how to feed and handle one or two cows that are kept for dairy and possibly beef. "The Family Cow" was the book I was looking for. The dynamics and considerations for a hobby farm-type situation are entirely different than for keeping a large herd. The book doesn't go into nitty-gritty detail, but provides a nice level of information for the close level of interaction you have when you are hand milking, mixing feed and monitoring the health of a couple of cows. I would recommend this book for anyone at the beginning to intermediate level of livestock keeping.
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Format: Paperback
I have a dream of someday owning my own cow, maybe a horse, and another pig or two. Being a city girl, I wouldn't have the foggiest notion what owmership of large domestic animals entails. This book lays it all out for you in very pragmatic terms. How much land you need, the total cost of caring for a cow as well as the potential revenue for the milk and cheese. And now, when my country friends are talking about their cow problems, maybe I can even offer a piece of profound advice! (doubtful on that), Buy it, enjoy it.
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