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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Family Cow (Garden Way Publishing Book)
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66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2000
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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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2002
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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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 1999
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book encourages those of us who want to return to our farming roots and obtain the freshest dairy products possible from our own cow(s). He takes the fear out of stepping into caring for a cow for us first-timers. I can't wait to apply what I'm learning!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Lots of good information and practical ideas. An easy read. I wish I had read this book before I purchased a young Jersey heifer calf. I would have looked for an older one. I will have to wait for a long time to get any milk from this one. However, I WILL have enough time to prepare for the arrival of the future calf and for the items I will need for milking.
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