Author Topic: Which bovine breed is best for hot climates?  (Read 1205 times)

Offline onnalee13

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Which bovine breed is best for hot climates?
« on: May 28, 2012, 08:14:05 PM »
We are going to be moving to a subtropic environment and will be developing a self sustaining farm. I know, big. But it's what we're doing, don't judge.  ;)
So I'm wanting opinions from those here who have experience in warm weather and milk production of the breeds that do best... Thanks! Oh also, we are complete novices.


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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Which bovine breed is best for hot climates?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 08:54:42 AM »
You may want to check out the Keeping a Family Cow forum, as there are members there from Hawaii and India, obviously places with subtropic temperatures.  They may be able to give you some very good advice on good cow breeds.

Living in Wisconsin, I need a cow that can tolerate 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity as well as 20 below zero!

Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Which bovine breed is best for hot climates?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 07:59:57 PM »
All of the dairy breeds are grown in sub-tropical Australia.  Some of the Indian breeds are great for that type of climate but their milk production is much lower.  Cross breeds will be much stronger animals in terms of dealing with pests and diseases.  Rather than thinking about breeds I would think about colours and size- lighter coloured cows can handle hotter temperatures better, as do smaller animals.  The other important thing is shade and water.  Have plenty of those and they will be fine.  Its actually not so much temperature that is the issue as humidity.  If cattle have plenty of water they can tolerate temperatures way into the 40's for short periods.  But high temperature and high humidity together will bowl them over within a few hours, especially if there is no shade and they are forced to move more than they want to.

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Offline mychicknpi

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Re: Which bovine breed is best for hot climates?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 09:42:24 AM »
I don't know which subtropic area you are relocating to, but my son has been to Belize and other countries in the local vicinity on mission work and he says many of the cows there appear to be Jerseys. I know the dairy where my first cows came from have shipped cows to Puerto Rico and Guatemala and they were Jerseys. Jerseys are supposed to be pretty heat tolerant. It gets pretty hot here, sometimes over 100 with near 100% humidity, but generally 90's with high humidity for most of the summer. We notice that milk production slows down some because our herd spends a significant amount of time cooling off and not grazing, which is expected, wish I could give them A/C but that's not reasonable. :)
If it were me, I would try and identify what kind of cows are already being milked where you are going and see how they are faring. Ask how long they are milking, try some of the milk. Areas like I think you are moving can pose interesting opportunities to milking and cheese making. My son tells me the locals sell their milk right after filtering and what is not sold is made immediately into a cheese (not sure what kind or how) because electricity there is hit and miss lots of times  and so refrigeration is not reliable. Most of all, I wish you good luck, it takes a pioneering spirit to give up all you know to start over someplace very different. (I would consider settling in a little before getting a cow, they like routine and it can be hard to establish immediately after moving, just from personal experience.)

Frotte La Tomme

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Re: Which bovine breed is best for hot climates?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 04:33:08 PM »
Wet climates are a playground for footrot and parasites.  Aim for a rustic breed, and try to find local animals on site.  Are you sure cows are the most reasonable endeavor?  Every good farmer looks at what the neighbor is doing...


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Offline onnalee13

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Re: Which bovine breed is best for hot climates?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 11:47:08 PM »
Thanks so much for all the input! All were wonderful answers on things to consider! I'm even more excited now than ever! Lots of research to do!!