We've been thinking about raising a few cows and after reading The Backyard Cow: An Introductory Guide to Keeping a Productive Family Cow, I feel fully prepared to do so. In a nutshell, I think that sums up the quality of this comprehensive guide.
Author Sue Weaver walks the user through selecting the best breed, developing "cow sense," caring for your cow, and a wealth of other related topics such as milking, making cheese, building a shelter, pest control, and health care. It's tough to have questions after reading this guide because it simply covers everything you want to know before raising a cow.
I enjoyed the bits of history and trivia weaved throughout the guide and was surprised to learn that cows can live a content life in a backyard setting (provided they are well cared for) and that steers can be trained as riding animals.
The illustrations throughout the The Backyard Cow are handy for understanding key concepts and instructions, and the gorgeous vintage photography section is delightful (and useful in distinguishing the different breeds.)
Also included in the guide are references for further reading and recipes for butter, yogurt, and basic cheeses. If you have recently acquired a cow or are considering ownership, The Backyard Cow will become your go-to guide, covering everything you need to know and thensome. Overall, double thumbs up for this well-written, easy-to-understand, handy guide!