Cow Boarding Questions
This will answer many of the questions that people have about cow boarding. If you shill have
questions after reading this please feel free to contact us.
Why Cow sharing/Cow boarding?
In Tennessee, it is illegal to buy and sell raw milk (as in unpasteurized, fresh-from-the-cow milk). To see original TN State Code Law, click here. But it is not illegal to drink fresh milk from the cow that you own! So, you own your own cow and board it at a local farm. To see the amended state law, click here. You can visit your cow at any time. The farmer performs the services of feeding, caring for, and milking your cow. And you benefit by being able to utilize the milk.
What is a Cowshare?
A share in your own cow! A young cow can produce between 20 and 25 gallons of milk per week. We divide a young cow into 20 shares. A cow milk share is equal to one gallon of milk or 1/2 gallon of buttermilk or 1/2 gallon or yogurt or 1/2 pound of cheese or 1/2 pound of butter a week.
What Kind of a cow will I be buying?
The cow in which you’re buying a share is a Brown Swiss. The have rich creamy milk and are just beautiful cows.
Are these cows given hormones?
No way! Never! And antibiotics are only used in life-threatening emergencies and never given as a preventive measure for illness.
Will my cow be pastured?
Yes! These Tennessee Brown Swiss are pastured 365 days a year. In the winter the herd will receive grass hay and alfalfa. They also have free access to sea salt and organic minerals at all times.
Where will my cow be kept?
Your cow will be boarded at McBee Dairy Farm, where it was born and raised, in Mascot TN. Shareholders pay a monthly boarding fee to the farmer, us. We milk your cows for you, store the milk, feed and care for your cows. You will be asked to read and sign a boarding agreement with McBee Dairy Farm when you purchase your cowshare(s).
How long is my share good for?
Your share is good for the life of the herd. The shareholders have agreed that the farm retains the calves as beef (sold to you at the cost of raising it) or as replacement heifers. Of course, since your own the share you may sell it at any time, (we will buy it back).
What are the costs?
To purchase a share in a cow (one share is equivalent to one gallon of milk, two sticks of butter, one pint of cream or one quart of yogurt a week) you pay $20. This is a one-time cost. In addition to the initial charge you need to purchase ½ gallon mason jars to store your milk in. You will need enough jars to trade when you pick milk up. After the above one-time costs, there is a boarding fee that goes to the Dairy Farm of $30 per share per month: that continues for as long as you own your share. You can think of it this way if you like, although you are not purchasing the milk: after you purchase your share(s) in the cow, the price of milk is $6.92 a gallon. Compare this to the price of Horizon organic milk at $7 a gallon and Horizon milk is ultra pasteurized!
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
You must promise never to buy or sell raw milk. Read and sign the
boarding agreement with McBee Dairy Farm, and then write us a
check. As soon as we receive your signed agreement and your
check, you own the cow and you may begin picking up your delicious,
nutritious, fresh milk!
For more information you can contact Marcie McBee at