August 14, 2010 at 11:46 pm #252921
I need advise on cow selection. Having moved from 6 acres of manicured land (yes we mowed it regularly) to 20 acres it is clear we need some livestock to help manage our land.(Certainly not mowing 20 acres :tongue: ) Having recently purchased a few alpacas we needed to look into expansion of our ‘backyard livestock’. Complete novices to this small farm stuff:) we have been looking at breeds of cows. We are looking to buy Miniture Herefords because 1- they are smaller and easier to handle 2- they seem to have less vices than some others and 3- our new neighbour has about 15 of them and has offered to mentor me in living and looking after cows. We are not looking to buy from our neigbour, we are looking to purchase from elsewhere but it seems that this is probably a safe way to enter the Cute Cow Community.
Downside…. Expensive Cows!! :jawdrop:
Any thoughts or suggestions? :confused:August 15, 2010 at 2:28 am #473663HummerKeymaster
You mowed 6 acres.. wow!
Bullseye has nice cows, although they are not minatures.. they have a lovely nature, Senapol’s I think they are 😀August 15, 2010 at 2:33 am #473664AndreKeymaster
Hi again Jilsta
So then, other than grass consumption (and the cute factor), is there anything else you are looking for in a cow? For instance: dairy produce, meat, breeding?
When I finally get to Clunes (sounds like an echo), we intend to get Belted Galloways. They are good milkers (not up there with the Jersey though), apparently good beef (but being a vegetarian that isn’t an option) and are a heritage breed – so any future off spring could be sold at a premium.
Our aim -when it comes to any of our animals- is to get rare/heritage breeds – partly for for potential pocket money in the future and also simply to keep those breeds alive.
(I believe you can get miniatures too)
Good luck though :tup:August 15, 2010 at 2:54 am #473665chriskMember
We have Lowlines. They are an Australian small breed, originally bred from the Angus.
They are naturally polled so no problems with horns. Very quiet to handle, easy to birth their calves and they have a great feed to meat ratio. They taste great!
When killed it easier to store a lowline than a normal sized beast for most families.
We have a jersey for milk.
I believe the Dexters were bred for both milk and meat production so if that is your aim you could research them.
Best of luck with your decision.August 15, 2010 at 4:18 am #473666
I am buying the cows as pet not for consumption. I did a bit of reading on the breed and read that they were closer to the miniture size many many years ago but developed to a big cow in more recent times The original breeder of minitures bred to return the herefords to their heritage size. I am also considering belted galloways and am told they are available as miniture as well. Unfortunately i dont have the courage to have livestock for consumption and will only ever have them as pets and for grass consumption. Not sure about the breeding side as it will depend on whether I become proficient at looking after them .. as I said I am a novice.:shy:August 15, 2010 at 4:21 am #473667
Andre thanks for the belted galloway site. If all goes well with the herefords will be definately looking to get some miniture belted.August 15, 2010 at 6:07 am #473668roundthebendMember
Dont assume becouse they are minitures that they are easier to handle, any cow will be quiet if handled on a regular basis from a young age. Can I suggest getting some young weaners from someone who handles there cattle on a regular basis, spend time with them, hand feed and handle them as much as you can and learn about them before they grow to full size. Then your choice is only limited to what takes your fancy:)August 15, 2010 at 6:57 am #473669
DH is of the opinion that Dexters are nasty little SH%&s! Bad tempered.
Look in small saleyards for belted galloways. Ask an agent to keep an eye out for some for you.
We had a nice pair of yearling belted galloway hiefers go for under $200 each at our local saleyard last year. The ‘serious’ cattle buyers won’t even look at them.
I almost yelled at the DH for not buying them! They would have been lovely for the freezer in a year or so!
Highlanders are good small scale cattle too… Hardy and will eat anything. You usually need to de-horn if you want to handle them though. Good meat, but cannot comment on their milking qualities.August 15, 2010 at 7:11 am #473670
Dont assume becouse they are minitures that they are easier to handle, any cow will be quiet if handled on a regular basis from a young age. Can I suggest getting some young weaners from someone who handles there cattle on a regular basis, spend time with them, hand feed and handle them as much as you can and learn about them before they grow to full size. Then your choice is only limited to what takes your fancy:)
That’s a very good point.
Also maybe take an ad in the local paper asking if anyone has some poddies they don’t want.
I have a couple that are no good to us as breeders, but rather than send them to the abbatoir I’d love to think I could send them to a loving home where they would get all the attention they love!August 15, 2010 at 10:24 am #473671
Lots of food for thought, thanks everyone. I am still favouring minitures only because i will feel a little more confident around smaller animals. I will being doing most of the work on my own with help from my neighbour and just want to ease gently into the cow community.
Nex i would have assumed that you would have no trouble placing your poddies… but then as I said I am a novice:shrug:August 16, 2010 at 5:05 am #473672
I’ve tried to find them new homes several times…the serious cattle people don’t want them for the same reason we aren’t keeping them….they’re not good breeding stock, and a bit of a pain when it comes to working the mob, as they don’t think they have to do what we want them to.
The ‘blockies’ or casual farmers usually want fancy breeds or shearless sheep.
Poor Poddies:( Ready for pats and love and no-one to give it.August 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm #473673
Nex I hand fed a poddy calf tonight for the first time…, was fun but the owner told me it was another 4 months of hand feeding so i can see how there is a lot of work in hand raising the little fellows.August 18, 2010 at 1:46 am #473674brymarkMember
‘Also maybe take an ad in the local paper asking if anyone has some poddies they don’t want’
People at the minute will not be giving poddies away. Cattle are worth a fortune at the minute.
If you want pets go for quiet handled cattle. Then you may be able to get away with the bare minimum as far as infastructure goes
But as said above, dont assume just because they are small that they will be quite.August 18, 2010 at 3:45 am #473675BelMember
My rellies had thousands of acres of farming land in Queensland and had tons of cattle. They hand-reared and bottle fed quite a few. I remember these massive cows coming up to suck on your fingers and being amazed at how such enormous cows could be so gentle. So, knowing nothing about cows myself, I can say that upbringing as opposed to size seems to be very important….August 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm #473676
I will be picking up the cows on Friday and if it doesnt work out I should be able to sell them on as I will have papers as they are pure breds and I can always sell them onto my neighbour who breeds them. I have been told they have been handled a lot and easy to work with. :shrug: This will be a learning curve and will certainly give me an idea of what i can cope with. Won’t be getting any more cows till i know I can handle them :p guess i won’t know till I try :uhoh:
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