Author Topic: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?  (Read 2067 times)

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« on: July 17, 2012, 07:41:08 pm »
We are considering English Longhorn Cattle if we can secure a piece of land neighbouring ours but I'd like some 'informal' information besides the google facts - do you have any experience of them or know others who do?  Thanks in advance.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Far North West of England
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 11:05:51 pm »
No personal experience, no. 

But Oh!  Aren't they BEAUTIFUL! 

We have a lady sells Longhorn meat and greeting cards at our farmers' market - she says they're lovely, very tame.  But then she would, wouldn't she.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 11:19:32 pm »
Yup :)


What would you like to know? They (plus dexters) were the first breed I worked with so I can't really compare them to a continental.


Most are calm, placid. Some want to run over you - whether that's handling or breeding/temperament I don't know. Horns can grow all over the place!


They need more head space - you fit fewer in a trailer, and we had a specially adapted crush that they could walk down. Some needed more time to learn how to turn their heads to get the horns to go through sideways  ::)  Also means you can't use the slanted feed barriers - have to have the "tombstone" ones which they can clamber over if so inclined!


The horns aren't used for "stabbing" - more a side swipe if you're in the way. Something to be aware of, but I don't remember ever being more worried about them. Some say that they are less aggressive than polled animals because they know they can defend themselves..?


Horns pointing upwards are tricker in crushes, races, trailers. Horns curving down/in you have to watch more for growing into the face. Or, in one case, catching on the rim of a bucket - cue bizarre chase around yard to catch the cow with a bucket over her face  :innocent:


Good mothers, easy births. Good luck catching your calf to tag it! Bulls are handsome. Don't recall any foot problems bar a few old ladies (we had some 13, 14, 15 years old)


Ear tag reading was the bane of my life - if you saw around the horn you'd be trying to see through a hairy ear!  >:( ;D  Re-tagging or otherwise faffing about near the head - you need to know exactly where the horns are as they do the normal head-tossing thing.


They taste good, and would also make a cracking rug  ;)


Whereabouts are you based Goosepimple?

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 10:52:45 am »
Thanks both. 
We're about 30mins south of Edinburgh nearest place is called Lauder a small town of about 1,000 people, its quite nice.  We only have 5 acres at the moment which a around an acre is taken up by a large mill pond and a wild river running separately to that but the rest is very lush.  We would need more land for a cow and would like some more anyway.  Farmers don't want to sell of course, I think with the farm subsidy thing it makes it too much hassle but we will try.  The land immediately around us is used for cows at the moment.
We've fancied Longhorns for a few years now but needed the confidence of handling bigger animals.  We don't have a cattle crush and wondered if we would need one at all (smallholders of the past didn't have a crush did they?).  How much overwintering would they need indoors, are they hardy (don't suppose as hardy as Shetland cows).
How are they for milking/handling? a good smallholders cow?
How are they for protecting their calves - would they be aggressive?
Would they be ok with our sheep (all rare breeds) or need a field to themselves?
Would it be ok just to have 2, say a cow and calf initially?
 
Don't even know all the questions I would need to ask yet so it will take quite a bit of research before we go any further.  I would get a book on cattle and we do personally know herdsmen around us who would help us out and give us the benefit of their experience.


They were of course on the rbst register but are off at the moment.  We are interested in bringing these rare breeds north of the border - it can be quite difficult to get rare stock up here and the distances involved in getting animals is greater as the population is less here with less motorways etc.
It's a long shot at the moment but all these dreams start somewhere...
Thanks, any further info much appreciated.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Far North West of England
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 11:01:23 am »
I'm not sure what the rules are now that Scotland is TB-free about bringing cattle up from England - I think they'll certainly need to be lifetime TB4, which could reduce your choice even further...

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 11:04:03 am »
Ooh, now that's the sort of info I don't know to ask, will look into that, thanks Sally.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 11:13:54 am »
Hmm. You would need some sort of handling system for giving injections, blood tests, health treatments. We did on occasion improvise with a gate "pinning" the animal in a triangle against a wall, but there were 2-3 of us there of which two were big guys. I would only do that on a fairly calm animal for a short procedure though.


Yes they can be very protective of calves, we generally tagged calves with two people, one to tag and one to guard/watch the mum. Most times she just waved her head around at a distance, some would want to come in close - eek!


Never tried milking, but they shared pasture with primitive sheep no problems.


I would go and see some up close if you can, make sure you're not intimidated by them. I mean that nicely! They are very impressive beasts!

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 11:18:28 am »
PS - our adults wintered outdoors on only hay/silage. Some even calved in the snow!
The youngsters (weaning-1 year) came indoors into big open barns, had hay/silage and a couple of buckets of hard feed between 15-20, just to bulk them up a bit.


Cold wasn't a problem, but cold and wet makes them miserable.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 01:02:31 pm »
Ooh, now that's the sort of info I don't know to ask, will look into that, thanks Sally.

 
Heres the info
(part of this page. on which there is all the TB info you will need)
http://animalhealth.defra.gov.uk/managing-disease/notifiable-disease/bovine-tb/controling-disease/scotland.html
Scotland’s officially TB free status     
Scotland has had a low and relatively stable incidence of TB in cattle, and in September 2009 it was granted Officially TB-Free (OTF) status by the EU. In order to protect this status, livestock imported to Scotland from other parts of the UK must comply with enhanced TB control measures.     
Existing pre and post movement controls remain in place (see table above) and livestock owners must continue to meet the testing requirements in place in the country where their herd is based, however, livestock owners will also need to comply with a number of additional measures:     
  • A clear TB test will be required for cattle moving to Scotland from all low incidence areas of England (3 and 4 yearly tested parishes);       
  •    The test must have been done (injection of tuberculin) no more than 60 days before movement and no less than 60 days after any previous test.
Exemptions will apply to cattle which:
  •    can be shown to have spent their entire lives in low incidence areas
  •    are being sent directly to slaughter       
  •    are less than 42 days old.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 02:28:56 pm »
Thanks Yorkshire and Lachlan - I foresee a wall being built on this one, cold and wet - yup, no cattle crush, we may not get the land which is the critical factor of course.  The place we are getting our Bagots from this year have longhorns so I will gather all my questions before we get them later this year and investigate first hand.
Anyone with further comments most gratefully received!  Many thanks.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 03:57:12 pm »
Also have a look at the website  http://www.longhorncattlesociety.com/index.php Debbie, the secretary, is absolutely lovely  :)

Shropshirelass

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • South Shropshire
  • A country lass who loves it all!
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 09:04:41 am »
My uncles just bought 2 heifers that were in calf with lim x longhorn calves & had 2 heifer calves, they are a really nice docile pair that can be hand fed at the gate - (Granted with stretched out hands to avoid the horns  :D) - But I also worked with them at Acton scot Historic working farm where their run with dairy shorthorn cattle - this is open to the public - who can also go in the fields with them I think - calves or no calves, again their very quiet there - Although I hear they tend to be clumsy sometimes because of the horns. We also had them TB tested along with our other cattle & because its a normal crush - which I'd always advise on getting - ideally one with a side door that opens in case of c-sections. (Sorry I waffle)  :D the longhorns were simply tied up to railings & the vets were surprised how quiet they were x

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 07:57:20 pm »
Thanks Shrop, we'll be going to Bill Quay farm park near Gateshead this hols where they have them so I'll get the low down there too.  They are lovely beasties.  :eyelashes:
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 10:20:52 pm »
They are lovely. I miss them. We had a lovely bull, you could stroll over to him in the field and scratch his back, he bent a pen gate by leaning into someone brushing him  ;D ::)


Random piccie:




goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Anyone have experience of English Longhorns?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 08:11:21 am »
You sound smitten YorkshireLass why don't you get a wee herd yourself  :innocent: .  Think I have a passion for primitive beasties, we used to have Tamworth piggies too, I like that primitive non commercial look.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

 

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