September 2012RSS feed

SCBA trip to Shetland

Thursday 6 September, 2012

by Rosemary at 4:58pm in Cattle Comments closed

Last month I was fortunate to make a trip to Shetland with the Shetland Cattle Breeders’ Association. Over the three days, we attended Cunningsburgh Show, the biggest on the Islands, and visited a number of Shetland Cattle breeders there.

It was interesting to see the cattle in their native environment and to hear these breeders describe what they, as commercial crofters, are looking for. Some of it was practical – one breeder multisuckles, so a high milk yield is important. Another runs his as hill sucklers, so he only wants enough milk for one healthy calf. Too much may result in problems with mastitis. But some choices were personal – one looked for black feet, another for solid colours. ☺

Cattle Plan A

Thursday 6 September, 2012

by Rosemary at 5:21pm in Cattle Comments closed

When we started keeping Shetland cattle, the plan was to castrate any bull calves and run them on for beef. Our heifers carry Boris / Rasmie genetics at a level judged by SCBA to be too high to be the best. Funnily enough, on the Shetland trip, I never heard a breeder talk about Boris / Rasmie – their interest was in phenotype rather than genotype. But that’s another story.

Anyway, the bulls we used – Stanemore Odin and Collafirth Viking – are B/R free and when George was born, another breeder approached me and suggested that she take George for breeding. For various reasons, that hasn’t happened so we’ve reverted to Plan A.

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