The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Cattle => Topic started by: macgro7 on May 14, 2019, 09:45:03 am

Title: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: macgro7 on May 14, 2019, 09:45:03 am
Hello everyone!

I am still looking at various properties available for sale and there is a beautiful house not far from us with (only) 5 acres attached to it.
The land is almost one almost square paddock which is nearly flat (one metre variations from end to the other). Something like 40m above sea level.
Leicestershire has fairly mild climate with average of 660mm  of rain a year - I.e. relatively dry but clay soil.
I.e. it is quite good quality land.

My question is:
Is it good idea to put cattle on such small pocket of land - I'm only thinking of 2-3 cows plus perhaps 5 ewes with lambs. They would be regularly rotated between smaller paddocks to avoid poaching etc.
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: Rosemary on May 14, 2019, 11:23:31 am
My view would be no. Two / three cows, if you're breeding, rapidly becomes eight or nine, if you aren't putting steers away until 24+ months.
You'd also need to house them in winter.
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: macgro7 on May 14, 2019, 12:00:38 pm
That property already does have nice cattle sheds actually. I wouldn't be interested in keeping steers for long - only over the summer - keeping then for veal.
But I keep looking for a slightly larger piece of land. 15-30 acres would be ideal.
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: twizzel on May 14, 2019, 12:13:42 pm
What TB risk area is the land in? You may not plan to keep the steers for long but if they go down with TB youll have no choice.


5 acres Id only keep a few ewes on really...
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: macgro7 on May 14, 2019, 01:00:36 pm
I just checked we are in annual testing area
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: Buttermilk on May 14, 2019, 01:46:50 pm
I would forget cattle and just keep sheep with that acreage.
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: macgro7 on May 15, 2019, 10:57:39 am
How many breeding cows realistically would you recommend on 21 acres - that's how big another property nearby is. That would be much better!
About 3-4? Plus calves?
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: Rosemary on May 15, 2019, 11:58:38 am
How many breeding cows realistically would you recommend on 21 acres - that's how big another property nearby is. That would be much better!
About 3-4? Plus calves?
We have about 18 acres of grass; we have three breeding cows and a bull; currently two with calves at foot and one due end of July. We have four steers at another smallholding - 2 2018 and 2 2017.

The older pair will be away October and will be replaced by two 2019 steers at weaning, either homebred (we have one steer calf at the moment) or bought in from another pedigree breeder (we always have two to a) meet out customer demand and b) so that two go to the abattoir together).
Any heifer calves are halter trained and sold over the winter.
We house on 1st November and turn out 1st May, more or less. We buy in hay.

Our soil is sandy but with a very highwtartable so is liable to flooding if there's a lot of heavy rain in a short period.
We also run about 10-12 breeding ewes; lambs away mid October. And three ponies  ::)
In a good year, with good grass growth, we're fine. Last year,we were pushed, fed hay in summer and there was a bit of overgrazing.
Hope this example helps.
Title: Re: Cattle on 5 acres
Post by: macgro7 on May 15, 2019, 12:37:45 pm
Brilliant! Thanks very much!
I thought similar setup would make sense.