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Author Topic: Next step cattle  (Read 756 times)

Gardners Cottage

  • Joined Aug 2019
Next step cattle
« on: May 05, 2022, 01:47:47 pm »
Hi all,

I have been running last couple years a 20acres mixed grazing and woodland.
Currently I have about 25 ewes and about 30 lambs

I have heard about the advantages of run mix with cattle and since at the moment my sheep can not keep up, I was getting some interest in acquiring a couple of cattles.

As I am not expert, I would like some advice:

What option would be best:

- Better to start from calves? and maybe rear summer, overwinter and sell as store cattle next year?
- Get heifers and mate them? My neighbour has a large farm
- Get in calf heifers and calve myself and sell the calves + mate them again?
- Start from large store & finish them off?

Although I am in low land, m land has not an exceptionally good grazing and I am planning to use cattles to improve it.

Any advice on breed for each group would be appreciated.
Any local contact in central belt of Scotland or willing to deliver considered.

Bests wishes,
Antonio

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2022, 04:37:24 pm »
No advice but when we were running commercial cattle the finisher was the one who had the most risk/least profit.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2022, 05:27:12 pm »
I'm finding there is a growing demand for pasture fed, high welfare traditional breeds for beef.

We breed Shetland cattle - we chose them because they are rare, Scottish, small and produce amazing beef. Until now, we have finished a couple of steers a year, but we're now moving to selling steer calves at weaning to local finishers and using the space we have for more females. I'm hoping we'll be able to buy Shetland beef from another breeder / finisher.  :fc: :fc: :fc:
If you want to ask any questions about Shetlands, feel free or DM me.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2022, 07:29:37 pm »
Buy a few weaned beef breed calves (9-10 months old), run them on for the summer, sell in autumn as stores before you have to winter them. Leave the sheep run on the ground over winter, then repeat next spring. Cattle make a right mess of ground over winter, so if you get them gone before winter, youíll avoid making your fields a mess and then need to repair them in the spring.

[/size][size=78%]Make sure you buy from BVD, johnes, IBR, TB free herds. Donít under estimate the value of buying from a high health herd. [/size]



If youíve no experience with cattle leave calving then for another day. Youíll need a basic crush and handling whatever you buy, for yours and the vets safety.


I disagree that finishers have the biggest risk and least profit. Calving cows is a risky game, and hard work. Suckler herds are diminishing for a reason. If you lose the calf, youíve got to keep a cow for another year before she produces anything. Finishers have a different set of price based risks though, along with bio security risks buying from multiple farms.

Gardners Cottage

  • Joined Aug 2019
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2022, 09:30:25 pm »
Thanks a lot guys.

Son of interest I have seen are:
luing
Shetland
Belted
Highland

Probably best step would be to start from luing Shetland for size reason?

Anyone knows any breeder around central belt of Scotland I.e wishaw, Livingston bathgate area?

I guess given the fact I have a pe6 even calves will need delivered

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2022, 10:04:06 pm »
Before you get any cattle - please check with your vet as to what equipment they require for any work they do on your site - many will now request you to have a cattle crush and you to be able to bring the animal into it....

Gardners Cottage

  • Joined Aug 2019
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2022, 11:09:24 pm »
Thanks fo the advice,
I already have a cattle crush as previous owner left it in here and land is sectioned in a lot of different pens and paddock for management.


Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2022, 10:30:30 am »
Highlands are iconic of course, but abattoirs don't like the horns and you will need specialist equipment - crush and ring feeders. Of coursem some breeders disbudd steers.
Shetlands have horns but they are small and we've never had any problem with the abattoir or crush but we do have tombstone ring feeders.
I've just sold two Shetland steers to a finisher in Lesmahagow. If you are interested in Shetlands, joing the Shetland Cattle Herd Book Society Facebook group and ask for local breeders on there,

Gardners Cottage

  • Joined Aug 2019
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2022, 02:51:47 pm »
Thanks Rosemary,

I will ask around in the area. I have tried to join the group through my page account.
I will keep in touch to get advices

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2022, 05:50:10 pm »
Luings are quite big compared to the other breeds mentioned and very commercial so fairly dear , Highlanders are cheap if you don't buy from breed sales but what do you do with them  ,to get a decent calf most non pedigree are crossed with a bigger less hairy breed plus the horns are very wide and while most cows are not aggressive  just moving the head makes you watch carefully . Belted or Dun  galloways are a handy size and can produce nice calves

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Next step cattle
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2022, 10:55:18 am »
Thanks Rosemary,

I will ask around in the area. I have tried to join the group through my page account.
I will keep in touch to get advices
Where are you located?

 

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