NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: starting out  (Read 598 times)


  • Joined May 2016
starting out
« on: September 29, 2018, 06:57:15 pm »

Im thinking of getting a couple of cattle for my small holding but don't have any real experience of cattle yet. I've got sheep, poultry and fowl currently.

Can anyone recommend any good books / sites / courses etc for cattle?

Voss Electric Fence


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: starting out
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2018, 09:15:13 pm »
Where are you and how big is your smallholding?

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
Nantygroes  facebook page


  • Joined May 2016
Re: starting out
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 09:03:52 am »
Morning Linda

We’ve got a 15 acre small holiding in Staffordshire


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: starting out
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 09:40:44 am »
Hi Dave. I'd recommend "Caring for cows" and "Cows for the smallholder" both by Valerie Porter.
Have you thought about what you want from them? Beef, milk, both?
We keep Shetland cattle; started with two heifers in 2010. Just had our 20th calf this year. WE milk the cows once a day for the house and run steers on for beef.
If you look in the Diary above, you'll see stuff about our cattle.


  • Joined May 2016
Re: starting out
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2018, 12:38:22 pm »
Thanks I’ll get a copy of those books.

Will mainly be for beef. I don’t really have time to milk them at present with everything else on the holding and a day job too.

I would probably want a couple and and a male for breeding to be brought in.


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: starting out
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 09:32:57 am »
Note you are in staffordshire- high risk tb area so presume testing annually? If so, bringing a bull in on hire could be difficult. You might be better finding someone to AI them. Keep in mind you'll also need adequate handling facilities for tb testing every year. It might be worth you going to see a smallholder with a similar setup to what you're planning, cattle are a different kettle of fish to sheep in terms of handling and care and take a lot longer to become beef so whilst you may have 2 cows in the first year, by year 2 you should have 2 cows and 2 calves, then year 3 2 cows, 2 bullocks and 2 more calves and it wouldn't be until end of year 3/year 4 that you start to send some off for killing.


Starting with cattle

Started by Muc

Replies: 24
Views: 6976
Last post February 21, 2010, 11:09:22 am
by marigold
Starting to panic!

Started by Susannah

Replies: 9
Views: 2193
Last post June 08, 2013, 10:10:08 pm
by Susannah
Starting with cattle

Started by Daleswoman

Replies: 8
Views: 2361
Last post October 16, 2015, 09:49:01 pm
by cloddopper
interested in starting with cows

Started by wonderwooly

Replies: 9
Views: 2787
Last post June 14, 2013, 09:08:06 am
by Rosemary
Thinking about starting with cattle.

Started by ThomasR

Replies: 17
Views: 3304
Last post September 30, 2015, 01:55:57 pm
by farmers wife

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS