NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Wanting to learn a lot about cows  (Read 2687 times)


  • Joined Jan 2009
Wanting to learn a lot about cows
« on: January 29, 2009, 09:06:31 am »
Hi again - Im very new to the forums a quite pleased ive reached 20 posts  in the past few days  ;D

I hope in the coming months that i will buy some land and a big shed  ( the all important big shed for so many reasons ) and what i intend doing is looking for anything between 4 and 15 acres - depending what is available at the time on the budget i may have once i have sold my small business premises that i work from. Its a big lifestyle change and having a smallholding is the biiggest  change i will have ever had in my  life.

Ive learnt so much from my ex partner. Shes everything farming and in the past 6 months has aquired 4 acres and is keeping  6 calves right now and a year old black and white and a swiss brown. Ive learnt so much from her but nowhere near enough -In fact im like at infant at  school at present.

She is deciding maybe  to get to shetland next and  maybe a dexter .  I listen a lot to what she says and she knows what shes doing. Theres lots of benefits to owning these breeds she tells me and i would love to share that conversation in asking  your thoughts  about this too. Jerseys seem a good breed too for me ??

I want to so much learn learn a great deal about cows other than what i have done so far which is to feed the calves twice a day - do there pellets - do the big boys hay and water and making sure theres enough pellets and stuff.

Im looking at some courses to maybe  to go that includes butchery . Is there any  wonderful people on here that keep cows that sometime when i had a bit of free time would allow me to get my hands dirty wellies muddy and come and  help them out for a few days at a time   to be able to do whatever was needed to learn hands on and  have good conversations about the current situation - the future - my best plans to make a go of this - i dont want many cows but i want a few to be able to know that my food will be coming from my home grown world. Thanks

hope somebody will take me under there wings - means a great  amount to me to share and learn . ian
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Wanting to learn a lot about cows
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 10:54:43 am »
Hi Ian,

I was a manager of dairy farms for 25 years and started as a townie. Your best bet would be to go along to a local farmer and ask if you can help out at weekends or holidays. Farmers once you get to know them are very nice people and I often had people drop in to the milking parlour to show their friends the cows and calves.
In the summer go to local shows and ask the stockmen about their animals. Wait until after judging when things will be quieter. Try young farmers and visit markets.
The farming community is very small and close knit so you need to get a toe in the door. Once you are a known face you will find that you will get the nod in the market etc.
Dont be afraid to ask questions as most farmers and stockmen love talking about their animals (incessantly)

Good luck



  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Wanting to learn a lot about cows
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 01:16:26 pm »
Thanks roger . I will take that advice . My ex has a vast knowledge and she stilll ives with me and i can learn alot from her 8 and we talk cows so much . I do want to have a go independantly and once she  finally moves on  i wont be able to  rely on her knowledge .

I am very grateful and i hope you get as much pleasureout of the forum here  as i do - Everyone is so friendly = ian
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 03:18:24 pm by lordlonk »


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • I really love my life, especially when its sunny
Re: Wanting to learn a lot about cows
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 08:31:49 am »
I would offer my services free to get my toe in the door, or book into a course at an agri college. Have kept cattle myself and you really do need experience just because of their size/strength/personalities. Not putting you off, they are fantastic animals, but a lot of body. You might be lucky to have a dairy farmer who would let you hang about at milking times for a while. You do benefit from getting young stock or well handled and a few basics, like a crush are essential. Good luck.
Enjoying life making the most of whats available. My kids were little yesterday, today they are almost adults, where on earth did that change happen?


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Wanting to learn a lot about cows
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 03:21:14 pm »
Thanks buddy- very kind words - im learning a lot on a day to day basis just by being there with her - From saturday till wednesday i have 5 males to look after-  3 tofeed and water are 4 months and 2 are a year old and 400 kilos- I love being with them and its straight forward in what i have to do. I am going to do a few courses and also get to know the breeds. thanks a alot again


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