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Author Topic: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows  (Read 3806 times)

smallacre

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Dorchester
Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« on: September 07, 2012, 01:41:06 pm »
 
After much searching and visiting a breeder we have finally decided to get a couple of Shetland cows. We were going to get a couple of weaned girls but have the chance of a 1 year old and a 2year old in calf.
My question is the 2 year old will calf in approx 7 months would 7 months be enough time to get close enough to halter train ready for hand milking.
Or go for some thing younger.
 
Its been a while since on the forum when I get time I will update you as to what we’ve been up to.
 
Voss Electric Fence

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 02:35:35 pm »
Are they horned?

A 2 year old has quite big horns; if she's tame but not haltertrained, you might get a few thumps with the horns.  I think it depends on the 2 year old's nature, how much she's been handled and how.

We bought two weaned calves and spent the first winter handling them and getting them on the halter. We kept them in the first winter. We can go up and halter them in the field and they are pretty reliable. They are now 2 and a half - I don't think I'd want to halter train them now. But that's just my limited, personal experience (or inexperience) talking.

domsmith

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • sanquhar, dumfries and galloway
    • sunnyside farm
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 08:44:36 pm »
It will all depend on the heifer. no doubt you can get the heifer so she can be handled, but if she is not that way inclined you might not get her as good as you would like.

but with enough time and care there are very few cows that are just out and out bad.

the breeder should be able to tell you. who has the patience to wait that extra time.

I bought a fresian heifer a month off calving completely blind at a livestock auction with no contact with the vendor, and we milked her by hand and by machine and everyone of my farming neighbours said i wouldnt. but we just hit it off with a great bond and she was the best cow. almost as good as my current jersey! who is amazing.

dominic


smallacre

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Dorchester
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 09:13:04 pm »
 Hi Rosemary yes they are horned they are meant to be friendly and the seller can stoke them when putting them in the stalls. They walk through the crush and race daily.
 
Domsmith we’ve got lots of patience we are going up to see them next week and spend a bit of time with them before we part cash so that should help there is no rush
 
Gut instinct tells me go for it.
 
Re milking I have milked in a herringbone parlor before but never in the stall if she is not human handled or halter trained how do you go about it do you milk them in the crush with a handful of nuts
Thanks for the replies
 

domsmith

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • sanquhar, dumfries and galloway
    • sunnyside farm
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 09:22:27 pm »
If shes not human handled milking will be hard work!

but i am sure she will be by the time she calves. my jersey you can hand milk in the field. i had a dexter you could machine milk untethered in a loose box.

my fresian, we made a pen for her that she walked into. it was the same width as her and i pulled a chain across behind her. then on withh machine as she ate her nuts.

the crush is usually a bit over kill, but youl have to see how you feel about the heifer.
but go for it!

d

smallacre

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Dorchester
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 12:04:40 am »
 Thanks d we are glad you said that we’ve bit the bullet and have confirmed the sale and are collecting these two next weekend.
Will put up some photos (still trying to learn how to post pics) when we get them back.
 Kera

smallacre

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Dorchester
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 12:23:50 am »
finger crossed here is a photo not very good but will hopefully add more when there home here

smallacre

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Dorchester
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 12:25:16 am »
Im really chuffed now I can upload some pics from down here in Dorset when i get more time

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 04:50:00 am »
Oh, they look just lovely  :love: :cow:  Congratulations!

I got Hillie (my Jersey) home as 2-year old in-calf heifer, turned out to be three months before she calved.  She was quiet already; you could touch her while she was eating cake out in the field.  The owners had her running about in the cattle shed getting used to more human contact for a week before we picked her up.  Once home, she was coming up for strokes within a week.  Mind, she didn't bring a friend with her, whereas your two may be a bit more self-sufficient as they're already pals and coming together.

Hillie has always been tied by the neck for milking.  I did a lot of handling, and messing on with the udder, from the beginning, then as she approached calving got her used to coming into the stall, eating cake, being tied up, having her udder washed and handled.  I never restrained her other than by the neck chain in the stall for milking, and she soon got used to what she had to do. 

I have tried her with a halter a few times but she really doesn't like it.  She's fine with a neck chain or rope, so I just use that.  I halter-trained her daughter as a young calf, and she's fine with it.  If I really needed Hillie on a halter I would get one made up to fit her perfectly, and persevere, but she's so easy to manage I haven't felt the need.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 10:57:03 am »
a lot of factors with hand milking and handling    when we had a jersey herd  some took to milking no problem  (tied in stalls by the neck and machine milked)   others did not like it  and had to be restrained with a rope round there belly or a milking aid which was an adjustable metal device that fitted over there back and hooked just in  front of there back leg    if the vessel was swollen with milk this made it harder to get them used to milking as it was tender      we did have a suckler cow that anybody  could go up to in the field and milk her   but she was an exception
jerseys are the most stubborn cows to train to the halter    you can get head harnesses  and the most of the old photos of jerseys  show this  :farmer:

downsized

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 10:51:12 am »
Snap, we collect ours (a cow and a heifer stirk) in November, I'll start halter training both starting about a fortnight after they arrive once they've settled in. Used to halter train 15-20 Galloway bulling heifers every year straight off the hills  :tired:. Happy to help/make suggestions

smallacre

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • Dorchester
Re: Finally getting a couple of Shetland cows
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 08:56:21 pm »
Hi just to update one thing and another the sale didnt go through with the two Shetland cows so still on the look out for a couple.

 

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