Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: interested in starting with cows  (Read 3102 times)

wonderwooly

  • Joined May 2013
interested in starting with cows
« on: June 10, 2013, 09:07:13 pm »
Hello there cow folk

I am considering getting a couple of cows, they are avable locally
and I would be most interested in a small breed, I am thinking a pie Breton,
basically I want to rotate them with a small flock of sheep, and gain a bit of
meat and possibly milk, maybe selling on as there quite prised etc, also for rotatonal balance. I am thinking two heifers.
I don't want to jump in too quickly so am doing a bit of research first, I will discus it with a local (franch) farmer how I am most likley to buy off and am looking for the basics I need to think about and discuss with him. He is organic and has a herd of 30/40ish, I'm a bit more versed in sheep the cows? any help and pointers would be really appreciated.
   

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 09:11:47 pm »
 :wave: if your completely new to cows then you'd be better not starting with heifers but a cow that's calved once or twice before. One of you is better being experienced   ;)
Good luck  :thumbsup:

wonderwooly

  • Joined May 2013
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 09:40:13 pm »
yes that is a good point, actualy when i think about it how many years of
calfs could one expect? the pie breton is wee but hardy and adapted the most to here.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 10:42:16 pm »
We bought two weaned heifer calves and it's worked well for us. We've been able to work with them from an age when they were small enough not to be scary  ;D When they calved for the first time last year, they were happy for us to handle the calves, are halter trained and pretty (very) docile.

They are both due to have their second calves this week. Neither had any problem last year - I think these wee native breeds are generally easy calving, especially if in calf to a bull of their own breed, so that the calf is the "right size" for the cow.

We have Shetlands, btw.

Miss Piggy

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 11:05:33 pm »
Stunning picture, beautiful mum and handsome young man.

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
    • The Accidental Smallholder
    • Facebook
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 07:39:25 am »
There's some starter information on keeping cattle on the main site:

http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/livestock/cattle/

HTH.  :)

wonderwooly

  • Joined May 2013
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 08:42:54 pm »
Hi and thanks for the posts

I just had a look at the Shetland and it seems very similar to the pie Breton
I wonder what the history is there, may be a bit of Celtic drift?
what are the main features of the breed that interests you?
I know with the shet-sheep there is a general ability to deal with weather
and soggy ground ie feet. The pie does has a general reputation of making very
good butter, for example

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 08:06:36 am »
The Shetland cow has its history back to the Norse cattle brought to Shetland by the Viking settlers.

The BF of Shetland milk is about 5% - I've seen a demo of making products from the milk and the cheese, butter and so on was lovely. There is however a product made traditionally on Shetland called blaand - it's like the washings after everything else is made - it it truly horrible. Apparently, the fishermen used to take it on the boats - as an alternative to sea water it might be preferable, but that would be the only circumstances  ;D

The Shetland is small, cows about 450kg, milky and hardy with a large pelvis that facilitates easy calving - so cheap to run mother that can calve and feed a large X calf. In fact these things make it a super suckler cow and almost caused its demise because so many people crossed them.

Shetlands don't have small feet however, so the weight per square inch of foot is low so they are less likely to poach grass. They are also pretty docile - they are sometimes known as the "clootie coo" because they bond with their owners and when sold, it was traditional to give the new owner a cloth (cloot) with the original owner's scent on it to help the cow settle  :)

I believe that there may be Shetland cattle in France as a breed society member is or has emigrated and taken his cattle with him.

wonderwooly

  • Joined May 2013
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 09:52:32 pm »
I love the clootie already,

gorge looks great, I could imagine the feet are good for a more all year around grazing which must have come in handy in an area difficult to make hay, here they used to feed the cows chopped up gorse apparently its turns the milk yellow, and is quite good for them. do you know which department the member was headed for?

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: interested in starting with cows
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 09:08:06 am »
Re ex pat with cows - no, but I can find out.

Actually, on Shetland the cattle are housed, sometimes in traditional tie barns  :)

 

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