NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Considering Cattle  (Read 4842 times)

bplegs

  • Joined Aug 2010
Considering Cattle
« on: April 19, 2014, 02:41:44 pm »
Hallo all,


Hubbie has decided that we need some cattle.... so I am looked into it a wee bit and have come up with either Shetland or Dexter.


As far as I can figure out, both breeds seem to be quite hardy with the Shetland being very good at out-wintering. Both are slightly smaller cattle and reasonably good tempered. I must admit I am leaning more towards the Shetland but I am open to pros/cons/ discussion.


We have some Alpacas and Jacob sheep so not totally green at livestock, but I am not very experienced at choosing cattle so I would appreciate your views. Which breed would you recommend and why.


Thanks
Emma
Voss Electric Fence

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 02:50:20 pm »
we chose shetlands as they were small, rare and Scottish. we are first time cattle owners and they have been very kind and very well behaved from day one. ours want a simple life so don't look for trouble. they get to know you too so it feels like a close relationship with them, ours always call when they see us.
we have another 6 mths or so to go before we get to taste them.  :yum:

bplegs

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 02:54:42 pm »
Hallo Shygirl,


That's good to know. I must admit I have read good things on Shetlands so far.
Thanks for the reply  :)


Emma

Helen Wiltshire Horn

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 03:12:59 pm »
We have had cattle for a year and chose Dexters (short-legged).  My husband wanted to keep Belted Galloways as well as Dexters but the heifer we had bullied our other cattle and proved to be too much for our facilities.  We were also new to cattle but to be honest they haven't been much harder to care for than the sheep, though I still struggle with intramuscular injections with the cattle and realised early on that I would need a crush and metal handling gates.  My cattle struggled outside at times last Winter (even in Surrey) and there were mornings when my cow was shivering which was horrible to see.  We now have a field shelter and it will be interesting to see how much time they spend inside when the weather is really bad.
Helen

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 03:16:14 pm »
All cattle, however hardy, need to be able to shelter from rain.  Trees are perfectly acceptable.
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

bplegs

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 03:30:48 pm »
Hallo Helen and Sally,


Thank you!
We have trees but would put a shelter up too.


Best regards
Emma

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 03:42:17 pm »
I have both .... 2 of each ..... all out wintered in all that rain!! (we do have trees for shelter but they rarely stood under one!)   Love them both for different reasons. The Dexters are lighter and poach much less.
 
 Where are you? ... find some local rearers and visit.
Linda

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.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2014, 03:48:42 pm »
The other thing that's important when the weather's wet and cold (and/or your cow is shivering ;) ) is hay (or other winter forage.)  Eating and digesting it warms them up.  I fed our native ponies hay at bedtime most of this last winter for exactly that reason - it was horrid wet, the grass had no nutrition, and even though they are weatherproof and can live on air (nearly) (and had plenty of shelter), any animal needs a helping hand in those conditions.
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

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2014, 03:51:57 pm »
Totally agree SiN .... mine ate a bale a day + of hay or barley straw all through wet winter.
Linda

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.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

bplegs

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2014, 05:40:27 pm »
Thank you both!


We harvest our own hay so hopefully that will help.  ;D

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2014, 06:49:43 pm »
Where are you bplegs? If you're anywhere near us, you're welcome to come and commune with our Shetlands. :hugcow:

marka

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Moray, NE Scotland
  • www.facebook.com/WellsideCroft
    • Facebook
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2014, 09:24:18 am »
Hi there,

We went through the same process as you when deciding what breed to go for - we eventually chose dexters although it was close with the Shetlands but the deciding factor for us was not only the small size and ease of handling but most dexters dont have horns ( they can have though ).

They arrived 3 weeks ago and we love them to bits ( sorry Rosemary !! )

You will need some form of cattle handling facilities but we were able to pick up an old cattle crush from the lady that sold us the cattle which just needs a new floor in and it will be ready for use.

If you're anywhere near us and want to have a look at ours, just pm me and we can arrange something.

I hope this helps.

Regards

Mark
Castlemilk Moorit sheep and Belted Galloway cattle, plus other hangers on.

bplegs

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 01:49:25 pm »
Where are you bplegs? If you're anywhere near us, you're welcome to come and commune with our Shetlands. :hugcow:


Hallo Rosemary,


We are on the Isle of Wight!
Thank you for the offer though  :D


Happy Easter!
Emma

bplegs

  • Joined Aug 2010
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2014, 01:53:17 pm »
Hallo Mark,


Thank you for the offer, but we are on the Isle of Wight.


We actually do have a friend here with Dexters who is going to use ouir land for a bit, so that will help.


Happy Easter

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Considering Cattle
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2014, 02:20:56 pm »
how far south is the nearest herd of shetlands i wonder?

 

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