Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Horned and Polled together  (Read 3133 times)

DebraR

  • Joined Apr 2016
Horned and Polled together
« on: August 20, 2016, 09:16:40 am »
Does anyone have experience of keeping Shetland cattle with a polled breed. I do have a polled shetland heifer who mixes well with the other shetlands but I'm considering putting all the milkers in together and wondered if anyone had experienced any problems with this?

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2016, 06:02:45 pm »
We cross bred our older Shetlands with a yearling Blonde bull last year- although he was heavier and a bit taller than the rest of our stock, he didn't have any problems.

He joined in with all the usual pushing & shoving that goes on within a herd - he had a number of tussles with our oldest steer (born 2013) and no damage to either party.

When we first kept Shetlands we lost a calf and found a replacment calf who was a Lim/Ayreshire cross. We had him de-horned on advice from our vet. The Lim cross spent 30 happy months playing with his peers and belonging to the herd-all Shetlands with horns. Again he had no problems being the only animal without headgear...

Hopefully you won't have any problems.

Sue

DebraR

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 08:15:01 pm »
That's great to know thanks Sue, we'll give it a go and see hopefully things will  go smoothly.

Many thanks

Debra

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 09:25:22 pm »
I think you might have to house them separately if they come in for winter. Outside, the polled cows can get out of the way if threatened by a dominant horned cow, but inside, a horned bully cow could do some real damage.

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

DebraR

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 08:42:23 am »
Thanks Sally, it might be best to try and open shelter in the field first to see if they will share space or not. Thanks for the advice.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2016, 10:09:57 am »
Thanks Sally, it might be best to try and open shelter in the field first to see if they will share space or not.

Or even if the polled cows are allowed to even come inside it ... ;)
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

Bekka

  • Joined Jan 2014
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 11:57:01 am »
Our polled Shetlands are at the bottom of the herd - always. Could be a problem when it comes to feeding in the winter  as the polled will be the last to eat and get chased off...

DebraR

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 08:10:28 am »
Thanks Becca, I'll keep an eye on the feeding access and shelter access too, thanks Sally.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 08:49:40 am »
 So long as you have enough space and feeding positions for them all to be able to eat at the same time, then it shouldnt be a problem.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 10:00:34 am »
So long as you have enough space and feeding positions for them all to be able to eat at the same time, then it shouldnt be a problem.

If you get a 'bully cow', she'll shove everyone else out of the way even when there's plenty of room ::)
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

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 02:37:45 pm »
 She can't keep shoving for ever!
 She's got to stop sometime and get some feed herself, or she'll be the one getting nothing. :innocent:

 We have that problem with Highlands. There is always a boss cow that has to feed first. But once she's established the ground rules by pushing some lesser animals away, she will settle down to eat. She just won't allow anyone to eat next to her, so with plenty of well spread out feed rings everyone can eat in safety out of her range.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Horned and Polled together
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 08:52:17 pm »
Our 2 oldest Shetlands split the 2 feed rings between them - and their daughters and various directly related offspring are allowed to eat at the same time.

Any animal not closely related waits till they are finished, then eats. The animals lower in the 'pecking order' learn very quickly the simplest way to eat in peace is to let the senior animals eat first. We make sure the rings have hay - so no-one goes hungry.

The same applies to shed space - the seniors usually lie in their family groups and the others fit in around them.  Last winter we had a Blonde bull in the shed too - he formed a family with our older Shetland steers and he always made sure he found a nice spot deep into the shed and the steers provided a perimeter for him. No big dramas.

Sue

Sue

Sue

 

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