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Considering cows - Dexters?
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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35392
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 15 12:43 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

is there a good reason why there are very few moos in your area?

the lack of moos possibly means that folk have not found them to pay their way for whatever reasons.

Piggyphile



Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Galicia
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 15 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Firstly I know nothing of cattle other than my neighbours using my land for their beef herd. Living in the back of 'beyond' myself it is difficult to do AI as you need to know what you are doing, and the costs are keeping them are minimal I would think if they are grass fed, just the labour and fencing costs which you would have anyway and with two they are company for each other if you are getting them mostly for milk and the occasional bullock for meat. There is a huge difference between small holding for home consumption and keeping a herd for selling meat I would think, where minimal numbers are relevant. Surely people have been keeping one or two cows for home and draft use for centuries?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 15 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Piggyphile wrote:
Surely people have been keeping one or two cows for home and draft use for centuries?


The EU has since outlawed keeping single animals, but plenty of people still do it with disasterous results. The behaviour tends to be worse (from the human's point of view) where they are kept alone.

The main issue with an underworked bull is that he might have urges on the 364 days of the year that he hasn't got a job for, particularly if he must be kept on his own to avoid serving his daughter. We prefer to keep the daughters and the bulls on different farms if at all possible, as they can detect an on-heat female from quite a distance.

These are all practical problems that can be overcome, with a beef steer to keep the bull company and well fenced fields with some distance between them, or a secure building to house the bull and his buddy during the off season. The animals can be rotated between the grazing & the building if grazing is limited.

Andrea



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 2260
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 15 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
is there a good reason why there are very few moos in your area?


There used to be, on a small scale. My place housed 4 at once stage (2 milking, 2 working). But it's very much an ageing population here and people are giving up their animals generally.

Andrea



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 2260
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 15 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Piggyphile wrote:
Firstly I know nothing of cattle other than my neighbours using my land for their beef herd. Living in the back of 'beyond' myself it is difficult to do AI as you need to know what you are doing, and the costs are keeping them are minimal I would think if they are grass fed, just the labour and fencing costs which you would have anyway and with two they are company for each other if you are getting them mostly for milk and the occasional bullock for meat. There is a huge difference between small holding for home consumption and keeping a herd for selling meat I would think, where minimal numbers are relevant. Surely people have been keeping one or two cows for home and draft use for centuries?



That's pretty much my thought process Piggyphile, so thankyou. This isn't a plan to make an income of any sort.

I'm appreciating the input from everyone though. It's not something to jump into.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 15 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It seems difficult to get basic information on cattle keeping. I suppose it's because the are big. I'd love to learn more about it.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35392
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 15 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
It seems difficult to get basic information on cattle keeping. I suppose it's because the are big. I'd love to learn more about it.


there are a few good books,i cant quite remember the one rob recommended to me but it was called something like "cattle behavior"

best way is to learn by doing it with folk who do it and adapt what they teach to your style of moo wrangling.

ps re tagging an unhappy 400kg of steer or removing 20 m of electric fence wire from a moos feet does not come with a user manual

moos are big and all of them react differently to things so learning caution and having fast ,well chosen, reactions to their "mood" and movements is important.

having a little experience of moo handling i can do quite a few moo tasks but i am more aware of my limitations than their capabilities.

the one that came strait at me was scarey,i stopped it with a palm strike to the head as it flipped me into an airborne back somersault,it was a draw.
paul getting the hair sample from the killer kerry while i did distraction with the vet told to watch from outside the pen was a win but rather scarey,the one that charged rob and me while we were moving them and we did a two way break at the last moment etc etc etc . i will never consider them tame,manageable but not tame.

dangeroos beasts if you make a mistake but is is ace to take a stone from the hoof of a loose bull or call one over for his morning neck massage.

keeping moos needs a decent level of physical ability (run for safety etc etc )and a good understanding of their behavior and needs.

crofter



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 2252

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 15 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:

keeping moos needs a decent level of physical ability (run for safety etc etc )and a good understanding of their behavior and needs.


Yes, but never run. They can run faster!

Andrea



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 2260
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 15 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
there are a few good books,i cant quite remember the one rob recommended to me but it was called something like "cattle behavior"


Hope I just bought the right one. It cost me 1p on Amazon

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35392
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 15 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

crofter wrote:
dpack wrote:

keeping moos needs a decent level of physical ability (run for safety etc etc )and a good understanding of their behavior and needs.


Yes, but never run. They can run faster!


i can cover 5 m and leap a gate faster than they can cover 30m

in the open i agree,tis better to stand ones ground and try convince them not to go for you with noise /arms as big horns etc etc and leap sideways at the last mo if needs be.that can lead to a "matador"type situation but it does take them a while to do a 180 degree turn from high speed so getting to safety is possible.if they run past the often loose interest .

crofter



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 2252

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 15 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:


in the open i agree,tis better to stand ones ground and try convince them not to go for you with noise /arms as big horns etc etc and leap sideways at the last mo if needs be.that can lead to a "matador"type situation but it does take them a while to do a 180 degree turn from high speed so getting to safety is possible.if they run past the often loose interest .


Yes, always stand your ground. Remember you are the boss, show no fear and maintain a dominant attitude. Talk to them, sternly but without shouting, use your body language as well. Only exception would be a newly calved cow (protective behaviour) or maybe an animal which has been wound up to a frenzy, (separated from the rest of the herd by dogs, or something like that) then keep well clear!

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 15 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:


there are a few good books,i cant quite remember the one rob recommended to me but it was called something like "cattle behavior"

best way is to learn by doing it with folk who do it and adapt what they teach to your style of moo wrangling.


Still need to find that pub where the farmers drink!

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 15 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

crofter wrote:
dpack wrote:


in the open i agree,tis better to stand ones ground and try convince them not to go for you with noise /arms as big horns etc etc and leap sideways at the last mo if needs be.that can lead to a "matador"type situation but it does take them a while to do a 180 degree turn from high speed so getting to safety is possible.if they run past the often loose interest .


Yes, always stand your ground. Remember you are the boss, show no fear and maintain a dominant attitude. Talk to them, sternly but without shouting, use your body language as well. Only exception would be a newly calved cow (protective behaviour) or maybe an animal which has been wound up to a frenzy, (separated from the rest of the herd by dogs, or something like that) then keep well clear!


Couldn't agree more - particularly about the latter. I was charged, matador-style, several times by a heifer that had escaped and got out into the fields when the others were all inside. Despite being in the middle of a 5 acre field with plenty of options where to run, she was properly going for us as we tried to urge her towards the gate. Once she was back in the herd you couldn't tell which she was and now I can't even remember which one she is, but she's definitely still in the herd.

On a similar note, we took on a heifer & a steer that had become unhandleable for the owners. They were supposed to go straight to slaughter, but with one thing and another it wasn't practical, so we kept them on. The behaviour was changed almost immediately by being part of a larger group and the steer in particular became much calmer.

Never under estimate the effect of solitude on cattle behaviour.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35392
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 15 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ps they smell nice

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4357
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 15 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Piggyphile wrote:
Surely people have been keeping one or two cows for home and draft use for centuries?


The EU has since outlawed keeping single animals, but plenty of people still do it with disasterous results. The behaviour tends to be worse (from the human's point of view) where they are kept alone.

The main issue with an underworked bull is that he might have urges on the 364 days of the year that he hasn't got a job for, particularly if he must be kept on his own to avoid serving his daughter. We prefer to keep the daughters and the bulls on different farms if at all possible, as they can detect an on-heat female from quite a distance.

These are all practical problems that can be overcome, with a beef steer to keep the bull company and well fenced fields with some distance between them, or a secure building to house the bull and his buddy during the off season. The animals can be rotated between the grazing & the building if grazing is limited.


If the first calf is a male, that could become the companion beef steer until it reaches edible weight, which would take a couple of years at least?

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