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goodhors
Feb. 10, 2010, 09:35 PM
After reading the intriging comments on Dexter cattle shortly after the Around The Farm forum opened, I got quite interested in them. Who would think cattle came so SMALL and CUTE? I read about them and we (DD and I) visited some breeders to look at them in their various forms. We learned a number of things, and got even more interested.

DD asked for a calf for Christmas, but we ended up with another breed. Couldn't locate a small Dexter before Christmas so we found a Dutch Belted calf. He will be a steer for 4-H Prospect Beef. Still a smaller breed, very pretty and she "gets" to feed him with a bottle!! I get to feed him in-between, when she is in school. He is developing nicely, VERY FRIENDLY, leads as good as the dog on a leash! He goes out to play for a couple hours a day, while she cleans stalls. Pretty cold here for him to be out very long, since he is so small.

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/576240783yIEKUq

We kept hunting for Dexters, keeping some criteria in mind. We decided to look for a young heifer, old enough to breed in midsummer for calf in spring of 2011. Dehorned!! I hate horned cattle to work with, scary. We wanted a long-legged model, to avoid any structural problems, future breeding problems and to eat more grass than the short-legged model can. We are not using the pastures as in previous years with only 6 horses, so she will be helping use up the grass horses don't graze. We figured one heifer and steer this summer, with cow and calf next year, should be as much help as we needed to keep grass trimmed off. Any of the colors would be fine.

Found a nice ad with several heifers to choose from, registerable, so off we went. Real interesting, choosing something you can't touch! Young stock was not tamed, so we got to watch them moving, looked at the mother cows and a sister. We liked the older cows, good structure and topline, nice udders, and they were pretty friendly. Legs looked like they should, from looking at other Champion Dexter cows. Heifers were just very immature yet, not filled out. DD REALLY liked the short-legged one, about 34" tall, looked like a toy stuffed cow! You did want to just pick her up and hug her, see if she was as squeezable as she looked!!

It was hard, but I had to pass on that little one, she would not be able to eat enough grass to be real helpful. Probably would be excellent as a "backyard" cow, only needing small amounts of grass to stay fat. Also hard to look at an 11 month old heifer that is hardly taller than my dog!! Have to stick with the criteria list!!

We ended up with a dun heifer, about 42" tall. Probably will finish about 44" tall, but a lot heavier, wider. She has been named Carmel, since she is about that color and we expect her to be "sweet" once she is civilized some more. Got her home last weekend, after some exciting adventures in "Cow Loading" with no chute. Who would think a heifer weighing only about 350lbs could be so powerful? A pony that size would be NO problem!

Unloading was even MORE FUN, as she exploded out of the trailer when the door latch got snagged on her rope and pulled open. Luckily I had set up some wire panels, shut the gates. So with DD flapping on the end of the lead rope, heifer head was turned into the barn and husband slammed the door behind her!! He threw up his hands and yelled "SCORE!" We all laughed with relief. DD let the heifer run on into her stall and shut the gate behind her. I do NOT want to think about how exciting it could have been with the terrified heifer running loose around the barnyard!!

Heifer settled pretty quick, layed down in the deep straw almost immediately, seemed all worn out with loading, long trailer ride, cold temps. Personally, I think she was trying to hide in the straw from those "wierdo's" who had dragged her away from her family! Ha-ha We left her alone for a while to settle, then DD got the calf out to feed and she could see there was another bovine to be friends with. She sniffed him thru the wire gate, he didn't seem interested. DD did say he was humming to her, when she checked them a couple times later in the day. Carmel started eating her hay, drank some bucket water.

She has been steadily improving with us in and out of her stall each day feeding and watering her. Getting some brushing and being turned out of our way. DD said Carmel licked her hand today, not even any treats in it! She comes over when I feed the calf, sniffs my hand thru the bars. Not hiding from us though still moving away. She is wearing a halter now, dragging a rope so we can pull her around for petting. I am surprised at how nice she is being, not kicky even with all the man-handling to get loaded in the trailer. Probably will be a bit yet before we put her outside in the paddock with the calf, and she will be dragging a LONG rope to catch her with. Too cold and too little to leave out alone overnight, so she had to be catchable to put back in her stall.

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2499095250096750802RFLMvr

As secondary purpose animals, the cattle have despooked all the horses pretty well! One mare at first was terrified of them. Ran out back to be FAR away from the cow smell. Now she seems to just hate them, pins her ears, does MEAN faces, paws hard if calf gets by the fence, but not running away any more. She scares him!! She also would not be caught to bring in at night if you had handled the calf first! Hated cow smell so husband had to bring her in instead of DD. Mare is improving, getting caught last after everyone now, even if you smell like the cow. The other horses just view the calf as interesting to watch, easier to track with his cow bell on outside. No one appears to be scared at all. Will do some nose sniffing of calf later on.

All the above, is fault of reading COTH! As a "cowgirl" I mostly liked the clothes and the saddles in Western riding!! NEVER thought I would have real cattle here, though they are LITTLE cattle. DARN the original posters who lured me into this, too cute to resist! Husband thinks Pony is a nasty, four letter word, but cow only has three letters! So far they are the same size, almost as cute and pretty as a pony. Big plus is that I don't have to worry about foundering them on the good pastures. A hay bale lasts several days, with only needing 2-3 smaller flakes a day for the heifer. Calf is still on pellets and milk replacer.

A new era has started here. Getting downright "farmy" instead of just "horsey". Oh yeah, husband is getting a LOT of mileage out of cattle stories about DD and me! He said he couldn't MAKE UP stuff that was half as funny as what we do in real life.

ReSomething
Feb. 10, 2010, 09:42 PM
Cows love alfalfa cubes and mulberry leaves. The small ones are fun, but have you ever stood next to an adult holstein cow?! They're bigger than the horse, just have short necks.
Some are mean and rotten. DH broke a 2x4 on a buddy's steer trying to keep it from trampling him. Everybody was happy to put that one in the freezer.
Good luck with your Dexters!

chemteach
Feb. 10, 2010, 09:43 PM
They are so cute!

Catersun
Feb. 10, 2010, 10:07 PM
My DD has requested a mini cow as well.... we'll see. for perspective she also wants two goats and two baabaas (sheep) and a pair of ducks. Bearing in mine that we already have horses and chickens. Getting a little farmy around here, too.

Bluey
Feb. 11, 2010, 08:05 AM
You have gone to the dark side.:eek:

Remember, you can ride cows too:

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a298/Robintoo/Bitsy.jpg?t=1265893461

Alagirl
Feb. 11, 2010, 09:03 AM
COTH enabling at it's finest!

:lol::lol:

RU2U
Feb. 11, 2010, 09:13 AM
Wondered if the goal was to eventually milk your heifer?

My hubby and dd share the love of cows. We have our angus club calves heifers (see I am learning!). My hubby wants to breed them this spring. His first love is a holstein. He is looking at a jersey or holstein to milk for our own usage (he figures we are at the barn anyway). So we are learning cow. Lots of new lingo. He is happy and its entertaining.

I wasn't all gaga over the whole cow idea, but when we went to look at the girls. One of them locked eyes on me and it was LOVE. Fluffy is learning so much so quickly.

goodhors
Feb. 12, 2010, 01:48 PM
Milking Carmel was never really a goal, that can really tie you down. I expect that I COULD milk her if we wanted to, she should be that tamed down by then. My mom keeps talking about how we SHOULD milk the cow, save money at the store because we do drink a LOT of milk. I would need to get her up on a platform like a goat! My knees would not take getting down there to reach under her, and my face would be in the WRONG place if she kicked a fly!! I don't know or think I want to deal with, the steps of milking and getting it seperated and clean for drinking. But like mares, the heifer should be able to have her udder washed and handled, so she is not stupid when the (future) calf tries to nurse. Part of good cow training. If I should ever need to sell her, those folks might want to milk her, so I have a bigger buyer market.

The heifer seller had milked his cows for a while, but said the short height meant he needed a short bucket, which needed a lot of emptying into a larger bucket to get her udder emptied out. Was getting about 1- 1 1/2 gallons daily after the first freshening. He bred one Dexter cow to a Jersey bull, now milks the half Dexter, half Jersey, says it is easier. That cross is a little taller, 48" with bigger udder like a Jersey, gives a BUNCH more milk daily. Said she gives 6 gallons when fresh, tapers off to about 3-4 gallons daily until he dries her up for the next calving. Milk is not as heavy in butterfat as straight Jersey cows have. His wife makes all kinds of things with the milk, with an especially good yogurt that he called "a heart attack in a bowl".

I milked cows as my "after school job" as a high school senior. Sorry, they were a bunch of cloddy cows to deal with. Kick and act like idiots. Had to wash and clean udders, put on and remove the milking machines. Feed the deacon calves. Clean the Parlor and wash everything for the next milking. Paid better than waitressing! Holstein cattle are WAY too big for me! I think a mature Holstein cow is as big as our larger Sporthorses and weighs more!

DD is older, has always taken pretty good care of her animals before. She does market lambs for 4-H to sell at Fair, along with the horse project. I really didn't want to get a cow, they are large, stubborn, and stinky! Yet she and her father (not a farm boy originally) kept pushing the cow idea. Sell it at Fair for College money, she gets to play with it till then.

However talk of Dexters on here, had me checking them as an idea to make all of us happy. The thought of LITTLE cows was appealing because of size and being more managable than common, larger breeds. I had forgotten how DARN APPEALING a calf can look and the cows have the longest eyelashes!! Hear the sucking sounds getting louder???

So the heifer is improving daily, likes being rubbed with a Grooma brush. Is now eating from your hand, but you have to watch the licking, really ROUGH tongue! DD had the lightbulb moment, when she saw the swirls of hair after heifer groomed her own itchy spots. "I know why they call them cowlicks now!! Your hair sticks up all over, like the cow licked you!!" Her calf is just learning self-grooming, he looks like he was electrocuted with ALL his hair sticking up when he is done!!

The heifer has to learn to be lead QUIETLY and calmly, for daily handling. She now has turning pretty good with the leadrope, but we have to work on FORWARD progress this weekend. Hoping cow pellets will be an incentive for the reward part, she can follow as we back up. Otherwise it might get "a little Western" if I have to get the horse out to drag heifer forward. She is pretty motivated with food, so that will be the first method. DD also has a couple ideas to try.

Should be an interesting couple days! I do feel like I have gone to the "dark side"! Everything is very different than how horses think!

TrotTrotPumpkn
Feb. 12, 2010, 02:14 PM
OMG...mini cows. I can't even take it. I want a mini burro too. And after Living the Country Life the other day I want a CAMEL. I guess they are way easy to care for.

AUGH.

Thank goodness I still live in town. It's all I can do to restrain myself to two dogs two cats and two horses.

ChocoMare
Feb. 12, 2010, 02:25 PM
And here I come to cause more trouble.

How about mini Llamas? http://www.showmestateminis.com/

Now THAT I'd consider. :yes: My very own mini Drama Llama :lol: :lol: :lol:

TrotTrotPumpkn
Feb. 12, 2010, 02:31 PM
And here I come to cause more trouble.

How about mini Llamas? http://www.showmestateminis.com/

Now THAT I'd consider. :yes: My very own mini Drama Llama :lol: :lol: :lol:

I love their ears.

RacetrackReject
Feb. 12, 2010, 02:34 PM
Now you need some British Whites to round out the herd! =)

http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.com/TheBritishWhiteCattleBreed.htm

http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.com/The_Herd.htm

goodhors
Feb. 12, 2010, 02:48 PM
Now you need some British Whites to round out the herd! =)

http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.com/TheBritishWhiteCattleBreed.htm

http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.com/The_Herd.htm


Oddly enough, there were some feeder calves of that breed for sale about 60 miles away! I was VERY tempted by the looks, but they are LARGE cattle. They called them British Park Cattle in that ad. Same black trim, but 500# calves already.

It was kind of funny how many "odd breeds" I came across in searches for calves and cattle in our state! Reading the literature, the various breeds are small in numbers, but I could find almost every one not too far away!! All are supposed to be a leaner beef, gain well on grass like the Dexters. Plenty of Dexters for sale, just were not quite what we wanted or real high priced. Glad to find Carmel, she is working out for us.

Murphy's Mom
Feb. 12, 2010, 04:21 PM
I love the mini cows. I want a mini Jersey! My farm really blossomed this past year with the addition of ducks, geese, turkeys, rooster, and goats to already present horses, ponies, dogs, cats, and rabbit.

Alagirl
Feb. 12, 2010, 04:29 PM
Now you need some British Whites to round out the herd! =)

http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.com/TheBritishWhiteCattleBreed.htm

http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.com/The_Herd.htm

They look adorabull! :lol:

nomoregrays
Feb. 12, 2010, 09:44 PM
My DD has requested a mini cow as well.... we'll see. for perspective she also wants two goats and two baabaas (sheep) and a pair of ducks. Bearing in mine that we already have horses and chickens. Getting a little farmy around here, too.

The Jack in the Box commercial about the mini sirloin burgers came to mind when I read this - you know, the one about the cattle the size of schnauzers? :lol:

Chris

goodhors
Feb. 12, 2010, 10:36 PM
The Jack in the Box commercial about the mini sirloin burgers came to mind when I read this - you know, the one about the cattle the size of schnauzers? :lol:

Chris

Well we never see Jack in the Box advertising, so I did a search. Found the commercial and it is funny! Cattle that size would be amazing!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xXkmvrT_e8

Bluey
Feb. 13, 2010, 07:12 AM
Well we never see Jack in the Box advertising, so I did a search. Found the commercial and it is funny! Cattle that size would be amazing!!

http://www.grubgrade.com/2009/03/30/jack-in-the-box-mini-sirloin-burgers-commercial/

I could not see the commercial, the page didn't have any video link.:no:
You know that the HSUS has bought a large part of shares in several fast food companies, like Jack in the Box?
They said they want to have a right to direct what they advertise and sell.
I guess that is their way to get people not to eat animals, just keep buying large numbers of voting shares in fast food companies and turn them vegans.
Your donations at work.:winkgrin:

You would not be able to leave very small cattle out to pasture, needed them where predators didn't make a quick snack of them, restricted to small areas, like a chicken coop, but now called of course cattle coop.:D

WaningMoon
Feb. 13, 2010, 08:07 AM
After reading the intriging comments on Dexter cattle shortly after the Around The Farm forum opened, I got quite interested in them. Who would think cattle came so SMALL and CUTE? I read about them and we (DD and I) visited some breeders to look at them in their various forms. We learned a number of things, and got even more interested.

DD asked for a calf for Christmas, but we ended up with another breed. Couldn't locate a small Dexter before Christmas so we found a Dutch Belted calf. He will be a steer for 4-H Prospect Beef. Still a smaller breed, very pretty and she "gets" to feed him with a bottle!! I get to feed him in-between, when she is in school. He is developing nicely, VERY FRIENDLY, leads as good as the dog on a leash! He goes out to play for a couple hours a day, while she cleans stalls. Pretty cold here for him to be out very long, since he is so small.

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/576240783yIEKUq

We kept hunting for Dexters, keeping some criteria in mind. We decided to look for a young heifer, old enough to breed in midsummer for calf in spring of 2011. Dehorned!! I hate horned cattle to work with, scary. We wanted a long-legged model, to avoid any structural problems, future breeding problems and to eat more grass than the short-legged model can. We are not using the pastures as in previous years with only 6 horses, so she will be helping use up the grass horses don't graze. We figured one heifer and steer this summer, with cow and calf next year, should be as much help as we needed to keep grass trimmed off. Any of the colors would be fine.

Found a nice ad with several heifers to choose from, registerable, so off we went. Real interesting, choosing something you can't touch! Young stock was not tamed, so we got to watch them moving, looked at the mother cows and a sister. We liked the older cows, good structure and topline, nice udders, and they were pretty friendly. Legs looked like they should, from looking at other Champion Dexter cows. Heifers were just very immature yet, not filled out. DD REALLY liked the short-legged one, about 34" tall, looked like a toy stuffed cow! You did want to just pick her up and hug her, see if she was as squeezable as she looked!!

It was hard, but I had to pass on that little one, she would not be able to eat enough grass to be real helpful. Probably would be excellent as a "backyard" cow, only needing small amounts of grass to stay fat. Also hard to look at an 11 month old heifer that is hardly taller than my dog!! Have to stick with the criteria list!!

We ended up with a dun heifer, about 42" tall. Probably will finish about 44" tall, but a lot heavier, wider. She has been named Carmel, since she is about that color and we expect her to be "sweet" once she is civilized some more. Got her home last weekend, after some exciting adventures in "Cow Loading" with no chute. Who would think a heifer weighing only about 350lbs could be so powerful? A pony that size would be NO problem!

Unloading was even MORE FUN, as she exploded out of the trailer when the door latch got snagged on her rope and pulled open. Luckily I had set up some wire panels, shut the gates. So with DD flapping on the end of the lead rope, heifer head was turned into the barn and husband slammed the door behind her!! He threw up his hands and yelled "SCORE!" We all laughed with relief. DD let the heifer run on into her stall and shut the gate behind her. I do NOT want to think about how exciting it could have been with the terrified heifer running loose around the barnyard!!

Heifer settled pretty quick, layed down in the deep straw almost immediately, seemed all worn out with loading, long trailer ride, cold temps. Personally, I think she was trying to hide in the straw from those "wierdo's" who had dragged her away from her family! Ha-ha We left her alone for a while to settle, then DD got the calf out to feed and she could see there was another bovine to be friends with. She sniffed him thru the wire gate, he didn't seem interested. DD did say he was humming to her, when she checked them a couple times later in the day. Carmel started eating her hay, drank some bucket water.

She has been steadily improving with us in and out of her stall each day feeding and watering her. Getting some brushing and being turned out of our way. DD said Carmel licked her hand today, not even any treats in it! She comes over when I feed the calf, sniffs my hand thru the bars. Not hiding from us though still moving away. She is wearing a halter now, dragging a rope so we can pull her around for petting. I am surprised at how nice she is being, not kicky even with all the man-handling to get loaded in the trailer. Probably will be a bit yet before we put her outside in the paddock with the calf, and she will be dragging a LONG rope to catch her with. Too cold and too little to leave out alone overnight, so she had to be catchable to put back in her stall.

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2499095250096750802RFLMvr

As secondary purpose animals, the cattle have despooked all the horses pretty well! One mare at first was terrified of them. Ran out back to be FAR away from the cow smell. Now she seems to just hate them, pins her ears, does MEAN faces, paws hard if calf gets by the fence, but not running away any more. She scares him!! She also would not be caught to bring in at night if you had handled the calf first! Hated cow smell so husband had to bring her in instead of DD. Mare is improving, getting caught last after everyone now, even if you smell like the cow. The other horses just view the calf as interesting to watch, easier to track with his cow bell on outside. No one appears to be scared at all. Will do some nose sniffing of calf later on.

All the above, is fault of reading COTH! As a "cowgirl" I mostly liked the clothes and the saddles in Western riding!! NEVER thought I would have real cattle here, though they are LITTLE cattle. DARN the original posters who lured me into this, too cute to resist! Husband thinks Pony is a nasty, four letter word, but cow only has three letters! So far they are the same size, almost as cute and pretty as a pony. Big plus is that I don't have to worry about foundering them on the good pastures. A hay bale lasts several days, with only needing 2-3 smaller flakes a day for the heifer. Calf is still on pellets and milk replacer.

A new era has started here. Getting downright "farmy" instead of just "horsey". Oh yeah, husband is getting a LOT of mileage out of cattle stories about DD and me! He said he couldn't MAKE UP stuff that was half as funny as what we do in real life.

Little cows are sooo fricken cute.

The paragraph below I copied. wanted you to know that cows DO get feet problems.

Lameness - persistent foot infection or leg problems causing infertility and loss of production.
High feed levels of highly digestible carbohydrate cause acidic conditions in the cow's rumen. This leads to laminitis and subsequent lameness, leaving the cow vulnerable to other foot infections and problems which may be exacerbated by standing in feces or water soaked areas.

Thats one brave jersey to only be giving about 30lbs a day. She would have not stayed in our herd. It just isn't economically feasible to keep one not up in production.

Bluey
Feb. 13, 2010, 11:28 AM
For those wondering about milking a short cow, use a milking table, like we did with goats.
You train them to hop on it, it has a stanchion head bar in front you fasten and buckets for them to eat some grain while you milk.:)

Ours has not been used in decades, since we quit milking goats, is sitting in a barn attic and was made out of an old metal twin bed frame and was longer than this one here, that looks to short to me:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1980-01-01/A-Goat-Milking-Stand.aspx

RU2U
Feb. 13, 2010, 01:49 PM
Its something about men and cows.

Our angus' were pretty wild when we got them. We need to work on leading them. They are about 10 mon. (we bought them at 6 mon.) and are just getting over being skittish. They let us pet them on the head. I need to learn how a cow thinks because getting in there they are starting to head butt. Its like Fluffy wants to be friendly but doesn't know how. I don't either so I have to do a bit of reading. Hubby does real well with them and they respect him. He currys them all over. I'm a bit more nervous so just have to get over it.

They do think alot dif. then a horse. Head down with a horse is submissive. Head down with the cow and I'm thinkin I'm headed for trouble!

hipy
Feb. 13, 2010, 07:11 PM
LOVE LOVE LOVE My Mini Scottish Highland Bull!! His name is Phive.....Here he is today wanting a treat!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/photo.php?pid=3204318&id=611347899&fbid=299755747899

goodhors
Feb. 13, 2010, 11:50 PM
Any kind of stand for a cow, needs to be REALLY sturdy. These Dexters may be short in height, but they can be WIDE. I think the mature cows go about 800#, which is a LOT more than a goat would weigh. The Dexter cows we looked at who were getting ready to calve, looked as wide as they were tall! We laughed about how the calves must be laying sideways with their legs sticking straight out with all that room!! You sure don't want the cow to fall if the stand collapsed under her, might crush YOU!

Not sure if Carmel is smart or just a motivated cow, sure likes her treats. I am rather shocked at how much she has come around in just a week. I know DD is pretty agressive in working with the "untamed" animals we get. Her lambs lead with no fight in very short order after we buy them. Kind of "work with them until they cooperate as you want!" She does put in a lot of time to have any of the animals working so well. I pet both the calf and Carmel each visit, give treats, pull on the lead rope to turn her about, just walk by to check her water. Probably more people contact, TOUCHING, than she got in her whole life over the week in our barn. All the breeders, sellers, said the Dexters tame up fast if you work with them. One of the big reasons they liked Dexters so much.

I am working on "cattle body language" and often react wrongly, according to DD. With cows, might is right! Lead cow bashes other cows who don't move when she wants them to! So moving away from a pushy bovine, is taking lower status, BAD owner! I am supposed to push her back or be the last to touch her, to extablish my higher status in the herd. If cows don't give you space, they WILL knock you over and might step on you. Not worried about "squishy things under hooves" as horses seem to, when a horse will seem to try avoiding you if you trip and fall.

Seller warned us that Carmel is out of the dominant cow in the herd, and she also is a dominant cow, which we saw when shopping. Just knocked those other little heifers all around to reach the hay or water. So we people have to make sure we remain dominant in the cow herd, don't allow rubbing on us or knocking into us. Too dangerous if she loses respect for people. It is harder with the calf rubbing on you, he is much smaller and CUTE. But even small, he can knock you around as he races in excited circles while waiting for his bottle. He also seems to get excited when getting groomed, hops and bucks as you rub with the brush. Have to push him away, not let him get close enough to knock you over.

Heck they changed the site of the commercial! I did find the commercial on youtube though. Try this link instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xXkmvrT_e8

RU2U
Feb. 14, 2010, 09:54 AM
What we need is a COW whisperer!

Maybe we could make millions with Natural Cowmanship!

How about tying? These cows have never been tied. Never really wore a halter til we brought them home. They have to learn to behave during AI. So any ideas? I'm thinkin we are at about 500#s. We have head locks coming. Hubby wants to build stocks before we do AI. So sounds like alot of fun and some cow chiropractic adjustments (To my poor arm and back!) coming up!

Alagirl
Feb. 14, 2010, 10:11 AM
What we need is a COW whisperer!

Maybe we could make millions with Natural Cowmanship!

How about tying? These cows have never been tied. Never really wore a halter til we brought them home. They have to learn to behave during AI. So any ideas? I'm thinkin we are at about 500#s. We have head locks coming. Hubby wants to build stocks before we do AI. So sounds like alot of fun and some cow chiropractic adjustments (To my poor arm and back!) coming up!


**smacking RU2U with a Vegetable shtick**

goodhors
Feb. 14, 2010, 05:51 PM
What we need is a COW whisperer!

Maybe we could make millions with Natural Cowmanship!

How about tying? These cows have never been tied. Never really wore a halter til we brought them home. They have to learn to behave during AI. So any ideas? I'm thinkin we are at about 500#s. We have head locks coming. Hubby wants to build stocks before we do AI. So sounds like alot of fun and some cow chiropractic adjustments (To my poor arm and back!) coming up!

Well I wanted to make sure we could handle her, so I got a nylon web cow halter and we put it when we got home. Those are getting hard to find! Has an X under jaw with tie ring, no chains. DD seems to have quite the touch, just finagled the heifer and buckled the halter on in a few minutes. We also put on a cow collar, which is like a giant dog collar. Heifer is required to tie at Fair with two ropes.

I don't care for the chain-chin collars, chains are long and loose unless you are pulling. Chains are easy to snag on things if left on the animal and have no reward when cow moves forward as you pull.

We added a dragging lead rope the third day, so Carmel could feel and learn to "give to pull" when she stepped on the rope. She does turn better, sort of follow a pull for circles in the stall. Not so good leading outside yet!

As with a young horse, I will be using a bike tire innertube for tying Carmel up. Bike tube has give when pulled, which car innertubes do not! We rigged the tube up with a large ring on one end and SOLID SNAP on the other end to fasten to the wall eyebolt for tying. Wall she ties up to, facing, is solid, so she should not try climbing out. The lead rope she drags will be tied in the ring with a quick release knot. I suggest the Highwayman's Hitch knot, we have not been able to ever make it bind up during release, like other quick release knots with horses can do. Carmel will only have a very short amount of slack when tied to prevent problems, while she learns. Bike tube will stretch some, but should not break with her small weight. Same bike tube size I use on yearling colts, much larger than Carmel. I like the "give" factor in using the bike tube, but our colts really have no problems learning to tie anyway.

Short sessions, rewards for being good. Increase time tied, as she gets used to being tied and doing it well. I want this tying part and leading well instilled DEEPLY into her little cow brain, so we don't have any problems when she is MUCH bigger! I sure would be getting any of my animals broke quickly, because you have better chances of winning with the smaller animals, getting the idea ingrained that they CAN tie and lead. I know of some other training methods, kind of rough, so I don't want to EVEN go there!

We plan to AI Carmel in early in summer, she is 12 months old now. Husband is going to build us something to hold her during clipping and trimming for shows. I think it is like a stock. A friend offered us theirs to use for a model to copy. Special fold up model for easy hauling. I THINK it would work for AI, have to see when he picks it up. Otherwise a friend who gets her older Dexter cows AI'd, said to just squeeze them with a gate against the wall of the barn. That probably would NOT work for Angus!! We were going to get friend's cows and our heifer done all at once in early summer (we hope!), split expenses for the inseminator guy visit and I can give her a hand with her several cows. Both she and the guy are way over 75yrs, and very experienced with cattle. So as the YOUNG person, I am a bit stronger and more agile to help them if needed. DD will be coming along too, more hands make things go easier.

I bet both calf and heifer would like a Vegtable Stick, ANY flavor! Suggestion for your cow stocks is a wide belting strap over their back, firmly anchored on both ends, while you work on them. Should help keep them down for working on. This idea is because the Angus I have seen are AMAZINGLY AGILE and like to jump up when protesting! Watched some yearling heifers go up over a 5ft panel to rejoin the herd at a stockhorse class. Pretty heifers and jumped like deer!! Were NOT going to play with the cowboy and horse!

RU2U
Feb. 16, 2010, 08:49 AM
Show jumping Angus! LOL

It amazes me how smart they are. Fluffy knew her name within a couple days of owning her and YES she comes running to it. Since I have been working on the word NO over the weekend, she has picked it up well. This time of year is great because they all want squitches. So rewards are rubbing. I also don't pet Fluffy on the head any more. She has to be petted on the neck. Her reward is a quick face rub.

We also plan on doing AI on them this summer. If you would send me a picture of your stocks that would be great. Hubby is a welder and looking at the ones in catalogs is like "They want how much!"

The dragging rope is a great idea! I do that with all the young horses, never thought to do it with the cows. We have nylon rope halters for the cows. We also have two holsteins that we got at the fair. My DD is taking them back this year. They do respect the rope halters (natural cowmanship halters). We have a PBS store that we plan on going to once everyone around here is done being sick! I am hoping they have the collars and halters. I have seen the cross halters - they use them for llamas too. I even used one to train a baby colt (couldn't find a horse halter small enough) and they did work well. If they have them that's what I'll get. Its a whole new world. Alot of fun though.

Inner tube idea is a good one too. Did that with colts too. Guess they are alot like training horses in some ways, just bigger, stockier and can drag you like a kite without a thought and when they really get annoying its family BBQ! No not FLUFFY.

goodhors
Feb. 17, 2010, 02:01 PM
Drag you is right, DD was ski-jorring behind the heifer this weekend! That one step in too close, lose the angle of control to bend her around. Also had too short of rope with only 7ft, so she could not "play her" out as heifer tried to circle around DD. We both went out the next time to lead her out. Went somewhat better, with me on the longer rope, almost had Carmel lunging! She was ANGRY because she could not get free this time. DD ended up walking down my rope to give Carmel some pellets as she braced against me, then we dropped the rope and let her go in the paddock.

DD got the calf out to turn loose and Carmel came over to lick his face. He looks like he has been gelled after, all his face hair sticking up and freezing in place! DD now takes a towel and wipes him off when the licking is done. He is really tame, follows DD like the dog, LOVES his scratches under the throat.

The horses are all going thru another round of desensitizing with Carmel. She is DIFFERENT than WeBee the calf!! That one mare is really angry about another bovine, but is getting better. The first day she went hungry because she would not eat in the paddock beside the joint fence. The old gelding and the young gelding both ate all the hay they wanted! They would sneak in, grab some bites, then run out back if the heifer looked their way! I just kept saying "exercise is good, they are all too fat anyway, if they won't eat it is too bad for them." The younger gelding got brave first, now stands watching the heifer over the fence, walks even with her as she checkes fenceline. All the horses are watching the two cattle like it is the Olympics! "What will they do next??" Cows are not as exciting as lambs, but they do run and boink around sometimes. Both cattle have a bell, adds to the excitement because bells ring if cows are moving, horse heads come up, ears forward, everyone lines the fences to see the next excitement! I put the bells on in case the cows got loose, maybe easier to find them with noise to follow.

Carmel was good to put out by myself today. This is the 4th day leading her out, so almost a routine. Cows LOVE routine! Led out slowly, but all forward, to the paddock, swung the gate closed. I held the rope, put out my hand with some pellets and SHE came that one step forward to eat the pellets. I fed her, dropped the rope and left HER standing. Got the calf and put him out too. Did some other stuff, then stopped back by the gate to talk to them, and they BOTH came over, so I gave them MORE pellets! I think that is a big step forward for the heifer, approaching us by her own choice. She will still be dragging a long rope for a while to catch her, but I am really happy with her food motivation. You are lucky Fluffy come when called, has to save a lot of walking to catch her up. I am saving a bit on walking, since I made the dragging rope longer!!

RU2U
Feb. 19, 2010, 08:34 AM
Crazy week, although it all seems to diappear when you pet a cow. Food is never wrong when it comes to training. Ours are so loving petting and the voice is a big thing. FluFFYY helps, and of course Such a GOOD Girl. Don't have too much time today, but FLUFFY is on facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000745905733

How could you not fall for that face!

Kate66
Feb. 20, 2010, 10:34 AM
She's cute!

We have bred Dexters for about 7 years now. Started out with 2 and were up to about 16 at one time. The thing to really think about breeding though is - can you sell them to someone who is going to eat them? They are so flipping cute when they are born and once you name them it just gets more difficult.

If you do breed, definitely aim for a polled bull in the hope that you "might" get a polled calf. We had 3 polled calves last year and they are MUCH easier to be around.

We don't have a chute either but you will learn fast enough to park your trailer right up next to the fence, then put a large pen around the tail gate, get them into the pen with feed and then slowly decrease the size of the pen using the panels to push them in. Believe me - those guys can jump! We have had a full grown Dexter cow jump a 4' panel to get out.

They can eat a decent amount of grass so don't be fooled by their size. Remember to think about annual vaccinations and if you can get them to be quiet enough to pet them while eating etc, then think about using a pour on wormer, that goes down their spine.

RU2U
Feb. 22, 2010, 09:14 AM
Pretty much we just named the girls as they will be the ones with us for awhile. Fluffy is a great herd matriarch, meaning my thought is to train her well, teach her calmness and the rest of the herd will follow. She is the oldest of the herd, by a month, but it does seem to mean alot to them. She is a keeper.

Its a rough life, but what we told our kids is that a cow is put here to serve us. They don't have that long to live, but while they are here we will make their lives the best we can. We only raise HAPPY cows.

Wondered what you thought about the mineral blocks with feed through fly control. Does it work? Is it a good idea?

Def. worm and vac.

Our cows are angus club calves. They are polled. The fella we bought them from is 80 years old and has been breeding his herd all his life. We were lucky that we got some of the best of the best. They have won alot of ribbons at the county fairs. So we have good bloodlines, just have to maintain it.

What we would like to get is a squeeze chute. Something that will hold them as we work on them. We raised some baby steers and ya it is fun to be dragged around a stall!

goodhors
Feb. 22, 2010, 12:59 PM
Miss Carmel and WeBee will be show cows. Load and unload like the horses! They are led in and out daily to their barn stalls, so are getting very good about that. Let you snap on the rope or slip on a halter to lead with. WeBee thinks he is a dog, heels with the best of them! No problem following his leader anyplace. Carmel is slower, but improving each trip. No more wild running and being pulled to a halt.

Carmel now comes when called, is curious enough to come see WHY you came out to the fence or into paddock. "Bring me a drink, more hay, pellets or would you like to scratch me?" She LIKES being groomed with a rubber Grooma brush. Taming up very nicely. Still dragging a rope outside, but much more responsive to being pulled for turns, leading easily. Getting the cluck for walk, whoa for stop, fed a few pellets and let free in paddock or stall. She is "getting it" for tying to the bike tube, not really pulling at all now, but still on short sessions.

Have to say I have never seen such a motivated animal for food!! She is extremely temptable, if she is paying attention to the food. Sometimes she gets distracted with a new thing, but never acts really wild as some beef cattle do. THANK GOODNESS! We want her extremely tame and willing to work with us. If the Show cattle, beef and dairy, can be civilized, Carmel can also be THAT nice with training.

We want her as a pet, mowing machine, mother cow. It will be hard to sell the calves as meat animals, but you take have to harden your heart a bit. We have had to sell puppies, let kittens go to nice homes. DD already does market lambs that sell at Fair, so we cry at the time, comfort ourselves that they had a good life while they were here. Will have to be the same with calves. Carmel will have a good life for a cow.

Thanks for the pour-on wormer idea. Have to read up on that for use on market animals. WeBee is a prospect beef calf, has to not be carrying toxins! Pour-on would be a lot less work. Also the polled bull thing. I have several bulls in mind, and some are polled. Horn paste is nasty stuff.