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Darn COTH, We Have Cattle Now

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  • Darn COTH, We Have Cattle Now

    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...96750802RFLMvr

    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.

  • #2
    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!
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible

    Comment


    • #3
      They are so cute!
      Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.
        If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

        Comment


        • #5
          You have gone to the dark side.

          Remember, you can ride cows too:

          http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...g?t=1265893461

          Comment


          • #6
            COTH enabling at it's finest!

            Originally posted by BigMama1
            Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
            GNU Terry Prachett

            Comment


            • #7
              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.
              The View from Here

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                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!

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.
                  DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And here I come to cause more trouble.

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

                    Now THAT I'd consider. My very own mini Drama Llama
                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                      And here I come to cause more trouble.

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

                      Now THAT I'd consider. My very own mini Drama Llama
                      I love their ears.
                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Now you need some British Whites to round out the herd! =)

                        http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.c...attleBreed.htm

                        http://www.texasbritishwhitecattle.com/The_Herd.htm
                        Rhode Islands are red;
                        North Hollands are blue.
                        Sorry my thoroughbreds
                        Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post

                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.
                            Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                            Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                            Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post
                              They look adorabull!
                              Originally posted by BigMama1
                              Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                              GNU Terry Prachett

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Catersun View Post
                                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?

                                Chris
                                Riding - the art of keeping your horse between you and the ground.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by nomoregrays View Post
                                  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?

                                  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
                                  Last edited by goodhors; Feb. 14, 2010, 12:00 AM. Reason: correct the link

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                    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/...rs-commercial/
                                    I could not see the commercial, the page didn't have any video link.
                                    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.

                                    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.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                      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...96750802RFLMvr

                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        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/Susta...ing-Stand.aspx

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