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Thread: "What cattle for out wintering??"

  1. #1
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    "What cattle for out wintering??"

    hi all

    firstly let me say Iím new on here . we started farming 3 years ago, bought a small place and are gradually learning through my mistakes !!!

    We have just bought a water meadow adjoin our land and i would like to run a small pedigree type heard on it.

    its 9 acres and used to be well drained, has a small stream running right through the middle and well fenced and plenty of tree cover

    i currently run Angus x Devon and a few Friesian steers . But i want something different, that can live out all year and cope well with the water meadow
    any ideas

    thanks
    TCF
    Last edited by tcf; 15-05-13 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: advice please

    Dexter! cross them to an angus. stay out all weathers, beef to die for. cheap to buy. only down side pure bred stock difficult to sell commercially. crosses sell well in market though.
    wont get a milkier cow if you choose the right ones.

    dominic

  3. #3
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    Re: advice please

    i do like dexters , theres lots of them and galloways around me . but crossing them would be v good

    thanks dominic

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    Re: advice please

    Maybe post your location?

    And rather than "Advice please" in the header, how about "What cattle for out wintering??"

    There are farmers on here from Cornwall to Shetland (and Gerrmany to New Zealand come to that!) and the choice of suitable cattle is going to vary.

  5. #5
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    sorry hampshire , new forest

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: advice please

    Anything hairy.

    Water buffalo if you want exotic.

    If you are really interested in the exotic, look at the Rare Breeds Survival Trust website & browse (pun intended) to your heart's content

  7. #7
    Senior Member Clive Tee's Avatar
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    Re: advice please

    +1 for Angus X Dexter's cross (Dangus). What you get is best described as a small, old-fashioned type Angus, and beef just doesn't come any better. But I'd stick to the bigger and long-leg Dexters, not the little short-leg ones, and preferably don't put heifers to the bull IMO. As dom says, cheap to buy your cows too I think half the time because they're the ones that Dexter breeders don't want, but they're the best ones (for crossing). We're breeding from our crosses now as well, good moms with loads of milk and beef.

    Good but not as good as Water Buffalo in a water meadow though! Depends on how much water I suppose . Our whole farm was a water meadow last year.
    Clive Tee

  8. #8
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    Re: advice please

    Would've thought your Angus x Devon (rubys?) would outwinter well.
    How dry does the field lie? Outwintering more than 2 or 3 in 9 acres would plough anything that doesn't lie pretty dry.

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    Re: advice please

    I'm going to stick my oar in and say Galloway as I keep them. You've probably got Belties around you but there are plenty of other types to choose. Red and Riggit Galloways are the rarest, whites are interesting. You won't find an easier out wintering, cheap to feed cow. Sire over them is a personal choice. Judging by your location, perhaps hire a Sussex bull, ideal for heifers to sell for fattening or breeding. I would say, I'm sure your ground is kind enough to outwinter pure Sussex to be fair

  10. #10
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    Re: advice please

    Sorry if this is "stating the obvious" but by "water meadow", do you mean a proper old water meadow on the river with controlled flooding, or a "flood meadow" in the floodplain of the river or a forest stream? Proper old water meadows can be very dry for the best part of the year if the controls still operate. I run south Devon crosses on water meadows through the summer,use the adjoining flat flood meadows for mowing and feed them over winter up on the sand and grabel terrace.The calves sem to sell well commercially. Watch out for fluke as the Avon valley is riddled this year.

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    Re: advice please

    Hi Fred
    I mean a proper old water meadow, luckily I know the son of the original farmer who’s now in his 60s and he has told me and shown me the plans and maps for the gates and how they used to flood it and work the gates. So I plan to try it .insurance might be needed for the houses near it?

    I want to run the cattle on it this old fashioned way as a bit of a ways gone by test. if I get stuck, I can take off and run on our next door fields or free roam in the forest

    at the moment though it’s a outboard and boat that’s needed not a tractor but the grass and flowers are very lush and I think cattle will do fantastic. I pass herds of Galloway in the forest in their hundreds so wanted something old different and simple. But still be able to sell it

    we did consider water bufflo but laverstoke do our killing and butchery so its a conflict i dont want . and i dont like the thigs

  12. #12
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Any British native breed would be OK, depending on what colour you like looking at.

    I have Sussex which are easy to look after and outwinter well. They also can cope with extreme temperatures and still do well in drought conditions with little grass.

    We also find that we don't have any eye problems with them, which maybe important to you if you are grazing water meadows. This is why the Africans imported them in the 60's as they found the tetsy fly would cause problems to their cattle with white heads, but didn't annoy the ones with dark heads.

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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Luings

  14. #14
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Angus and dont bother crossing!! If u take them through to slaughter you get your bonus and would beat any continental for money when slaughtering

  15. #15
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Don t bother, it will just make a mess. You ll spend the winter up to your knees in mud and so will the cattle. No fun for man nor beast. You ll spend the rest of the year trying to repair the damage you have done to soil. I speak from experience of out wintering cattle on sandy free draining soil.

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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Quote Originally Posted by Chae View Post
    Don t bother, it will just make a mess. You ll spend the winter up to your knees in mud and so will the cattle. No fun for man nor beast. You ll spend the rest of the year trying to repair the damage you have done to soil. I speak from experience of out wintering cattle on sandy free draining soil.
    Sounds about right i would say.

  17. #17
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    I don't find it too bad down near the south coast. I keep 50 mothers on sand and I reckon there were maybe 4 or 5 dYs over last winter when the feeding field was muddy on the surface to the top of my foot , although it dries up within a day or so and you can walk round in your shoes. The dry paddocks where they rest don't really poach at all. The biggest curse was the old ringfeeders, but since buying a bale feeder several years ago, the job has become much easier . All the paddocks are well sheltered by trees and I run the subsoiler over the feeding field regularly and put in some IRG with the vicon after working down the surface.

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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    HEREFORDS

  19. #19
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    You probably want something that's light on it's feet though so Dexters or pure Angus may be a good bet. We buy our beef from a farm on Dartmoor (eversfield or something, wife does it) and they run angus fed only on grass. It is the best beef you could ever imagine. Totally to die for. I'm still toying with getting cattle and I think it will be Angus if we do. They've got all that branding behind them as well so you can benefit from that. Finish early and calf easily.

  20. #20

    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Quote Originally Posted by hillybill View Post
    Luings
    I agree luings are smashing cows , as quiet as mice. I'd think about blue greys for value for money aseell

  21. #21
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    hi all

    thanks for the suggestions , I have been doing some research and I think were going to try the dangus route . we have visited some for sale and I have found a small heard for sale . please see picture


    all long leg some pedigree and I have to say bigger than I expected , owner says larger ones last year were 530 kg ish but this is better than figures I have researched with a 56 % kill out

    12 in total bull , cows, yearling heifers and calf's bull is 18 month old from AI and could see his mother she looked a good size

    so if I commit to them . were do I go for small stature angus bull / AI

    what should I look for and ask for as I don't want big calf's

    thanks tcf
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Quote Originally Posted by tcf View Post
    hi all

    thanks for the suggestions , I have been doing some research and I think were going to try the dangus route . we have visited some for sale and I have found a small heard for sale . please see picture


    all long leg some pedigree and I have to say bigger than I expected , owner says larger ones last year were 530 kg ish but this is better than figures I have researched with a 56 % kill out

    12 in total bull , cows, yearling heifers and calf's bull is 18 month old from AI and could see his mother she looked a good size

    so if I commit to them . were do I go for small stature angus bull / AI

    what should I look for and ask for as I don't want big calf's

    thanks tcf
    is the 530 Kg Dexter or Dangus - if it is Dexter it is huge!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Wee Dram's Avatar
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    What's a dangus? dexter cross angus? and if so why do they have horns?

    Nice skins on those cattle tho

  24. #24
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    hi yes dexter at over 500kg

    to be honest it was so far away from the kg I expected to hear I thought its wrong but at market yesterday a dexter was on the scale at 327kg that was half the cow we were looking at so he could well be right

    also to show why I don't want anything to big picture shows angus bull yesterday this thing was so big and long it could not fit in the gate/crush and at 1482 kg far to big for my girls . L.O.L.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Clive Tee's Avatar
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Quote Originally Posted by Wee Dram View Post
    What's a dangus? dexter cross angus? and if so why do they have horns?
    Yes, Angus X Dexter.

    They don't have horns, although a small number may have small scurs. But the offspring if from a horned Dexter (which is most) will carry a horn gene.

    Here's a couple of Dangus photos



    Clive Tee

  26. #26
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    Re: "What cattle for out wintering??"

    Nice cattle Clive, and that 2nd pic looks good too.

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