Short-wheel base Shorthorns?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by ho-hum, May 9, 2006.

  1. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Hello all,


    Anyone here got any Dexters, Lowline Angus or other small breeds of cattle. I am intending to get some for my property.

    My reason for going small has nothing to do with 'boutique cuts' that fit better in the freezer. I always looked at that statement and wondered what 'boutique mince' looked like.... :shock: :shock:

    I do want small cattle because they require smaller fences, smaller everything and are less dangerous to handle. The braham cattle in this area [and large cattle all over australia] regularly put people in hospital. I am neither wimp nor midget but respect is required around all stock.

    Is there such a thing as a short-wheel base Shorthorn or any other breed that would do well in a seriously hot dry tropical situation. Up to 20 years ago Shorthorns were the most prolific cow in Northern Australia and I did see cows as light as 200kg with calves at foot but that was a result of poor nutrition and not breeding. I dont want to starve anything.

    Cheers

    floot
     
  2. barely run

    barely run Junior Member

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    How do Herefords do in the north?? We had a small herd of 10...when handeled frequently and hand fed they were very quiet. I love dexters and hope to get some once we are settled again. Worked on a property in Nth QLD (century ago) that had the shorthorn cross cattles....needed solid yards and fences but were not handeled regularly due to size of property.\Cathy
     
  3. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    I've heard that Dexters can have a sort of meaness born of inbreeding. My one encounter with a Dexter crossed with a Jersey cow would tend to run with that. So, maybe size isn't as big of an issue as temperament. I am not a cowboy though, so take my opinion with some rock salt.
    I do recall seeing a lot of very small cows in southern India. Characteristics no doubt naturally selected there due to available food and space I suppose. I hadn't really thought about it, but probably the smaller cows I saw were in urban settings. They obviously have some very big cattle in India too.
    What about taming some water buffalo? They are mellow creatures. :)
     
  4. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

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    short

    This thread is a bit topical for me.... I was talking to someone just yesterday about my TAFE organic farming course and what I wanted to do. She said: “Are you going to get a cow?” and I said:
    “No, they compact the soil too much” ((((for me on my land and MY 10acres isn't enough for a cow)))). A Dexter breeder happened to be sitting right there and couldnt help herself – she butted in with a whole “sales pitch” on Dexters. All very very interesting. I am going to go and see her set-up in the next few weeks.
    Dexters – she said – are both meat and milk cows, she said they had good, mild temperaments and some centuries ago a strain had been bred with Japanese Wagu (Kobe beef) cattle.... sounded all too good to be true, so will research them a bit more (Google) and go and see her place..... no harm in keeping an open mind about these thing
     
  5. derekh

    derekh Junior Member

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    I guess there are heaps of magazines on the topic. Small Farms magazine ( https://www.smallfarms.net ) always has something on alternative cattle breeds. I have a relative here in Brisbane who breeds Dexters.

    My 2c worth.

    derek
     
  6. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Thanks all.

    Herefords are picturesque cattle and have never seen any this far North.

    Water buffalo, can be such mellow wonderful creatures. As young man I regularly charged at buffalo bulls and continued this practise with gay abandon till I did it once too often.

    Richard, water buffalo are remarkable creatures but even tame, they are very tough on fences unless they are de-horned. My point for wanting a smaller animal too was that I could home butcher it and fit the contents in one freezer.

    Also we regularly have cattle boats depart Darwin for points North and they are now starting to take a bit of excess stock [ie goats, camels, banteng etc]. I was sorta hoping that a small cow might be a real hit in indonesia and with the hundreds of small-holders and hobby farmers that now exist in the Top End.

    I did read about a small Indian breed some years ago. I think it was a small Sahiwal but I cant find anything on it. My concerns there are that the local enormous braham industry would see it as some sort of genetic threat and I wouldnt want to in any way upset them.

    If you are going to do something new it is best to look more odd than threatening..... :D :D :D

    Is there such a thing as a Lowline Angus that is light brown in colour?

    Thanks again.

    floot
     
  7. Woody

    Woody Junior Member

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    Hi Floot,
    I live in Gympie, SE QLD, and have had Dexters for a year now, and before i had got them the closest i'd been to a cow was driving past in a car. So as a complete novice i can say they are (mine at least) very easy to handle, and no problem to fences.
    The butcher is coming on monday for our first kill, and i'm very excited about this, the breeder we bought them from swears all his cattle are tender, (i don't think he meant considerate lovers)

    ATB
    Woody
     
  8. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Woody,

    Great words, you had me giggling for ages.

    Give us a mouthful by mouthful report on the beef. I would also be interested in what size/age and approx weight the animal was at slaughter.

    Cheers

    floot
     
  9. barely run

    barely run Junior Member

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    My theory research on Dexter's is they were originally Irish peasant cows hence the milk and meat feature as well as size....all dexter owners i've talked to reckon they are tops. I'm looking forward to getting my own eventually. Hey Woody if you have any excess beef you want to sell give us a shout. We'll be in Brissy for most of June and I'd love to try some Dexter beef....kinda try before I buy thing.
    Cheers
    Cathy
     
  10. mariet

    mariet Junior Member

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    short wheel-based shorthorns?

    In tropical climates the breeds that do best have tick resistance, unless in the Atherton tablelands because it is so much cooler there. It is the bos indicus breeds like brahman that have the natural tick resistance whereas the bos taurus breeds like Dexters, shorthorns etc do not have the natural resistance to these pests. There are other smaller bos indicus breeds such as the zebu. There are 8 main strains of zebu: Guzerat, Gyr, Indu-Brazil Negree, Nelore, Red zebu, Sarihwal, Sindhi and Grey zebu. The nadudana are miniature breeds from India.
    This is straight from my beautiful book "Cattle breeds in Australia, a complete guide". There is also a breed, bos indicus too, called boran. This breed originated from Southern Ethiopia and mature bulls weigh from 550-850 kgs, brahman bulls average 900kgs. Droughtmasters do very well in tropical regions. They are originally a cross between brahman, shorthorn, devon and hereford. The breed has been established since 1910. They are very quiet when handled even though they are large. Electric fences are the go with any cattle.
    Good luck with your venture, I'm sure you will find something that suits.
     
  11. Woody

    Woody Junior Member

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    Hi all,
    The butcher came early monday morning for the first kill on our property.
    Having been a "city folk" person for most of my life apart from the last 2 years i was very much looking forward to this day!
    The dexter stood there in anticipation of a handful of straw, a loud clap, and then it was all over.....instantly....apart from a bit of nerve twitching. A few volts through the body to "relax the meat" and then the butcher removed the hide, hoofs and insides, it was quick and clean.
    The carcass was hung overnight and the buther returned the next day to potion him out.
    It was quick, clean and by no means would make me into a vegetarian.
    As soon as everything was in the fridge i put one steak in the pan.........what a delight!
    I am by no means a conniosseur of meat but the grass fed animal did have a certain extra bit of flavour over supermarket beef.
    The butcher (for 30 years, knows a bit about meat) himself keeps dexters, so i see that as a recommendation.

    In summary i would recommend Dexters for there temperament (easy to handle), size (easy on fences and pasture) and flavour.
    I would recommend a pro mobile butcher.
    I would advice to ensure the animal does not lose any condition before he is killed as this would toughen the meat.
    Try to breed from an animal who has had tender meat, as apparently "it's all in the genes".

    As i said i was a "city folk" so most of my knowledge is from the wisdom of country folk.

    Sorry i won't be offering any of the meat as samples, as i was advised that it is illegal to do this!! Oh well, all the more for me.

    Cheers
    Woody
     
  12. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Woody,

    Thanks for the update. Nice to hear you butcher has dexters too.


    How did he 'run a few volts' through the carcase?

    floot
     

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