We make no apologies for being passionate about and proud of our miniature cattle. It is obvious that we enjoy owning them, and people ask us, "What's so special about your cattle?" We believe, the thing that makes our cattle stand apart is that they are not just quiet, they are seriously quiet. Seriously quiet cattle are the smart choice and a joy to own.
When strangers can walk into a paddock, and the cattle come over to the strangers for a scratch - that's seriously quiet. When you can carry out all manner of routine cattle maintenance in the paddock, that is seriously good cattle management. When you are serious about breeding miniature cattle both these things make good business sense.
We appear to spend what seems like an inordinate amount of time and energy ensuring that all our cattle are quiet. So it begs the question, "Why bother?" The short answer is, "Because it makes life easier". The cattle are easier to own and easier to sell. The benefits of having very quiet cattle far outweigh any amount of time we have had to spend getting them quiet. Spending extra time in the paddock is obviously a pleasure for us, so it is a win, win, win situation. We win, the cattle win and our clients win.
What a great way for everyone to enjoy the sunshine out in the paddocks. Suzanne with Dimity.
Galloway cattle are not high maintenance and do not need to be brushed or handled daily. We didn't set out to have especially quiet cattle - it has just turned out that way. We enjoy being in the paddock, the cows love a brush. We often find ourselves looking forward to that part of our day.
We are in fact very busy people and have plenty of things to do with our time. However, over time the mutual benefits of the interaction became very apparent. Our contact with other first-time livestock owners also made it very apparent that miniature cattle that were this quiet were to become highly sought after.
The other bonus is all our friends and family want to bring their friends and family to visit. We are not the main attraction, the cattle are. But, we don't mind at all.
Three-day-old calf getting a brush. The mother of the children and the mother of the calf are only centimetres away, and neither of them is worried about their babies. Not a registered calf.
1. Quiet, trusting cattle will look to you for direction. This means you can easily train them to do what you want when you want. Well trained cattle make tasks that need to be done on a regular basis a breeze and one off treatments less of a drama. Applying pour on, giving injections or completing A.I. for example, can take minutes with quiet cattle or hours with unruly beasts.
2. It is much easier to lead cattle from the front than it is to direct them from behind. It is much easier to lead one cow out of the paddock with a halter on than it is to move the whole herd somewhere. If we want to put a halter on one of our cattle we just walk up to the little mate in the paddock, say hello with a scratch on the tail head and put on a halter and lead. That quiet, that easy.
3. If you can just walk up to your cattle in the paddock and run your hands all over the cattle, you can check for any number of things as often as you like. For example, the number of ticks on the animal, the number of Buffalo Fly, any scratches, cuts, bites or other unwanted discoveries. You will know straight away if there is an increase or decrease in any number of problems.
4. With seriously quiet cows, you will also know exactly when a cow is going to calve. You can walk up to the cow every day and run your hands all over her and monitor all the little changes that let you know exactly what is happening. There is no monetary value you can put on the joy of actually being there for the birth of a calf. We feel there is no greater privilege than owning a cow that will allow you to handle her newborn calf from day one.
The cattle love lots of kids in the paddock with brushes - a two-year-old heifer.
5. By handling our cattle often, we are also building a level of trust with each and every member of the herd. By stroking and brushing them, we become 'popular' with the cattle, and they seek us out. Being able to give attention to individual animals, enables us to recognise any problems quickly and treat it ourselves (reducing the number of vet visits). It also means we have the cow's trust if we do need to treat her. A cow that will allow you to handle her, lift her feet, open her mouth and feel her udder is easier to look after - especially if she will let you do all this in the paddock. (Injections, ear tags and other tasks where safety is an issue, should always be done in a crush - no matter how quiet your cattle are.)
6. Follow-up care after vet visits is simple and less expensive if you can do it yourself.
7. Seriously quiet cows will also let you handle their very young calves. Very quiet young calves are easy to halter train, and they will allow you to check them for paralysis ticks every day. This in itself can save you hundreds of dollars in vet bills alone and can help avoid the heartbreak of losses.
8. Easy to look after, well-trained miniature cattle are seriously easy to sell. Although the bond you share does make it much harder to part with them (when the time comes).
Many people choose particular breeds of cattle because they are quiet and renown for being docile. However, all cattle are the product of how they have been treated and the amount of time you spend with them.
If cattle of any breed are not handled regularly or have been treated badly, then over time their docile nature will find it difficult to shine through.
If you are talking to a breeder about particular cattle, and you want to know how quiet they are, you need to ask more than one question. If you really want to know how quiet, you need to be specific.
1. If the cattle come up to the fence for hay, will they move away if you come to the fence? Can you walk up to them in the paddock? Can you walk up to them in the paddock and stroke them?
2. If you walk towards the cattle will they: Walk away from you? Run away from you? Stay where they are? Walk towards you? Come right up to you?
3. Where do you need to put the cattle to handle them? In the crush and only in the crush? In a small yard or confined space? Haltered and tied up to something? Stand in the paddock whilst you handle them?
4. When you are handling the cattle will they let you run your hands all over them? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?) Our cattle - in the paddock. Let you apply pour on products? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?) Our cattle - in the paddock. Will they let you lift their legs up and look at their hooves? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?) Our cattle - in the paddock. Will they let you handle their udder or testicles? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?) Our cute cattle - in the paddock.
5. When haltering the cattle how do you put the halter on? Do you need to put them in a crush first? Do you need to put them in a small yard first? Do you need to put a rope around their neck and then halter them? Do you need to give them hay and put the halter on when they are eating? Can you walk up to them in the paddock and just put the halter on? Our cattle - Yes.
Friends often go straight out into the paddock when they come to visit - we are not offended.
Should you be lucky enough to find a breeder with beautiful easy to manage super quiet cattle, you may have to pay a couple of hundred dollars extra (or you may not). When you consider the time and energy you will save on every routine task, the benefits will outweigh the initial cost.
If you start your herd with seriously quiet cattle, it will set the tone of your herd. If you introduce a couple of quiet cattle to your herd, these cattle can help you quieten and train the others.
All our miniature cattle are seriously quiet. Any that we discover are not quiet, despite our best efforts, we sell to people with hundreds of acres. People who are not interested in quiet cattle. We do not breed with nervy or flighty cattle (and we do not sell them to uninformed buyers either).