Shetland Cattle

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Shetland Cattle
« on: June 02, 2011, 09:16 »
I'm hoping there is someone out there with experience of Shetland cattle. My wife has recently bought her first cow, a young Shetland which will not be delivered until October this year and I'm trying to find out what I can expect in the way of damage etc to the paddocks.

My wife has shown and told me everything she knows and has been told by others but I just want to make sure I'm not going to end up spending all winter and next spring trying to repair the paddock grass for next year.

Her plan (my wife, not the cow) is to house the cow in the barn over winter if the weather is bad, we live in N.E. Scotland so wonder what the chances of that are, and she will only turn it out when the ground is dry. Whenout in the field the cow will be with my wifes small flock of Heb sheep who dont do any damage to the ground, but love eating trees.

Anybody have any useful information, experience they can share.



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Re: Shetland Cattle
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 16:23 »
Hi Cairnhill,

It doesn't look as though anyone has any direct experience of Shetland cattle, or if they have they haven't seen your questions yet.

You say the cow will be housed indoors over winter and let out when conditions are dry. Presumably then you will feed silage as even if she lived outdoors all year, there probably wouldn't be enough goodness in the grass* for her.

Regarding ground damage I see all around me here, how much damage beef stock cause to the ground when they are over-wintered in the machair strip between our house and the sea. I'm not sure though, how Shetland compare in size and weight to these beasts.

Can you get any information from the breeder or source of the new cow before she arrives?


*That far north or indeed, even this far north.
"They say a snow year's a good year" -- Rutherford.



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Re: Shetland Cattle
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 06:42 »
I have checked with my aunt who likes rare breed cattle and she said Shetland cattle are a smaller bred of cows, and that they had be using them in some woods thats she knew of for conservation grazing as they are less destructive than most other breeds and poach the ground less.
They apparently tame very well and are easier to halter break and handle than a lot of the big breeds.
They have a long life span, and will often carry on producing calves into their 20's.
And the resultant calves taste nice!

hope that helps

Good luck as they do sound sweet (dont think OH will appreciate a cow in our garden though!)
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Re: Shetland Cattle
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 13:41 »
I don't have any experience of them - yet!

Our friends who we share our land with have just bought some that will be delivered at the end of July.  Two cows, two calves and hopefully both cows will also be in calf - they are with the bull now.

I understand that as they are smaller they do less damage to your land but we will see.  I think they are planning on keeping them outside all year round, although we do have a barn that they can go in if need be.

We can compare notes!
I always find that work gets in the way of life.

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