Cattle Preparedness

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Yard Dart, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    In our ongoing journey to create our homestead, we now have cows.
    Recently I ran into an opportunity to pick up three cows from a neighbor that was trying to downsize.
    We acquired 2 Scottish Highlanders (1 yearling bull & a 1.5 year old heifer that might be pregnant). We also picked up a yearling heifer Black Angus/Pinzgauer.

    We fenced in a couple of acres for a start and have 6 more to go this winter.
    Currently I am building a loafing shed for them and will have it completed before the end of the week, when rain is expected.

    The plan is to breed and raise a small herd of beef producers.....more to follow. :)



    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Nice looking shed...but I hope those critters don't get a itch. Cattle will rub hard.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Lots of concrete can solve that... and they are 4X6's..... so pretty solid.
    If they tear it down, they stand in the rain....their choice. :whistle:
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yeppers, and they lean in while rubbing. Half a cow leaning ain't exactly a gentle scratch. Now, we can see how things go. TTTT, I've never seen a cow shed with smaller than 8x8 columns. Doesn't mean I've see everything cow, but ----
    Dunerunner, SB21, Gator 45/70 and 3 others like this.
  5. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I would like to have cattle but I only have 3 cattle related skills. Mending fences, growing green grass from my days as a city boy and killing 4 legged stuff that bothers cows.
  6. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [winkthumb] [winkthumb]

    where is their ear tags?

    have dey had their shots n stuff n things?

    watch out fer 4 legged and 2 legged critters that wanna eat em and so on
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  7. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Look around and scrounge up some old telephone poles,,,, , they make some good pole barns,,,,
  8. madmax

    madmax Far right. Bipolar. Veteran. Don't push me.

    Well dang. Grew up on a farm. Ate livestock. But the shaggy one might become a pet. LOL.
    TinyDreams, Dunerunner, SB21 and 2 others like this.
  9. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    There are some restrictions on disposal of used tele poles, most jurisditions today regard them as hazardous waste, can't just give them away. I've been looking for one "off the books" for a while, no luck in this area. But they are a good idea for yard's next pole barn if available.
  10. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I've always been told Highlands were catty bonkers and hard to handle but I've never actually been around any so that could just be relative to those folks' personal experience. They're so cute though!

    My uncle made a scratching post for his dairy cows, out of a couple of telephone poles braced real good and a railroad tie over top to form an upside down U. Then along the insides of them he attached the broom part of these big commercial brooms with the super stiff bristles. In the summer he'd tie this long bag thing that had insecticide in it to go across the top but kinda swing just below the top broom. So they'd scratch on the brooms and dust themselves at the same time.
  11. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Oh, We have plenty poles broken in half over in Cameron,Calcasieu and Beauregard parish's
  12. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Hate to be a critic but going to anyway :) The first loafing shed I built I used the same wall material. A Month later the cattle had eaten all 3 of the walls. Guess the adhesive used in OCB has a salty flavor they enjoy. Every shed since then has either been post oak 1x8s and bats or metal walls. I also like to put 2x6s about 3'-4' up the inside of the walls Horned Dexters and Highlanders like to work the post from the inside with their horns and they tend to like that from the ground to 3'-4' up. I also rotate hogs onto pastures that cattle leave and the hogs will lay right up against the bottom of the wall and push them out no matter how many screws you used. The inside boards prevent A LOT of Damage to post and walls. That center front post is going to be a prime target for scratching and working the horns on. Might want to screw on some heavier guage L Trim around it to help deter that. Been my experience is whatever you build the livestock see's it as a challenge and their duty to tear it up :)

    Highlanders are a very good choice they are generally pretty docile and easy to handle. They are also probably easiest keepers when it comes to pasture and feed can put them on a pasture full of rag weed and golden rod and they convert it to beef and thrive on it just as well as a good mixed grass and legume pasture.

    Best thing I have found for livestock shed and hen houses are old square tube carport frames. They have no interest in working the metal tube and they are fairly cheap. I buy storm damaged one from folks for $25-$100 and collect the parts until I have enough parts to put together a decent size one. The hen house here is made from probably 4 different ones and cost less than $400 for a 16'W x 24'L . Can also cover them with greenhouse film or Double and triple wall Clear Poly sheets for greenhouses on the cheap.

    This one rotates between feeder pigs in the 20-80 pound range and the laying flock. It has also been used for the Dexter Cattle for a winter shed.

    People used to ask me how much manure does one cow make over a year. SO I made this picture with one of the Highlander/Irish Dexter Cross cows to show how much one small breed cow makes over a year. Same shed as in the chicken picture in the back ground. Just before I replaced the front metal with oak planks. Miss that old cow, had her for for 18 years and she made a prime calf every year for 16 of those years and God knows how many gallons of milk for us. Hard to beat Dexters or Highlanders for homestead cattle. I just prefer less shag and like the Dexter beef and milk more than the highlander. That girl gave us a gallon of milk per day with us sharing with the calves. She would also adopt any other calf and let them nurse freely. LOL bucket and bottle calves ain't my cup of tea so she was real handy when I wanted to bring in some cheap holstein calves and get them up to pasture. Had to keep her separate from the rest of the herd most of the time because of the letting every other cows calf nurse from her, they would suck her down to nothing and then keep trying for more. Anyway that is why I could make a big mound of her shed and hay ring manure and estimate the amount of manure deposited on her private pasture for the picture. Let that pile compost and break down over another year and it was half the size and I filled raised beds with just that composted manure. LOL with 3 cattle you should have all the hay ring and shed manure you will ever need to grow some great gardens.

    Now you just need some horses to use for lawn mowers :)
    TinyDreams, Dunerunner, SB21 and 5 others like this.
  13. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Yup beat me to it DW!
    Looking good Yard. No experience with the highlanders, but they do look cool.We had Herefords and Angus with the odd holstein for milk.
  14. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Exceptions to every rule. Dexters overall are one of the easiest going breeds there is. My bull Zeke was an exception. Nice enough and thought he was a puppy but would not hesitate to destroy 100 feet of fence and go on 5-6 miles road trips and take the whole herd along with him. It only takes one exception and the rumor to spread that (Insert Breed) is crazy and hard to handle. Same with the Highlanders overall they are easy going and not hard to handle and not hard on fence.......... but there are exceptions :) Like I will never figure out how my neighbors two highlanders about three times per year end up in my pastures with no fence down or smashed where they went over. And her angry that she is going to have more half Dexter Highlanders in 9 Months.
    Dunerunner, Ganado, SB21 and 4 others like this.
  15. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Or goats? Sheep? Milk and warm ---
  16. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    And a fence worthy of Fort Knox.

  17. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Been a while since the new peach orchard and goat incident and I still hate goats as much as I did after seeing all the just planted little peach tree stumps :)
  18. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    We have had them a couple of weeks now and they are eating out of hand and not very skittish.
    In time, I think they will be fairly easy to handle, as right now they are not bad at all.
    I like the scratching post idea, will have to look into that!!
  19. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Good info, and I do appreciate the criticism and guidance!!
  20. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    A year later.....
    Nobody has broke any beams or ate any of the panels on the loafing shed.... they think it is a great place to hang when it is windy or rainy. They are like giant goats... they have cleared all of the central wooded area of brush, by either eating it or stomping it into the ground. Both heifers are pregnant from our young bull.... he goes to slaughter in March. The Highlanders are easy to handle... the bull and I have only danced a couple of times as he matured.... I think he is wary of me now. ;)
    Getting some registered Highlanders coming our way in 2022... just waiting on them to be ready.
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