Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Herd Of Cows

When we moved out here to the country, the first thing my husband wanted to do was to get some cows. The people who lived here before had cows and we couldn't have sheep because we have coyotes and didn't have the kind of protection we'd need for sheep. Well, Jon fell in love with cows. Me, not so much. Well, not at first. The first group of cows (really steers) we had were a mangy looking group a guy sold us who sold hay (we found out later - hay that wasn't the greatest quality) to us here locally.

Nonetheless, I had just read Nourishing Traditions (which I HIGHLY recommend) and I had found out how really red meat wasn't so bad for you as we have been led to believe, it is how red meat is typically fed in this country. So, we decided with that first bunch of cattle (I'm getting my terminology right now) to grass feed them. Well, anyhow, that first batch weren't the most fantastic growers and they CERTAINLY weren't tame, but they made good meat.

Now, I still wasn't so keen on this cow thing. Generally I considered cows ugly and stinky and not very interesting. Plus, my husband was a bit BUSY with those cattle the first year. And I was jealous. Rightfully so. Anyhow, the obsession wore off and my husband, being the faithful husband that he is, wanted to find a way to make me happy with the cows. In comes raising Pinzgauers and having baby calves. This last year was our first year having calves. Unfortuneately, we had some troubles with that. But, we got one adorable Pinzgauer calf out of it and her name is Annabelle.

Pinzgauers are a beautiful breed of cattle. They are known for their beautiful color, resistance to disease, tenderness of meat, low cholesterol of meat, good growth rate, and tameness of breed. Unfortuneately, it turns out the breed has a bit of an Achilles Heal. They are known for problematic births, especially in Heiffers (1st time mommies). So, we lost two of three calves. It was heartbreaking for my husband. We probably would have been able to save at least one of them if we had more experience.

My husband got curious at that point about other breeds. He had previously gotten some Angus steers that were really good growers from a local breeder and liked them. So, he looked into getting some Heiffers (1st time Mommas) with them. Bottom line, this year we have 2 Pinzgauer Cows (2nd time moms), 1 Red Angus Cow, and 2 Black Angus Cows which are suppose to have calves this next spring. We are looking forward to it. In addition to those 5 cows, we have 1 Heiffer (girl) calf, and 14 steers (yes my husband is crazy - this is not his full time job). Oh yeah, we also have a bull on loan which is on our property.

Well, anyhow, here are some pictures. First I show you the calf and her mommy. Annabelle, the calf, is such a sweetheart. She lets me pet her anywhere and especially loves her belly rubbed. She comes over to us and the girls. And she stands still for us. I'm not sure if she is properly halter broke. If anyone could help us with that, that would be great.


Pinzgauer Calf - Annabelle


Annabelle And Mom


Annabelle and The Herd


The Herd

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