So. My husband and I decided to rehome our horse, and in turn step into the world of beef cattle. I still have my rosie, 13 month old Jersey heifer for dairy. But, we will be getting 2 dexter cows, one who just calved and the other who is due to calf in october! I would love some insight on Dexter's, introducing cows to each other, how many square bales of hay a day to feed them all, and information for a first timer with a pregnant cow/calves!
I have Aberdeens,they are a beef breed and little bit bigger than a Dexter. I too am horseless now. I feed the cows one flake of grass hay per cow twice a day. Feed more or less depending if they clean up what I feed earlier. The vet says there fat. I have had small problems when my cow calved,the other heifer tried to mount day old calf. After that I kept mom and baby separately for a few days to bond. I have never had cows till I got Mabel and now her 2 daughters. There size makes it more manageable for me and my feed bill. They each have their own personality. Looking forward to hearing about your new girls.
Introducing cows to each other is likely to start a dominance fight. If your pasture is big enough let them sort it out themselves. The pregnant cow should go off by herself to calve and rejoin the herd a few days later when the calf is sturdy enough to get out of the way of conflict. Most cows seem to know they are newborns and won't all out clobber them. If you pen up the pregnant mom you will have to be able to judge when she can return but make sure there is enough space for the calf to stand clear. Calves seem to love to watch fights and stand near but are quick to move just far enough away to not get hurt. If you separate and then return old friends they may or may not have a little skirmish but seem to know their place in the herd. One time I fed the herd right after a calf was born. Wouldn't you know it, the calf came wobbling up behind a dominant cow and as I'm shouting to DH to get it away the calf got kicked very hard and looked like a goner. However, calves are oddly sturdy and she was up after a couple of minutes good as new. Sooner or later calves need to learn the rules of the herd, so if the mom has good instincts she'll keep the calf away herself in the first critical days. Since you are buying new cows pregnant and with calves I would be more careful as new cows fight more aggressively. My experience with Dexters is limited to two cows. Both were/are very bold despite their size.
I had one dexter that was a terrible girl and fought with everyone. The other two were more laid back but there will likely still be a tussle at first. Like above - just make sure they have enough room to go at it without running into something - especially since the one is pregnant. Maybe let one in at a time with your jersey girl...? So it’s not a free-for-all? (And hopefully it’s not muddy so they slip and go down)
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
May 23, 2019 13:07:11 GMT -5
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