Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rocket or Cow…

Some days I am not sure!  This cow stuff might just end up being more rocket science than not. One thing is for sure the options are staggering.  Main stream cattle breeds like the Angus have some advantages in the selling department.  The cattle auction is very favorable to a large black cow (read as they fear change).   However, the realities are that the Angus cow is really not the best breed to be had.  Some would argue that they are far from it.  The Standard, hornless, black cow is really just what the feed lots want.  I really prefer quality over quantity and there are many a breed other than the main stream ones that have much more to offer.  At that point we get into the local mixed breed mutt or a pure or cross bread animal.  Supporting the old heritage breeds sounds the most profitable to me.  Some of these breeds have been around for centuries and have proven themselves to be self sufficient.  Also,, on our adventures in Ireland and Scotland a few years back, we really enjoyed the local animals.  The old Scottish breeds are beautiful animals.  The highland cow is just a sight to behold.
  They are, as you can see, a little impractical as far as real world interaction and such.  That is when I looked into the Galloway. They are the close cousin of the “high cow”, as my daughter calls them, and they come in black and are naturally polled (hornless).
   So that does it right?  Galloway cattle it is...
Nice try, remember this is rocket science!  The Galloway comes in a handful of flavors.  Strait up, Miniature, and don't forget the Beltie.  The Belted Galloway, or Oreo cow,as it is sometimes called because of its white creamy center, is close to my heart.  Hey, I love Oreo's okay!  Besides Oreos and milk!  Come on… how cool would it be to get your raw milk from an Oreo colored cow and then sit on the porch in your rocking chair with a plate of Oreo cookies.  Yeah, yeah, novelty aside these are some quality cattle that love them some grass.
So we are getting closer I think… Wait mini Galloway's! Are you kidding me?  Nope, Australian researchers started a mini breed of the Galloway in the mid 70’s.  Why a miniature breed?  Actually the average cow size in Europe is smaller than in the states.  Actually that holds true for pigs, sheep, you name it.  America has bread their cattle (and other live stock) to meet the size demands of the slaughter house.  Our open space is also greater.  One of the concerns I have with cattle is the logistics of working with and transporting 1800 - 2200 pound animals.  Also I am looking at a small scale farm operation.  Not just in numbers of animals but in land as well.  125 acres is just barely big enough to be considered a small family farm.  The mini breed yields equal to or greater ratios of beef as their full size brothers.  While allowing you to double your head count per acre.
Mini BG CalfMini BG
I think we are really getting close now…  Wait you want how much for the Galloway’s ????
New poll… Lets just make it the Next American Farm Animal contest!  Leave your vote in the poll before you leave!


  1. Raising cattle may not be rocket science, but be careful about their by-products. Allegedly, they can be used for rocket fuel.

    On second thought...I guess you're right. Cows are rocket science. :)

  2. Two parts Poo and one part fuse!