I've limited cattle experience.The argument that you can stock more small cattle per acre doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It's easier to calve and manage 1 big cow than to calve and manage 2 piddling little cows. Within reason, and bearing technical efficiency in mind, keep the biggest cows that your land can carry.
If it's just to tidy up grass, then how about some Spring born native breed bullocks of the hardy breeds off a hill farm? Keep them over the Winter then pass them on when they've done their job? Would save looking after cows, unless you particularly want cows instead.Sounds like they have limited commercial application.
Maybe a good crossing cow?
Basically I'd like something to use to groom pastures for sheep. Would need to be very low input and out wintered, so small and hardy.
I’m sure you mean 6-650kg live weight not carcass weight.I've limited cattle experience.
But applied to sheep I cannot disagree strongly enough.
I have in my mind a cow that will produce a carcass of 600-650kg at 20-24 months. I'll happily use a beef sire, but I think I want a cow no bigger than 500kg.
Sorry I was doing a few things at once.I’m sure you mean 6-650kg live weight not carcass weight.
There is a saying that you can’t breed rats from mice and it holds more than a grain of truth.
I’ve been taught that a lamb will finish at 50% of the average mature weight of its parents. So if you want a 40 kg fat lamb and have 70kg ewes then a terminal sire breed with a mature weight of 90kg is necessary. Obviously if you are happy to keep your lambs longer and grow them out before finishing larger killing weights are achievable from smaller breeds. I think a similar principle is true of cattle.
If you want a 650 kg finished beast with an acceptable level of fat at 20-24m then I don’t think that is achievable from a 500kg cow. Possibly with the bullocks if the right bull is used but not likely with the heifers and you may find calving a challenge.
Yes I read your thread. I was wondering if things had advanced any since then.@unlacedgecko We looking into these after a I got a bit of a hammering by one of our own - full sized - bullocks a couple of years ago. I did the research and all the good bits about them are true, I think I started a thread on it.
However... the asking price then for a heifer* was £4k, so we thought 'F*ck that!' and decided on the smaller native beef breeds instead. If they are or will come down to <£1k a head, I'd give them serious consideration.
*not even in-calf!