We have a new addition to the Homestead. It is a big addition. Like 1100 pounds big. But let me back up one second.
My brother in law has always wanted beef cows. Recently he found a good deal on some bred Herefords, so he got two of them. I happened to ask if the guy who was selling them had any other breeds, and sure enough he did. He had a couple Belted Galloway crosses. They were half Beltie half shorthorn, so a good smaller beef cow. I have always liked the Belted Galloway, and despite their relative rarity, we have several farms around here that have them. I was interested.
After looking at the Craigslist ad, and getting the green light from my wife, I called the gentleman to see if the cow who’s belt was solid, was still available. She was, so I made the trip up to his place with my brother in law’s trailer.
All that to say we now have a full sized cow on the farm. She has been here for a little over 24 hours and seems to be settling down a bit. The gentleman we got her from called her Oreo, which is a little generic since that is the breed nickname, but that is the name with which we are going to stay. Oreo had never seen sheep before, so she was very anxious when she arrived. I let her stay in the trailer for a bit scoping things out, but she was still on edge when she was out.
The sheep for their part were just curious about this new, huge creature released into the pasture. She wasn’t interested in being friends with the wooly sheep, and mock charged them several times. That promptly ended the sheep’s curiosity. I entered the pasture to try and calm her down and make sure she saw the hay bale. She wasn’t interested in being friends with me either, and mock charged me. Needless to say the rate at which my heart was beating increases significantly.
Most of the night she was restless. Her calf had been weaned a few days ago but the gentleman didn’t realize she started nursing another calf when hers was taken away. The good news about this is that she has strong maternal instincts. The less great news is that she is bellowing for her calf, and it had me seriously worried she would try to leave the pasture to find him. Fortunately she is still here today. And she seems much calmer. Yesterday she was curious about the steer calf we have here, but I think after he saw her mock charge the sheep he wanted nothing to do with her. Today they seem to have made friends, laying near each other and he seems at ease with her.
She has been exposed to an Angus bull, so in the spring we will hopefully have a 1/4 Beltie, 1/4 shorthorn, and 1/2 Angus calf to raise for meat. My plan is to work with her over the winter and get her used to being handled so that I can see if she will make into a milking cow. If not, I will start upbreeding her with beltie and continue to get a higher percentage Belted Galloway cows. Either way, we will have a good beef breed, and at only four years old, I could feasibly get another 14 calves from her.
The adventure continues.