Warning: Don't Buy Livestock from This Breeder in Warkworth

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7 years 1 month ago #531671 by Ruth

Rokker wrote:

Ruth wrote: You bought them as two-year-olds and putting a bull over them at that age is not unreasonable.

I think she mentioned they were actually 4 year olds in the opening post, Ruth. So even more so reasonable and mature to put into calf....

No, there's some question over their age. They were sold as 2-y-o, as far as I understand. Various other things have made Salma suspicious they were older but foot and tail length are not reliable indicators of age and a number on a tag isn't proof either. I'm hoping Salma might answer the question of teeth stated on the killsheet/s and also what birth details were in the NAIT system, which, if they were younger, would state a later birth year than was on their tags.

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7 years 1 month ago #531672 by Rokker
Yes, that would certainly answer the age question. Pity there's no way now of verifying the condition the animals were in when leaving the breeder.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

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7 years 1 month ago #531673 by Furball
Well, that was certainly a terrible introduction for a beginner to keeping cattle. I'm glad you haven't been put off altogether.

However, I'd urge you not to take the wrong lessons from it as regards the dexter breed. Saying, "Never agin will we ever have dexters" supposes the breed is at fault, but overweight cattle of any breed will have calving issues. Properly managed, dexters are very easy-calving. My cow has calved healthy calves without any assistance every year for six years. I wish she'd actually do it a bit less quickly as so far I've never managed to be present at a birth - just turned up to see an already- cleaned calf in the paddock.

As regards their temperament, there are definitely bad-tempered dexters, but other dexters are very placid and easily handled, so again not necessarily the breed, but more down to the breeder and handling. If you decided to go for dexters for a specific reason in the first place (small, hardy, thrifty, easy on pasture) I'd suggest you don't give up on the breed, but instead go to a different breeder, (contact the Dexter Society for reputable breeders) and this time take along a friend who's experienced with cattle so you can get an accurate assessment of temperament, structure and body condition before you buy.

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7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #531674 by Ruth

Rokker wrote: Yes, that would certainly answer the age question. Pity there's no way now of verifying the condition the animals were in when leaving the breeder.


I'm not entirely sure it matters, since there was at least nine months, probably closer to a year with mating as well, through a winter (must have been a winter in there sometime), to address any condition issues. Salma posted pictures of her overweight heifers a couple of months (at least?) before they were due to calve, grazing in belly-high grass. The problem cannot be sheeted entirely (or possibly at all) back to the breeder. Even the foot issues may be partly due to the condition and feed levels of the animals, if they got so fat and had no need to move anywhere much. As for the length of their tails... ;)

Several of us expressed concern earlier (and offered help) but Salma said she wasn't able to influence the feed levels of the heifers and so they continued on too much and then had the predicted calving problems.

Blaming it on Dexters as a breed is tricky too, since these were also Red Devon!
Last edit: 7 years 1 month ago by Ruth.

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7 years 1 month ago #531865 by VioletFarmer
After refreshing my mind again by looking up your November? post about your very over weight heifers....... unfortunately for you- you did not do what i would call your 'due diligence' in regards to getting another opinion on the heifers you purchased= prior to purchasing them. That, combined with the inexperience of the person or persons who were responsible for their care and feeding, imho has combined to make the outcome of calving and your subsequent decision to on sell/ send to slaughter rather foolhardy. Obtaining some information from DairyNZ or www.beeflambnz.com about how to condition score stock, i feel would be very beneficial to you and your family. As would kgs/dm (kilograms of dry matter) required to gain stock weight/ hold stock weigh/ or lose stock weight. Being a stock owner isn't always sunshine and rainbows- and certainly isn't as simple as chucking the animals in a paddock and expecting them to be fine. I grew up on a 580 acre sheep & beef farm (18 yrs) but i have had to learn a truck load more since working on dairy farms, rearing our own calves and lambs- im always learning new tricks, tips and info. Blaming the previous owner of the heifers + saying she 'told you' to put a bull with them asap (its your decision) + not monitoring their feed well enough + not getting a Vet when the majority of advice was to do so- but ignored (calf died and rotted inside the heifer) + taking one persons advice to send heifers all to the works :o + (and to me this was the most unbelievable part..... you didn't contact the seller immediately when the heifers arrived- as you had issues- didn't contact them to query their age- their feet- did they arrive at your place with feet like that? I think that once they have arrived on your property and you have paid for them (accepted the stock) and not raised any issues- i feel its on you from then on. Weather it was inexperience or negligence- i feel the time to complain was when they arrived.

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7 years 1 month ago #531867 by cowvet
I'm confused
You are blaming the breeder for the condition they calved in 15 months after you purchased them
and ageing them on their feet and tails.
Id be pretty careful about condemning a breeder if that were the case.


I love animals...they're delicious
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7 years 3 weeks ago #532358 by permaculture15
I bought them Extremely overweight from the breeder, but being very very new to cattle with little knowledge, I didn't know that overweight heifers/cows = very difficult births.
The breeder/previous owner really pressured me to rush and hurry up with leasing a Dexter bull to put over them, and I was trusting her, thinking that she was looking out for the wellbing of the heifers she sold me. So I got a bull over them within 6 weeks of buying them. Our neighbour, who is a farmer of dairy + beef for 50 years, came over soon after we bought them (and after the bull had bred with them) and told us they were way too fat. But what to do? They were already mated and then pregnant.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532359 by permaculture15
Now we are keeping a dairy goat for milk (we get three litres a day) and in future, we will only be buying steer weaner calves to rear and send to works as beef. No more breeding cattle for us. It was a very horrible and traumatic first experience for us.

And there is really no reason for us to keep Dexters in future, except maybe one as a house cow.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532360 by permaculture15
Thank you for your advice/suggestions Violet Farmer.

But I will say this: the calf DID NOT rot inside the heifer. It came out in less than a week of the heifer looking unwell.
And my sister and I checked the calf over and buried it, and I assure you that it was a perfect bull calf, not rotten or smelling or decomposed at all. We found it within 5 or six hours of it being born (it was born in the middle of the night and we found it early the next morning).

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532363 by tonic
I am sorry this has been a traumatic experience for you. It may well be that you were sold cattle with poor conformation etc but the weight issue really isn't any fault of the breeder. I recall you being advised to reduce their feed and you had nine months to remedy their weight issues before they calved. I don't think you can blame the breeder for your not having done that, just as if she had sold you skinny cattle and you had chosen not to feed them enough to fatten them to a healthy weight you couldn't blame her for that nine months later.

Clearly this first experience hasn't gone well for you and your family. I do hope that the goats work out better for you.

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7 years 3 weeks ago - 7 years 3 weeks ago #532364 by Rokker
With respect, Permaculture, just accept that you mismanaged the situation this time around. Instead of blaming the breeder for your inexperience, learn from your mistakes, let it drop and move on. Farming is a continuous process of learning - non of us are exempt from making errors from time to time, but it's futile trying to pass the buck when a sad outcome is ultimately your own fault.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!
Last edit: 7 years 3 weeks ago by Rokker.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532372 by hilldweller

permaculture15 wrote: Now we are keeping a dairy goat for milk (we get three litres a day) and in future, we will only be buying steer weaner calves to rear and send to works as beef. No more breeding cattle for us. It was a very horrible and traumatic first experience for us.

And there is really no reason for us to keep Dexters in future, except maybe one as a house cow.


If you want a housecow then you will be breeding cattle, or at least breeding one cow. But if you do a bit of homework, get some good advice, and also set things up so you can manage them a bit better there's no reason it shouldn't be a good experience.

hilldweller

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7 years 2 weeks ago #532592 by Inger
We've been breeding Dexter cattle for the past 14 years and haven't had the type of calving issues that you had. Yes, I had to assist with some of the calvings, but generally, Dexters calve unassisted. I didn't see any of our calves being born for the first two years of owning them, as they always calved unassisted, during the night, without any problems.

The best way to reduce feed intake by cows is to use electric tape and standards to 'breakfeed' a strip of grass at a time. That way you can control the amount they eat each day. You could also pen them in some stock yards and feed them hay, while letting them onto grass for a hour or so per day. That would work as well. But getting advice from a vet, as soon as you think there might be a problem, is the best way of preventing a disaster.

I've dealt with the lady you bought from and haven't had any negative experiences in my dealings. When you are new to animal ownership, it's best to find a knowledgeable friend that you trust, to go with you, to help you select cattle before buying. That way you can get animals that best suit your needs.

The lady you dealt with breeds Red Devon X Dexters for meat production. They way an animal is fed, has a lot to do with their health. Before taking on a type of animal that you are unfamiliar with, it's best to read as much as you can about that type of animal. Doing you homework saves a lot of trial and error later.

If you did decide to look into purebred Dexters at some point, I'm the area rep for Northland, for the Dexter Cattle Association and will gladly advise you on the care of Dexter cattle and general health needs of cattle in general. I grew up on a dairy farm, so I'm familiar with things that can go wrong and ways of preventing problems by planning ahead. You can email me if you like. Send me a Private Message through this forum and I'll give you my email address.

If you want a house cow, there is a lady near Kaiwaka who has halter trained Dexters which could make useful housecows. I can give you her contact details if you like. She would be able to sell them in-calf and give you advice on training them as house cows.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.
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7 years 2 weeks ago - 7 years 2 weeks ago #532675 by footinmouth
I have come to this discussion late and I am sorry to say like a number of people have told you I am going to tell you something you wont like to hear.

You chose to buy these stock and you chose to not take someone with experience with you to look at them before buying.

That is your number one mistake.

After that everything cannot be blamed on anyone else but you. It is unfair to blame someone else for your mistakes and inexperience. The breeder may for all you know been selling off stock they didnt want to breed from. As a rule I would be happier with 4 yr maidens as opposed to 2 yr old maidens. The animal has better bone and is generally more able to cope. If you look at a paddock full of R2's you can spot any R3's with them in a heartbeat.

Sadly this is the sort of behaviour that gives those of us on lifestyle blocks a bad name.
Last edit: 7 years 2 weeks ago by footinmouth.

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