Other common names: Standard Galloway; Black Galloway; Red Galloway; Dun Galloway
Although not accurately recorded, the history of the Galloway cattle points to its origins in Scotland. The Galloway was introduced to the Unites States in the late 1800s and has, since then, become a valued breed for its ability to thrive under sparse and less-than-ideal pasture conditions and to acclimate to various climates. The Galloway is now common in many parts of the world.
Appearance / health:
Galloways are medium-sized polled cattle with a double coat: a long outer coat of hair and a fur-like undercoat for insulation. The double coat helps the animal thrive in harsh weather conditions. The regular Galloway has a black, red, or dun (reddish brown) coat.
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.
Galloways are known to be calm and tame but can also be aggressive if threatened by predators.
Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.
Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.
Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).
A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.
Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.
The time my Dad decided to randomly buy cows
I was fairly young when my dad was on an out-of-town business trip and came back with four head of cattle. This is northern Canada, so it's not the strangest thing he could have come home with.
My sister and I were just kids, so we thought that they were simply fairly large pets. My dad didn't tell us until much later that we were actually going to eat them. They were range cattle before we owned them, and didn't at all like being confined anywhere. So they were irritable about being forced into a trailer for the ride to our farm. They also didn't like being confined in such a small field, and so the entire summer was spent fencing in order to expand their roaming area.
They remained temperamental throughout their time with us, chasing both my sister and I, along with our dogs, out of the field whenever we strayed that way.
They were very hardy animals. The only thing we gave them was a salt block, and other than that, they were very happy to graze on wild grass and drink from the pond. They grew thick, wooly coats in the winter that protected them from sub-zero temperatures. The depth of the snow didn't bother them either.
One of the four animals calved in the spring, a very easy birth. She was extremely protective of her calf, charging at anyone that tried to approach him. He grew fairly quickly, although we sold him before he reached full weight.
We didn't have them for that long, just about a year. Two of them we had butchered, and they made good beef. We lived on one cow for a very long time. We sold the meat from the other to a family friend. The other two we sold. I'm informed their commercial value wasn't great. However, that could simply be because buying the cattle in the first place was a random decision to begin with.
I didn't like them at all. I've visited other farms, and I thought they would be like the more docile and gentle Guernsey cattle we'd seen before. But there's no doubt that they were pretty much the perfect, hardy animal for the northern regions of Canada..
From AlexW Oct 25 2014 9:16PM