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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Our family has been breeding cattle in Australia and the UK for about 40 years, and our two breeds of choice were British breeds.

The first breed we decided on were South Devons, which tend to be slow growing but when fully grown they are enormous. A bull at 18 months typically weighed around 800KG (1760lbs). Fully grown a bull would often weigh over a ton.

They look like Limousins, and our stock agents always sold the calves as Limousins regardless of us always booking them in as South Devons. The reason they gave was that the meat buyers would not pay the same money for South Devons, although they produced a much higher dressing percentage.

The second breed we chose was British White. Much smaller, and for some reason more acceptable to the meat buyers at the saleyards.

Both breeds were very docile, and that made it easier for me to handle them. That was important to me because of my small size.

Looking forward to learning more and maybe helping in some way.

There will be no Bullshirt from me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great to have ya here!
Thanks for your welcome. I would like to expand on my introduction in which I wrote about British Breeds by talking about TEMPERAMENT AND TRAINING.

As I mentioned, both of the breeds we bred were gentle, and because I had stunted growth due to a serious health problem in infancy, their gentle temperament was a great asset.

TEMPERAMENT: I could stand in the forcing yard with 8 or 10 beasts towering over me and all I had to do was tap them on the rump and they would move forward. If I gave them a little push on the ribs, they would move sideways. I was never kicked, jostled or pushed. ( I talked to them quite a lot to remind them of my presence.)

TRAINING: We made habit of calling them every time we wanted to move them to a fresh paddock, and eventually they would follow me as though I was a shepherd leading a flock.

When we moved to the larger property, we trained them by calling them to willingly go to the yards and through the race but we didn't close the head bails, so they had a quiet walk through and then we fed them some alfalfa hay. After a few runs through they didn't need the hay as an incentive, because we had the choice of two paddocks that the race opened into, and we could send them to one with fresh feed.

After successfully negotiating the purchase of a neighbour's very big property, we had to move most of the herd to the new property and train them all over again.

We used cattle dogs, but I might write more about them later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These cattle sound very sweet. I can't wait to here about your dogs.
Over the years we have had a variety of breeds that helped us with cattle.
WELSH CORGI. Don't laugh, but this breed was traditionally used by Welsh farmers to help bring their cattle in for milking, and the one we had and loved was as near to human as you can get. Allowed inside only as far as the dividing line between the floor tiles and the carpet, he often tried to sneak a little way over. When reprimanded he would grumble and believe me, it sounded as though he was articulating a complaint. As a cattle dog, his short legs were compensated for by his intelligence. He knew exactly what to do, without us even whistling. Sadly, he died of snake bite. (Australia has some of the most venomous snakes in the world, and we lost 3 to snake bite.)
BORDER COLLIE. Started life as a family pet, but her instincts got her promoted to stock work, at which she excelled.
BLUE CATTLE DOG. Tended to be a bit rough on the cattle, but they in turn knew that he meant business, and they kept moving when he was near.
AUSTRALIAN KELPIE. An unusual dog due to him being the result of an accidental mating of his mother with a dingo (Australia's native wild dog.) Much of the time he occupied himself with propping up the wall on our verandah, where he sat up on his backside, and watched the comings and goings. He tended to be timid in close encounters with cattle, but when he sighted a fox he yelped with excitement and chased it down. Often he would manage to corner the fox while our youngest son rode up and finished off the fox. That son named the dog "Boss" so that he could order the boss around. Boss didn't know how to bark, (dingoes don't bark, they howl) so I had to teach him! When he jumped off the back of our 4WD pickup to help me move the stock, I had to bark first, otherwise he would remain silent!!! In his old age he became deaf and blind and it was my sad role to put him down.
CATTLE CAT ??? No, not a dog, but brought up in the hay shed as an orphaned kitten, she followed the youngest son everywhere, including out to the farthest paddocks, and stayed with him as he brought the stock in to the yards. While they were in the race, she walked back and forth along the top rail. Her only real value was that the cattle didn't like having this strange creature behind them, and always wanted to move away from her.
 

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Bullshirt, I very much enjoy your style of writing.
Yes, I did chuckle when I read about your Corgi! But through your point of view, it sounds as though he worked hard and smart. Cattle cat had me rolling on the floor!! 🤣🤣 I am not very fond of felines but your writing intrigues me. Wow! A dingo x Kelpie?? How in the world did y'all get a female dog that close to a dingo? Don't know much about Australia, but I have always assumed dingos were wild and lone hunters, sort of like coyotes?

On our ranch, we use 4 border collies and 3 mutts. One of our mutts I used to think was a Kelpie mix (exact markings!!) but I now presume is a Husky x GSD. She is a great herder, so must have that cattle breed somewhere in her mystery genetics!

If you know much about horse breeding, "blue cattle dog" sounds equivalent to that of the Hancock line of American Quarter Horses. Hard working, all business, and needs a job or gets rank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bullshirt, I very much enjoy your style of writing.
Yes, I did chuckle when I read about your Corgi! But through your point of view, it sounds as though he worked hard and smart. Cattle cat had me rolling on the floor!! 🤣🤣 I am not very fond of felines but your writing intrigues me. Wow! A dingo x Kelpie?? How in the world did y'all get a female dog that close to a dingo? Don't know much about Australia, but I have always assumed dingos were wild and lone hunters, sort of like coyotes?

On our ranch, we use 4 border collies and 3 mutts. One of our mutts I used to think was a Kelpie mix (exact markings!!) but I now presume is a Husky x GSD. She is a great herder, so must have that cattle breed somewhere in her mystery genetics!

If you know much about horse breeding, "blue cattle dog" sounds equivalent to that of the Hancock line of American Quarter Horses. Hard working, all business, and needs a job or gets rank.
The dingo broke through the wire where the female Kelpie was in heat. As you would know a dog can do amazing things to get to a female in heat. Dingos often hunt alone, but they also run in packs. They have become accustomed to humans and will come close to houses. They can be dangerous if tourists feed them.

Yes, the blue cattle dog, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, is a very tough and hard working breed. If kept as a guard dog they will allow intruders in while hiding out of sight, but when the intruder tries to leave they usually do so minus a lot of blood.
 

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The dingo broke through the wire where the female Kelpie was in heat. As you would know a dog can do amazing things to get to a female in heat. Dingos often hunt alone, but they also run in packs. They have become accustomed to humans and will come close to houses. They can be dangerous if tourists feed them.

Yes, the blue cattle dog, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, is a very tough and hard working breed. If kept as a guard dog they will allow intruders in while hiding out of sight, but when the intruder tries to leave they usually do so minus a lot of blood.
You have got some amazing stories to share! Can't wait to hear more from you as ya post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"On our ranch, we use 4 border collies and 3 mutts. One of our mutts I used to think was a Kelpie mix (exact markings!!) but I now presume is a Husky x GSD. She is a great herder, so must have that cattle breed somewhere in her mystery genetics!" In Australia the GSD is most commonly called a German Shepherd, and it can be seen almost anywhere, in grazing country, in the cities as companions, at riots and protests as police dogs helping control the crowds.

I remember from my high school days that it was bred for sheep herding - hence the name includes the word shepherd. When traveling through Switzerland and Austria with my family, we were surprised to see them at work. I imagine that the Husky coat would show up well in a cross with a GSD.

One of my sons bred huskies for some time, but there were two things that my wife and I disliked about them: 1. Their wanderlust. Rather like a beagle, they wanted to roam and if their enclosure was not as secure as Stalag Luft they would make a Great Escape and kind neighbours would let us know when they arrived. 2. They couldn't bear to be alone and howled as soon as my son was out of sight.

Their good point was their friendliness.
 
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