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  #1  
Unread January 7th, 2009, 17:54
jann jann is offline
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Default Shelter for Cattle

Is it standard procedure for cattle to be kept in an open field with no natural or man-made shelter, especially through the present adverse weather conditions?
I always believed they would be kept in some kind of shelter.

Look forward to hearing any responses.
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  #2  
Unread January 7th, 2009, 22:05
Rhodie Rhodie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jann
Is it standard procedure for cattle to be kept in an open field with no natural or man-made shelter, especially through the present adverse weather conditions?
I always believed they would be kept in some kind of shelter.

Look forward to hearing any responses.
Breeds which are not adapted to the area in which they are being farmed, especially dairy breeds, need to be housed in winter. Breeds which are adapted to local conditions are usually kept ouside, sometimes with some trees for shelter, or hedges to act as windbreaks, but not always, as Highland cattle for example will lie out in the snow on the hillsides, even where there is access to trees. The most common reason for housing cattle in countries such as England is to preserve the grassland from "poaching" which is trampling and compacting wet soils,killing the grass for next season.
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  #3  
Unread January 8th, 2009, 08:28
jann jann is offline
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Thank you for your swift reply, Rhodie.

The breed in this case are Charlet so not a dairy breed. The field they are kept in is an exposed one, on high-ish ground with some sloping hedging. Over the years young bullocks have been introduced to this field each Spring until - I presume - they went to market. This is the first time I have seen them overwintered here. They huddle together near their hay container but my main concern was especially for the two youngsters. Can I assume by your posting, that they will be adapted to their conditions?

Thank you once again for your response; it's much appreciated.
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  #4  
Unread January 8th, 2009, 20:16
Rhodie Rhodie is offline
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I was thinking more in terms of native breeds as adapted, eg; Hereford, Angus or Devons in your area. Charolais are a Continental breed, and from a warmer part of France, so not as adapted as British breeds. The important criteria would be, the field needs to be well drained, south facing, and have sufficient hedging to act as a windbreak, the cattle should be comfortable under these conditions, with feed and water available. If you are still concened, have someone who is experienced in animal husbandry to have a look for you, if need be have the RSPCA check them, if only for your piece of mind. I am on the"Freedom Foods" scheme, so am regularly audited for a high standard of welfare, so I have no patience with people who do not mainain a high standard of stockmanship.
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  #5  
Unread January 9th, 2009, 11:54
jann jann is offline
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Thanks once again and pardon me for mispelling Charolais, Rhodie!

The field is more or less south facing but as I have said previously, it is on high-ish ground, in that it is in a more elevated position than the rest of our village. As a result it always feels much more exposed, even if it's a calm summer's day, there is often a breeze there. (I walk my dogs each day along a disused airstrip running alongside this field.) It is a sloping field and there is deciduous hedging running up the side of it with a low wire fence adjoining the field and airstrip on the other side (this is the highest point of the field level so my assumption is that it will be well drained).

The cattle at present, tend to stand huddled together near a corner where the hedging and wire fence meet. It is probably because their hay container is here. I cannot see (neither have I ever seen) any water vessel/container and last night their hay container looked pretty empty (they were headbutting each other to get to what remained, I believe). The wind has been very fierce as well, prior to the icy weather but has now subsided to a lesser extent.

I do still have my concerns. I am an avid animal lover, and may well be deemed a little 'too soft' in terms of farming procedures as I know very little about animal husbandry.

I have previously complained to the same farmer about his sheep (in this field), many of whom had such bad foot problems one year that they were standing with their bottoms in the air (front feet down to the ground) and in one case, a sheep was unable to stand or walk at all which help make my concerns more justifiable.

I have emailed a duty vet in animal health and am awaiting her opinion before I consider further action. I may take my camera up there this evening.

Thank you once again for your advice.
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  #6  
Unread July 29th, 2009, 08:04
pacman77 pacman77 is offline
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Default shelter would be best

If you look at a cows coat it does not have much substance to it like a reindeer or buffalo and you would think they would freeze in a frost but they seem to handle it surprisingly well I have seen them chewing away contently in snow conditions but if there are trees or shelter breaks they will use them so their way of saying they will have shelter if it is available.
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  #7  
Unread November 9th, 2009, 12:06
From field to fork From field to fork is offline
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Are DEFRA any use in these circumsatances? I am surprised that the Local Council will not act either.
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  #8  
Unread November 9th, 2009, 20:19
Rhodie Rhodie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by From field to fork
Are DEFRA any use in these circumsatances? I am surprised that the Local Council will not act either.

Defra are of no use at all!, most stock owners/managers are good with their husbandry, but there is always the odd one who should not be let near livestock, the RSPCA are the better organisation to help in these circumstances, often, they can advise the owner and sort out the problem amicably, but can take action if necessary.
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