We do not have a mature dairy bull on our farm. We have been told by those more experienced than we, that dairy bulls are the most dangerous farm animal around.
We do however have a bunch of bull calves here on the farm awaiting to be banded. Our 13 year old castrated one bull calf they are raising for their grandmother…we have 6 more to go but are allowing the young calves to gain a bit more weight.
Today, we had an up close and personal introduction to a really amazing Guernsey dairy bull from the Guernsey Dairy farm in Kentucky. It was a great home school field trip!
Mr. Guernsey Dairyman was a wonderful host and let our whole crew pile on his gator and ride the pasture to see the Guernsey girls! Wow! Was that ever a treat for us to see so many Guernsey’s at one time. We oooohhhed and ahhhed over them. They were all ages and all sizes.
One our way back to the dairy barn, he stopped to introduce us to his bull. Bulls are incredibly territorial, so he noticed us right away and started coming towards us.
I began to doubt if the electric fence wire was on and even if it was…Brutus here, looked like he didn’t care about a thin little wire. Mr. Guernsey Dairyman stopped the gater and began to tell us about his bull and the calves and other things that faded out of my hearing as I watch the big bull just feet from us start bellowing and rub his head into the ground. I wasn’t sure what that was a sign for, but I was sure he was not liking all 11 of us staring at him and his girls.
Mr. Guernsey Dairyman went on about how dangerous bulls were. The bull stopped rubbing his head on the ground and got up snorting dust out of his nose and stomping his foot several times…just like in the movies. Boys are amused at this sort of thing. Not me. Now I am really sure we should just get back to the barn. I’m content to look at the impressive beast from a distance. They were thrilled with the great front row seat!
We had a great time and after all that, brought home two Guernsey bull calves. (although not staying a bull!)
Dairy steers make excellent beef and you can often find them quite inexpensive compared to the beef breed counterpart. While they have a higher bone to meat ratio…dairy steers offer high quality beef for a fraction of the cost of ..say… a registered Angus.
Caring for calves has been an excellent family adventure here with several children who are capable of taking care of the bottle feeding.