Dexter Steer goes to School

Oh they grow up so fast and before you know it your little cows are off to High School. When we were contacted by Kingscliff high school about arranging the loan of one of our cows it seemed like a great thing to do. A month later we delivered Jimmy Boy Ray to Kingcliff High School. JBR as we call him is going great. Below is an email we received last week from the teacher in charge of our little Steer. I would appreciate any help in steering the students in the right direction to make the most of their Dexter Cattle experience. Here are a few questions from Ben Holmes of Kingscliff High.

JBR settling in well. Has started hand feeding from small bucket and will allow 3 people in close proximity with a bit of patience. He has also started eating the sweet potato and looks to be in sweet heaven when munching away on these.

Anyway, i was after some details

  • Measurements of growth that we may attempt.
  • Points of interest for judging, presenting and showing cattle.
  • Body language.

If there are any other points you have resources for that you think might make a fun activity for the kids then please pass them on.

Thanks again for getting us our newest student.

Ben Holmes.

Based on my experience and research so far here is what I have to say.

Measurements of growth: A girth tape is what I suggest you use to measure the weight of JBR. Here is a link to a great article from DPI on measuring cattle.

Judging Cattle. Well this is sure timely. We are getting ready to put show our girls again this year at the Mullumbimby Show. I have inserted a video below that really captures how a cows get judged.

Body Language. What a great question. The world would be a much happier place if we all took a bit of time to observe things before we act. A cow is just like any animal in that you can learn allot about their personality or mood just be taking a few seconds to observe it. It’s always best to have a cow come to you rather then you charging right up to it. Cows like horse are prey animals. Humans are predators. One of the best ways to make friends with animals is to be consistent and calm. Don’t rush into things. Bringing a bucket of feed with you when you approach is a sure fire way to hit it off with most animals. Be careful though. You want your cow to be polite when you come up to it. Never let a cow push you around. When you come up with feed at first have something between you and the cow…ideally a good strong fence. I like to call out to our cows when I am coming and it’s amazing how fast they will come a runnin. ” Hey cows.. come on you good cows ”

I will research a more academic article on body language of cows and reference it below soon. Here is a great article from Berkeley University in California “Why and How to read a cow or bull

Here is a great video on handling Dairy Cattle.

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