Many people choose miniature Galloway cattle purely because they have been told they are docile. Miniature Galloway cattle are renown for being docile. However, even with docile Miniature Galloway cattle you can get quiet cattle and extra quiet cattle.
The Benefits of Extra Quiet Cattle
Some Miniature Galloway breeders spend a lot of time and energy ensuring that their cattle are not just docile but extra quiet. Not just the show cattle, the special cattle that are halter trained and prepared to lead in the show ring, every member of their herd. So it begs the question, "Why do they bother?"
Short answer is... "Quiet cattle are easier to manage." Extra quiet cattle are easier to manage and more enjoyable to own. The quieter they are, the easier and more enjoyable it is to work with them and to own them, full stop.GOLD CREEK Galloway Stud is located near the heritage town of Braidwood in Southern NSW Australia.
Every task involved in the maintenance and movement of the cattle is so much easier if the cattle are quiet. Not needing to muster the whole herd for every routine task is a good thing. If you don't have to take the herd or the individual cattle into a different paddock to carry out every task you save time and energy. There are routine tasks and one-off tasks. If these jobs are easier, life is easier for you as a miniature cattle owner.
It is so much easier to lead your miniature cattle from the front then it is to herd them from behind. Calling your cattle and having them all follow you into the next paddock is 'a walk in the park', compared to trying to get them to go where you want them to go from behind. It takes very little time if you can walk up to the one cow you need, put a halter on her and lead her to the crush.
If you can walk up to the cow in the paddock, halter her and do what you need to do for her right there in the paddock, that takes a little less time and is just that little bit easier. If you can just walk up to the cow and do what needs to be done while she is standing in the paddock, that takes less time again and is easier still.
All cattle are the product of how they have been treated and the amount of time you spend training them. If cattle are not handled regularly or have been treated badly, then their docile nature will find it difficult to shine through.
Teenage girl giving the young bull a brush at GOLD CREEK Stud near Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast in Qld.
How Quiet Are They? - What to Look For
Miniature Galloway cattle are all docile, so most breeders can tell you their cattle are quiet. But there is quiet and there is quiet. If you are talking to a breeder about particular cattle and you want to know exactly how quiet they are, you need to ask more than one question.
If you want to know if particular miniature Galloway cattle are already family pets or just wary little grass eaters, then you need to ask specific questions.
Questions you may want to ask include:
If they come up to the fence for hay, will they move away if you come to the fence?
Can you walk up to them in the paddock?
Can you walk up to them in the paddock and stroke them?
If you go into the paddock and walk towards the cattle will they:
Walk away from you?
Run away from you?
Stay where they are?
Walk towards you?
Come right up to you?
Where do you need to put the cattle to handle them:
In the crush and only in the crush?
In a small yard or confined space?
Haltered and tied up to something?
Stand in the paddock and let you handle them?
When you are handling the cattle will they:
Let you run your hands all over them? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?)
Let you apply pour on products? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?)
Let you lift their legs up and look at their hooves? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?)
Let you handle their udder or testicles? (only in the crush, yard or paddock?)
If the cattle are halter trained how do you put the halter on:
Do you need to put them in a crush first?
Do you need to put them in a small yard first?
Do you need to put a rope around their neck and then halter them?
Do you need to give them hay and put the halter on when they are eating?
Can you walk up to them in the paddock and just put the halter on?
Buying Quiet Cattle
If you can find a breeder with quiet, easy to manage cattle, be prepared to pay a little extra. When you consider the time and energy you will save on every routine task, the benefits will outweigh the initial cost. That little bit extra is worth every cent. You will reap the rewards of quiet cattle from day one and for years to come.
If you start your herd with quiet cattle, it will set the tone of your herd for the future. If you introduce a couple of quiet cattle to your herd, these cattle can help you quieten the others.
Training the calves yourself can be a very rewarding past time. If you would rather pay less and you feel confident to quieten and train the cattle yourself, that is also a viable option with Miniature Galloway cattle. Working through this process with your miniature Galloway cattle can be a very rewarding experience.