The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.


Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pinzgauer cows

Here are some pictures of the unusual cattle we had on the farm several years ago. This is Olga the matriarch of the herd. She was a very gentle cow and would mother any calf, hers or another cows calf; wonderful mother instincts. These cows have a very distinct markings on their bodies leg bands, white bellies and dorsal strip on the back ending with a white tail. When bred with Black Angus or another black breed you get a skunk looking cow, see below. Here is some information I got from the internet about Pinzgauers.
"About 500 AD, Alpine herdsmen, who ran their cattle on small, widely scattered, rocky pastures, began to develop a breed of red and white cattle from the native red Bavarian cattle. These early cattlemen selected animals that could withstand the harsh conditions and still produce meat and milk. Farmers in the highly productive valleys and other lush areas of Bavaria developed larger, brown and spotted (or "flecked") breeds of cattle from this native seedstock, and the Pinzgauer was born. As history progressed, Pinzgauer attained their present form and color.

Developed in Austria as a dual purpose breed, Pinzgauer possess a combination of high milk production and excellent fattening qualities; used for dairy, beef and work animals. Alpine grazing and harsh weather conditions generated the strong constitution, ranging ability and soundness seen in the breed today. Pinzgauer adapt to climate changes well, as herds thrive in Brazil as well as they do in Canada. Unusually thick hides provide resistance to insects and dark eye pigmentation virtually eliminates eye disease.

The Pinzgauer name stems from their origination in the Pinzgau valley in Salzburg, Austria as descendents of the European mountain breeds. They have been raised in the Austrian and German mountains for many centuries. Genetic research and performance testing in the mother country of Austria comes from a Pinzgauer Herd Book that is over 400 years old, with a focus on selective breeding being recorded at the end of the 18th century. There are records of exportations of "Pinzgauer Cattle" to Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia in the 1820s. A group of Pinzgauer cattle were sent to the Paris World Exhibition in 1871, and a large number of breeding cattle were exported to South Africa in the early 1900s. One of the most famous expressionist artists in the world, Austrian Gustav Klimt, has paintings featuring Pinzgauer cattle. Years of selection in the rough mountain climate has resulted in an adaptable, hardy breed known for its ability to produce despite environmental extremes or quality of feed. The first Pinzgauer were imported into Canada in 1972

picture from internet

(Now you know more about Pinzgauers than you probably wanted to!)

This is the reason we got this breed, docile nature, good foragers, medium size. We got them from a man about 30 miles from us, who had been raising them for quite some time, he had a huge herd of them.

Olga on the hill overseeing what Mike was doing with the tractor up there. She followed Mike around to see if he might have any food on him or her favorite, alfalfa hay cubes.

Olga had a very unusual hair do, look at the bangs! Looks like someone combed her hair that way but that's just the way it always looked.This was our first born on the farm, Mike named her Itty Bitty. She was little back then but she grew and grew and grew! Her dad was a black bull so we had a skunk cow.
As you can see from this picture Itty got huge, I told Mike we should have named her Babe the Blue Ox, only in her case Babe the Black Heifer!
Here is Itty with one of the baby calves; can't remember what this ones name was. We named all of them and I am sure it's written down in a book somewhere in the house.
We don't have the cows anymore; but Mike is thinking about getting more at a later date. Maybe this time we will get a miniature breed like the Dexters. They are really pretty cows too, much smaller.
This is another picture taken from the internet of Dexter cattle. They weigh about 750 pounds and are another hardy, gentle breed of cattle. I love the horns with the black tips; Dexter's are mostly black but other colors are red and dunn.
I am sure that Gilly would love to have some more buddy's, he loved the cows we had before and always played with the calves.
OK, enough on cows!!!

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