Friday, June 11, 2010

My Moo's

I wanted to share some pictures of my moo's. Prior to getting involved in Cavaliers, and living away from home, I grew up on a small family owned and operated farm in rural Southern Ontario. I participated in 4-H, had a passion for horses, and loved cows. I showed both horses and cattle competitively. My family grows mainly potatoes however my Grandmother has always had a small herd of beef cattle.

Like Cavaliers in cattle I have a certain breed that I have a fancy towards - the Murray Grey. Murray Grey is a breed that developed in Australia. My father came across them for me when I was interested in showing my first heifer in 4-h competition.

"Murray Grey Cattle originated in the Murray River region of Australia in 1905 as the result of a chance mating between a particular Shorthorn cow and an Angus bull. Eventually twelve of these "grey" calves were born to this same cow--all sired by different Angus bulls. The genetic traits of these "greys" were soon recognized as unique and desirable. A systematic breeding program resulted in the recognition of this new breed in Australia in 1962. Murray Grey cattle were first imported into the USA in 1969, with Canadian importations beginning in 1972.

Kind of like cavaliers the main thing that attracted my Father to this breed for me to show was their temperament. They are known to be calm, gentle, and fairly easy to get along with. For someone trying to train my first calf to show those qualities were so important!

Some links on Murray Grey's

Canadian Murray Grey Association

Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society

Although I am not able to have any cattle living with me currently my Grandmother still keeps a small herd of Murray Grey's including my first heifer I showed competitively in 4-H. I never did win much with my Grey's. They were rare in Ontario and most judges had no idea what to make of them. Their unique colouring, small compact build, and almost jersey like faces were very different stood up beside huge Charolais, Limousine, and Angus cows that were the normal around here.

My best placing ever with a Grey was a 3rd and I was over the moon excited about that! I will never forget the judges comments about why he placed my little Grey in third. He appreciated her excellent movement, and sturdy build. He knew that she would be a very sound cow for a long time in the future. It really isn't so far off from what I look for in a Cavalier!

In the future I would love to have another herd of Grey's. It's all about finding a place that allows me the freedom to have them. Until then my Grandma greatly enjoys the breed even if she "likes the red ones better" (she is a Hereford fancier) and calls them "snoopy" due to their curious friendly nature.

All pictures are taken on my Mom's little digital camera. I didn't realize it was set on the lowest possible setting either. It was a beautiful picture taking day and I will put up some of the girls running through the fields later on. Lesson learned.. never leave home without your camera!

Our Barnyard - excuse the mess, it's been muddy and rainy!




Grey's on the Left and Right with some crossbreds.

A Grey and her Hereford cross baby


Red Ones are Best and Lilac the Grey I first showed in the back ground.

A picture of Grandma's favourite. A purebred Hereford and her new heifer calf.

1 comment:

  1. I love cows! Love their noses, and especially their ears. I've never had the opportunity to live in the country, but I stayed on a farm in Austria when I was 12 and each day I would feed the dairy cows there and one in particular becamse like a pet to me. Have loved theme ever since.