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What are the best breeds of cows to raise for beef that are very cold hardy? Like alaska cold hardy?
 

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There can be only One. Pun intended. They are called Scottish Highlands. Sometimes mistaken for Yaks, Buffalo, Bison. Or those woolly things. They are slower growing But need less feed to keep warm (Long hair).
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I've seen highlands, what about dexters with some insulated shelter? I'm hoping to raise them just for beef
 

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A shed that opens away from severe wind direction. And water source available. The higher the hay quality the less quantity that will be needed. I would also req. arange calving to be early spring, less calf loss due to freezing. Those little guys have less hair and fat to keep them warm. If you are into raising beef then minimize your losses.
 

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We raise Dexters in Northern Minnesota and it gets pretty darn cold. -30 to -40. We keep ours out in the pasture all winter and bale graze. We have a Frost Free Nose Pump (from Canada) and that's our water source for winter months. They have come thru winters great and healthy. We calve late spring early summer. When it gets really cold and windy they hunker down in a swale and ride it out. This had worked well for us and improves our pasture at the same time.
 

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British white parks are another breed. There is six varities of them. Some are a long wire haired that adapt well to the cold.
 

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If your from Alaska why not see what is available in your area ? They will already be aacclimated and it isn't likely your gonna hitch up and haul a load from the lower 48 somewhere to drag in some exotic breed
 

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Montana cold we raise Black Angus and black baldies, Hereford(clean up bull) I would keep away from "eared" Cattle don't want to have to cut away frost bite all winter. A early storm before the cattle on grow a winter coat will/could kill any breed.
 

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I spent three years in the Air Force near Fairbanks and recall a three week stretch of 48 below at night, warming up to 45 below during the day. Sun barely broke the horizon.

Anyway, not sure I'd bother with cattle considering all the hay you would have to throw at them.

Having said that, we visited Fairbanks a few years ago and I noticed a herd of angus near there. Fortunately cattle are pretty big heat producers - their rumen is like a steaming compost pile. Which is why heat stress is a bigger problem than the cold in most of the country. Especially after we turned most breeds black, which makes them hotter. Though black doesn't help absorb sun rays much in the winter, as it is generally cloudier, and the coldest temps are at night.

Would probably be good to have animal with more body mass, as that would keep them warmer. Which is why angus might do better than Dexters.

Here are photos near Fairbanks:




 

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Any European breed should do OK if you have shelter from the wind and proper feed and water.
We used to keep our Holsteins and Normandes out on pasture 24/7 365. The only time they actually got to get under a roof was for milking and maybe a couple of days when we had some really miserable freezing rain.
We banked snow in the pasture for windbreaks and did feed a bit of corn in the winter months when they were in the parlor.
We might not see 50 below but 30 below happens here.
 

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Those cattle in Delta are Angus-Galloway cross. Highlanders and Galloway all do fine here. I have two Holstein here and they are doing well enough. I know folks with mini Herefords, and even one with Corillo steers. Cattle do well enough so start with what you want them for (ie milking a Highlander can be... Well, just get a set of clippers and a good strainer lol) and then your down to shelter for the most part.

What stage of life your animals are in will play a role (bred heifers in spring keep a lot different than bottle calves in winter).
 
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