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SCOTTISH HIGHLAND CATTLE

WHERE DID THEY ORIGINATE?

They originated in the Highlands of Scotland as a meat and milking cow. The Scottish locals call them “Hairy Coos”. They are known as the gentle giants of Scotland and date back to 1200 BC, making them the oldest registered breed in the world.

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

They have large distinctive horns and long woolly hair. They come in many colors, but the most common are red, ginger, and black.

WHAT IS A GROUP OF THEM CALLED?

The collective name for a group of cows is a herd, while a group of Highlands is called a fold. The term fold is thought to come from the type of shelter they are kept in over the harsh winters.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MALE & FEMALE?

The most noticeable difference between males and females is their horns. Male’s horns often grow forward and slightly downward with a much wider base, while female’s horns face upwards and are longer and finer at the tip.

ARE THEY NICE?

They are extremely docile and friendly and will often approach humans for attention and petting. They also get along with other animals very well. It is a rarity that they’d use their horns to hurt someone or something unless threatened.

 WHY DO THEY HAVE BANGS?

They have long bangs covering their eyes to protect them from insects and dirt and dust.

HOW DO THEY CARE FOR THEIR YOUNG?

It is not only the mothers who take care of their calves, but also the entire fold makes it a priority to protect all of the calves from predators or danger.

HOW BIG ARE THEY?

Full size Scottish Highlands can get up to 48″ tall at the hip bone and up to 1600 pounds. Micro Mini Scottish Highlands, by contrast, get up to 36″ tall and 450-850 pounds.

ALPACAS

WHERE DID THEY ORIGINATE?

Alpacas are part of the Camelid family, as is the llama. They originated in South America and first came to the US in 1984.

HOW BIG ARE ALPACAS?

Alpacas are about half the size of a llama, weighing about 100-200 pounds and are up to 36” tall at the withers.

ARE ALPACAS NICE?

Alpacas are very gentle and docile animals who cannot defend themselves except by spitting. They do not have hooves, full sets of teeth, or any other defense mechanisms.

WHAT COLORS ARE ALPACAS?

Alpaca fiber comes in 16 tones that are recognized by the textile industry, from white to light rose gray to dark fawn.

HOW ARE THEY UNIQUE?

They are considered one of the greenest animals on the planet. Their poop is an extraordinary fertilizer in high demand by gardeners. They have padded feet which are easy on the earth, they produce more fleece than sheep, and their grazing is easy on the pastures they live on.

WHAT IS THEIR FIBER LIKE?

They are sheared once a year and produce about 5-10 pounds of fleece. Their luxurious fiber is as soft as cashmere and is hypoallergenic. It does not contain lanolin like wool. It is also naturally water repellent and fire resistant.

CAN THEY BE HOUSE-TRAINED?

Alpacas use a communal dung pile. Because of their predisposition for using a dung pile, some alpacas have been successfully house-trained.

HOW MANY ALPACAS ARE THERE?

There are over 66,000 Alpacas in the US, with only about 9000, or 15%, being Suri Alpacas. The largest population of alpacas is in Ohio, Washington, and Pennsylvania. North Carolina has over 5,000 alpacas in the state.

WHAT DO YOU CALL THEM?

A female alpaca is called a hembra and a male is called a macho. A baby is called a cria.

HOW DO THEY GIVE BIRTH?

Their gestation period is 345 days, with most crias born in daylight hours. The birthing process is called unpacking.

MINIATURE DONKEYS

WHEN DID MINI DONKEYS COME HERE?

Mini donkeys were imported into the United States in 1920.

HOW EARLY CAN THEY BE TRAINED?

They can be trained to carry and pull objects by the time they’re three-years-old.

HOW LONG DO MINI DONKEYS LIVE?

Many mini donkeys live well into their 30’s.

ARE THERE ANY DONKEY LEGENDS?

Many donkeys have a black cross marking on their back. As the legend goes, a donkey carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday before the crucifixion. The donkey was blessed for its role by bearing a cross on it’s back from that day forward.

CAN THEY PROTECT OTHER ANIMALS?

They make great protectors of other livestock. They generally do not like dogs due to their protective nature.

HOW BIG ARE THEY?

They average 30-36 inches in height when they’re full grown. They can weigh 15-29 pounds at birth.

ARE THEY NICE?

Mini donkeys are docile and lovable. They make great companions for humans and for other pets.

HOW DO THEY COMMUNICATE?

Donkeys communicate by braying, a sound also known as a “hee-haw.” Each donkey has its own style of braying, which can range from barely being audible to a “thunderous bray.”

HOW DO THEY THINK?

Many people think of them as stubborn. They actually have really good memories and just remember when frightening things happen to them and try to avoid them.

WHAT DO YOU CALL THEM?

Male donkeys are called jacks and females are called jennets. Baby donkeys are called foals.

DO THEY STAY IN GROUPS?

Donkeys travel in herds so they need another animal around or they will get lonely.

MINIATURE HORSES

ARE THEY PONIES?

Despite their small size, minis are considered small horses, not ponies.

WHAT MAKES THEM A MINI HORSE?

Miniature horse breeders often refer to a mini’s height in inches rather than hands. To be considered a mini they must be under 34” tall.

HOW LONG DO MINI HORSES LIVE?

Miniature horses tend to have a long lifespan, living 25 to 35 years old (one-third longer than regular sized horses).

ARE THEY NICE?

They make great therapy horses and can be trained as service animals for the blind.

HOW MUCH DO THEY EAT?

They eat 2 to 4 pounds of food per day versus an average sized horse that eats 15 to 20 pounds per day.

WHERE DID THEY ORIGINATE?

They are rooted in royalty. They originated in Europe by nobles in the 1600’s through selective breeding.

HOW TALL IS THE SMALLEST MINI HORSE?

The smallest mini horse on record was Thumbelina at 17.5”.

MINIATURE BELTED GALLOWAY & DUNN GALLOWAY CATTLE

ARE THEY AN OLD BREED?

They are considered one of the oldest beef cattle breeds in the world.

DO THEY HAVE HORNS? 

They are naturally polled cattle, which means they do not grow horns.

DO THEY LIKE PEOPLE?

They are a very gentle and docile breed known for their love of people.

HOW CAN YOU TELL THE TWO BREEDS APART?

The Mini Belted Galloway has the characteristic white belt around their midsection, while the Mini Dunn Galloway is a solid reddish brown color.

WHAT IS THEIR COAT LIKE?

They have a double hair coat that is water repellent and keeps them warm and dry in the winter and cool in the summer. Their coat also requires them to need less digestible food – up to 20-25% less than other breeds.

WHERE DID THEY ORIGINATE?

They originated in the Galloway Region of Scotland. They were first brought to the US in 1951.

WHAT DO YOU CALL THEM?

A heifer is a female that has not had any offspring. The term usually refers to immature females; after giving birth to her first calf, however, a heifer becomes a cow. An adult male is known as a bull and a steer after they are castrated. Babies are called calves.

HOW MUCH DO THEY WEIGH?

Mini Galloway cows get up to approximately 400 pounds and bulls up to 600 pounds full grown, which is almost half the weight of a full size Galloway.

HOW TALL ARE THEY?

Mini Galloways get up to 42” tall at the hip bone at 3 years of age when they are fully mature compared to full-size Galloways that get up to 54” tall.

MAREMMA SHEEPDOG : LIVESTOCK GUARDIAN DOGS (LGD’S)

WHAT ARE MAREMMA SHEEPDOGS?

A Maremma sheepdog is a livestock guardian dog, bred in Italy for centuries to guard large flocks of sheep on the plains and in the mountains.

HOW DO ARE THEY PROTECTIVE?

 They are very protective of the animals, birds, or people they live with. They are always on guard for danger or predators that might harm those that they guard. They sleep and play with their herds and flocks and would fight to the death

HOW IS IT PRONOUNCED?

Maremma is pronounced “Mare-Emma”.

HOW BIG ARE THEY?

On average, adult male Maremmas are about 27” tall and weigh 75 to 100 pounds, while females average 26” tall and 65 to 90 pounds.

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

They have a thick white coat, large heads, and a dark black nose.

HOW ARE THEY PROTECTIVE?

They are very protective of the animals, birds, or people they live with. They are always on guard for danger or predators that might harm those that they guard. They sleep and play with their herds and flocks and would fight to the death to protect them. Maremmas are even used to protect penguin colonies from deadly predators in Australia.

ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD: LIVESTOCK GUARDIAN DOGS (LGD’S)

WHAT ARE ANATOLIAN SHEPHERDS?

They are large alert dogs that are fiercely protective of the animals they are asked to watch over. On average, they are 27” to 29” tall and can weigh up to 150 pounds.

HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE?

Relative to other large dog breeds, they commonly live to 13-15 years.

WHERE DID THEY ORIGINATE?

Anatolian Shepherds are an ancient breed originating in Turkey. Artifacts dating back to 2000 B.C. describe a dog in the Anatolian region that fits their description.

HOW DID THEY GET TO THE UNITED STATES?

American ranchers began to import them from Turkey in the 1950’s to guard their livestock.

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?

They are a fierce but loving companion to their owners. They are very independent and have natural instincts to protect and guard.

HOW HAVE THEY HELPED IN ANIMAL CONSERVATION?

They have been aiding in the cheetah conservation effort in Namibia since 1994. Previously, ranchers were killing cheetahs who were attacking their flocks, now the Anatolian Shepherds are used to keep them at bay, thus less cheetahs being killed.

JULIANA PIG

HOW BIG ARE THEY?

They are the smallest breed of pigs. They should only weigh between 20 to 40 pounds with a height of 10-16” tall.

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

Typically they are light gray in color with black spots. And are also known as miniature painted pigs.

ARE THEY SIMILAR TO OTHER PIGS?

They very closely resemble large hogs and potbelly pigs. They are leaner, athletic looking pigs without wrinkles.

CAN YOU TRAIN THEM?

They are far easier to train than most animals and learn much faster than most dogs.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MALE & FEMALE?

They tolerate cooler temps more than warmer temps because they do not sweat. It is always very important that they have shade, access to fresh water, and on occasion even a kiddy pool to cool off in.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY’RE EXCITED?

When they are excited or in motion, their tails will often curl and twitch.

DO THEY GET ALONG WITH OTHER ANIMALS?

They get along very well with dogs if they are raised with them.

HOW DO THEY COMMUNICATE?

Pigs in general are a highly social animal. They communicate with grunts and squeals.

ARE THEY SMART?

They are extremely intelligent animals with excellent memories. They can be housebroken, litter box trained, taught to do tricks and walked on a leash. Many of them live indoors and in homes with their owners.

WHAT DO THEY EAT?

It is very important for their health that they are not over fed with treats and table scraps. Instead, a diet of fruits, vegetables, and a specially blended mini pig food is best for them. Treats like Cheerios, apple slices, and strawberries all work great for training.

 

USA VALAIS BLACKNOSE SHEEP BREEDING PROGRAM

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

Valais sheep originated in Switzerland in the Valais region. They are a mountain breed of sheep with long white crimped fiber, black faces and feet. They are stocky sheep that look like an animated cartoon character. Both Valais rams and ewes are horned.

ARE THEY PUREBRED?

Each generation bred creates a genetically closer sheep to the Valais Blacknose. The first generation (F1) will be 50%, the 2nd generation (F2) will be 75%, 3rd generation (F3) will be 88%, and the 4th generation (F4) will be 94%, and finally at the 5th generation (F5) they will be 97%.

WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE VALAIS SHEEP?

They are a dual purpose sheep that are raised for their wool and their meat.

ARE THEY NICE?

Valais Blacknose Sheep are extremely friendly and love people and other animals. They love playing and getting lots of attention.

HOW DID THEY COME TO THE UNITED STATES?

The USDA does not allow live Valais sheep or their embryos to be imported into the US from Switzerland, but began allowing their semen to be imported in 2016. Breeders began breeding them to other closely linked breeds like the Scottish Blackface, the Horned Dorset, and others.

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?

They are incredible animals with adorable personalities. Winchester Creek Farm supports the breeding program and has adopted both F1 and F2 Valais Cross Sheep.

HOW WILL THEY CONTINUE TO BE BRED?

By 2022 there should be F5’s and F6’s in the United States. Currently most breeders hang onto their ewes for breeding the next generation. The rams are castrated and sold or adopted out as loving pets to farmers and people supporting the Valais Blacknose breeding program.

WHAT ARE THEY CALLED?

Sheep females are called ewes and males are called rams. Castrated males are called wethers. Babies are called lambs.