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Experience in breeding my White Galloways

Completely enchanted after my first glimpse of a White Galloway in the mid '80s, I began to delve into everything that had been published about these cattle – sufficient to say that at that time there was virtually nothing known about suckler cow keeping. By 1992, much had finally been revealed for practical application.

After a trip to Scotland, I returned with the idea of breeding dun Galloways because I had seen these beautiful animals with this colouring there. But then at the 2nd National Galloway Show in Germany, I saw a White Galloway for the first time there – "Calla vom Moor" – and the decision to breed this colouring was a certainty for me. Naturally, I made many beginner's mistakes in building up my herd and I was also taken in by some shady dealers. But either you give up in disillusionment or you are filled with ardent enthusiasm and you learn from all these mistakes.

Wishes and Reality in Breeding Cattle

What the cattle breeder would like to have
  • Grazing cattle, cows chewing their cuds, unending tranquillity, unending leisure
  • Green meadows, yellow buttercups, blue skies and white clouds, an unlimited yield from rich pastures
  • Gentle suckler cows, lively calves, peaceful bulls, a lovely family life of cattle all living together in harmony
  • Springtimes always the same, regular summers, mild autumns, and winters somewhere else
  • Outstanding breeding animals, above average success in breeding, queues of interested people waiting to see you
  • Fenceposts that last a lifetime, wire that never rusts, batteries that are never dead, an abundance of fresh water
  • No tiresome filling-in of forms, no administrative duties, no need to be in contact with official bodies, no need to notify the authorities that you are registered here or there, that you have to undergo an examination somewhere here or there
  • Never having to make a decision about slaughtering an animal
  • To let others take care of the entire part of the beef cattle business
  • Simply sitting there – in comfort and bliss out on the meadows and pastures – face-to-face with one's animals and believing in the declarations that the hearty manner in which one keeps cattle has nothing at all to do with work.
Reality for the cattle breeder
  • To be filled with a deep love for one of the rarest of colours among the Galloways, the Whites with just a very few blood lines
  • To make the experience that fence posts have continually shorter lives, that wire breaks readily, and that your batteries are dead just when you need them most – and, of course, that your cattle love to wander all over the place
  • The realization that even the most perfect preparation for showing your animals, especially those that you think are outstanding, have not impressed the judges at all
  • The reality that attractive and productive meadows need a lot of care and attention which in turn means a lot of work so that the sward is maintained in such a way that your cattle will feel at ease summer and winter, and will always have a good mouthful to eat
  • The reality that winters can often be long and grim, that even if the water freezes, the cattle must have enough to drink, and that you yourself will be frozen half to death just keeping the hayracks full
  • That it is a hard job to get things organized when you have planned to be away from your home and farm for a few days

That's exactly why ...

... it's the most wonderful thing in the world to see your animals contented, to experience the birth of a calf, to be amazed at the continually increasing peaceable behaviour and devotion of the breeding bulls and to admire the different characters of the suckler cows, each one of them a "personality" that one wouldn't ever want to miss.

And that's why you stick to it, you begin to define breeding goals, to formulate research work, to get people enthused about building up a herd, and last but not least, to market the meat of the White Galloway beef cattle in a way worthy of them, namely as meat from noble animals.