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Smallholding Courses

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Smallholding Courses Wales

Cattle for Beginners

Getting started with cattle can be a little daunting!

Come and spend the day with us, and our lovely Shetland Cattle, and make sure you are fully prepared.  We will talk you through everything you need to know to get started, and handle your new cows safely.

This course is suitable for complete beginners, as well as those who have a little cattle experience and wish to move into breeding or expand their knowledge.

This is a small group course - maximum 8 participants.  You will enjoy  a mixture of time outside with the cows, and indoor teaching sessions - with clear presentations.  We will get up close with our cattle, and tour the grazing and handling facilities, as well as our winter housing.

A detailed course handout is provided - meaning that you won't have to spend the day scribbling notes!

Lunch is included - a delicious hot meal, freshly cooked using produce from our own farm.

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Course Content:

Getting Started:  What do you want from your cows?  Choosing a breed.  Buying Cattle.  Legislation, passports & movement rules.  TB testing.

Essential Equipment:  Safe handling systems are vital when dealing with cattle.  We will look at some simple, cost effective options.  We will also discuss tractors, bale handling and mucking out equipment.

Grazing:  We will show you around our rotational, mixed grazing system.  Fencing for cattle.  Mineral supplements and licks.

Winter:  A look at our winter  housing set up.  Winter feed - silage & hay.

Health:  Keeping your cows healthy:  routine vaccinations, worming, liver fluke.  Common health problems and how to deal with them.

Breeding:  Keeping a bull.  Artificial Insemination - timing and observation of the oestrus cycle.  Pregnancy diagnosis.

Calving:  We will look at how a normal calving should proceed, and when you may need to intervene or call the vet.  

Calves:  Routine management - disbudding/dehorning, castration, ear tags.  

Finishing Cattle:  Age, weight and condition to finish for beef.  Dealing with abattoirs and butchers. The final product - cuts and quantities of beef.

Your Instructors:

Catriona and Jonathan Benson run Argae Cottage, alongside their roles as veterinary surgeons.

We moved here in 2011, starting out with just 4 acres, 4 sheep and a few chickens.  We've come a long way since then - expanding both the farm and livestock numbers significantly.  We now run a thriving meat box and Christmas turkey business, sell pedigree livestock for breeding, and hold three Great Taste awards for our produce  We can still remember what it's like to be starting out, though, and would love to pass on some of our experience to you.

We have a strong focus on animal welfare and aim for our animals to have as healthy and happy a life as possible.  

Following the course, we are very happy to offer ongoing support for your smallholding adventure - and will be available to answer questions and give you further advice via email.

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Booking Information:



Introduction to Smallholding:    £145

Sheep  (Health & Husbandry)     £145

Sheep  (Breeding & Lambing)     £145

Cattle for Beginners                     £145

Chickens for the Table                 £145

  (includes free range, oven ready chicken to take home)

Your Own Christmas Turkey     £160

  (includes 4kg free range, oven ready turkey to take home)

Pigs to Pork                                         £130

 10% off for two people attending together

Dates:  Courses run from May to October. 

Current dates for each course are shown on the main booking page

Times: Courses run from10am to 5pm     

(Pigs to Pork:  10am - 4pm)

Food:  Lunch is included.  Let us treat you to a delicious, hot meal,  featuring our own free range meat and homegrown vegetables.  Home baking and plenty of tea & coffee are provided during the day.

Ages:  Minimum age 16

Gift Vouchers can be purchased here.  

Course Info:  We will send you a confirmation email after booking.  2 weeks before your course, you will then receive a reminder, containing all the info you will need in advance of the day.  Feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions!

How to Find us:

Argae Cottage is situated on the banks of the River Severn in Wales, just over the Powys/Shropshire border.  

Argae Cottage




SY22 6SQ

Satnav is usually reliable here!

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