Wednesday, 26 April 2017

V is for Vaynol Cattle …



Vaynol Cattle are one of the UK’s rarest breeds with fewer than 150 breeding animals registered in the UK.

Temple Newsam 1880

The cattle had been at Vaynol Park near Bangor, Wales since 1872 … they are a semi-feral breed and were maintained under minimal management supervision … this prompted the RBST to step in and move the herd to Temple Newsam.


Well we can see it's approved ... 

In 2006, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust set up a five year conservation programme at Temple Newsam farm, run by Leeds Council in order to establish a genetic profile of the breed … aiming to reduce the levels of inbreeding …


Five calves

In 2007, the first calf was born by artificial insemination from semen collected from a bull 30 years ago.


Two new satellite herds have been established in Lincolnshire and in Scotland …


Vaynol Cow

There has been some intervention … but the herds are left to their own devices to retain the wildness and distrust of humans as per their ancestors.




Temple Newsam from the air - the
farm is bottom right
Temple Newsam is a magnificent country mansion set within 1,500 acres of beautiful parkland, complete with a rare breed farm … a place to visit and explore …




Temple Newsam Park - Ideal for the Rare Breeds


That is V for a Variety of Very Rare Vaynol cattle … Verdantly Vegetating on Thane land outside Leeds … from Aspects of British County Rare Breeds …




Counties with the letter V
(note some Counties have been retired!, or amended over historical local government … but some I’ve included)
England: None
Northern Ireland: None
Scotland:  None
Wales:  None

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

42 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Downright fascinating. What a shame that for the purposes of this post you couldn't categorise their 'wildness' as vicious.
And how I would love to visit Temple Newsam. And the unVicious cattle.

Sophie Duncan said...

They are cool looking cattle - being semi-feral, it must make husbandry more challenging.
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - Dragon Diaries

Susan Scott said...

I'm curious, for what purposes are these cattle bred? Is the flesh eaten? But since they're so few, maybe in time? Most unusual colouring. Magnificent castle ... thanks very much Hilary :)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Are they naturally hornless? or has the cow been dehorned? How do they dehorn feral cattle? Must be a seriously tough job managing and conserving these populations.

The property looks stunning!

Nila
Madly-in-Verse

Vinodini Iyer said...

Temple Newsam sounds like a beautiful place. These cattle look interesting!

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Absolutely fascinating, Hilary, as usual. I had never heard of these cattle - nor Temple Newsam, for that matter!

Jz said...

Wow. I wouldn't have thought semen would still be viable after 30 years.
Makes sense when you think about it, of course, but it's not a place my mind had wandered before...
Temple Newsam looks gorgeous...
Thanks, Hilary!

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

They're so cute! Thanks for sharing :-) Happy A-to-Z-ing.

DeeDee said...

The trust is a beautiful initiative.
Thanks for sharing.

A Peice Of My Life

bazza said...

I can't believe I'm saying this but they are rather pretty cows aren't they?
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s unimaginable Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Sara C. Snider said...

Such beautiful cows. I love that they're semi-feral. The park is quite lovely too.

A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

FinnBadger said...

Yet another breed I've never heard of, so thanks for broadening my horizons with your A-Z.

Phillip | V is for Vodka

Jean Davis said...

I'd mistrust humans too if all they did was show up and inseminate us. :) That is a giant estate! What a perfect place for these cattle to be though.
Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

Bob Scotney said...

A breed totally new for me.

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely cows, they can become rather mean if left alone.I have never heard of them.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

30 YEARS? Holy... those must be some POTENT bulls...

Curtis Bausse said...

I wonder if the Vaynols know they're special. How far does cow consciousness stretch? They look very humble and modest.

Jacqui Murray said...

I love the idea of a cow with a bit of spunk. Most are thoroughly domesticated. I wonder if that's why they're becoming rare.

Deborah Weber said...

This is fascinating on so many levels. It's heartbreaking when the possible extinction of a breed is truly so possible, and it's heartwarming when efforts to prevent that move in a positive direction. This series of yours Hilary has had me thinking about that, and making me want to celebrate everything and everyone.

Shirley Corder said...

What lovely looking cows. (I can't believe I'm saying that!) I love their white faces - and the calves are too gorgeous. Thanks for all the animals you've introduced us to this month. It's been such fun. V is for the Virtue of Value as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – yes I guess if they’d have been vicious – it would have made some extra alliteration. The farm and estate does look quite beautiful doesn’t it …

@ Sophie – yes, I expect husbandry of the cattle would be tricky – but at least they’re saved and safe now …

@ Susan – I’ve added a note into X’s post – that I’ll elaborate in the Reflections post/s on the whys and wherefores: essentially the diversity of them and who knows what we might need, or what might suit the land in the years ahead …

@ Nila – they must be naturally hornless – we don’t pull cow’s horns – to my knowledge. Obviously those passionate with looking after these rare breeds … made a real effort to protect them and bring them back from the brink of extinction …

@ Vinodini – the estate does look lovely doesn’t it and provides the right setting for the cows to roam …

@ Mike – that’s good ... broaden your knowledge – a good place to visit perhaps … and tell us some more …?

@ Jz – I know it does seem amazing that the semen was kept in the first place and then was still viable … makes one realise how much hard work goes into protecting the species … I agree Temple Newsam does look special …

@ Ronel – glad you enjoyed …

@ DeeDee – the RBST is doing a very good job …

@ Bazza – surprise, surprise … yes! Pretty cows …

@ Sara – they do look gorgeous and still are semi-feral in that beautiful parkland …

@ Phillip – lots of breeds around … I think I could easily do another one or two A-Zs …

@ Jean - It’s a fun thought about the cattle distrusting us because all we do is inseminate them … what a fun thought – a good idea for a story … a perfect place for the cattle to roam at will in a beautiful setting …

@ Bob – it was to me too … but live and learn …

@ Steve – I think these cattle are meant to be left to their own devices …

@ CD – I see this got your mind (or some other things) in a wee ‘twisty’ state!! Yes … some potency there …

@ Curtis – I have no idea and my thought process re psychology really doesn’t stretch to that sort of thought – conscious or otherwise – sorry!!

@ Jacqui – we still have one breed that is wild, and these that are semi-feral … other species are domesticated … they may well have been difficult to breed up for value – hence they were left to get on with it … but now their value as a species is appreciated …

@ Deborah – yes we’ve lost a lot of species over the years … and close to losing some others – which without the RBST would have gone AWOL for ever. Thanks so much for this … I’m glad I seem to be covering aspects people are noting and enjoying …

@ Shirley – funny!! They are wonderful to look at … and they certainly seem to entrance …

I’m just glad that you’ve enjoyed the series … I was worried it’d be too serious – but seems not –

Cheers to you all – it’s a delight to read the comments and see how you’ve reacted to the various posts … let’s hope WXYand Z match up … Hilary

Joanne said...

Whoa. I like that while preserved they still get to show character and roam as they wish.

Liz A. said...

I can see how inbreeding could be a problem.

LD Masterson said...

To save and repopulate a dying species without destroying the natural order of things is a great gift to humanity.

Paula Kaye said...

I never knew there were so many varieties of cattle!

M Pax said...

They sound very gangsta. My kind of cow. :) Sounds like a really interesting place ot visit.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Having semi-feral cattle is amazing. You bring out the most fascinating material!!! Thank you.

Inger said...

Do they really have black ears? That's so great. Thanks for this very informative post. I will now go and look up some that I missed. Unicorn is one, of course I know what it is, but not how it came about to be.

Keith's Ramblings said...

Fascinating. Needless to say I was totally unaware of them and I never realised there were semi feral breeds, but I suppose all castle were feral once upon a time!

Nick Wilford said...

That is rare, indeed. Hopefully the numbers can increase. Amazing what a pure white they are.

bookworm said...

Applauding your continued devotion to rare breeds. This theme for A to Z has worked so well. The Unknown Journey Ahead agingonthespectrm.blogspot.com

Claire Annette said...

What a beautiful place! If I was a rare breed of cow that's where I'd like to be. Are visitors welcome?

Jo said...

Between you and Bob I am learning so much about the country of my birth. Weren't the Welsh a bit peeved the herds were moved? Marvellous they have started herds in Scotland and Lincolnshire.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joanne – it’s a lovely way to live as a cow, I’d have thought …

@ Liz – that’s the problem if a population of animals is so small then by necessity there needs to be some new introductions … it seems to be working …

@ LD – yes the story of the saving of the Vaynol makes an excellent way of life - a great gift as you say …

@ Paula – this is one particular breed … thankfully we do have other rare breeds of cattle …

@ Mary – I think they just stick to themselves … but it’d be fun to think of them wielding power around the estate …

@ Monti – many thanks – I’ve tried to make the posts entertaining while being informative …

@ Inger – it does look like the black ears are a permanent fixture. That’s great to see you’ll be reading back – it’s been an interesting series to write up … the Unicorn is worth a read …

@ Keith – well I’d never have known if I hadn’t of taken to writing these posts … and yes castles were feral too – back in ‘em days!!

@ Nick – they were saved in the brink of time … and the numbers are slowly increasing …

@ Bookworm – thank you … and I’m so glad you are enjoying the theme of British County Rare Breeds …

@ Claire – yes visitors can roam the estate (the parts that are open to the public) while the rest is the farm for the public to look around …

@ Jo – well you did leave years ago, you’d have known more if you’d been living here. The Vaynol estate’s demise was the reason for the cattle’s move …

Cheers everyone – thanks so much for your comments and making me research more …!! Enjoy W … Hilary

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. Like sheep and goats, its difficult to think of cattle as being endangered but as all domesticated animals come from 'wild' ancestors, those ancestors are now rare and endangered because they are no longer of any use to man. Thank you for spreading awareness of their plight.

Rhodesia said...

Wow Hilary this is totally new to me. I have never heard of the Vaynol breed and even more interesting is that they are still pretty much wild. You are doing some great research, have a good day Diane

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

I like the idea of letting these feral cattle roam free. Just as nature intended.

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Cattle that have a natural mistrust of humans. Very interesting. That trait must create a lot of challenges with the people who take care of them.

I am enjoying these posts about the rare breeds, and some of the things being done to conserve them. It gives me hope that not everyone is not short-sighted.

Have a beautiful day,
Andrea

Sarah Zama said...

It's weird, isn't it? Thinking that a domesticated breed might be in denger of extintion. But I've heard about this before.
Here in Italy, a race of little donkey that only lives in a little island was endangered. It survied as long as it was useful for farm work, but once machines took up the animal's place, this donkey dwindled in numbers.
Then a few years ago a farmer took upon himself to save the race. Now these donkeys are used in education for children.

@JazzFeathers
The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

Birgit said...

I'm glad they had some special juices from a bull from 30 years ago. It makes me think why they can't do that for other species on this planet. These cows are actually really nice looking with their colouring. I love that mansion also...very Downton Abbey

Michelle Wallace said...

So the semen is still viable after 30 years?
Fabulous aerial view of Temple Newsam...love the lush countryside!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kim - yes it seems strange to think of domesticated animals as wild once upon a time ... I think the early animals out-bred themselves, let alone what we did in the 1700s onwards through the concept of "form to function" .. and now with more specialisaton ... but need their characteristics for various reasons - more in the Reflections post ...

@ Cynthia - the Vaynol breed and White Park Cattle are lucky there is sufficient land on the estates to let them roam ... exactly: just as nature intended ...

@ Andrea - the feral breeds of animals may have a mistrust of humans, or in some instances not at all - as they simply don't come across humans. Certainly looking after the larger animals - it must be tricky ... but I'm sure over time their reactions are better known, and thus can be looked after when necessary ...

Thanks - I'm delighted you've appreciated the Rare Breed posts I've been sharing - and as you say not everyone is short-sighted ...

@ Sara - it's interesting to read of your farmer, who now protects the race - that's good news ... after all the donkey may be required to work again before long - tractors cost, fuel costs ... donkeys don't cost much and don't disturb the field as much ...

Excellent about the donkeys helping with the education for children ...

@ Birgit - I know ... I guess bull semen tucked away frozen up somewhere for the past 30 years - safely hoarded til the 2,000s. I expect there's a lot more frozen stock of animal semen in various laboratories/vets practices around the world ...

@ Michelle - it does seem extraordinary doesn't it - but apparently is true - proof is in those little calves ...

Temple Newsam does look amazing - one day I'll visit ...

Cheers to you all ... and thanks for taking note of the Vaynol cattle - Hilary