By Dr Ben
Hi I’m Ben, one of the new vets at Willunga vets! My role at Willunga is mainly with large animals but you will still see me in and around the clinic. Today I will be talking about large animals and their role as pets. Long gone are the days where large animals are only considered production units meant for large farms. With increasing numbers of hobby farms in the area it is a great idea to get a few cows, sheep, goats, alpacas (to name a few) to help keep the grass down. With smaller herd numbers, extra attention can be given to each individual and with lots of training you can raise some lovely pets. Lots of hobby farmers that I have met while working for Willunga vets have formed a great bond with these big pets, and I enjoy hearing about which cow has the sassiest personality or what cheeky mannerisms they have.
So long as you have the correct facilities (enough paddock space, holding yards and a crush to restrain these animals) I think raising these big animals as pets is a great idea. Keep in mind, it does take a lot of training and time to get these animals friendly, just like any small pet. Highland cattle are a perfect example of a lovely looking cow, however require lots of handling and care due to their large horns. I had to trim the long toes of some highland cattle recently with the tipper trailer recently which would have been a daunting task (especially with their long horns) had the animals not been halter trained and they walked into the trailer beautifully. As with cats and dogs, large animals require vaccinations and worming so dont forget about these! If you are thinking about getting some large animals for your property, feel free to book A consult with us at Willunga Vets.