Today we fulfilled a very long term dream to have our own cows.  After a considerable amount of research, we decided the Dexter breed was most suited to our needs for both milk and meat.  Dexters are one of the smallest naturally occurring small breeds (as opposed to human directed miniature breeds), they are healthy, robust, have few of the problems that other dairy breeds have, can produce anywhere from 6 litres to 16 litres of milk per day depending on the individual as well as producing a very fine, low fat meat (something that is very important with G’s medical condition).  Being smaller, Dexters also eat less and have less of a negative impact on the pasture than do larger breeds.  Obviously they produce a smaller carcass weight, but in all honesty, who wants to keep more than 150kg of beef in the freezer at any one time?

Added to all those benefits, Dexters are also known to be a  gentle and calm breed of cattle, ideal for first time cow owners.  And as you can see from the photos, they are just so damn cute!  Matilda is already happily eating apples and slobbering all over my hand, Charlotte is still more reserved and has not let me touch her yet, but I suspect that may have something to do with a little trauma getting her on the float (she just didn’t want to go first – Matilda walked into the horse float easily and Charlotte finally followed her but only after getting tangled in the fence panel, breaking the tail light in the float, escaping back to the other cows and then being pushed through the cattle yard maze).  I have no doubt that bribery in the way of food will win her affections in no time;)

Both girls traveled extremely well for the hour long trip home, and reversed quietly and calmly off the float as if they had done it a thousand times before (we learnt from the first experience and let Matilda come off first – watching them in the paddock, it looks like she is boss cow).

Charlotte - Red Dexter Cow

Matilda - Black Dexter Cow

Charlotte and Matilda

Charlotte and Matilda

Luckily we also have these, which will come in handy!

Cattle yards

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Older men with diabetes mellitus, but also severely overweight men, may develop secondary hypogonadism. "The core symptom of low testosterone levels is usually decreased libido," Dr. Cornelia Jaursch-Hancke from the German Clinic for Diagnostics, Sydney, at the conference in Melbourne. Various additional symptoms such as osteoporosis, anemia, erectile dysfunction, decreasing muscle strength and mass, but also diminishing vitality and depression can be added. In secondary hypogonadism the function of the hypothalamus or pituitary is impaired so that the Leydig cells of the testicle no longer form testosterone or no testosterone due to lack of stimulation. Typically, the gonadotropins LH and FSH in the serum are still normal to low. This also applies to patients with type 2 diabetes, of which about 25 to 50 percent are affected, the endocrinologist reported. An increasing problem is also MOSH, the "male obesity associated secondary hypogonadism". As a cause, she described the visceral fetal cells, which are highly active endocrinically and produce mediators, which promote, inter alia, insulin resistance, inflammatory processes and dyslipidemia and stimulate estradiol production. In sum, the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is inhibited. Continue reading...

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