Lisa Bethold – Woolly Manor Moos, Otaki
Looking for a way to keep the grass down on their Otaki lifestyle block, Lisa Berthold and her partner Peter Holloway got their first Highland cow. Eighteen years on, they are registered breeders of Scottish Highland cattle.
Using top bloodlines, they breed and show standard size Highland cattle, raised on their 13-acre block. Cattle are halter trained and primarily sold to other lifestyle block owners as pets.
Lisa is the President of the NZ Lifestyle Highland Society and is the beef steward for the Wairarapa A&P Show.
“We’ve been breeding about 18 years. We bought the block and needed something to keep the grass down. We’d never had cattle, but my sister sent me a photo of a Highland cow saying ‘look at these, they look cute’. It all snowballed from there.”
The name Woolly Manor Moos came about because they already had a long coat cat and long coat German Shepherd dog. When the cattle arrived with their shaggy coats Lisa’s dad suggested the name, and it stuck.
Lisa fell in love with the Highland cattle and never looked back. She enjoys showing them and also runs a large display at Clareville during the A&P Show, where the public can pat, cuddle and brush the cattle. Temperament is everything, Lisa says. “As a rule, ones that have good breeding, the temperament is absolutely outstanding. We’re big on it, especially with them having horns and going to lifestyle block owners.”
There’s a bit nostalgia that goes with the Sharpes name for Lisa, who grew up in Lower Hutt. “I always remember Sharpes, growing up we had horses and there was the Sharpes feed store in Lower Hutt. Being local is a really important thing.”
She also likes the size of the multifeed nut, which is perfect for hand feeding the cattle.
“We’ve pretty much always used Sharpes. All the animals that are halter trained and sold as pets I only use Sharpes Multifeed for them.” The animals that are being prepared for shows do also get the Fiskens Stud Bull Extra product.
“I look for no Palm Kernel and, nutrition-wise, I’m always looking for good weight gain on the animals. When they go to shows and are in a foreign environment for days, we want to keep that energy and weight up.”
Lisa says her cattle love Sharpes, and that’s important too. “It’s like crack cocaine to them. I’ve got cattle that blow bubbles and get so excited when they see the bag. The animals have got to like the feed.”
She buys through Farmlands Otaki, starting six weeks out from the showing season, and usually goes through a 20kg bag each week. From weaning, calves go straight on to the 20% pellets while being halter trained before transitioning to multifeed nuts.