I like to have my animals live a low stress life that allows them to, as much as possible, exhibit their unique "wild" qualities. I don't drive my animals to food or water, I lead them to it and take the time to show them where it is. These calves I got are the most challenging animals I've had to train. They had very little human contact in the first part of their lives and are still a bit afraid of me and startle easily. I want to be able to milk these girls someday and I won't force myself upon them, which seems to be the usual method for "breaking" an animal.
I am a new farmer and am learning this myself and am employing methods based on my temperament and goals. I find animal husbandry enjoyable when the system I have designed fits the animals I integrate into it. That said, I have done all of my own killing/butchering so far and while I don't enjoy killing anything, taking responsibility for your own respectful animal raising, killing, and butchering seems to be the best way to be an "Ethical Omnivore"
Here is a video I made showing how I'm working with my calves. I hope it works!
Part of the plan here is to have a small dairy operation to reduce or eliminate feed costs to the birds and hogs. My animals can get what they need off pasture to survive but to be productive, they need protein and mineral supplementation. Cows or other ruminant animals more efficiently convert grasses and forage to protein, minerals, and other nutrients in the form of meat and milk, and manure. These animals fill a niche here at the farm.
Dexters make the best fit here. They are easy to find on Craigslist, not far away, and produce good quality milk and meat. You can have a 40% larger herd due to both smaller size and foraging efficiency. You can also breed them with Jerseys to produce other breeds with more milk such as the Belfair or breed to an Angus or Simmental to get better beef.
I found a guy who had Dexter registered calves and bred heifers for sale. We had a 3hour round trip to get them and they had to be rounded up and put on the trailer. We bought all 3 heifer calves and got 1 of each color.