Bull broke thru our fence

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Cindy in KY, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    I need help. I figure you guys would know the best way for me to do this. You guys know everything.

    The neighbors 2500 lb Charolais bull came right thru the fence today. 4 strands of tight new barbed wire, field fence, posts and trees. I was doing my morning feeding and saw him standing over my wonderful Jersey girl milk cow down in the field. Jersey Girl is only about 700-800 lbs, milking twice a day, this birth was her first. She is a perfect small Jersey, the best you could ever ask for. We didn't want to breed her back to quickly, and wanted to wait for a warm weather baby next year. My DH milks her at 4:45 am and the bull was no where around.

    I called the neighbor, I called my cows, Jersey and our 900 steer, both totally tame. I got the steer first roped his horns and tied to the barn rail. He is used to that. I popped the grain feeder and Jersey Girl got up to come to me, fell down, got up again, and finally started walking up the hill to me. He was right behind her, as big as a conversion van. If he got touching her she laid down. She did not want him. She came into the barn right up to the bucket and I, on the other side of the little wall, got the rope on her horns. Whew. He touched her again and she laid down there in the stall with her horns tied to the post. And I yelled and got the bull to back off.

    Neighbor came and drove his bull back thru the downed fence with a gun. I have been crying all day. I had to lock up the cows while I fixed the fence. He got his bull into a steel pen down there. Jersey Girl was hunched like she was bred, and dripping clear stuff back there, but ok, standing ok. She was hunched for several hours. After I got the fence fixed I let them back out in the pasture to walk her. I only have the stalls, to lock them up in, and they are never locked up. She seems to be walking ok, a bit off, a bit sore, maybe gimpy. I am beside myself with worry and fear of her being bred by him.

    My good friend called the vet for me but they didn't call back today. I have to call in the morning. Tell me about the shots. Is there only one kind, and how soon does it have to be given? Can I wait 18 days to see if she comes back in, and hopefully not have to give the shot? I read about them but can't find enough info. I will have to dump the milk for 2 weeks if she gets the shot. We already have a bull lined up, and the shot will bring them into heat, but is it a real heat? Wait 18 days if no heat give the shot? Is there choices for shots? When she is in heat, the steer lets us know, and they were doing nothing the last couple days at all. Of all the cow friends I called today, no one had ever had to use the shot.

    And bad news is, the neighbor is not going to keep the bull penned up past tomorrow. I am sick, we have good fences and a wonderful quiet little farm, and now this. Her barn is in the front yard, but her barn blocks the view of her bottom pasture, and the bottom fence line. I will be on the look out all day tomorrow.
     
  2. olivehill

    olivehill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I, personally, wouldn't wait for the neighbor to come up next time. I'd have my shotgun ready and my grill hot. There's no reason for them to NOT keep him penned when this is a known problem. As far as I would be concerned they accept the risk of him being taken down when they chance him busting down your fence and compromising your herd.

    I'd also insist they pay for any vet expenses you incur.
     

  3. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    I did call and warn him not to let the bull out of the pen tomorrow, but it was like talking to a wall. I am beside myself with anger and worry.
     
  4. gone-a-milkin

    gone-a-milkin Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A spanking hot electric fence until after she is bred back properly, to keep her safe.

    Dont know about the shot, I am sure your vet will tell you all you need to know.

    Around here, a bull like that doesn't last long. Once they get to the point of walking through fences, it is time for a new young one. Hopefully your neighbor will do the right thing.
     
  5. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

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    The Lutalyse injection can be given at any time to abort a pregnancy.
    You might as well wait 21 days to see if she comes back in heat on her own before using it.
    You do NOT have to throw out her milk if you use it - it is a natural hormone, so there is no withholding time required.
    You do need to have a plan to keep your cow safe next time she comes in heat. Can you lock the cow in the barn? The Lutalyse injection would be helpful there - you could lock her in 24 hours after the shot and keep her confined for at least 3 days to be on the safe side.
    Or maybe a few strands of hot wire on the outside of your fence would discourage the bull.
    If she's pregnant, you can also wait a couple of months before giving the shot. Losing a calf that early doesn't affect their fertility next time in heat, and it would keep her safe from the neighbor bull's repeat attack for a little longer.
     
  6. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with the suggestion of keeping a HOT wire between your pasture and the bull. A hot wire is usually the only thing that will keep a bull away from a cow in heat. Your vet can tell you the best time for giving the shot. I would probably do it right away, but whatever your vet says will probably be the best. I would also try to monitor my cow and check the date for her next heat. It would pay to keep her up in the lot during the days she is in heat until you can get her bred to the bull of your choice.
     
  7. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When did your cow calve? It usually takes 45 days after calving before they come back into heat.
     
  8. Shoupie

    Shoupie Well-Known Member

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    Poor baby.

    If you have boys or tomgirls I'd arm them with paintball guns and tell them to shoot on sight.
     
  9. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mary for info on the shot. Waiting to see if she even took would be my first choice. If she does not come into heat, and she is given the shot, is it usually a real heat that the shot brings on? And if she is in after the shot, when she comes in, chances are she will take? Does the shot make them act funny or wild? Tink, yes it has been over 45 days since she calved.

    It is way too far down there to get hot wire on his side of the fence, and that bull would just walk through it anyway. He is way too large to be loose in a field. He is way past the size and age of being able to keep him in any field. His cows stay down at the bottom at his farm. I have no neighbors up here, his bull has to walk 1/2 mile up the hill to my fence. It is all woods down at the fence line and I couldn't see his cows unless they were right at the fence in the woods. He knows I have a milk cow up here and I didn't know his big bull was loose. My Jersey Girl makes no noise when she is in, she does not bellow.

    My cow barn is like a big loafing shed. The bull owner said that would not be good enough locked in there, as his bull would push the stall walls right down, that he could walk through a barn wall. He wanted me to walk Jersey all the way down the hill and put her in his barn instead of penning up his bull. Of course I said no. I check on my cows many times during the day, as they are only 50 feet from my porch. I give them hay during the heat of the day so they stay in the cool barn.

    I agree, a bull of that size and strength can not be loose. No one I know would let a bull of that size out of a pen. The fence on the downhill side is over 5 feet, tight barbed wire, on trees and posts.
     
  10. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Cindy, I can't help you with the drug of choice for aborting/bringing back on heat as I've never had to use it and I think the best thing to do would be to ring your vet and discuss this with them.

    This bull/boundary fencing bit is a world wide problem and I suspect you need to talk to your local authorities as to what the law is and your rights under these circumstances.

    Legal requirement in NZ for boundary fencing in minimum 7 wire post and batten fencing with both land owners paying half each of the cost. Electric on outriggers is fine by one or both parties and that cost is covered by whichever party installs it.

    If a farmer finds that he has no option but to graze bull/s on the boundary line there is an "unwritten" law that he rings his neighbours and lets them know - this gives the neighbours the option of removing unbred cattle from their side of the boundary. It is not a legal requirement, it is a traditional courtesy.

    If a bull were to break through the fencing and have his way with the cows, or even if he didn't, the farmer has the legal right to:

    Bill the offending farmer for veterinary fees to abort cows.
    Bill the offending farmer for grazing.
    Bill the offending farmer for labour and time taken to muster cattle and cut out the bull.
    Bill the offending farmer for damage done to the fence.
    Impound the bull.
    If the offending farmer refuses to pay the costs, and they can be substantiated, he can then be taken to court - and he rarely wins.

    If your neighbour was mine I would be reading him the riot act. It is his responsibility to keep his bull confined within his boundaries, yours to keep your cow confined within yours which you have done.

    Come on you guys, I don't know American law but there must be something to cover this situation. Can somebody point Cindy in the right direction?

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  11. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ronny. I did call him again this morning telling him he cannot let the huge beast out of the pen. He said he would leave him locked up a few days. I don't want to fight with anyone. We will keep a close watch that the bull stays penned up. I would not trust the thing even if I had no cow in heat. At least I know he is locked up today and I can breath again. One day at a time. And I can wait 18 days and pray she comes back into heat.
     
  12. Our Little Farm

    Our Little Farm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have to ask why YOU fixed the fence and not him? It's his bull that broke through. It's his duty to keep it from happening again. So if anyone should be running hot wire, it should be him. Surely there is another field where he can keep this bull?

    No matter how friendly you wish to stay, you NEED to bill him for any vets fees incurred so that he takes this matter seriously. You need to let him know you are mad as heck about this, and do not want your Jersey bred to his bull.

    Hope things work out.
     
  13. matt_man

    matt_man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The bull won't be back until your cow is in heat again, that is the only reason why he came up this time. Penning him up for the next two days isn't going to make any difference because your cow is no longer in heat so she's no longer on his radar.

    I would go with the assumption that she is bred (she most likely is) and get some lutelyse from the vet and plan on giving it to her in a couple of weeks. If it were more expensive, I would say bill the neighbor but it only costs about $5. You can give her one shot and then in a week give her another and she should come back into heat about 3 days after the second shot. Then take her to whatever bull you wanted to breed her to. You should get an early May calf. She might not have a breedable, fertile heat after the first shot but the one following should be.

    This bull very well could have broken her hips or pinched nerves and nearly paralyzed her. I would be very clear with your neighbor of this fact. The way that she fell down a few times after you noticing them together is proof to me that this bull is WAAAYY to big for her and if this happened again, there could be serious problems.
     
  14. randiliana

    randiliana Well-Known Member

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    You guys need to get with the real world. Stuff like this happens!! Your neighbor has as much right to run whatever bull he wants, as you do to run whatever bull (or cow) you want. If you have a cow come in heat, that bull is going to be interested. A 4 wire fence is really nothing to a bull when a cow is in heat on the other side of it. Electric should solve the problem, put it up now while your cow is not in heat so he gets used to the idea BEFORE you might need it again. Just remember, before you condemn the neighbor for having his bull get out, it could happen to you too. Cows and steers have been known to escape too! At least it sounds like you have a neighbor that cares a bit for what is going on.

    As far as the bull being too big, we run 2000+ lb bulls all the time. As long as they are handleable, we keep them. They are too expensive to replace, just because they grow up. If they get dangerous to handle, that is a different story. A little bull is just as likely (often more likely) to cause problems as a big bull. And, as far as calving ease, actual weight of the bull doesn't mean anything.

    Now as for lutalyse. It is a pretty commonly used and safe drug. You need to wait about a week before you give it though, or it won't work. It will bring your cow back into heat, which will be a normal heat. I think you can AI her on it, but not 100% sure on that as we have never wanted to do so on anything we aborted. So you will want to check that out. Also, it is not expensive to do.
     
  15. Timberline

    Timberline Keeper of the Cow

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    Ronnie, that depends on which state you're in. Colorado and a lot of the western states are fence out states. Lots of open range country and you have the responsibility to fence others' cattle out of your property. I don't about the op's state.

    I've had to use lutalyse before and it did not affect the cows' behavior.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  16. Cliff

    Cliff Well-Known Member

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    Charolais calves tend to be large. Just a heads up in case you didn't know.
    And I totally agree that he should have fixed the fence and also put electric up.
    He let you, a female, fix the fence that his bull trashed. That is shameful. Your husband should have a little talk with him about that. Around here it's just assumed that you will fix any fence you are responsible for damaging.
    If I were you I'd tell him that if you see the bull on your property again you'll shoot him. We recently lost a valuable Dexter bull due to him jumping out to follow a cow that was loose, in heat and far from home. Can't really fault the guy that shot him, the bull was walking towards him and he freaked out. He had an impressive set of horns and even though he was dead gentle he did look scary.
    Your cow cannot handle having that bull's calf, and he's likely to injure her if he hasn't already. I would take her to the vet if she continues to wobble or fall, then bill him for it if something shows up.
     
  17. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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  18. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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  19. Our Little Farm

    Our Little Farm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I disagree.
     
  20. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A Charolais is a big-boned breed, therefore it stands to reason he would throw a larger calf, not what I would want for a Jersey. The weight of the bull has a lot to do with injuring a cow when mounting her.