Have a new calf, steer or bull?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Eagle Harbor, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Eagle Harbor

    Eagle Harbor Guest

    We have a new calf received as a pet for son. Should we leave it a bull or make it a steer? What are the advantages of a steer?
  2. angus_guy

    angus_guy Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    I would recommend that you remember that these are large animals read some of the older posts on pets

    I would recommend that you band this calf and make a steer

  3. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    NW-IL Fiber Enabler
    I recommend you steer him and both your son and the steer be put in training as an ox and his drover. That is about the closest you should go in making one of these a 'pet'. Does he have experience with cattle???
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Aug 10, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    I really feel that cattle do not make the best of pets. I assume this animal is not intended to do anything but mow the lawn and keep the child amused and it occurs to me that you have not a lot of experience with cattle or you wouldn't be asking this question, you would already know that little bulls grow into big bulls and big bulls are unpredictable and dangerous, especially those that have grown to be overly familiar with humans. I would suggest you have the little feller banded or surgically castrated and start the family on a good reading program. I have no idea where one would find information on pet cattle but you have to learn cattle skills at the very least.
  5. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 4, 2002
    I would certainly band him, but even at that, a steer is not a pet. I have two year-old steers now. Though we have raised them to be meat animals, I will confess that I have spoiled them, not only by bottle raising them, but by giving them treats fairly regularly. Now I'm somewhat afraid of them, not because they are mean or would wish me ill, but because they are quite large, and still bouncy and playful at times. It's fun to watch them play together. But if I need to walk through the field, I do NOT want to have one of these huge animals bouncing and frolicking toward me as if to include me in the game! An accidental trampling would be nevertheless deadly for your son.
    If this animal has come to you as a pet and you will not consider him as meat, I suggest you head to the auction barn with him in tow next week, and buy your son a dog or cat.
  6. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Dec 13, 2004
    New York
    Question, what is this bull calf? Hereford? Jersey? Holstein? Brown Swiss? Angus?.. We have a hereford/Jerseyhereford mix. He is the gentlest steer, heck he acts dumb gentle :p. But not all of them are like him, his mothers temperment rubbed off on him, and he is not playfull. Some will play, we had one. He didn't run over, but he could get frisky. If it is a Jersey, Holstein or an Angus I suggest you watch out. Regardless, steer him. No matter how nice of a bull, they can turn on you at any moment. It happened to a girl near here, she had a pet bull. She would lay with him, one day she was found dead. The animal likely figured it was play time, and did her in. We had a Jersey/Hereford bull, he was friendly, never piiiisy. But he did know he had horns. One day out in the barn yard he was throwing a hay rack around like it was nothing. It wasn't a small rack either. He brought 1650lbs at the market, big bull. Either way, I suggest if you so choose to keep him. Keep him friendly, but don't make him TOOO friendly. See, if they are toooo friendly they will run up to you. You want him so he lets you come up, he won't act skiddish, yet won't try playing. Too bad you couldn't have a steer like the one we are sending to market, he is the ideal pet.. Id even put money on it he would never hurt a fly. He is not playfull, he is not high strung, he is not your ordinary steer. Not sure if he is dumb or what, acts it :p..

  7. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    I would concur with the rest of the posts , band him . Then if you are bound to keep him as a pet , i would investigate the 4H clubs in your area who specialize in market or drover projects. Even if your son is not old enough yet to paticipate with a project at county fair , you and your family will gain priceless information on the care feeding and training of your animal. And if He is, he can decide if he wants to train his steer for driving (if that is popular in your area )
    or as a market project ... which by the way he wouldnt have to offer through the market sale .. but I have found a little greed on behalf of the child goes a long way to getting those animals in the sale ring .. that and all work that goes into working with a show steer most kids are very glad to send them off on the truck to get a break from it before they start the next project ...
    Certainly would re inforce the reason of just why we keep these young bulls/ steers standing around in our feedlots/pastures .. That they really are not pets !!! Or that they are awful dratted expensive ones as they age in terms of care , feeding and fencing and housing ...
    If nothing else get a rope halter on him now and start his halter breaking .. a sheep halter works very well on small calves .. much easier to drag him around now than when he weighs a thousand pounds !!!!


    Hyde Park Farm
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Steer him AND dehorn him!

    Oxen are started in their training VERY early: if you are going to train him you should begin very soon. Now is the time to learn about it: by the time he is several months old he should be quiet while being led. Traditionally oxen have learned the basics before they are a year old.
  9. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    washington/british columbia
    How old is your son ?
    What breed of animal is it ?
    Who really gave him a "present" like that ?
    Seems to me somebody giving a bull to somebody who doesn't know cattle needs a bit more of an education himself.
    I would definitely band him, dehorn him, better still trade him for a nice dog.
    The Four H club idea is a good one, if that isn't going to be the route, then I don't see a good future "pet", unless you like to eat him, then all bets are off !! :)
  10. kjerckie

    kjerckie Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2004
    NW Washington
    I have a young bull who has begun escaping his pasture for greener pastures. It could be a big liability if he gets in the pasture he wants. If you want him to stay home....cut him.