Letting Cattle Roam

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by mustanggirl, May 22, 2006.

  1. mustanggirl

    mustanggirl Member

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    Hi Ya'll,
    I'm getting a cow/calf Highland pair this weekend. They are both pretty tame, but not halter trained. I only have one acre fenced on my 40 acre ranch. I've got lots of lush grass outside the fenced area where I'd like the cattle to graze this summer, especially around my cabin to keep fire danger down. If I let the cattle out of the fence, do you think they'll try hard to wander far off? I thought about letting them out each evening when I get home from work. I usually am working outside in the evenings. I thought about putting a bell on momma cow so I could keep track of her. My property is surrounded by almost impenetrable brush. I have a lunging whip that I use for my horse, do you think they would herd back into the enclosure of maybe use a grain bucket? I don't want to try this until I know I can get them back in! My dad was a cattle rancher but I'm new at this!!! (P.S. I'd like to get by without installing more fencing at this time)
     
  2. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    well I will tell you they will eat your hedge. They are know as brush mowers. They love trees ad brush. I personally would not let mine roam. Use a picket and tie out rope. Thats if you can get a collar on her or haulter.
    Im getting a pregnant cow from an amish man who is use to picket line and hand milking. So she will be my little mower in the front.
    Good luck
     

  3. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    try stakein them out, if its open and flat that the rope wont get tangled just put down a stake and tie her out, the calf should stick with her, and you can move the stake every day,
    cattle graze as they walk, and their walking can take them a LONG way if a fence does not stop them,
    they would probably stick around for a little while once they get used to the place but after a while they will wonder farther and farther, and you could end up looseing them or at least needing to go on a LONG hunt and search expidition
     
  4. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It depends on the cow. I have one cow who would be gone in an instant if given the chance, another who might mozy down the road but come back at a run for the shake of a bucket of grain, and a third who has never even made an attempt to wonder off. I let the third one out more then the others for obvious reasons. The other two get staked out when I want some selective grazing done.

    From what your saying though I'd either stake out mama, and the calf when it's older, or find a way to enclose them in the area you want them to be in. You can get temporary fences pretty cheap and move them around from place to place. If your patient, and take your time you also may be able to get them halter trained, or at least manageable. Think of it as halter training a 1100 lb. foal...lol
     
  5. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    North Central Idaho, Zone 5
    First off, halter train BOTH of them. Then get her hooked on some C.O.B. ration with molasses...it's like candy to them. Use a No. 10 can for that or something else that makes noise enough for her/them to know/learn that that's their "candy" comin'.

    Then you can tether the cow to a t-post with a 2" ring on the end of a 1/2" nylon rope that's about 35' long; attach that to a 35' heavy chain with a heavy 2" clasp on the end of that--all available at a hardware store-- which you attach to her halter. [The rope needs the heavy chain on it so's she doesn't tangle herself up in her tether. The chain, not the rope, is attached to her halter. Remember, most bovines are no smarter than 4 year olds; dogs are about 6!] Or, just use a chain, but they're pricey if you want to have a 70' length. Just be sure you use square knots and half hitches to tie the rope to the ring at one end and to a large clasp at the other, which you'll attach to the chain. I've been doing this for 4.5 years now, and she only rarely got her rope tangled in grass at the t-post to where she couldn't reach her plastic water tub that I keep filled at the end of her tether inside a box made of 2x4's so she won't knock it over. Keep the grass clipped at the base of the t-post, if you find that she gets the rope caught up in it.

    For the first couple of years, I first had to put her grain ration down by her water tub [at the end of her tether] so that she'd learn she had to go there for it, which, being lead by me on her lead rope, she's learned well what to do, and this year, she goes there automatically. She'll be so happy to have her C.O.B. she'll just keep eatin' her grain while you switch from the lead rope to the tether clasp.

    I so far have only one 1 acre or so fenced in pasture, so I still have to tether her out in order to regrow that one. She makes about a 65' circle on her tether now, cuz I had to cut off some of the rope this year.

    If you're on a hill, you may need to put a small C-clamp on the t-post above the 2" ring near the bottom of the post, or if she gets to running and makes a fast jerk on her tether, off the t-post it'll go!!! And, your cow escapes, unless you have that calf of hers tied out somewhere. Had that happen about 3 times before I figured out how to fix that problem. I've tried tethering both cow and calf, and it sorta works, but they'll get tangled up in each other's tethers unless you have them far enough apart so that they cannot reach each other; I wanted the calf to be able to nurse, so I just had to check up on them occasionally to see that they weren't tangled together.

    Also, be sure the t-post isn't in soft ground, or she'll pull it over/off.

    Hope this helps! Good luck...JL
     
  6. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    North Central Idaho, Zone 5
    If it was too much to follow in previous post...here's a diagram of what I meant:

    X = t-post
    O = 2" heavy O-ring, so it moves freely around the t-post
    ----- = 1/2" nylon rope
    **** = heavy chain
    & = 2" heavy spring clasps

    35' 35'
    XO------------------------------&*************************&

    The heavy chain is the most expensive part of the whole set-up.

    You can set out several t-posts 70' apart. I had four of them and rotated her from one to the next as she ate the grass down. They have to be far enough apart so that she doesn't wrap herself around any others while she's tethered to one of them.

    This is what's worked for me, who had only a 20' by 40' fenced pen to start with.
     
  7. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    You might also try her with a single strand of electric set on pigtail posts. I use this for crossfencing and it keeps my Highland cow in quite well. Try it a few times while you're outside with them to see if there is any forcing of the fence. Most Highlands do not force fences, another of their great qualities. Last years calf, however, was always willing to accept the shock on her back by ducking under the fence to get all that grass that mamma and big brother couldn't get.
     
  8. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    ohio
    Well now ...

    Yes i would have to agree to everything .. halter break them both , get them hooked on some type of grain .. train them to a can a white bucket (most of mine will follow a white 5 gal pail to the ends of the earth for a chance of grain ) but be warned highlands more than most can and will turn wild quite easily .. and be most troublesom in that regard Make sure when you bring them home you confine them ... in a small high fenced paddock or stall (a good time to halter break ) .. some time i will write about the story (long and involved ) about the fellow from penna who bought two calves from me who were not halter broken ... and no one lived on the farm ..or nearby where the cows were to stay .. and they got loose comeing off the trailer .... It was a huge mess for him !!!
    Highlands can be very fleet and can jump like deer when they are so inclined
    Also tight brushy areas are home to them .... barb wire fence is next to useless over time as they use it to scratch and their horns will tear it down ...
    I done see why you couldnt over time leave one or the other to graze .. but teathering is probably a better idea ... or better still enclosing your acreage as time and money permit .. I use singe strand hot wire for dividing pastures but would never use it for perimiter ... I had one old cow who would hook a strand with her horns and flip it over her back .. stakes and all !!!

    paula
    hyde park farm