New to cows...lots of questions?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by NY Jewel, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. NY Jewel

    NY Jewel Active Member

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    First i have to halter train my 2 cows and was wondering if i can use horse or pony halters or do they have to be cow halters. I was also wondering if anyone can give me guesses as to how much these guys weigh so i know what size halters to get. One is a year old holstein heifer and the other is a 9 month old jersey bull calf. Also any tips on how to halter train them would be appreciated. Its getting crazy at feeding time now and the holstein is huge so i would like to start tieing them up for feeding time. They share the barn with 4 goats and i only have one stall that i seperated 3 of the goats into so i was planning on tieing the cows and biggest goat. Also what would be the best grain to be feeding the cows? They get plenty of fresh hay but look forward to their grain in the evening. Thanks soo much for any suggestions! Julie
     
  2. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    For me, guessing the weights sight unseen is pretty hard. It will depend on what you, or anyone else has been feeding them. I have raised holsteins in the past on strait grain and after 1 yr they are about 800-1000 lbs.

    Do you want to halter train them for the sole reason of feeding? If that is the case I would recommed that you dont bother with it. Just Feed them on the ground outside. Kick the snow off the the side and pour out what you need for them.

    My goal is to keep as many animals outside as much as they are willing to, to save work on barn cleaning.

    For halter training, go to store (or tie your own) and find a few that are close. The ones we bought for 4H project were $6 each. After you get halter on, tie it to a SOLID post in barn and leave cow there for about 10 mins. Next day make it 10 mins, but now try to touch and pet, not near head, the cow. Bump up each time as the weeks go buy. Always try to end training session on a good note. I am sure others here will have much better advise on the halter thing. This is our first time trying it. If it were not for the 4H thing, I would never bother.

    I would also suggest you cut the jersey bull.
     

  3. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    i recently bught a halter for my sheep---- foinally fund someplace that told me how to measure for one!!! Tale a string, and make a figure 8 around the muzzle, crossing under the chin, then around behind the ears. Cows have the same lack of bone in the lower face area that sheep and goats do, so you want something that rests up higher on the nose if they are fighting the process. Or, why not just use an "indian halter"--a plain belt high up around the neck-- hang a bell on it, and you have the classic "Bossy" look!!!
     
  4. randiliana

    randiliana Guest

    You can use a horse halter. The rope ones work really well, especially since they are really adjustable. As for halter breaking, have fun, cause even a 700 lb animal can drag you around pretty easily. I find what works well is to just halter them and let them drag a rope around for a week or so. They step on it and the pen mate steps on it, and they learn to give to pressure. Makes it much, much easier when you get on the end of the rope. Next, get them tied up. At first tie them a bit long, so if they go down they won't choke, and they can get up on there own. Leave them there for a while 10-20 min, keep an eye on them so if they go down you can release them if needed. What ever you do, when you let them go, try to make sure that they are giving to the rope at that moment, not pulling on it. It is difficult to do that the first few times, but worth the effort, cause they learn not to just take off as soon as the rope loosens. After a couple days of being tied, start scratching them, on the neck, the withers, the back. But be careful of getting kicked. Cows can kick out to the side, and hard enough to do serious damage.

    As already suggested, I would also get that bull castrated, especially if he was a bottle baby. All bulls can be really dangerous, so whatever you do be cautious around him. It is actually probably not a great idea to halter break and make a pet out of a bull.
     
  5. NY Jewel

    NY Jewel Active Member

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    Thanks soo much for all the great idea's everyone! Feeding them outside on the ground is a very good idea! I want to halter train them so i can have some kind of control over them also. I will do as you say and start them out slowly by tieing them for 10 minutes at a time and work my way on from there. They were bottle babies and are very tame. I will have to get this bull calf castrated, everyone keeps telling me he is going to get mean! Its hard to believe because he is soo sweet and docile now. But i know that will change shortly! Well i'll go and try to measure them up for halters now. Thanks again everyone!! Julie
     
  6. henfruit

    henfruit Well-Known Member

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    my wife thought that our holstien steer was so sweet till he pinned her behind a tree for an hour till i showed up to help her.the problem was when i pu the rubber band on him i did not get them both,so he was still half a bull and mean.good luck on trying to get a halter on a cow that big.if you can coner them in there stall you might be able to but if they have never had a halter on before i dont think you will have any luck? be very careful remember you have 700 lb animal you are dealing with and they can hurt you very bad.ps that one of mine is now in the freezer.
     
  7. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    12 and 9 months old? I'll say prayers for you getting halters ON them!

    I bought mine at the feed store, which also had calf halters before I even brought Ginger [3/4 Guernsey] home...at about 10 months old, maybe 500#. She was easy cuz she'd been with a milking family and bottlefed by teenaged girls as a youngster.

    I had to keep her tied up the first 5-6 days to a t-post while her pen and shed were under construction, so she learned to be lead around and mind pretty well in that time frame.