questions and information please

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Lorinda, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Lorinda

    Lorinda Member

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    Hello,
    I am so excited to be here, I have been reading for about a month now and am happy to see all the excellent advice and help here.
    We just got a new calf, she is 4 months old, curious but nervous. I am looking for tips to gentle her a bit. She will eat her hay beside you but is very hesitant to allow you to near her. She is living on a petting zoo type farm and I am just trying to get her a bit more intrested in humans.
    Any tips for me?
    Thankyou in advance Lorinda
     
  2. warrior

    warrior Well-Known Member

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    Hand feeding is the best I've seen. Feed it a flake of hay as you hold it or hold the bucket of feed as it eats. Just use gentle tones and talk to it and never ever make quick or startling moves around it. If you can keep it near the house so that it gets acustomed to the comings and goings of people helps too. This also allows you to hand feed it treats. Try to find a treat that it loves and is willing to beg for. Try apples or oranges. Cows love oranges. Be sure to cut them up as cows don't have the teeth to bite off chunks like we do. Though I have seen cows take a whole orange in their mouth and mash it. Pretty funny looking seeing it with a stuffed mouth then crunch and juice squirting everywhere. When it allows you to touch it, scratch behind it's ears most seem to like that. As this progresses and it grows in size be careful not to play to much with pushing and shoving. Some can be like an overgrown puppy and can hurt you without meaning to. I once knew a fellow that played push and shove with a HUGE Santa Gertrudis bull he had raised from a calf. I was nervous everytime I was around that bull, he could hurt you bad and only mean it as play. If you need to gain control a small thump on the nose or a switch (small) to the top of the ear is enough to get their attention. They say the way to the heart of a man is through his stomach, even more so with cows.
     

  3. commomsense

    commomsense Beef,Its whats for dinner

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    Just let her get use to humans. Try hand feeding and try to pet her. Don't force her to let you pet her. Also try to rub her under the neck. I have never seen a cow that didn't like a neck rub. She should calm down once she knows humans won't hurt her.
     
  4. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Range cubes (I call them deranged cubes since some of my cows go crazy to get them) work for me. You may have to let it sniff and then drop it. Once she has had a couple it doesn't take long until she will take them from your hand. Then have others give them to her also.
     
  5. Lorinda

    Lorinda Member

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    Those are the exact things I was thinking of trying, I have only worked with her a bit today as she arrived saturday afternoon and we decided to let her be for her stress level was up.
    Thanks so much and I have never heard of oranges hehe I will try her tommorow.
    L
     
  6. warrior

    warrior Well-Known Member

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    Even if she wasn't in a petting zoo set up I recommend gentling all cattle as much as possible. Makes them so much easier to fool with. Dad and I could lead ours anywhere with nothing more than an empty feed bucket. I still get tickled thinking of the last bunch we loaded up. We sold them off as a result of a tornado that put us out of the cattle business. Volunteers had come out to help stock owners round up and load cattle. These "cowboy" types showed up with horses and ropes to help. They were surpised when we told them to stand back and let dad and I load them up with nothing more than dad leading the way into the trailer with a bucket and me pulling up the rear with a shovel (used as a prod or swapped ends for defense as needed). Thirteen head loaded up like they had done this all this all their lives with no trouble at all. I think the "cowboys" were more than just a little disappointed to just stand around holding their horses. LOL
     
  7. Lorinda

    Lorinda Member

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    the gentling period, any animal wether it is for food purposes or pet should at least be gentle enough so that when its vet time , groom time whatever the case maybe that they are easy to handle, I have already been trying the feed bucket as well, this way if they ever escape they will always come for feed. I have worked with some cattle before but never a youngster and am being careful about the spoiling part, nothing would be worse than her playing with us like another heifer, where I have my horses boarded they have a beautiful heifer calf (bottle raised) and she tends to have little respect, because she is human raised, she is a cute calf but bottle raised animals seem to get spoiled and don't know their place all the time.I just want to do the right thing in raising her is all. Thanks for everyones input. :)
    L
     
  8. warrior

    warrior Well-Known Member

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    Try the switch on top of the ear when she gets out of line. That was dad's trick. It was kind of funny to see a big beefmaster or limousin bull sull up afer getting popped with a 12" switch. Dad was a master at gentling as the bulls had alot more respect for him than me. That's why I always kept a shovel handy. Believe me when you swat one between the eyes with the flat of the shovel it will put them on their knees. Not my usual treatment but when 1500 pounds of angry bull comes at you you do what has to be done to get clear.
     
  9. Lorinda

    Lorinda Member

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    like that with her, she is a gentle sort that way, doesn't try and kick or buck or anything. But I agree like with any animal there is no room for bad behaviour especially at the size and strength that they can get!
    Thanks for all anges LOL and help everyone, now to get her some oranges LOL