restraining a highlander?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by farmy, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. farmy

    farmy Well-Known Member

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    We have four highlander cows arriving this week. We're going to need to AI them in a couple months. I use stanchions for my gentle Jersey, but these girls have full horns. (They look like this: http://www.highlandcattlesociety.com/hbreedofcattle.asp) Ain't no way these girls are going to fit in a stanchion, and they're pretty wild. Any ideas? How do you longhorn folks do it, Wr?
    Thanks in advance,
    Kristin
     
  2. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Actually, the first thing you'll learn is that they do know exactly where their horns are and they can get them maneuver them in the most amazing manner. Our longhorns can neatly swing their horns to the most unbeleiveable spaces, you just have to allow them time to think about it rather than forcing them through. The stanchion idea may very well work, if you can gently work them that direction, I have a friend that AI's with no chute of facility, she simply pinches them in a corner with a gate or portable panel. You can usually rent panels and build a small pen and alley. IF they're really wild, I'd recomend spending a bit of time with them before you AI. They tend to act a bit like deer so you want to start by letting them become familiar with your scent, just stand out there with them until they relax quit milling or heading off. They tend to like it when you bring them treats, a bit of grain or something like that. They do calm down pretty quick. We had an old range cow that was pretty well wild and after about 6 months, her and her 60" of horn were following my daughter like a puppy and eating out of her pockets.
     

  3. Congratulations on getting the neatest breed their is! Highlands, for the most part, are a calm and gentle breed despite their appearance. As the previous writer said, they know where their horns are and stanchions won't present a problem. The crucial thing is to get them used to their new home and to you. AS suggested, treats are a great way for them to get to know you. Carrots, bread, bananas and oranges are my cows favorite treats. Once they allow you to approach them, always from the side or rear, a vigorous scratching of the base of the tail will make them yours forever. Then a good combing with a steel comb and they'll think your part of the herd.
    Good luck and enjoy these wonderful animals.
     
  4. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

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    I will have to agree that your girls , once they get used to you , and your barn or corral area that they will have no difficulty navigating the chute and stantion it really helps if you have a front walk through exit though , if your girls do panic its much easier to let them on through , instead of risking a snapped horn in their fight to back out in a panic .If quiet , they will have not much difficulty extricating themselves from a stantion in reverse .. again , just give them some time .
    For years I worked with all my cows in a loafing pen in the barn that had a solid wooden gate into an aisle pen , we would rope their horns snub them up against the gate post and shove the gate over , the ally and chute has definatly been an improvement ......
     
  5. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I built a head catch to AI my longhorns in. WR is right if you let them think about how to get through the narrow opening they can do it.

    Bob
     
  6. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Bob,
    do you have pics anywhere of the headcatch you built? I would love to see it, as would others I'm sure, been thinking of doing the same here, where did you get your plans from?

    Carol
     
  7. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't have any taken, but it is just like any of the head catches you buy. Another options and I might build one is what is called a Medina hinge. It is basically two gates attached 18" apart on one end. They work best in an alley way. You just swing the cow between them with their head toward the hinge end. We used to use something similar when we had a cow that would not let the calf suck. If you do a search on google.com you will find a diagram of one.

    Bob
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    You folks ever read any of Temple Grandin's publications? She is the Horse Whisperer of the cattle/hog industry.
    http://www.grandin.com/
     
  9. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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  10. silver

    silver Active Member

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    Wow, I like the Medina Hinge as I can put on in each pasture and it will be much cheaper to build than a head/squeze shoot. Thanks so much for the link.