Woo Hoo We're Picking up Our Calf!!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by mamahen, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We pick him up tonight at 5 pm!! Yippee! He's quite the little beefer. He's 2.5-3 months old. Whitepark cross. Pics later... :dance:
     
  2. DJ

    DJ Well-Known Member

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    good luck getting settled in :)
     

  3. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, things did not go well :nono:

    We loaded him at the farm & brought him home. He was very quiet & well behaved in the trailer. When we opened the door, he repeatedly charged us. Bellering & pawing. Spit flying. This is a 2.5 month old calf (according to the farmer/breeder). When he didn't see you, he was still restless. When he saw you, all heck broke loose. We couldn't safely get him off of the trailer, his safety & ours. So he made a round trip back to the farm. :grump:

    What the heck!?!?! We've had lots of calf & cow experience between us. But we've NEVER seen a calf this young be sooooo aggressive. This was going to be for my 11 yr son. No way. We didn't have the facilities for something so wild & aggressive. :flame:

    Help, what could we have done different? Or was it better to send him packing?!? :shrug:
     
  4. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    WOW. Was he just cut off of his momma the day you picked him up?
     
  5. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yep. The daughter (16-17) left him TIED in the barn & all the other cows were milling around him, pooing ON him! No way he could've nursed like that. Don't know how long he was tied. Maybe a few hours?

    We figured that sudden weaning, along with new surroundings would be traumatic for him, wish they would've weaned him BEFORE they sold him to us, even for a few days. But he was soooo aggressive.

    Do you think it was all a bluff? He was never really handled by them before.

    The only time they had hands on him, was to castrate (cut).
     
  6. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK, now I feel like we didn't try hard enough.

    I've been reading on a cattle board, on weaning & halter breaking. We never even got close to this calf last night. He really had us worried with all of that charging. Was he bluffing? If we would've kept on walking up to him, would he have turned & hid? Let me tell you, he was MAD!!

    When we would peek in the trailer sides, he would look at us & scream bloody murder, then charge the sides & make contact! Slamming with his head.
     
  7. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    He was most likely just scared. Yes, you rushed to judgement a bit I would say....if he was calm enough to stay tied up at the barn you were buying him from I would say his temperament would have been fine once he got used to his new surroundings....

    What you should do next time is back the trailer up to the pen you are unloading in, put some food and hay where he can see it outside the trailer, open the trailer, tie the door open and just walk away and wait. Let him get out on his own.

    Keep in mind that cattle are herd animals and they have a pecking order, so last night he was not only frightened and unsure of you, he was also checking to see if he could push you around...which he did.

    If you want to try him again, bring him home, let him unload himself, and then just let him settle down for a day or two before you expect much from him. If he moves away as you approach, keep your distance, talk to him calmly...in time he will accept you being closer.

    Edit: Oops, I just reread your post about how you have lots of cattle experience before...so never mind my babbling...but I still bet he was just upset over new surroundings and no herd in sight ( or sound ).
     
  8. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    This is not abnormal, it does happen, and it happened to me, but with a day old calf. They are scared, they only know of one way to defend themselves, and that is to show you they mean buisness. The key with them is to keep them in a secure area, small area. You feed him and water him, so he knows its coming from you. Your 11yr old could do this without any danger, because you do this from outside of the pen. After a few days, he would calm down some, but give him more time. The key is to show him, you are the food, you mean no harm, and don't show him your intimidated.


    We have an angus bull, he was taken away from his dam, no weaning. He did freak out, but he got out and took off. We got him back, he came back on his own. He now won't leave the herd, he does get out, but lets himself back in. He isn't overly friendly, but he is used to us, and respects us. Any calf like the one you had this experience with. I would, depending on size, let the calf come at me, then show it some rules. At that calfs age, it isn't huge, it is still small enough to handle. Sure they are strong, but what does a herd do? They push the new animal around, it then gains respect and learns its spot. That little calf that did that to me, I didn't show her I was botherd. It did startle me, mostly because it was this little 30lb calf doing it.

    I know I have tamed down calves by catching them, tackling them, then release them. It shows them that I mean no harm, and they do gain trust. Strange way to do it, but they actually tame down extremely fast with that method.

    Either way, pick the calf back up, and give it some space, but do not let it intimidate you. It should be scared of you, and go in the opposite direction, this way it has respect for you.

    Also the way it was "weaned" off is actually wayy too quick. I would have asked them to wean it off for a week. This way it wouldn't be as skiddish.


    Jeff
     
  9. DJ

    DJ Well-Known Member

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    There are too many animals out there to take a chance with this behavior.
    Leave that one where it's at and find another. Posturing is one thing but to be hitting the trailer sides? At 2.5 months what are you going to do when he's 700 lbs and doing the same.