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Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:41 pm
by m_rachel17
Hello all, I’m new to the cattle world and will be showing my first market steer at fair in July. I purchased a family friends beef feeder about a month ago. This steer was raised an orphan after his mother left him to die. He seemed perfectly behaved until he got to my house. I go into the pen and he will threaten and push me into corners and attempt to “rub” his head on my legs. With him being the size he is, 700-750 lbs, this isn’t as cute as it was when our friend was raising him as a calf. I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas or techniques that can be used to help curb this behavior? He is in a personal pen, is my only bovine, and gets out to run about every other day. Any and all advice is appreciated!

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:32 am
by Boot Jack Bulls
Just some thoughts here:
-He needs a pen mate. It will keep him happy, healthy, and teach him to be bovine and not human.
-He needs to learn respect. If he rubs on you, he has no sense of boundaries. A good thump on the nose may be all that's required to remind him.
-YOU need to avoid letting him get you into a corner...EVER! He may be playing now, but the one time he isn't and he gets you in a corner, you may end up dead. You need to think ahead of him and keep both his and your flight paths in mind at all times.
Aside from all that, you really should find a mentor that has at least a basic idea how to raise and grow a steer. Best of Luck!

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:58 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Boot Jack gave you good advice. YOU must be the Alpha. He must respect you. A smack to the nose generally works best. Their nose is soft (for your sake) and is sensitive. This is a very dangerous behavior.
Be sure to tie his head up at 'show" level, and brush him daily. This teaches him to stand still while you do what you want, and he will like it. Also, teaches him to stand for more than a few minutes at a time. Increase his time standing. Start out with 10-15 minutes, then 30 minutes, until you are able to have him stand tied for about 2 hours. This is like training an athlete. You can't go to a fair and expect him to stand for a couple of hours if he isn't trained to do it.

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:31 pm
by Buck Randall
Remember that you probably aren't strong enough to seriously injure him, so don't hold back if you take a swing at him. A swift boot to the nose works well. He needs to know that you're serious and not just playing.

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:46 am
by wbvs58
You must have pretty good looking legs.
Try a knuckle duster made up of a leather band with long staples nailed through it so they protrude the opposite side to what you hold. Just passively put your hand with the knuckle duster in front of his nose when he comes close, it spikes him in the nose and he is the one causing the pain. You are not acting aggressively toward him yet he gets the message.

Ken

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:22 am
by m_rachel17
Thank you all! I’ve been stuck between wanting to be the nice guy and the necessary evil of being the boss. These are all helpful though thank you!

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:19 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
You can be the nice guy - just have to be the guy in charge - at all times.

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:26 am
by sstterry
Welcome m_rachel! Listen to these folks, they know what they are talking about!

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:46 am
by OwnedByTheCow
You have to be the tough guy first so that you can be the nice guy later. Smack him in the nose when he acts up. NOT on his poll. I try to tell people not to rub their poll area. That's a bad habit to learn.
As mentioned he's probably going to need a buddy. He's lonely. Having another buddy gives him competition to eat as well. He will eat more knowing that someone else is eating too.

Walk him EVERY SINGLE DAY. As long as there is no ice on the ground. Walk him when it's raining. Walk him when it's dark out too. Expose him to different scenarios. When I show, one fair may be in a lighted tent at night. Meaning that my cows have to get used to walking into a lighted area from a dark area. And vice versa. I always suggest picking up Temple Grandins book on livestock behavior. It give a lot of perspective for showmen to see about their animals.

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:16 am
by Ryder
Do not ever let him get you in a corner where you have no way to escape.
Do not ever let him rub his head on you or anywhere on your body.
Always have something in your hand to use to back him up.
Do not think you can train him out of bad habits with 'gentle' discipline.
Never trust him once bad habits are formed.

Re: Curbing Bad Behavior

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:41 am
by TennesseeTuxedo
Rachel hasn’t been back since October 25, 2019. Hope she got things worked out.