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Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:16 am
by chaded
I don’t have a lot of experience so I wanted to get some thoughts. Last Friday I took 4 cows out of the group of 13 to the sale. Saturday I bought a group of 6 from my Father-in-laws neighbor to add.

I figured, two small groups of cows they would be like “hey let’s link up! More power in numbers!” Well no......that’s not what happened at all. First impressions must not of been good because after introducing themselves they split up and are still split.

I have been giving the whole herd grain and they will get right in there and eat out of the same bunks side by side but after it’s gone they just go their separate ways. I was wondering if this behavior was normal and that after some more time they will likely link up with the others?

Thanks.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:29 am
by jschoolcraft86
Sounds pretty normal to me. My experience has been they will come around it just may take a little while. It seems to me like the larger the new group the longer it takes to integrate. I just got two replacements (added to 33 in the herd) that took about a week to really work themselves in and I was pretty pleased with that timeline.

Hopefully they'll sort it all out soon but I don't think there's much cause for concern.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:27 pm
by cowgal604
Ours will do that too for a few days when we add new ones. Not always but sometimes. They are just organizing their power in the herd. The ones you added had a head honcho and so did your current herd.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:35 pm
by TCRanch
Yup, that's what happens until they establish the pecking order. There will be fighting. Give it a few days and they'll be fine.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:34 pm
by Lbass
I had 49 Cows left in January. Bought 36 Bred heifers in February, 23 Bred Younger cows in March, and 10 Heifers ready to breed in April. Some are starting to integrate, some are still in their original groups, especially 7 of the 10 young heifers. They are always by themselves. It's taking a while to get all these young cows to learn the routine compared to the old girls. The important part is when I call, the Boss cow calls, and everyone listens. It'll work out.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:28 pm
by TCRanch
Lbass wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:34 pm
I had 49 Cows left in January. Bought 36 Bred heifers in February, 23 Bred Younger cows in March, and 10 Heifers ready to breed in April. Some are starting to integrate, some are still in their original groups, especially 7 of the 10 young heifers. They are always by themselves. It's taking a while to get all these young cows to learn the routine compared to the old girls. The important part is when I call, the Boss cow calls, and everyone listens. It'll work out.
Even when they eventually integrate with the herd there always seems to be sub-groups; they hang with their buddies. I have entire families that stick together with multiple generations (because I retain my heifers, don't buy any cows).

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:37 pm
by bird dog
One thing that has always amazed me is how cows will bond together. You can buy a couple of cows at a sale barn that have never seen each other until loaded but once in the trailer together for the ride home, they bond and will be buddies for life.

Your group will be together in the next week or so.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:33 pm
by snoopdog
Normal, they'll be together before you know it, and hey who really cares, if they come to feed in the corral? It's the ones that don't that cause the problems.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:07 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Mixing two groups, I would have thought your issues would be them fighting to establish the pecking order. As mentioned, they will be fine.
And - :welcome: stick around. We like new faces!! LOL

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:20 pm
by chaded
They must of known I was getting concerned (yeah right) because I went and checked a little while ago and there they were all together. Lol.

I told my wife when we brought them home that we were going to have a fight when we open the gate to the others but they just kind of smelled each other and went their separate ways.

It wouldn’t have been the end of the world if they didn’t link up but it’s nice when they are relatively all together when I go to check them.

Re: Herd Integration

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:28 pm
by SPH
Give them time, if you buy a group of cows they probably will stick with cows they are familiar with in a new new environment until they are comfortable. We once bought a handful of cows off a dispersal sale from a couple states away and they pretty much kept to themselves for the first year or so before we saw them split up and "hang out" with the rest of the herd. Have even seen it buying a bred heifer once from a breeder a couple hours away from us, she would keep her distance from us and even go find her own place away from the herd for awhile until she got used to her new environment. Wouldn't worry about it too much, ironically cows are a lot like humans in new social environments that some people either will jump right in and try to fit in and others like to feel things out before they integrate.