Advice needed with heifer

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Sep 6, 2022
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We recently purchased a 4 month old Braford heifer, from what I read she is technically classified as an F1 since her sire was full Brahman and dam was full Hereford. We have had her a total of 9 days. She had no human interaction up until we got her, which don't get me wrong she has come A LONG way in those days but she is something else. She wants to be loved on, for example: you pet her for a few minutes, stand next to her, talk to her, stop touching her (but continue to stand next to her), talk to another human for a second, take your attention back to her or move your feet and she completely comes un glued like you are a monster who just jumped out the bushes to eat her! All the while, she is haltered and tied. I have trained many horses/foals so I know the basics... calves aren't toooo far off from equine. but this heifer is driving me crazy with her craziness! She also kicks and kicks hard. I did read to pop her on the leg when she kicks, to learn that "ouch that hurts" when she kicks out but it seems to set her back and have a negative result, I have been kicked 4 times by her, which now has me on guard, yet still soft around her but leery of her back end because that crap does so I stopped popping her because it made the situation 10x worse(only done it one time, the result of that popping made her not allow me near her for 5 or so minutes). She does not respond well to negative response to bad behavior, but in the same sense I am at a loss for how to correct that behavior. I'm worried that if we continue to tip toe around her she will learn, well if I act out it makes the humans go away but me correcting her bad behavior has a negative affect too. When we do work with her we use a lot of pressure and release, that seems to be the only form of training she accepts and acts decent with, am I on the right track? She was purchased to be my daughters future show calf/cow, she already has a steer and he is so laid back and easy compared to this girl. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
Sidenote: she is halter broke, stands tied, somewhat accepting of a bath, walks on lead somewhat, somewhat easy to catch but does have a 12 ft lead attached to halter(all within 9 days time)


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Sell her and cut your losses. Go buy a more docile calf from someone else. And get THAT new calf a buddy. If it's no fun now, wait until she's 1000 lbs+. That kick can become lethal.
Don't even have to sell this one. Turn her out to grow up and do what f1 Braford females are best at, and get your daughter another show heifer.
Some take more time than others. No negative reinforment. We train a kicker by running a stick, or poop pick, up and down the back legs until the stop kicking. We don't hit them, we just bring the stick right back to the leg when she kicks it away. They get tired of kicking after awhile, no one gets hurt, and they learn that something around their legs will not kill them. We do this every day, several times a day, until they stop kicking. They have a "fight or flight" mentality, so they just need to learn to trust that you will not hurt her and you can be near her without her flipping out. Some take longer than others. Our really hard ones we drag to a few blow and go shows, and don't show but they are tied to the trailer all day and learn about lots of activity and stuff to help desensitize.
Can she see well? Sometimes horses kick when they can't see well.
Just a thought.
Good luck!

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