Breeding to create calm cows

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Stickney94

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We’ve been breeding for docility for 10-15 years now and have culled several for being too docile.
Crazy how that works but I have the same experience.

Hickock, Hoover Dam, Power Tool, Powerball, Enhance all sire progeny that can be very calm. But I think how you train them is very important as well.

(Mostly, I'm posting so that the Post ET Heat thread ceases being at the top of the AI forum)
 

puzzled in oregon

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I have BA, RA, and Hereford cows. Get a little crazy out of all of them. The Herefords are well behaved I must agree.
I had the privilege of owning a goofy Hereford. She had/raised beautiful calves. Would come running for grain, quiet until something different would occur, then she would go run little circles in the pasture. Could have been the way she was handled before I got her. But I do believe genetics can be a contributing factor, and it can skip a generation. I think it is a possibility with most breeds if it is not considered a reason to cull.
 

Lee VanRoss

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Facilities to constrain movement with a minimum of human involvement should be a consideration. It is however; not always
the easiest to obtain monetarily. A corral with several 'out' pens seems to work best for us. I like control without contact and
put wheels under the problem makers.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Facilities to constrain movement with a minimum of human involvement should be a consideration. It is however; not always
the easiest to obtain monetarily. A corral with several 'out' pens seems to work best for us. I like control without contact and
put wheels under the problem makers.
I have a different approach. I like my cows to be around people as much as possible to take the "spook" out of them. I admit we have a few that are wild as banshees but they tend to bring in nice calves so they get a pass. Some haven't been through the squeeze chute in years.
 

Lee VanRoss

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TT> "Facilities to constrain with a minimum of human involvement'' does not preclude normal herdsmanship.
As to having my cows around people for any purpose other than normal handling I can see no justification.
 

TCRanch

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TT> "Facilities to constrain with a minimum of human involvement'' does not preclude normal herdsmanship.
As to having my cows around people for any purpose other than normal handling I can see no justification.
Then you certainly wouldn't agree with my world. My girls are dog gentle and Creekstone Farms Premium Beef brings a lot of their customers to the ranch for "farm to table" tours, which also includes taking them to the feedlot and even the processing facility (designed by Temple Grandin). Promoting humane treatment/living/handling and yes, even processing, is one way to counter animal rights activist, PETA, government entities that try to control the industry, etc.
 

Lee VanRoss

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TC> So are you telling us your cows do not have their heads lobbed off and their guts jerked out?
Please explain in clear definitive English how your (Temple Grandin) method does not result
in the same end as a commercial packing plant. Your attempt to make your definition of death
of a living creature genteel defies common sense.. Do your tours include the viewing of the gentle
slaughter that you paint over with pastel description? Most people in this business get no joy in what
is necessary to get an animal on your plate. Dog Gentle My Ass , Your cow is just as dead as mine in the final analysis.
Have a fuzzy day, LVR
 

BFE

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TC> So are you telling us your cows do not have their heads lobbed off and their guts jerked out?
Please explain in clear definitive English how your (Temple Grandin) method does not result
in the same end as a commercial packing plant. Your attempt to make your definition of death
of a living creature genteel defies common sense.. Do your tours include the viewing of the gentle
slaughter that you paint over with pastel description? Most people in this business get no joy in what
is necessary to get an animal on your plate. Dog Gentle My Ass , Your cow is just as dead as mine in the final analysis.
Have a fuzzy day, LVR
You're right dead is dead. However, we do live in a nation where the vast majority of voters have no idea how things work outside of the city. Anytime we as farmers and ranchers can get some good PR is a plus. I don't do farm tours or the like, but I'm glad there are those who do.

I don't really understand your analysis. First you describe slaughter in a fairly crude way, then tell us how there's no joy in it. I'm confused.
 

TCRanch

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TC> So are you telling us your cows do not have their heads lobbed off and their guts jerked out?
Please explain in clear definitive English how your (Temple Grandin) method does not result
in the same end as a commercial packing plant. Your attempt to make your definition of death
of a living creature genteel defies common sense.. Do your tours include the viewing of the gentle
slaughter that you paint over with pastel description? Most people in this business get no joy in what
is necessary to get an animal on your plate. Dog Gentle My Ass , Your cow is just as dead as mine in the final analysis.
Have a fuzzy day, LVR
Oh, good grief, Lee!:rolleyes:
The cattle are stunned first & death is instantaneous. And yes, Creekstone does include viewing of the slaughter. The point is, the cattle are raised in a humane environment; the majority of cow/calf operations in the US are smaller, family farms and owners care very much about the welfare of their stock.
 

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Ky hills

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Bottom line is that most of the population is so far removed from first hand knowledge of agriculture that they don’t know how it’s done. There are plenty of opportunistic folks and groups with agendas that do a lot better job of spreading propaganda and misinformation to make farmers and ranchers look bad.
The way that people handle and manage their livestock has changed a lot over time, and the Temple Grandin type methods have been helpful in a lot of ways as far as making working with cattle more stress free and safe for both them and people. The end product has also been improved as well. Growing up every body I know used tobacco sticks and hollered to work and load cattle now it’s a much less physical and a lot quieter. Obviously still some stress involved but hopefully less.
As for the end product, slaughter is slaughter and no way to sugar coat that but steps can and should be taken to minimize stress as much as possible leading up to that. Think reducing risks of dark cutters at the very least.
We are doing short term rentals with the main house here and as such guests have the opportunity if desired to see a bit of the farm life. We are very open to answering questions and discussing the cattle industry. Most folks that we have met with have had very little if any first hand experience on a farm so it’s neat to be able to share what that’s like, in terms of answering questions hopefully giving folks a glimpse of what our life and work is like. We get asked a lot of things that people will start out with saying this may be a silly question but. Our response is no it’s not a silly question, it’s not someone’s fault that they don’t know a particular detail, when they have never had a reason to know it. Things that we on this forum take for granted because we have done it for years is a totally foreign concept to many simply because they haven’t been around it. Our goal is to hopefully spread some truth and reality about farming and give folks a better understanding of it.
We care for our cattle as best we can, and try to treat and provide for them as best we can. We take the BQA guidelines seriously. We can’t control what goes on at the next step of the production chain but we can do our part while we have the animals.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Bottom line is that most of the population is so far removed from first hand knowledge of agriculture that they don’t know how it’s done. There are plenty of opportunistic folks and groups with agendas that do a lot better job of spreading propaganda and misinformation to make farmers and ranchers look bad.
The way that people handle and manage their livestock has changed a lot over time, and the Temple Grandin type methods have been helpful in a lot of ways as far as making working with cattle more stress free and safe for both them and people. The end product has also been improved as well. Growing up every body I know used tobacco sticks and hollered to work and load cattle now it’s a much less physical and a lot quieter. Obviously still some stress involved but hopefully less.
As for the end product, slaughter is slaughter and no way to sugar coat that but steps can and should be taken to minimize stress as much as possible leading up to that. Think reducing risks of dark cutters at the very least.
We are doing short term rentals with the main house here and as such guests have the opportunity if desired to see a bit of the farm life. We are very open to answering questions and discussing the cattle industry. Most folks that we have met with have had very little if any first hand experience on a farm so it’s neat to be able to share what that’s like, in terms of answering questions hopefully giving folks a glimpse of what our life and work is like. We get asked a lot of things that people will start out with saying this may be a silly question but. Our response is no it’s not a silly question, it’s not someone’s fault that they don’t know a particular detail, when they have never had a reason to know it. Things that we on this forum take for granted because we have done it for years is a totally foreign concept to many simply because they haven’t been around it. Our goal is to hopefully spread some truth and reality about farming and give folks a better understanding of it.
We care for our cattle as best we can, and try to treat and provide for them as best we can. We take the BQA guidelines seriously. We can’t control what goes on at the next step of the production chain but we can do our part while we have the animals.
Well put.
 

branxchar&charx

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Oh, good grief, Lee!:rolleyes:
The cattle are stunned first & death is instantaneous. And yes, Creekstone does include viewing of the slaughter. The point is, the cattle are raised in a humane environment; the majority of cow/calf operations in the US are smaller, family farms and owners care very much about the welfare of their stock.
They are not wearing those beard nets correctly; its supposed to cover the mustache as well! Over the nose people.LOL

As far as the lvr types, you almost get a sense that it doesnt matter how you handle cattle. They wind up dead so why practice common animal husbandry. Not to mention, most major plants now follow the "temple grandin method." In pure economic terms, u want cattle (any animal really) calm going through the kill floor or anywhere. Less stress = better meat (dark cutters, blood splash etc).
 

Bestoutwest

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What are some bulls that are known to produce calm and docile momma cows. I’m looking for a little more than just what the epd would indicate. Anybody have any hands on experience? Seems like there are quite a few high headed sires out there these days….
I've used several Angus bulls over a few different bloodlines. I have one cow that's "interesting." In the field, she's fine, but working her becomes interesting and she's always looking for an out. This will be the first year trying to AI her, and if she won't load, she won't stay. She probably won't stay anyway since all of her calves have been crazy. Three different AI sires (Full Power, Hickok and one I can't remember but big DOC number), and a bull I raised that was pretty docile have produced four calves that you wouldn't want to keep. I have another cow that's dog gentle, has a bubble, but does what I need and she's produced fantastic calves. Point is, I think a lot of it is the cow. Buy docile cows, use docile bulls (with HIGH accuracy numbers) and you'll get good calves.

At least that's what I've learned.
 

Peace

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I am going to mention one sire that I've had a lot of experience with, although I'm sure there are many out there that I am not familiar with. He is an (1995 birth date) old bull, AAR Really Windy 1205. I've raised over 200 head of cows over about a twelve year period from him, and sold many bulls sired by him as well. Generally, the disposition is extremely gentle, although (as with about any sire) there have been a few exceptions.
However, the bull is only half of the disposition, and possibly even less than that. The dam's sire as a group can have a lot of influence on disposition, as well as the individual animal.
The second thing, and I agree with the posts that have mentioned this, is the way the cattle are handled and managed. It is amazing, but there are some people out there who just seem to make cattle nervous. I've worked with some producers that are the same way. I usually help them one time, and then make excuses not to help the next time, if it is a "rodeo approach" to working cattle. I hope that helps.

I agree, if the rodeo approach is the norm, decline any further assistance. Herd animals aren't that difficult, they're herd animals because they're prey herbivores, so your approach needs to be calm and understood that you're the predator. What you're actually trying to accomplish is to shorten the distance they'll move off your approach to the direction you want them to move to, without them realizing you want them to move that direction as a herd, not individually. (if that makes sense) It has never made sense to me to make loud noise, sweeping movements or chasing motions to a prey animal. Any idiot can make a prey animal run, the trick is to get them to move the direction and speed you want them to move, and letting them think they're making that choice, if that makes any sense.
 

David_TN

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Oh, good grief, Lee!:rolleyes:
The cattle are stunned first & death is instantaneous. And yes, Creekstone does include viewing of the slaughter. The point is, the cattle are raised in a humane environment; the majority of cow/calf operations in the US are smaller, family farms and owners care very much about the welfare of their stock.
EXCELLENT REPLY!
 

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