Calves

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tcolvin

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I have six calves that range from 4 months to 7 months in age. The bulls are now steers. I have a problem catching them in the coral. When I feed the cows and bull they come in to the lot to eat. The calves stay out in pasture and just look. I am putting in a creep feeder for the calves but don't knowing w if they will be interested enough to go in it and eat. When I move the mamas across the dirt road to other pastures the calves will just group up together about 50 feet out and look. When you try and drive them they run away out to pasture. How do you handle calves? There has got to be an easier way.
 
Good advice @blackladies

That can be tricky. It's always good to have a fence or wall that funnels animals to the gate of your pen. Calves are notorious for hanging out along the edges or outside.

Next time you feed try to keep the group together. One of the fundamentals of moving cattle is to not let them string out or separate. If you can get some one with the bucket or what ever to lead and then get a person in the rear putting a little pressure on them. The front person needs to not let the lead cattle run off and the rear person needs to not let calves or cows fall back from the group.

Just play with it and see what happens. If you push a little hard one day, try again a couple days later. Go slow and study the cattle. Look for the signals the calves are giving you before they bolt. Try to anticipate that so you can prevent it.

You can train cattle just like any thing else with consistency.
 
Good advice @blackladies

That can be tricky. It's always good to have a fence or wall that funnels animals to the gate of your pen. Calves are notorious for hanging out along the edges or outside.

Next time you feed try to keep the group together. One of the fundamentals of moving cattle is to not let them string out or separate. If you can get some one with the bucket or what ever to lead and then get a person in the rear putting a little pressure on them. The front person needs to not let the lead cattle run off and the rear person needs to not let calves or cows fall back from the group.

Just play with it and see what happens. If you push a little hard one day, try again a couple days later. Go slow and study the cattle. Look for the signals the calves are giving you before they bolt. Try to anticipate that so you can prevent it.

You can train cattle just like any thing else with consistency.
I moved the cows this morning and tried to move the calves but no luck. The cows ran right over to the pasture with the hood grass. The calves just stood and looked. I tried to move them but they scattered like quail. I drove them back to the gate and they turned on me and scattered again. After four try's I just left them for today. I'll see if tomorrow sounds ok to them. If I can catch them getting water in my coral maybe I can close the gate on them before they get out. If so then I can drive them into the shoot and load on to my trailer and haul them across. I just don't like them not being with mom tonight.
 
If the creep feeder is portable move it out side the coral till they start using it and then move it inside. If it's not just give it time , they will find it and start going in the coral .
 
I moved the cows this morning and tried to move the calves but no luck. The cows ran right over to the pasture with the hood grass. The calves just stood and looked. I tried to move them but they scattered like quail. I drove them back to the gate and they turned on me and scattered again. After four try's I just left them for today. I'll see if tomorrow sounds ok to them. If I can catch them getting water in my coral maybe I can close the gate on them before they get out. If so then I can drive them into the shoot and load on to my trailer and haul them across. I just don't like them not being with mom tonight.
It can be a real pain. May have to just leave the gate open and let them filter on their own.

I'm on the other side of a screen so I'm kind of just throwing ideas out.

If you put a few cubes or a flake if hay, what ever you feed them at the gate to hold the cows up, before opening it, and put a little pressure on the calves, will they run to the cows or just bolt, you think?
 
It can be a real pain. May have to just leave the gate open and let them filter on their own.

I'm on the other side of a screen so I'm kind of just throwing ideas out.

If you put a few cubes or a flake if hay, what ever you feed them at the gate to hold the cows up, before opening it, and put a little pressure on the calves, will they run to the cows or just bolt, you think?
My problem with leaving open is that I would have to leave the pasture with the cows in it open also. I lived on a well traveled dirt road so when I move the cows I have to close the road for a while with fence panels. I wait until the mail lady comes thru then put out orange cones and signals and when the panels are up I start them across the road to the other pastures. Road closed for up to 30 minutes at most. Today only had one guy to turn around and go back. I'm about 1/4 mile from main highway so I fence panel the road off. I used to move them without the panels but once in a while one or more cows would take off ip the road and the work began. Up the road about 100 yards are fields ( 86 acres total) on both sides of the road that are leased out to crop farmers who plant corn, peanuts and so on every year. I have had cows in the fields when they would decide to not cross into pasture.
 
My problem with leaving open is that I would have to leave the pasture with the cows in it open also. I lived on a well traveled dirt road so when I move the cows I have to close the road for a while with fence panels. I wait until the mail lady comes thru then put out orange cones and signals and when the panels are up I start them across the road to the other pastures. Road closed for up to 30 minutes at most. Today only had one guy to turn around and go back. I'm about 1/4 mile from main highway so I fence panel the road off. I used to move them without the panels but once in a while one or more cows would take off ip the road and the work began. Up the road about 100 yards are fields ( 86 acres total) on both sides of the road that are leased out to crop farmers who plant corn, peanuts and so on every year. I have had cows in the fields when they would decide to not cross into pasture.
I got you. Didn't realize it was across a road. Definitely going to have to hold the cows up at the gate and take as a group.
 
I always have a secondary pen outside the main one, even if it's just cattle panels. There's always a calf or meek cow that won't go in the crowded area, but they'll generally go into the secondary. I'll catch the cows and feed them, shut the gate, feed the calves in the secondary and make a long trip around to shut the secondary up. It might take a while, but they'll catch on in a week or so. Be prepared any day to move them, they'll do t when you least expect it.

I don't like a creep feeder in this circumstance, I'd rather hand feed to get them wanting it when you're there instead of free choice.
 
I have six calves that range from 4 months to 7 months in age. The bulls are now steers. I have a problem catching them in the coral. When I feed the cows and bull they come in to the lot to eat. The calves stay out in pasture and just look. I am putting in a creep feeder for the calves but don't knowing w if they will be interested enough to go in it and eat. When I move the mamas across the dirt road to other pastures the calves will just group up together about 50 feet out and look. When you try and drive them they run away out to pasture. How do you handle calves? There has got to be an easier way.
I've never had any calves that wouldn't follow their mothers, and I always trained my cows to come to a bucket full of grain.

Strange situation...
 
We were getting ready to do some thing with some cows one time and had the cattle all around us. I got on the bed of my buggy and asked every one to gather up (basically me, my son, my buddy, one of his sons, when he was young, and the cows). It was one of the first times he got to do stuff with us. I started giving a speech like we all got on field trips as kids about staying together and blah blah blah... all nonsense.

My son and my buddy and just laughing and shaking their heads. You could see the look on the boys face though like... is this real... he's looking at his dad... me... the cows... just waiting for me to stop so he could ask a question. I pour it on thick.

When I finally stop... my buddy quickly looks at his son and says... before you ask... that was all bs. 🤣 The boy goes... I thought so. I looked at him with a serious face and said... the cows know what I'm saying... and walked off.

Long story short... try having team meeting first and be sure every one is on the same page. 😄
 
Praise God. Great news after a short prayer. At just after daylight I walked into the pasture this morning. The calves were 100 or so yards from the coral. I talk to them and they headed for a pasture cross fence but when they went by the coral fence cattle panel opening one went in and the other 5 headed down to the road where the moms are across the road. I walk down on upper side and sung to them as they walked the fence row to the coral. When we got there 2 went in, this made it 3 to 3. They went back to cross fence, I sung in another. Now it's 4 to 2, my favor. Those two went by to where mom was at the road fence. I sung them back one at the time for the at least 100 yard walk? Making the score 6 to 0, I won!
Now I learned a lesson about how to change my cattle panel set up to catch them easier.
Now after church, this evening after dinner, I'll run them thru the shoot on to my trailer and they can have family reunion. They have water and grass where they are now but they are still sucking and need mama to finish them off. From now on it's all move at once or mo move for me. But the bright side is that prayer works, but you yourself have to sometimes put your effort in to it also Also a benefit i got was the exercise, and the singing to the calves. I think next week I'll start having "cow practice" once a week. Thank you Lord.🙏✝️🛐
 
Sounds like maybe they are not used to YOU walking around them.
We rotational graze, so I really never push our cattle. Just call them. Calves learn the program really quick.
Calves are a bugger to PUSH if they don't want to go.
You can't walk around them. They take off to pasture at maybe 75-100 yards and just look at you. When I feed maybe one or two will come into feed lot, but if any movement from me is see, out to pasture they run to join the other four that's looking on. I have a creep feeder set up outside the feed lot for them and it will have feed lot entrance through the feeder into the lot. A catch gate will be on the front of the feeder to use only when I'm moving them from pasture to pasture or sale barn. I'll send drawing when I finish setting it up. But for now they don't care if mama is eating or not. They just stand out in pasture and look.
 
LOL - I have a bus load of people coming today (vet students). My herd is used to ME and anyone else walking around them. But, I AI breed, so I walk thru each and everyone at least 4 times a day for 60 days. For all the cows lives, cows don't move - so calves don't move. Newborn calves will slide on other side of Mom, but that's it.
So, I have a hard time understanding why they are so skittish.
 
Don't know if it would be any help but I had to "re-domesticate" about 25 cows. It was a slow process. Just about every time I went down there, I would take a bag of cubes. In probably less than a year, most got to where they would come to me. When I get them up for worming/vaccination/banding etc., I will go down there every other day for week and feed them in the lot leaving the gate open. On the day I'm going to work them, they usually all just belly up to the troughs and I close the gate. Only problems I've had are the young ones not wanting to go in but I have some gates in the lot where I can close the cows into a part of the lot and usually just herd the younger ones into the lot on foot, close the gate behind them, and swing the gates inside the lot open. When I've got them altogether, I position those interior gates to form a funnel into the chute. Before, I had some really wild ones that were hard to get in there but finally managed to do so and sold them...when I say "really wild" I mean dangerously wild (long story).
 
You can't walk around them. They take off to pasture at maybe 75-100 yards and just look at you. When I feed maybe one or two will come into feed lot, but if any movement from me is see, out to pasture they run to join the other four that's looking on. I have a creep feeder set up outside the feed lot for them and it will have feed lot entrance through the feeder into the lot. A catch gate will be on the front of the feeder to use only when I'm moving them from pasture to pasture or sale barn. I'll send drawing when I finish setting it up. But for now they don't care if mama is eating or not. They just stand out in pasture and look.
Walk through them every day, they will get used to you.

When you are moving cattle on foot…… work farther away, the angles work for you…. leave the sticks or paddles or flags in the truck and your hands in your pockets….. don't run, you can't outrun a cow or calf anyway. Don't take your eyes off them, slow is fast.
 
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