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Can Breeding Stock be too tame?

Bonsman

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I have a serious question for the board. Can your breeding stock be too tame? I feed cubes in the winter. I simply open the sack and put the cubes in the trough. Over time, my animals try to help me open the sacks. They have no fear of me. So, can your animals be too tame?
 

tlmcr

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Bonsman:

I say yes they can be too tame. My cow herd borders on that, they are hard to drive and won't move for the tractor sometimes. Usually if I have strangers around when we work cattle it helps, they are a little more edgy. The flip side is the calves become gentle by weaning and are easy to handle and halter break if necessary.
 

CKC1586

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Depends on your definition of tame. If you mean they are quiet and can be handled easily and have respect for you, that is a good thing. If you mean they are quiet, etc. but get pushy and don't respect your space that is not a good thing. You set the boundries and teach them to observe them.
 

jcarkie

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yeah, tame enough to hurt you. i have a few that will not move when i go to feed, i have been knocked off balance by tame cattle trying to feed them. i would rather have one that will walk away than walk over me. be careful, they come in pushing and shoving and will hurt you, accidently, i carry a stick and make them stay at least that far away from me. i want my space, i am the alpha leader.
but, i would rather lead them, than chase them, mine follow me when i call and carry a feed sack or a bucket.
 

bigbull338

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all of my reg cows are real gentle.an they know what a feed sack/bucket it.an they will just about run over you to get to the feed.when we catch calves we use some feed to get them close to the corral.an then push cakves an some cows in the pens.most times we try just to get the calves we want.
 

aussie_cowgirl

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He wasn't breeding stock but one of my steers was the very definition of too tame. When they were working steers through the yards he would go and stand with the person/people in the yard, as oppose to the cattle. You can imagine how well that went down.
 

alacattleman

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i'll let you know in a few more years....just coming from one extreme of the pendulum swingin' too the other............... but im going too stop and check midway first....its usually happy ground
 

I luv herfrds

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Better too tame then totally crazy.
We had an old cow that you couldn't put in the chute for anything. She got her shots and pour on standing in the corral.
 

Northern Rancher

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Old 4H cows are the dumbest cattle to move there is-too quiet is better than the flip side though.
 

showing71

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Northern Rancher":3v2uzumq said:
Old 4H cows are the dumbest cattle to move there is-too quiet is better than the flip side though.
Haha. That's the truth. They are horrible going through the chute. Half the time we have to halter them to get them through. :roll:
 

plbcattle

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It hasnt been done by choice or design but I can walk through my herd, bull pen or cows and rub just about every one of them. There is someone in those cattle every day. We dont use horses, dogs, or herd them at all. i can walk all 150 or so mommas anywhere I need them to go but only 1 time a day. If they catch on, I have to wait a day or so. I buy a lot of my top end cattle from Texas and they are skiddish at first. I guess there used to being in pastures as big as my whole farm. It takes a couple weeks but they calm down I think just because the others are calm. I will say that I have the lowest sick rate of any breeder i know. i can only attribute it to low stress. They are never hearded. A bucket is all I need, that includes my bulls too. Im not taking credit for making them so tame, it just happened. I enjoy being around my cattle. At the end of a long day, sun is setting, Just being out in my cows, rubbing on some, watching the growth, the pecking order, and seeing where I was to where I am now in terms of quality is what I get satisfaction from.
I have never had a person come look at cattle at my farm and not buy. 99% say the quality is the number one point but the calmness of the herd made there mind up for them. I can walk in my bull pen with 30-40 bulls and we can get close, rub a majority of them and they all seem to like that.

I know before I get ripped, they are not pets and are dangerous. You might call me crazy but I can read my herd bulls and boss cows personality just like a person. There are times I dont fool with them. It is also a combination of when I was ever crossed, A serious meeting with something I had in my hand and there head might have had something to do with it too. I have noticed that when a mature cow or bull allows you into there space AND are submissive, they lower there head almost to the ground as a way to say Im not aggressive and I just want attention. I know this for a fact bc my herd bulls and boss cows all do it at times. Im not saying this is true for every herd but it happens in mine. There are people that will think im nuts but my cattle for the most part are like pets. They do there job and i take care of them. My situation is different from most bc we are always in those cattle. My thought process probably couldnt work in Texas or where there isnt much interaction with the cattle other than to move, sort, or vaccinate. I think being around them just bc and not to work them also plays a role. If everytime you saw someone they made u do something, you might run or not be to freindly too. A dead tree has fallen accross a fence a time or two in the last 7 years. I dont even need feed, they follow me and its like watching a cowdrive only i am walking and leading the herd.

Please know I am not advising doing to your herd what my herd has turned into but them being very gentle has never let someone looking at cattle walk away without buying something. I have even got in a ring with my bulls at a sale even when they are all pissed off and rubbed on them. not saying its right but they are all pretty gentle.
 

dyates

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I'd have to say mine resemble plb's comments. I like it that way. My wife gets kinda freaked out in the winter time though when she gets up and the cows are lined up at the fence staring at the kitchen window like they're gonna rush the place if I don't get there quick.
 

TheBullLady

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plb.. have pretty much the same situation here, and I can't say I've ever had a complaint about them. I spend hours (when I can) out with the herd, in fact I just got in from being out there. Nothing more relaxing, and it gives me a chance to look everyone over carefully as well. While I'm sitting there most will wander over to see what I'm doing and get their bellies scratched. Nothing else in the world like it!

I've also never had a problem with an ornery bull, and we get a new one routinely. There is something to be said for people that can accurately read their animals.
 

SRBeef

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I like them "tame" but not pets. I give my Herefords a sweet feed treat in the corral maybe once a week or so. I usually try to pour the bag into the bunk before I let them into the coral but sometimes this doesn't work out and I am pouring the bag with them around me.

Once or twice I have had a cow start pushing to get hers first - pushing me out of the way. Right then and there I stop and firmly let them know who is the "lead" here. They back off and wait for me to finish pouring it in.

I think it is important that my cattle always look at me as the "boss cow". I don't yell at them but do speak firmly and stand firm and wide. They back off. I never touch my bull nor the steers for that matter but they know who is the boss. They wait until I finish and know when they can go to the bunk.

I think is extremely important that the cattle look at us as the lead cow and respect that. This is built up over time. Then you still be careful. If they look at you as the lead cow it makes life a lot easier and also more enjoyable. jmho. Jim

edit: by the way I think it is a good idea to always wear steel toed boots when in close quarters with cattle. They can be "tame" and still accidentally put a hoof on your foot. I don't think they can be "too tame" as long as they still respect you as the leader. That may be slightly different than being the "boss".
 

2barmcattle

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Most of ours longhorns are very tame. It works out real well for us. My pickup however....gets alot of bumps and bruises from their horns.
 

Loch Valley Fold

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I don't like my highlanders getting too close, sure they come right up to me, come when called thats been built up from gentle handling, no loud voices, no dogs, no rough stuff they're easy to get through the yard & race even the calves are easy to handle but I'm always wary of their horns, what starts off as a gentle nudge by the time it gets to the tip of their horns could have the potential to crack or even break a bone.
 

aussie_cowgirl

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Loch Valley Fold":2ilsrkba said:
I don't like my highlanders getting too close, sure they come right up to me, come when called thats been built up from gentle handling, no loud voices, no dogs, no rough stuff they're easy to get through the yard & race even the calves are easy to handle but I'm always wary of their horns, what starts off as a gentle nudge by the time it gets to the tip of their horns could have the potential to crack or even break a bone.

I actually handled a dexter bull like that. He was about hip height but his horn span was 1m long, maybe more, and it was right at my stomach level. Very dangerous.
 

Bonsman

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Thank you for the interesting and intelligent responses. I have learned a lot. When I raised Horned Herefords, it was easy. I stayed out of their way. My current cattle are much different. Based on the information everyone has provided--I have concluded my cattle need to realize I am the "Boss Cow" and I need my space.

The pushing has a domino affect. One cow will push another that bumps into another until the closest one too me gives me a little bump. I am very careful when feeding. I like the suggestion of a stick or a cane to keep them away from my space.

I also like the suggestion of leaving the gate closed until all the cubes are in the trough. I had not thought of that. I just waited until they all got into the lot before I fed. Now, I am going to feed, then open the gate when they are all gathered around the gate.

It is hard though, I like to walk around the feeding area and watch the cows and calves. It is just pure enjoyment for me. And I am sure a lot of you enjoy the same thing. The cattle are easy to work and easy to move. But as the one poster commented, they are very difficult to drive, they must be lured into the pens.

I do have one bull that just does whatever he wants. If he could open the door to the pickup, he would probably ride home with me. I only have 20 full bloods (the rest are 3/4 and 1/2 bloods) and I really enjoy just watching them. They each have their own personality.

I would like to post a picture of my daughter feeding the full bloods from the pickup; but it exceeds the size limit that is available on this site. Or, I am an idiot and do not know how to do it.

Thanks to everyone who responded; you have provided me with some great changes for me to make.
 

Aero

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Bonsman":2nuirob6 said:
I have a serious question for the board. Can your breeding stock be too tame? I feed cubes in the winter. I simply open the sack and put the cubes in the trough. Over time, my animals try to help me open the sacks. They have no fear of me. So, can your animals be too tame?

this has nothing to do with their being tame; this is just a result of your training. give them no supplements and then you can evaluate them for disposition.

how you feed them can have a big impact on how involved they are at feed time.
 

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