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Catching Cattle

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Anonymous

Guest
OK..I'm new but learning the hard way. I had two steers that I needed to get up to sell..thought I'd feed them in the catch pen and then move them into the trailer. 12 hrs later after much frustration both are still free. I could get one up but not both. Both knew the jig was up. Does someone want to discuss what they do when they need to catch a couple for move to the sale barn? Portable panels seem to be my next purchase since now they won't go near the catch pen anymore...and I called myself being really gentle about it and not chasing at all. Advice? Thanks

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A

Anonymous

Guest
> OK..I'm new but learning the hard
> way. I had two steers that I
> needed to get up to sell..thought
> I'd feed them in the catch pen and
> then move them into the trailer.
> 12 hrs later after much
> frustration both are still free. I
> could get one up but not both.
> Both knew the jig was up. Does
> someone want to discuss what they
> do when they need to catch a
> couple for move to the sale barn?
> Portable panels seem to be my next
> purchase since now they won't go
> near the catch pen anymore...and I
> called myself being really gentle
> about it and not chasing at all.
> Advice? Thanks

How long have you been feeding them in the catch pen? I try to start feeding cubes, etc. in my catch trap several times a week for several weeks to get all the animals to like the idea of going into the catch trap. Then if herd them into the actual pens and calmly, slowly and gently escort out of the pens any animals I don't want to sell. Of course most of my cows have been through this procedure many times and they know the drill and are rather fond of my catch trap, knowing that goodies generally are available only there. Their calves learn from them. If your steers don't have any older cattle to follow or learn from you will probably just need to spend a few more days in getting them comfortable with the idea of going into the pens.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've had hard to pen cows before and I also started feeding in the catch pen several times before it was time to pen. If it is possible try to keep out of the view of the steers after putting the feed out. I've gone as far as driving my truck out of the pasture and hiding it behind the pens. Usually they will go in to eat if they think you have left.

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A

Anonymous

Guest
I agree with Arnold. I always have a plan, then have another plan if the first is not successful. Seriously, you can be certain that cattle are smart, but most times their stomachs over rule their brains. At their own pace, start feeding them in your catch area. They will become accustomed to that procedure and headgates, etc. Start banging on a bucket with a stick each and everytime you feed them. You will be shocked when they become alert when they hear that sound. I have cattle that will follow the bucket sound anywhere. This will take time but will be beneficial in the end. Good luck!

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A

Anonymous

Guest
> Thanks Jim, Arnold and Becky...I shake the bucket too and they really know it..especially the mamas...but the problem I have is getting the cows to go in while still being close enough to close the gate. Also, the catch pen is in the same pasture as my winter grazing that I'm giving them for about 2 hrs at a time each day...and the feedbag is the only way I have of getting them back out into the front pasture. I'll keep working on it! Thanks again for all the advice...I only THOUGHT I was getting to be an "experienced" cow man.

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A

Anonymous

Guest
cary,

its just a fact, some cows are harder to catch than others. i have had some that were very suspicious and would turn tail and run out if i even think of going near them.

but this time of year is the easiest for me to catch any of them... let them run out of hay about half a day and they will get caught up in the herd going after the hay when you put it out.. they will follow me on the tractor anywhere i take the hay.. all you have to do then is close the gate and cut the ones you dont want out of the herd.

has worked for me. good luck.

just my 2 cents

gene

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Anonymous

Guest
You are getting to be experienced if you realize that you don't have enough experience.

dunmovin farms
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Experience is when you recognize a mistake when you do it again. (unknown)

Craig
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
And, a trick I didn't learn for awhile is not to stare or look directly at the cattle when you are moving them. They are prey animals and you become the predator when you stare at them. Just watch them out of the corner of your eye and even go so far as to stand quietly with your body turned mostly away from them. This helps to keep them from going on "alert" and they are calmer.

Otherwise, I agree with everyone's assessment of the feed trick. Let them get a bit hungry and take the time to patiently train them to come to feed, and you'll save time and wear and tear on your body in the long run.
 
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