Halter breaking?

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tom4018

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Daughter is in her first year of FFA aan is going to try to show a couple of calves. Been helping her work with them but he steer we have is a toughone. Been leaving him tied up to a post for a while but he stills tryie to run when you lead him. He has gotten away a couple times but here recently I have been able to stop him. Any suggestions to help with this? Read were some people suggest using an atv and others don't. Just want to him him controlable so she and him will be safe.
 

TxCoUnTrYbOy

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I think using vehicles can be more dangerous than anything for the animal. It can be very easy to hit the gas just a little too hard and knock the steer over or snap his neck. What worked great for my brothers heifer is just get a long lead rope, several people and just pull, then stop and pet the steer, then pull more, and so on. You will probably hear lots of different methods, since everyone has their own way of doing it, youll just have to pick one and go with it, and if that doesnt work, try another. Not to try to worry you, but sometimes there are just animals that are so stubborn they just wont do anything. A buddy of mine had a heifer like that, worked for hours a day with it, tried every method, just never would budge and walk. Also some just snap one day and all of the sudden will walk. You just have to be patient and be sure the steer is comfortable around the people working with it before you take him out.
 

milkmaid

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Well...right now I'd say you've got a potentially embarrassing problem on your hands. 8) I had a 6 y/o, 1200lb Holstein nurse cow last summer that I tried halter breaking, which was quite an adventure. Yes, she did end up broke to lead, BUT, I made the mistake of putting myself (and her) in situations where she could (and did) run away from me before she was tame enough to try leading. The end result was that I had an animal who would drop her head and bolt for no apparent reason at any moment - and usually when I had people watching. :p :oops: Always happens that way! Oh - and that was with two chains on, one under the jaw and one through the mouth, and she'd still bolt.

After that, I've decided that I have plenty of time to work with animals. Lots and lots of time being tied before I try leading...until the animal understands that there's no getting away from the rope. Ever.

Food-for-thought: tame and halter-broke go hand-in-hand. Hard to have a calf that's well trained and halter broke, but wilder than a March hare. Just doesn't happen very often.

You could try putting that steer in a smaller pen until realizes he can't get away with running, and you could work on getting him tamer. There's no substitute for spending time with them.

I like the pressure-and-release method of halter-breaking: pressure on the lead rope, animal takes one step, release the pressure (loose lead), there's his reward. More pressure, 'nuther step...

Now, all that looks great on paper, and it would sure be nice if it went that easily. LOL. Good luck. =)
 

txag

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atv's can be used to walk them after they're broken, but i wouldn't use one to break him. if you want to tie him to something, i'd choose a donkey or a tractor before an atv. on the other hand, that's certainly not my preferred method to halter-break.

since you already have him walking (somewhat) my suggestion would be to add another lead rope or halter. i prefer the nylon braided halters (which i never leave on the calf) & will put the second one on backwards with the lead coming off the opposite side. then have someone else help you walk him with one of you on each side of him. that way he can't use the old "jerk the head away & run" method. the main thing is to not let them get away. also, when you're done, you walk away from it instead of letting it run away from you. always make it think you let it go & not that it got away.
 

dun

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I've never broekn a calf/cow to show, but for working steers (oxen) I use a simple rope halter and pass a rope behind them so that it hangs over their back and hangs down to their hocks. When they balk, I give a tug on the rope that kind of pulls (pushes) on their back legs. I don't know if it would work with an animal that is alwasy going to be worked with ahalter because with working steers (oxen) they are worked without any halters, strictly by voice command and visual signals.

dun
 

rgv4

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It's takes a lot of time to fully halter break a calf after it knows that it can run and get away from you. If you can get it broke at all. How old and large is the steer? Have you tried a nose ring? I personally think that you should never use any kind of tractor's, trucks, etc. to pull on calves to try to halter break them.

Is the steer in a pen by himself? I find that this helps when breaking, then they get more gentle, because you are the only physical contact, ie. petting, brushing, etc. that they have, no other calves for companionship. Plus he will start to trust you more.

I know that this comment is going to start a ruckus by a couple of the people that have already answered and( there is a hereford ranch website that has this in writing to do, I will look for the web url) but, if you will let the steer drag a couple of foot long lead rope, when he steps on it he will learn to stop, then when you or your daughter have a lead rope on him he will know what it is. Do this only if you have him in a small pen not out in an acre or bigger pasture.

Good luck to you and your daughter.
 

TXCHICK

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Our best luck has been to haul them to jackpot shows, tie them up, and let them experience all the excitement. We can usually have an animal in the ring by the second weekend.
 

TXCHICK

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We have also tied them off to another heifer who will not put up with any crap. We let the older animal do our work. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
 

AAOK

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Here is our method which has always worked even with a larger calf.

1. As several posts stated, have him in an enclosed pen. Use a regular, nylon rope halter and tie him so he can get up and down (about 24" slack).
2. Leave him tied for two or three days. Feed and water him in place twice a day. During feeding and any other time permitting, rub all over him, talk to him, pet him on the nose and head. If he is too jumpy, rup all over him (including legs) with a straw broom. If he kicks, keep rubbing until he stops.
3. After a few days, when it's time to feed, put the feed pan about eight feet away. Untie him, with the rope still around the rail and slide him down to the feed. (this will allow you to easily stop him should he try to bolt) When he has finished, slide him again to the water.
4. When you are confident that he is ready to lead, walk him to his feed about ten feet. Take one step at a time if necessary.

When he learns there is a reward at the end of the rope, he should be fine. The key ingredients are patience and kindness. Never let him break your cool. If you start to get frustrated and get too hard on the halter, he will probably let you know who is stronger.

Good Luck! :lol:
 

milkmaid

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I know that this comment is going to start a ruckus by a couple of the people that have already answered and( there is a hereford ranch website that has this in writing to do, I will look for the web url) but, if you will let the steer drag a couple of foot long lead rope, when he steps on it he will learn to stop, then when you or your daughter have a lead rope on him he will know what it is. Do this only if you have him in a small pen not out in an acre or bigger pasture.

I'm actually OK with that suggestion. I know several folks who do it that way with both cattle and horses, and while I won't do it myself (too worried they'll get the rope caught on something) it has worked well for others. It does make the animal very easy to catch when needed.
 

txshowmom

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rgv4":1a8sigq2 said:
It's takes a lot of time to fully halter break a calf after it knows that it can run and get away from you. If you can get it broke at all. How old and large is the steer? Have you tried a nose ring? I personally think that you should never use any kind of tractor's, trucks, etc. to pull on calves to try to halter break them.

Is the steer in a pen by himself? I find that this helps when breaking, then they get more gentle, because you are the only physical contact, ie. petting, brushing, etc. that they have, no other calves for companionship. Plus he will start to trust you more.

I know that this comment is going to start a ruckus by a couple of the people that have already answered and( there is a hereford ranch website that has this in writing to do, I will look for the web url) but, if you will let the steer drag a couple of foot long lead rope, when he steps on it he will learn to stop, then when you or your daughter have a lead rope on him he will know what it is. Do this only if you have him in a small pen not out in an acre or bigger pasture.

Good luck to you and your daughter.

This is how we brake all of our show cattle and it has worked very well for us.
 

Ryan

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We used to use a donkey, it really seemed to help. But the place we're at now doesnt have anything besides miniature donkeys. We didnt think they were big enough to do the job. I would like to get a donkey again.

One other thing that we used was an Inner-tube from a truck. Tie that to the fence, and put a short lead on the end of the tube. Helps with calves that are jumpy and/or like to jump. We got ones with small holes or something like that, that could no longer be used in trucks.
 

aussie_cowgirl

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Hey, before i put a halter on a cow i am trying to break in i use a different method which gives them a bit of manners and trust before you go getting close to it when it is tied up. put a chain around its neck so that its not tight but it won't slip over the head. fasten it with a d shackle or just a normal clip. have anout 2m running and have a metal ring on the end. clip a rope (about 5m long, you will realize why... :lol: )to the ring. use the triangle of sight when walking next to it. next to shoulder to stop, behind shoulder to go forward and establish some voice commands. like woah and walk on. walk on is better than clicking your tongue because in a show ring its better than click click click click.... if your animal wont walk, hit it along the side with the chain. this method means you are at a safe distance but the animal still has to become accustomed to you. email me if anyone wants to know more about this technique. [email protected]
 

Australian Cattleman

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Three days is all it takes to break in a South Devon,bull or female.
I hackamore halter them then let them go with the halter on.
Next day I tie them up in the crush on day two I take them out into the open yard on day three,they are seldom a problem.
I have used a donkey but very seldom are they required with a SD.

Good Luck
Colin
 

Darold

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tom4018":3vcyin96 said:
Daughter is in her first year of FFA aan is going to try to show a couple of calves. Been helping her work with them but he steer we have is a toughone. Been leaving him tied up to a post for a while but he stills tryie to run when you lead him. He has gotten away a couple times but here recently I have been able to stop him. Any suggestions to help with this? Read were some people suggest using an atv and others don't. Just want to him him controlable so she and him will be safe.

Have you tried using a nose ring to controlo him better. I worked on one of my daughter's calves.
 

Darold

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tom4018":2ph6vu81 said:
Daughter is in her first year of FFA aan is going to try to show a couple of calves. Been helping her work with them but he steer we have is a toughone. Been leaving him tied up to a post for a while but he stills tryie to run when you lead him. He has gotten away a couple times but here recently I have been able to stop him. Any suggestions to help with this? Read were some people suggest using an atv and others don't. Just want to him him controlable so she and him will be safe.

Have you tried using a nose ring to control him better. It worked on one of my daughter's calves.
 

BC

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This has worked successfully for me. When we start to halter break a calf, we tie them in the front end of our 20 ft. gooseneck trailer. Twice a day we pull the to the back end for a drink of water, then back to the front end for feed and hay. While they are getting a drink, you can clean up behind them. After about 4 days (usually) the calves, go easily to get a drink and then back to be fed. They can not get away and you can snub up if they try to break away. I did have one yearling heifer that took 10 days to give up. Good luck!
 

shorty

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I never halter break anything, but a neighbor told me that when he was in 4-H he had a steer who wouldn't cooperate so they tied him to the back of an old truck they had and took him for a walk down the road , when they came back the steer would walk with him wherever he wanted him to . He placed 1st at the fair that year
 

BC

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The tied to the truck method, can injure an animal. I've seen shoulders hurt because they locked the front legs and being pulled jammed something. You are better off finding a way to get animal to move like going to eat or drink.
 
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