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Handling Cattle

A

Anonymous

Guest
There are the "holler and hot shot" goat ropers out there and then there are the calm and collected cattle people that know how to easily move, sort, load, etc. cattle.

Part of the solution is having a facility that is "designed" to work cattle easily. The other part has to do with working cattle in a calm, patient, and easy manner where you connect with the animals mind.

At our facility one person can easily cut out and relocate any one or several cattle by themself. We use their names, hand signals, understanding their personalities, and general insight into the animal's mind that says they want to work with you if you give them a chance and they always seem to look forward to an open gate, another alleyway, a special food treat, etc. As long as YOU don't panic or get impatient, they behave nicely and comply with your wishes.

Anyone like more information on these concepts, please e-mail me.



[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
All bets are off during severe weather. One young lady that we call sweetheart because she is so pleasent and gentle spun and ran me over when a large bolt of lightning hit and the thunder shock the ground. It's only aken 6 months to recover from the internal injuries. Wasn't her fault. 5 minutes later we got her in the alleyway again and bred her, no problem. It just goes to show that predictability is not a cows strong point.

dun

> There are the "holler and hot
> shot" goat ropers out there
> and then there are the calm and
> collected cattle people that know
> how to easily move, sort, load,
> etc. cattle.

> Part of the solution is having a
> facility that is
> "designed" to work
> cattle easily. The other part has
> to do with working cattle in a
> calm, patient, and easy manner
> where you connect with the animals
> mind.

> At our facility one person can
> easily cut out and relocate any
> one or several cattle by themself.
> We use their names, hand signals,
> understanding their personalities,
> and general insight into the
> animal's mind that says they want
> to work with you if you give them
> a chance and they always seem to
> look forward to an open gate,
> another alleyway, a special food
> treat, etc. As long as YOU don't
> panic or get impatient, they
> behave nicely and comply with your
> wishes.

> Anyone like more information on
> these concepts, please e-mail me.



[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
A lot depends on how many head you’re working and how wild they are. I completely concur that hoping and hollering should be last resort. Once they get stirred up there’s no going back for the rest of the day. If you only run a few and are around them all the time then a lot can be accomplished the way you describe. If you are working a lot of cattle and they aren’t that gentle, patience still pays.

But just as important are good, strong, well designed working pens – and tall, so they can’t jump out and you can climb. Our cattle are not crazy (they go to the sale if they get that way) but they don’t have names and certainly aren’t interested in connecting minds with anything that walks on two legs. A lot of cattle that act gentle in the pasture will get ornery when they realize they’re trapped. The most important time to avoid getting them roused is when catching them. Once they are in good pens it’s still best practice to keep things as calm as possible, but as the day wears on the height and strength of corrals and pens becomes more important.

Craig-TX
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> A lot depends on how many head
> you’re working and how wild they
> are. I completely concur that
> hoping and hollering should be
> last resort. Once they get stirred
> up there’s no going back for the
> rest of the day. If you only run a
> few and are around them all the
> time then a lot can be
> accomplished the way you describe.
> If you are working a lot of cattle
> and they aren’t that gentle,
> patience still pays.

> But just as important are good,
> strong, well designed working pens
> – and tall, so they can’t jump out
> and you can climb. Our cattle are
> not crazy (they go to the sale if
> they get that way) but they don’t
> have names and certainly aren’t
> interested in connecting minds
> with anything that walks on two
> legs. A lot of cattle that act
> gentle in the pasture will get
> ornery when they realize they’re
> trapped. The most important time
> to avoid getting them roused is
> when catching them. Once they are
> in good pens it’s still best
> practice to keep things as calm as
> possible, but as the day wears on
> the height and strength of corrals
> and pens becomes more important.

> Craig-TX

I agree that the number of head with which you are working is a BIG factor. A lot of good practices employed by very small operators with 20 or 30 head, who interact with their cattle darn near every day, just has limited application for the larger operation. Some of my cattle were purchased from a large ranch that only worked cattle by horseback --- for a LONG time they were real calm if I drove up to them on my tractor, but if I approached on foot they high-tailed it. But I think that the passage of time, familiarity and proper treatment can cure 90% of the wildness problems.

I also agree as to HIGH corral walls. My chute walls are about 7 feet high, but my pen walls are only around 5.5 and that's just not high enough. A couple of my most "tame" cows have become agitated from time to time and jumped or climbed over the walls. I'd really like the walls to be at least a foot higher. In my experience it is even more important to have the lower board in the pens and chute real low to the ground. Many a calf, and some cows, will try to go under rather than over. If they can get their head under the lower board, in most cases they are gone a few seconds later, after breaking the lower board or boards.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I actually prefer working large groups. There will alwasy be a few that just head up the alleyway. After the others see what's going on it seems they just get easier and easier. Until you get to the last few. The reason they're the last ones is beacuse they just plain don't want to co-operate. Those usually take a little more persuading.

Fortunetly, unless I'm helping a couple of other folks we don't have to mess with more then 30-40 or so. Something to be aid for getting too old to work a lot of cows.

dun

> I agree that the number of head
> with which you are working is a
> BIG factor. A lot of good
> practices employed by very small
> operators with 20 or 30 head, who
> interact with their cattle darn
> near every day, just has limited
> application for the larger
> operation. Some of my cattle were
> purchased from a large ranch that
> only worked cattle by horseback
> --- for a LONG time they were real
> calm if I drove up to them on my
> tractor, but if I approached on
> foot they high-tailed it. But I
> think that the passage of time,
> familiarity and proper treatment
> can cure 90% of the wildness
> problems.

> I also agree as to HIGH corral
> walls. My chute walls are about 7
> feet high, but my pen walls are
> only around 5.5 and that's just
> not high enough. A couple of my
> most "tame" cows have
> become agitated from time to time
> and jumped or climbed over the
> walls. I'd really like the walls
> to be at least a foot higher. In
> my experience it is even more
> important to have the lower board
> in the pens and chute real low to
> the ground. Many a calf, and some
> cows, will try to go under rather
> than over. If they can get their
> head under the lower board, in
> most cases they are gone a few
> seconds later, after breaking the
> lower board or boards.



[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> I agree that the number of head
> with which you are working is a
> BIG factor. A lot of good
> practices employed by very small
> operators with 20 or 30 head, who
> interact with their cattle darn
> near every day, just has limited
> application for the larger
> operation. Some of my cattle were
> purchased from a large ranch that
> only worked cattle by horseback
> --- for a LONG time they were real
> calm if I drove up to them on my
> tractor, but if I approached on
> foot they high-tailed it. But I
> think that the passage of time,
> familiarity and proper treatment
> can cure 90% of the wildness
> problems.

> I also agree as to HIGH corral
> walls. My chute walls are about 7
> feet high, but my pen walls are
> only around 5.5 and that's just
> not high enough. A couple of my
> most "tame" cows have
> become agitated from time to time
> and jumped or climbed over the
> walls. I'd really like the walls
> to be at least a foot higher. In
> my experience it is even more
> important to have the lower board
> in the pens and chute real low to
> the ground. Many a calf, and some
> cows, will try to go under rather
> than over. If they can get their
> head under the lower board, in
> most cases they are gone a few
> seconds later, after breaking the
> lower board or boards.

I agree with the previous posts. I was curious to know the effect having a well trained dog would have. I often work my cows by myself and have had suggested to me that a well trained dog would help. I thought one would be especially helpful when they visit the "grass on the other side of the fence". I don't know how helpful they would be in sorting cattle because I like to keep things calm. Any ideas???

[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> I agree with the previous posts. I
> was curious to know the effect
> having a well trained dog would
> have. I often work my cows by
> myself and have had suggested to
> me that a well trained dog would
> help. I thought one would be
> especially helpful when they visit
> the "grass on the other side
> of the fence". I don't know
> how helpful they would be in
> sorting cattle because I like to
> keep things calm. Any ideas??? I'd like to hear more about a dog handling cattle too. The dog we have now is 6 years and does well moving quiet cattle. I have to be behind the herd and I send her gee or haw to keep the herd close but she has to always come back to me for reassurance. There was once a bunch of limo calves I had on grass and they would turn on her instead of moving ahead of her or away from her. She got turned off and it took about 6 months of coaxing to get her back into it again. I'd like to hear from other people how they train their dogs and what work they use them for. Thanks



[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I have used an Blue Heeler on Brahman inflenced cattle. When they are young they will try your patiences. But once they are older (+2Yrs.) they are very good. If a cow kicks them after the dog has bitten the cow hine leg, the dog will go into the herd and find that cow and bit her again. If properly trained they are grast dogs to work with. Bu the way, she lived until she was 18 yaars old working all the time.

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A

Anonymous

Guest
we plant rye grass for winter and turn the cows in every day for a couple of hours. we use a blue heeler and a blue heeler/border collie cross to help get them out. we drive the four wheeler down the middle so we don't mess up to much grass & if the cows are poking around too much & not wanting to go, we send the dogs that direction. they usually don't have to actually bit the cows, but when they get close enough that the cows think that's a possibility, they usually get going. there are some cows that want to turn & fight back (especially if they have newborns), but usually it's just a show & once the dogs back off a little, she'd rather head out than stay & fight.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Don’t know how many of you are familiar with the “Hank the Cowdog” series. I never could find time for the books but the tapes make for some pretty good entertainment going down the road. Hank is a cowdog on a ranch in the panhandle. His self-appointed title is “Head of Ranch Security.” He’s a campy cornball but he’s funny, IMO. You can tell the guy who wrote those stories has been around cattle and horses. One of the best is “The Case of the Hooking Bull” or something like that.

If somebody is relatively new to cattle, one thing to keep in mind is that a dog (that’s not used to cattle) can sure get you hurt. The dog will be messing around near you and it’s real easy to get caught up in a situation where the cow is making a run at the dog and you happen to be in the wrong place. It’s easy for kids to get hurt that way.

We don’t keep cow dogs but I’ve often thought about it. Whether you’re hunting over dogs or working cattle with dogs it’s a true pleasure to watch them. They have twice as much fun as any human present and can be amazingly effective.

Craig-TX
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I'm doing some revamping of crowding areas and chutes. I've got 8' 6x6 posts to work with. Seems like making the walls six feet high is pushing the limit with that length of post. As far as the chutes go, I could nail some lumber across the top but not too much as it would limit our access to the cattle. Also, in the past I always bought rough sawn pine that wasn't treated from the mill, but that's the main reason I'm having to revamp. I want to use 2X pressure treated this time around. Just don't know if I should get 2x8, 2x10 or what. I'm thinking 2x6 spaced 6" apart.You guys got any recomendations before I get started?

> I agree that the number of head
> with which you are working is a
> BIG factor. A lot of good
> practices employed by very small
> operators with 20 or 30 head, who
> interact with their cattle darn
> near every day, just has limited
> application for the larger
> operation. Some of my cattle were
> purchased from a large ranch that
> only worked cattle by horseback
> --- for a LONG time they were real
> calm if I drove up to them on my
> tractor, but if I approached on
> foot they high-tailed it. But I
> think that the passage of time,
> familiarity and proper treatment
> can cure 90% of the wildness
> problems.

> I also agree as to HIGH corral
> walls. My chute walls are about 7
> feet high, but my pen walls are
> only around 5.5 and that's just
> not high enough. A couple of my
> most "tame" cows have
> become agitated from time to time
> and jumped or climbed over the
> walls. I'd really like the walls
> to be at least a foot higher. In
> my experience it is even more
> important to have the lower board
> in the pens and chute real low to
> the ground. Many a calf, and some
> cows, will try to go under rather
> than over. If they can get their
> head under the lower board, in
> most cases they are gone a few
> seconds later, after breaking the
> lower board or boards.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
i actually don't need to use my dogs (rottweilers and bouviers) to move "wild" cattle, because most of my cattle are fattening bulls, but when it's loading, unloading or sorting time, the rottweilers come in very handy, because they will never ever back away from anything. with those two dogs, i can load an entire truck of bulls all by myself. and since my girlfriend doesn't really like loading them, it's great to have the dogs. the bouviers i use to move cattle in pasture, or for young calves, because they are easier on them and more patient. they'll also get the horses out of the pasture, something i don't trust the rottweilers to do (they would probably scare the horses with their enthousiasm lol).

[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> I'm doing some revamping of
> crowding areas and chutes. I've
> got 8' 6x6 posts to work with.
> Seems like making the walls six
> feet high is pushing the limit
> with that length of post. As far
> as the chutes go, I could nail
> some lumber across the top but not
> too much as it would limit our
> access to the cattle. Also, in the
> past I always bought rough sawn
> pine that wasn't treated from the
> mill, but that's the main reason
> I'm having to revamp. I want to
> use 2X pressure treated this time
> around. Just don't know if I
> should get 2x8, 2x10 or what. I'm
> thinking 2x6 spaced 6"
> apart.You guys got any
> recomendations before I get
> started?

Well, years ago I got my hands on some good used light company poles and for my chute I sawed them into 11 foot lengths so that I could bury them four feet in the ground and have seven feet above. Wish I had done the same for my pens, although some would claim that's overkill. At any rate, you could also consider good used railroad ties, which I believe are about 8 feet long. Bury them as deep as you think you need them to be (I think 3 feet should be the absolute minimum) and then for added above ground length hammer on to the side of the ties (vertically) additional lenths of 2 x 6 treated lumber, so that you have about 6 or 7 feet above ground on which to then nail your horizontal "corral boards"; or treated 2 by 6's should work well also. And of course you need to hammer some good strong boards across the top of your chute so that if the cattle try to turn around or get jammed the wrong way the sides of your chute won't flare out.

If you can get some good used light company poles AND used highway guardrail, that makes for a helluva good set of pens and/or chute. Another method I see a lot is to use pipe and cement to make long lasting chutes and pens. Kinda depends on how much you want to spend and how long you will be using the whole set-up. IMHO pens & chutes are one of the main things on the ranch about which you don't want to be "penny wise and pound foolish".
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> Well, years ago I got my hands on
> some good used light company poles
> and for my chute I sawed them into
> 11 foot lengths so that I could
> bury them four feet in the ground
> and have seven feet above. Wish I
> had done the same for my pens,
> although some would claim that's
> overkill. At any rate, you could
> also consider good used railroad
> ties, which I believe are about 8
> feet long. Bury them as deep as
> you think you need them to be (I
> think 3 feet should be the
> absolute minimum) and then for
> added above ground length hammer
> on to the side of the ties
> (vertically) additional lenths of
> 2 x 6 treated lumber, so that you
> have about 6 or 7 feet above
> ground on which to then nail your
> horizontal "corral
> boards"; or treated 2 by 6's
> should work well also. And of
> course you need to hammer some
> good strong boards across the top
> of your chute so that if the
> cattle try to turn around or get
> jammed the wrong way the sides of
> your chute won't flare out.

> If you can get some good used
> light company poles AND used
> highway guardrail, that makes for
> a helluva good set of pens and/or
> chute. Another method I see a lot
> is to use pipe and cement to make
> long lasting chutes and pens.
> Kinda depends on how much you want
> to spend and how long you will be
> using the whole set-up. IMHO pens
> & chutes are one of the main
> things on the ranch about which
> you don't want to be "penny
> wise and pound foolish".

I agree. I would use pipe with either cable pulled through post or sucker rods welded. If you search the web for pipe suppliers you can find used 3" to 4" pipe that can be purchased and transported pretty cheap and get a cutting torch and welder and go to work. They, the pens, will be there for a very looong time if you weld them right.

[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Agree with above posts. Iron is best if you have the money and it’s your land. Build it like you plan to work elephants. Then it will be pretty much maintenance free, you can work them by yourself if necessary, and the corral will serve as an heirloom for the grandkids – ha.

Craig-TX
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
We use a blue healer and a border collie to help move our cattle. Both these breeds compliment each other. We use horses to muster our livestock or we occasionally use a motor vehicle. But never use motorbikes as they cause cattle to become too ratty and scatter all over. Colin

[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Would love to do iron. I even designed my dream plans for iron pens- completely thrashing the current ones and replacing with steel. Unfortunately it is leased land. This led me to the portable panels which turned out to be so expensive for good ones. I think I will build the chute and crowding area with wood, and gradually replace the holding corrals with portable panels. That way although expensive, I can still have something to work with on additional leases or the loss of one. Prefab metal crowdings and chutes are mucho expensive.

Florida real estate cost is a joke to run cattle. Big investors are buying it all up for huge bucks, and allow cattle leases to get out of paying taxes. I'm not fortunate enough to have ancestors to leave me the farm, but I still refuse to give up. I just enjoy the heck out of my cattle.

> Agree with above posts. Iron is
> best if you have the money and
> it’s your land. Build it like you
> plan to work elephants. Then it
> will be pretty much maintenance
> free, you can work them by
> yourself if necessary, and the
> corral will serve as an heirloom
> for the grandkids – ha.

> Craig-TX
 

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