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How to handle a bull?

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Sasserosa

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I started in May and have Reg. Black Angus, 10 cows & one borrowed bull. He's been here 5 months. He's rather calm. Once I was feeding him and he slowly walked up to me, put his head down and lightly butted my leg. Yesterday when I was giving them hay, he walked over to me and started thrashing his head around. I stopped moving and then tried to walk away and he side stepped like he was not going to let me move. I took my hat off and swung at him. He backed off and let me move on. I want to know how to deal with him if he keeps acting like that. I thought maybe he's mad because I took him away from the cows.
thanks,
Mike
 

CattleHand

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Above post sums it up. Those hormones can turn them into something pretty nasty pretty quick no matter how "tame" they were before.
 

Workinonit Farm

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He's not 'mad at you' for taking him away from the cows. He is asserting himself. He is trying to tell you that he is the dominant one, not you. Given enough time, he will hurt you, and huirt you badly. Set things up so you do not have to be in the same pen with him when you feed him. Until that time, carry a big stick....axe handles work well. When he makes a threatening gesture, 'pop' him one immediately and mean it. You need to nip this in the bud. How old is he? If he continues this threatening and aggressive behavior he will need to take a trip to the sales. He is way bigger and way stronger than you are and could do major damage.

Good luck.

Katherine
 

backhoeboogie

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I had a very good bull. He was never hand fed and never trained to be a pet. I won't own a bull like that. They are the ones that will get you killed.

Anyway, When cows were in season, you knew it when you drove into the pasture with that bull. He generally kept them cut out from the rest of the herd and he didn't want you around them or him. If you got to close, he'd get agitated. If you kept your distance, he was fine. I never tried to put him through the chute in that scenario. Any other time he was as docile as a kitty cat but I never tried to pet him.

I don't like anyone who comes up and tries to befriend my dogs. My folks taught me when I was a kid to never pet someone else's dog. That is just plain old good logic. A good dog won't become a watch dog if he's looking forward to strangers coming up and scratching his ears. City folks just don't ever seem to understand that picture. Why do they all want to pet my cows through the fences too? :mad: :mad:

Leave that bull be and he will probably be just fine. Look closely at the advice already given in this thread. The folks all seem to know what they are talking about.
 

bandit80

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grannysoo":wq69gr9n said:
He's just doing what bulls do. Be ready to knock the be nice out of him or kill him if necessary.

I agree. You have to make sure he knows that you are boss. Otherwise this will not end well. I always like your advice, grannysoo. You are one of my favorite posters.
 

Wewild

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I have never found a decent reason to get close to any cattle unless there is a life and death situation for them. Except maybe through a fence.
 

hillsdown

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This is a topic that comes up all the time. All good advice given and to learn more search the board for bulls and aggression.

Never turn your back on a bull EVER and correct them before they get a chance to give it a second thought. This works with cows as well..

My boys move away from me without me having to raise a hand, and if they linger my words (very loud and aggressive) let them know they need to give me space, the day I need to correct these two with something physical I know that is the day they need to go because it will only get worse.


Good luck and welcome to the boards, but above all stay safe.. :tiphat:
 

grubbie

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I have had several bulls that are fine out in the pasture, even close up. Isolate them in a corral and they get mean. No need to sell a good bull, just use some common sense. For instance I put in a hay ring to feed them with. Put it next to a fence that I can climb over right into the hay ring so he can't get me. Still, I carry a sorting paddle in case he gets too close, it has happened. Whack him across the face with that sorting paddle and a lot of times they will go stand in the opposite corner. After that they might even go stand in the corner every time you go in the corral. The sorting paddle won't injure the animal but makes a loud crack, gets the message across real well.
 

bigbull338

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as said that bull is beginning to get a meanstreak on him.never turn your back on him.with him butting your leg he will hurt you.ive got my herd bull where i can feed him.but if he ever pushes or challanges me he is gone.
 

angus9259

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At least you know yours will kill you. Many don't give that impression and people get comfortable and get hurt. You can't trust any of them.
 

novatech

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Sasserosa":3112il6y said:
I started in May and have Reg. Black Angus, 10 cows & one borrowed bull. He's been here 5 months. He's rather calm. Once I was feeding him and he slowly walked up to me, put his head down and lightly butted my leg. Yesterday when I was giving them hay, he walked over to me and started thrashing his head around. I stopped moving and then tried to walk away and he side stepped like he was not going to let me move. I took my hat off and swung at him. He backed off and let me move on. I want to know how to deal with him if he keeps acting like that. I thought maybe he's mad because I took him away from the cows.
thanks,
Mike
Actually I tend to disagree with the others somewhat on this. In my opinion you did pretty much what I would have done. A bull putting has head down and nudging you is exactly what I would expect of a gentle bull. This is how they act with each other in a non aggressive manner. On the other hand a cow or bull shaking their head at you is an indicator that he does not want to be messed with. Beating them with a stick can have negative results immediately or in the future. It can make them flighty, or even set them up for a fight in the future which I can promise you they will win. If you don't beleave this just go to the sale barn and watch some cattle fight a hotshot. Pushing them with a stick works very well and of course having it in your hand makes you feel safer.
Training of cattle starts at an early age as to who is the boss. Since this a borrowed bull you have no clue how that bull will react to anything. My advice is to not let him that close to you at any time. Give him his space. When a cow is in season everything may go out the window. At that time give them a lot more space. I have seen some very gentle bulls take on their masters almost as if they were considered competition.
 

2barmcattle

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YUP!!! Cracked vertebrae and several cracked ribs, hip now "pops" (and I'm only 44 yrs old), thigh still feels bruised>>??>>?? after 6 months. Our show bull got me......I learned the hard way. Our current bulls are very calm (have both been shown alot) and I am very cautious around them even though they have not challenged me.

By the way.......The head of the one that got me will look good on my wall when I am done bleechng it. He was sold to a local restaraunt that serves only LH beef 1 week later.
 

Toby L.

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My two older cows were bottle babies so there pretty tame. But there like that, especially in the springtime, when there’s green grass growing in the pasture and there still stuck on hay. They'll put there heads down and thrash around like there going to run me over. If I put my arms up and move towards them and make some noise they will run around me, sometimes turning around and repeating, but by then I'm usually out of there. It doesn't help that a lot of times I'll have a bucket in my hand with insulators and fencing stuff in it. That time of year I usually stay out of there now, because I know eventually they may go to far.
 

novatech

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Toby L.":qg68hbu6 said:
My two older cows were bottle babies so there pretty tame. But there like that, especially in the springtime, when there’s green grass growing in the pasture and there still stuck on hay. They'll put there heads down and thrash around like there going to run me over. If I put my arms up and move towards them and make some noise they will run around me, sometimes turning around and repeating, but by then I'm usually out of there. It doesn't help that a lot of times I'll have a bucket in my hand with insulators and fencing stuff in it. That time of year I usually stay out of there now, because I know eventually they may go to far.
They are probably just feeling their oats, so to speak, and want to play. Problem is they do not understand that you break easy as compared to another cow. Bulls are the same way. Bottle babies are more prone to this as their is a bond produced. They must be taught who is master, and the master must understand they are not pets.
Every day I have to feed bulls growing out in a pen. I have to walk around them to the feed bunk. I can promise you that if they did not know I was boss they would stomp my A into the ground while I was on the way with the feed. They are all very docile but assumptions could get me hurt if I allowed them to get to close. They have been taught to wait until I poor the feed in the bunk. I learned this through experience. I made a poor assumption by turning my back to a very gentle bull as I poured the feed into the bunk. He put his head under my butt and sailed me through the air. I was between him and what he wanted. He will not do that again, and I will not allow him or any other bull, or cow,behind me again.
 

Jim62

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It's amazing how fast a bull can learn things. I had one that started throwing his head at me when going through gates and such, and just generally acting up. I got a 2 x 4 about 4 feet long and waited for him to make a move next time we dealt with a gate. He did, and I let him have it right between the eyes immediately. Had him for several more years, and he never even considered acting up again. I don't like any of them to get any closer than about 5 feet from me.
 

HOSS

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Jim62":3uvseacq said:
It's amazing how fast a bull can learn things. I had one that started throwing his head at me when going through gates and such, and just generally acting up. I got a 2 x 4 about 4 feet long and waited for him to make a move next time we dealt with a gate. He did, and I let him have it right between the eyes immediately. Had him for several more years, and he never even considered acting up again. I don't like any of them to get any closer than about 5 feet from me.

This is the approach I took with my current bull. I used a 3 foot piece of 2" PVC pipe as an adjuster. It has worked great. I move toward him he backs off about 10 feet, doesn't do any head shaking or head lowering. Even when cows are in season he acts very docile and subordinate. In exchange I treat him well, speak softly and don't invade his space unless necessary. Pretty good arrangement.
 

Rustler9

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We have a big Longhorn bull that's now coming five years old. He's extremely laid back and you have to really push him if you want to move him around or drive him to another pasture. Very calm animal. But he used to shake his head at me whenever I came near him. One night I was putting out hay in a pasture by myself, I was cutting the strings off the round bale and trying to hold a flash light so that I could see. He kept shaking his head at me wanting me to move away from the hay bale, so I did. I walked over a few feet away to where a big limb had fallen out of big oak tree. This was a piece of a dead limb about six feet long and probably as big around as my bicep. I picked it up and went back over to the bull and as I brought it down on top of his head I told him that I had something for him, that he was going to learn who was in charge. As the limb made contact with the top of his head and broke in half, he shook his head one more time but not at me. I guess he learned his lesson. He's a heck of a good bull and I sure wanted to make sure that I'd be able to keep him around.
 

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