Ideas to catch "wild" cows

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uplandnut

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This fall my neighbor has finally convinced his 85 year old dad to sell his last cows. The cattle were very mellow according to him when his dad was healthy and would go for walks out in the pasture just to talk to them, they would be right next to you when you fed a round bale. This was 2 years ago and his dad has had health issues since and the cattle have basically gotten to a "wild" state as the only time anyone is around them is when they are fed hay. They are to the point that my neighbor is afraid of them and really tries to keep his distance when doing anything with them.
He started the feat of trying to catch them back in october and thought that some horse corral panels set in a lean to would do the trick. Unfortunately they had other thoughts and went right under them, he tried this multiple times. After trying to get him to use some 24' freestanding panels since he started he finally gave in on december 2nd. We set the panels so they had to go through one pen to get into the lean to, which is the other pen where he is feeding hay. He is still feeding hay in the lean to, to bait them in but they have gotten wise to the game after 3 months and only go in at night now. Other neighbors have offered to help try to herd them into the lean to for him but the cows have always thwarted the attempts and escaped.
He is getting frustrated as heck and keeps asking me what he should do. My thought was he almost has to regain the "trust" of the cows. For me I find it is easier to get them to work with me when they are use to me. I told him to try walking feed out to them daily in a 5 gallon pail just so they start to get some trust with him but he is to scared to get that close to them. I mentioned trying to shut off the hay at night so they get use to him opening the gate to hay in the morning, but he's afraid they will go through the fence to find something else to eat. He went over one morning to find 3 cows and a bull on the road about a month ago but can't find where they went through and they came back in without him doing anything.
So I am asking you who have considerable more experience than me for any other ideas to try and catch this small herd of about 17 head, of which have are bulls.
 

Nick Wagner

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Cattle can sense fear. You can not be afraid of them. As you stated, get them used to a feed bucket or hay cubes. If he can’t overcome his fear, pay someone to do it. And it takes good gates to hold wild cattle, especially after they’ve learned they can go through them. He is looking at a significant investment of time and or materials. Might consider dropping them in the field if they are that wild.
 

SBMF 2015

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This fall my neighbor has finally convinced his 85 year old dad to sell his last cows. The cattle were very mellow according to him when his dad was healthy and would go for walks out in the pasture just to talk to them, they would be right next to you when you fed a round bale. This was 2 years ago and his dad has had health issues since and the cattle have basically gotten to a "wild" state as the only time anyone is around them is when they are fed hay. They are to the point that my neighbor is afraid of them and really tries to keep his distance when doing anything with them.
He started the feat of trying to catch them back in october and thought that some horse corral panels set in a lean to would do the trick. Unfortunately they had other thoughts and went right under them, he tried this multiple times. After trying to get him to use some 24' freestanding panels since he started he finally gave in on december 2nd. We set the panels so they had to go through one pen to get into the lean to, which is the other pen where he is feeding hay. He is still feeding hay in the lean to, to bait them in but they have gotten wise to the game after 3 months and only go in at night now. Other neighbors have offered to help try to herd them into the lean to for him but the cows have always thwarted the attempts and escaped.
He is getting frustrated as heck and keeps asking me what he should do. My thought was he almost has to regain the "trust" of the cows. For me I find it is easier to get them to work with me when they are use to me. I told him to try walking feed out to them daily in a 5 gallon pail just so they start to get some trust with him but he is to scared to get that close to them. I mentioned trying to shut off the hay at night so they get use to him opening the gate to hay in the morning, but he's afraid they will go through the fence to find something else to eat. He went over one morning to find 3 cows and a bull on the road about a month ago but can't find where they went through and they came back in without him doing anything.
So I am asking you who have considerable more experience than me for any other ideas to try and catch this small herd of about 17 head, of which have are bulls.
Been there done that. Lol my now land lord had a hard of cows that because semi feral. When we caught them he said he had 65. We brought home 83.
Your on the right track. Let it get colder and let them get hungry. Only feed them what they'll clean up. Lead them with a gay bale on the tractor and only let them eat in the day time. Couple weeks of that and they'll come running when they hear the tractor coming. Don't chase them, and don't only catch half of them. All or wait till the next day.
out of those 83he we caught 5- 2yr old bulls, 17- yearlings, and all the bull calves. It was wild.
 
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uplandnut

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I'm not sure of the finding cowboys in the area but it would definitely be worth a call to the local sale barn to find out.
I wanted to make a pen to include around the water but that created problems for him to feed hay, being as he is scared of them. I also couldn't set it up where you could get to any kind of gate to shut before they would see you and be long gone. The other water dilemma is we have snow right now and they are more than content to lick snow.
I'd hate to see it come to dropping them in the pasture but at this point he might like the idea.
What pisses me off the most on the whole deal is he knew he wanted to do this and started in october and has gained nothing! I would like to believe that if he would have been feeding on a tractor or 4 wheeler they would be somewhat manageable by now. Instead he just kept getting more frustrated and wasting more time and hay and didn't change tactics when one wouldn't work.
Thanks for all the suggestions and keep them coming. I'm trying to be a good neighbor/friend by helping out just not sure how much energy I want to put into it when my original suggestions were kind of scoffed off.
 

Rydero

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I'd starve them out. Put a good bale in the pen and lock them out at night. Only time they get in is during the day. When it's gate opening time take a pail of grain and call them. Dump a third of the pail 10' inside the gate. Walk into the inner pen where the bale is and dump the rest of the grain. Leave for an hour. Come back and go approach the outer gate, some will run back out for a few days. Just let them. Give the animals that don't run another 10mins to eat then kick them all out and close up. Repeat. Once almost all of them are in every time close the outer gate and get all the contained ones in the inner pen. Go get another bale and drop it in the outer pen and leave for an hour. Try to catch more and keep bumping them to the inner pen. Once it's only one or two they'll either be desperate to be close to the locked in cows or have to be shot. I've never had to shoot one but the cows I'm working with have been handled. Get the neighbor to pay you a bit to do it and stay the heck away.

You+pail+call=food=good

The saying here goes, "If you want to chase a cow, you have to be smarter than a cow."
 

TexasRancher

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I'd put money they are more spoiled than wild. If he is afraid of them there is no use in him doing much from here. X2 on getting some cowboys in there and be done.
Well, the cows and bulls lost their Keeper-Trainer-Coach...they know the new neighbor has fear and is setting up little worthless temporary fencing traps...basically the cows command the entire ranch now...yeah, agreed more spoiled than wild.
 

Dan-DK Farms

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This fall my neighbor has finally convinced his 85 year old dad to sell his last cows. The cattle were very mellow according to him when his dad was healthy and would go for walks out in the pasture just to talk to them, they would be right next to you when you fed a round bale. This was 2 years ago and his dad has had health issues since and the cattle have basically gotten to a "wild" state as the only time anyone is around them is when they are fed hay. They are to the point that my neighbor is afraid of them and really tries to keep his distance when doing anything with them.
He started the feat of trying to catch them back in october and thought that some horse corral panels set in a lean to would do the trick. Unfortunately they had other thoughts and went right under them, he tried this multiple times. After trying to get him to use some 24' freestanding panels since he started he finally gave in on december 2nd. We set the panels so they had to go through one pen to get into the lean to, which is the other pen where he is feeding hay. He is still feeding hay in the lean to, to bait them in but they have gotten wise to the game after 3 months and only go in at night now. Other neighbors have offered to help try to herd them into the lean to for him but the cows have always thwarted the attempts and escaped.
He is getting frustrated as heck and keeps asking me what he should do. My thought was he almost has to regain the "trust" of the cows. For me I find it is easier to get them to work with me when they are use to me. I told him to try walking feed out to them daily in a 5 gallon pail just so they start to get some trust with him but he is to scared to get that close to them. I mentioned trying to shut off the hay at night so they get use to him opening the gate to hay in the morning, but he's afraid they will go through the fence to find something else to eat. He went over one morning to find 3 cows and a bull on the road about a month ago but can't find where they went through and they came back in without him doing anything.
So I am asking you who have considerable more experience than me for any other ideas to try and catch this small herd of about 17 head, of which have are bulls.
I had the same problem. I was able to catch them in the dark by shining my head lights into the corral and being patient. They just wandered in. I picked them up the following day. Another option is to get some cowboys to tranquilize them and drag into a stockman’s trailer.
 

Hleverett

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This fall my neighbor has finally convinced his 85 year old dad to sell his last cows. The cattle were very mellow according to him when his dad was healthy and would go for walks out in the pasture just to talk to them, they would be right next to you when you fed a round bale. This was 2 years ago and his dad has had health issues since and the cattle have basically gotten to a "wild" state as the only time anyone is around them is when they are fed hay. They are to the point that my neighbor is afraid of them and really tries to keep his distance when doing anything with them.
He started the feat of trying to catch them back in october and thought that some horse corral panels set in a lean to would do the trick. Unfortunately they had other thoughts and went right under them, he tried this multiple times. After trying to get him to use some 24' freestanding panels since he started he finally gave in on december 2nd. We set the panels so they had to go through one pen to get into the lean to, which is the other pen where he is feeding hay. He is still feeding hay in the lean to, to bait them in but they have gotten wise to the game after 3 months and only go in at night now. Other neighbors have offered to help try to herd them into the lean to for him but the cows have always thwarted the attempts and escaped.
He is getting frustrated as heck and keeps asking me what he should do. My thought was he almost has to regain the "trust" of the cows. For me I find it is easier to get them to work with me when they are use to me. I told him to try walking feed out to them daily in a 5 gallon pail just so they start to get some trust with him but he is to scared to get that close to them. I mentioned trying to shut off the hay at night so they get use to him opening the gate to hay in the morning, but he's afraid they will go through the fence to find something else to eat. He went over one morning to find 3 cows and a bull on the road about a month ago but can't find where they went through and they came back in without him doing anything.
So I am asking you who have considerable more experience than me for any other ideas to try and catch this small herd of about 17 head, of which have are bulls.
I had some like that. I started feeding them in the stock trailer for a few days until the got used to it. Took two times to get all of them. My trailer is mostly in closed and the could see me coming to close the gate.
 

Lazy M

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I'm not sure of the finding cowboys in the area but it would definitely be worth a call to the local sale barn to find out.
I wanted to make a pen to include around the water but that created problems for him to feed hay, being as he is scared of them. I also couldn't set it up where you could get to any kind of gate to shut before they would see you and be long gone. The other water dilemma is we have snow right now and they are more than content to lick snow.
I'd hate to see it come to dropping them in the pasture but at this point he might like the idea.
What pisses me off the most on the whole deal is he knew he wanted to do this and started in october and has gained nothing! I would like to believe that if he would have been feeding on a tractor or 4 wheeler they would be somewhat manageable by now. Instead he just kept getting more frustrated and wasting more time and hay and didn't change tactics when one wouldn't work.
Thanks for all the suggestions and keep them coming. I'm trying to be a good neighbor/friend by helping out just not sure how much energy I want to put into it when my original suggestions were kind of scoffed off.
Life's full of frustrations and aggravation. If you're like me you have enough of your own without taking on those of others. My advice is to just wish him luck and move on.
 

gcreekrch

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I'd put money they are more spoiled than wild. If he is afraid of them there is no use in him doing much from here. X2 on getting some cowboys in there and be done.
Yes, wild cattle wouldn’t be living in a lean to and coming to feed. Free standing panels and the idiot staying home would be first course of action.
 

Rafter S

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I'd put money they are more spoiled than wild. If he is afraid of them there is no use in him doing much from here. X2 on getting some cowboys in there and be done.

I agree. Just because someone is afraid of cows it doesn't mean they're wild, or mean. I had a 2-year old heifer get into the neighbor's place years ago. I took my trailer to go get her. He had working pens, but no loading chute, and the gates were all much wider than my trailer. I backed up to one of them, opened the swing gate back to close the rest of the gate opening, and asked him to drive her in the trailer. She calmly walked up to the trailer, but of course didn't go in right away, but turned around and looked at him instead.

He immediately screamed "She's crazy!!", snatched his cap off his head, threw it at her, and ran the other way.

After that I loaded her myself.
 
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uplandnut

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Warren they are herefords.
I appreciate the suggestions. They won't let you within about a hundred feet without hightailing it to the other end of the pasture. I did have 6 of them in the pens I set up one morning. Once they realized they realized the gate got shut they went nuts running full tilt round and round knocking each other down until they found where the neighbor decided twine was good enough to hold the big gate he drives through to feed, instead of the chain I originally put on it. I just talked to him this morning about it again and was shot down on my suggestions again. Only thing that he seemed to care about was that he is down to about 20 days of hay. I finally told him maybe he would be better off to just call the sale barn and ask if they know any cowboys in the area.
lazy M, originally I was interested in acquiring some of the cows but no longer have any interest in them. Bulls and cows have been running together for over 2 years with no maintenance.
 

Rafter S

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Warren they are herefords.
I appreciate the suggestions. They won't let you within about a hundred feet without hightailing it to the other end of the pasture. I did have 6 of them in the pens I set up one morning. Once they realized they realized the gate got shut they went nuts running full tilt round and round knocking each other down until they found where the neighbor decided twine was good enough to hold the big gate he drives through to feed, instead of the chain I originally put on it. I just talked to him this morning about it again and was shot down on my suggestions again. Only thing that he seemed to care about was that he is down to about 20 days of hay. I finally told him maybe he would be better off to just call the sale barn and ask if they know any cowboys in the area.
lazy M, originally I was interested in acquiring some of the cows but no longer have any interest in them. Bulls and cows have been running together for over 2 years with no maintenance.

Yup. That sounds like they're pretty wild. It's probably going to take cowboys and dogs and horses and ropes. . . or a tranquilizer gun.
 
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