Loading reluctant steer

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Red Boots Farm

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Not sure if this is the forum for this question, but here goes!
This steer will be 16 months old at butcher time in December. He's our first cow-raised steer and we're used to easy-loading, bottle-raised 4-H animals. Unfortunately we didn't keep up on the halter training because no one was showing last summer. He's somewhat friendly but real wary about his head. He's quite big now and I'm concerned how we're going to load him on the trailer. We don't have a chute. Any suggestions for loading without trauma? Thanks :eek:)
Pix at 1 month and 1 year
Chip 09212020.jpegChip 08022021.jpg
 

Son of Butch

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This steer will be 16 months old at butcher time in December.
He looks delicious. Add general location to your profile, please. :)
British White and general landscape with evergreen tree in the background leads me to believe probably central Minnesota? Looks like plenty of grass in your area.
 
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Red Boots Farm

Red Boots Farm

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He looks delicious. Add general location to your profile, please. :)
British White and general landscape with evergreen tree in the background leads me to believe probably central Minnesota? Looks like plenty of grass in your area.
You are exactly right! Montrose, MN—30-40 mins west of the twin cities
 

farmerjan

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Nice looking steer. Agree on the methods to catch/load him. By giving him a week or 2 to get used to the trailer, feeding him in it and just leaving door open, he will not associate it with any type of trauma. Then, feed him in it, act like no big deal, and then quietly shut the door.
If you go up to your name on the top right and go down to account details, you can scroll down and put your general area in the location and it will show up under your avatar so we all can remember where you are when you ask for info.
Nice looking grass too.
 

JJColvin

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Park the trailer in the pasture, put up a pen around it so you can limit his room. Feed him in the trailer for a week or so before travel date. Skip a meal the day prior, he’ll be hungry to go in, close the gate behind him.
That’s the idea, I do it a little differently but hey I’ve learned most of what I know about cows on here from you folks. I have a 40 cow pen but where I finish my steers out at is just a small area, little grass and 2 gates and a couple pastures from my pen. I will feed them out usually two at the time to process. 8 to 10 weeks defore due date I park the trailer in one of the gate gaps and put a small trough in the front end of the trailer. This is where they feed every morning until it’s time to travel and I just close the gate, hook up and soon to be groceries. I drop them in the corral to run them across the scales and then on the road. I had one get spooked once and got past the fence gate and the trailer. I just opened the gate wide and got out of the way and he came back and went right back in. No stress.

Before I get bombarded let me add, that when “feeding” him the morning to haul him constitutes a handful of feed thrown in trough or have a rope on the trough to pull it out. Don’t want him showing up for slaughter full of feed.
 
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Red Boots Farm

Red Boots Farm

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Nice looking steer. Agree on the methods to catch/load him. By giving him a week or 2 to get used to the trailer, feeding him in it and just leaving door open, he will not associate it with any type of trauma. Then, feed him in it, act like no big deal, and then quietly shut the door.
If you go up to your name on the top right and go down to account details, you can scroll down and put your general area in the location and it will show up under your avatar so we all can remember where you are when you ask for info.
Nice looking grass too.
Great advice -- thanks!!
Grass and hay were great this year despite the drought. We were fortunate
 
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Red Boots Farm

Red Boots Farm

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That’s the idea, I do it a little differently but hey I’ve learned most of what I know about cows on here from you folks. I have a 40 cow pen but where I finish my steers out at is just a small area, little grass and 2 gates and a couple pastures from my pen. I will feed them out usually two at the time to process. 8 to 10 weeks defore due date I park the trailer in one of the gate gaps and put a small trough in the front end of the trailer. This is where they feed every morning until it’s time to travel and I just close the gate, hook up and soon to be groceries. I drop them in the corral to run them across the scales and then on the road. I had one get spooked once and got past the fence gate and the trailer. I just opened the gate wide and got out of the way and he came back and went right back in. No stress.

Before I get bombarded let me add, that when “feeding” him the morning to haul him constitutes a handful of feed thrown in trough or have a rope on the trough to pull it out. Don’t want him showing up for slaughter full of feed.
Thanks! I'm hoping the snow won't be an issue getting the trailer backed up to one of the smaller pens, come end of December....
 

farmerjan

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I agree with @kenny thomas . Sometimes we will leave the trailer in the field and they can use it if they want to even if we aren't feeding them. You will get the occasional one that will have to rub up against it and try to play with the wires or lights.... But if not in use, start now. Then at least it will be there... and hopefully no snow when time comes to move it. Is there a way to get it close to the gate to go in and out that will be near to where you will hook it up? Weather can be so fickle....
 
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Red Boots Farm

Red Boots Farm

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I agree with @kenny thomas . Sometimes we will leave the trailer in the field and they can use it if they want to even if we aren't feeding them. You will get the occasional one that will have to rub up against it and try to play with the wires or lights.... But if not in use, start now. Then at least it will be there... and hopefully no snow when time comes to move it. Is there a way to get it close to the gate to go in and out that will be near to where you will hook it up? Weather can be so fickle....
Probably the safest place (snow-wise) would be the south gate, which we could plow a path to if needed. But that pen area is rather wide open. Backing up to the lean-to would be ideal because of the ability to funnel him into the trailer, but also more of a challenge to get out of if it snows....
 

farmerjan

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Well, you know the date to take him.... get the trailer in there and feed him in it. If the weather looks like it is going to get bad you could move it before snow and then hope in a day or 2 he will remember that the trailer is for feed regardless of where it is. If he learns to just go in to eat, then the size of the pen should be of minor importance. Get him used to going in it... then he will just go in regardless of where the pen is or how big. He will just say.... yum I'm getting feed.... I'd put it in the best place to get it out... see if after a few days he won't just go in it for the feed... If he comes to a bucket, feed some on the ground by the open back of the trailer, some up on the back inside the trailer... then some further in... in a couple of days he ought to just go right in to a bucket/tub with feed inside the trailer. Stomachs rule for most animals....
 

farmerjan

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All according to the trailer.... make sure you use a couple of blocks on front and back of a wheel, and something under the back so when he steps up in it, it doesn't "sink" and move, so it scares him. It will depend on the balance, but we always put something under the back. so it will only drop a little if they step up, and the front doesn't raise up if it is not attached to the truck. Plus it won't move around that way either. Some trailers will move more like a teeter totter most will not... but doesn't hurt to make it as steady as possible. couple of 4x4 blocks can always be kicked out after he is loaded and door closed so you can jack the front back up to hook up to hitch...
 
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Red Boots Farm

Red Boots Farm

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All according to the trailer.... make sure you use a couple of blocks on front and back of a wheel, and something under the back so when he steps up in it, it doesn't "sink" and move, so it scares him. It will depend on the balance, but we always put something under the back. so it will only drop a little if they step up, and the front doesn't raise up if it is not attached to the truck. Plus it won't move around that way either. Some trailers will move more like a teeter totter most will not... but doesn't hurt to make it as steady as possible. couple of 4x4 blocks can always be kicked out after he is loaded and door closed so you can jack the front back up to hook up to hitch...
Excellent point! Because it won't be attached to a hitch.

He's such a big beefy thing but is so timid for some reason (he's been babied all his life; go figure). Yesterday I gave him a leafy cauliflower stalk from the garden and each time he snatched at a leaf, the thing "chased" him and he dropped it and skittered away.
 

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