Too docile?

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Hpacres440p

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Is there such a thing as calves that are too docile? Small herd, had two bull calves born at Thanksgiving. Different AI sires, but dams are easy-handling (other than day 1 newborns) Commercial Brangus. Both are still intact, prior to their arrival, planned to cut any bull calves about 4 mo, but one of them is a nicely built calf, and a buyer is interested in him as a bull at weaning, due to his sire’s pedigree and Brangus cross.
Mr Lucky is easygoing, easy to handle, growing nicely, dam is maintaining good condition while nursing. He’s a LOT more docile than the other calf-grazes great, zero interest in feed. Last in line to go anywhere, kinda like Ferdinand-spends time looking at flowers instead of chasing a feed bucket. Great for grass-fed!
Would you discount a bull calf that is too docile?
 

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A.J.

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Docility can be a great selling point, and is always a favorable thing for me when determining which to keep for replacements. Docility can definitely be passed down to their offspring. The only time it can be a pain for me with the real gentle ones is when I need to work them, or they are in front of the tractor and won’t move because they are so laid back. They are hard to get moving sometimes. They just look back at me like “What do you want? Quit bugging me.” Lol. I’ll take that extreme over the other any day tho.
 

Warren Allison

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Is there such a thing as calves that are too docile? Small herd, had two bull calves born at Thanksgiving. Different AI sires, but dams are easy-handling (other than day 1 newborns) Commercial Brangus. Both are still intact, prior to their arrival, planned to cut any bull calves about 4 mo, but one of them is a nicely built calf, and a buyer is interested in him as a bull at weaning, due to his sire’s pedigree and Brangus cross.
Mr Lucky is easygoing, easy to handle, growing nicely, dam is maintaining good condition while nursing. He’s a LOT more docile than the other calf-grazes great, zero interest in feed. Last in line to go anywhere, kinda like Ferdinand-spends time looking at flowers instead of chasing a feed bucket. Great for grass-fed!
Would you discount a bull calf that is too docile?
What breed is the sire?
 
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Hpacres440p

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Ok. He’s not sluggish, just seems to be low guy on the totem pole but hasn’t a care in the world about it😁
 

TCRanch

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Ok. He’s not sluggish, just seems to be low guy on the totem pole but hasn’t a care in the world about it😁
Low guy on the totem pole will change when he gets older. My all time fave bull was the low guy, even though he was considerably larger than my other bulls. One day he decided he had enough and pulled out a giant can of whoop azz. Found my alpha a mile away the next day, seeking refuge in the south woods. Fave bull was still extremely chill & docile around me but it was clear he was now top dog.
 

Ky hills

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I select for docility and cull for lack of it. @sstterry made a good point though, it pays to always be careful around any cattle regardless of how gentle, they can still be dangerous even if they are just playing.
 
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Hpacres440p

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I select for docility and cull for lack of it. @sstterry made a good point though, it pays to always be careful around any cattle regardless of how gentle, they can still be dangerous even if they are just playing.
Absolutely-we are halter breaking, but not a pet. Handy to have a bull who knows what a halter is
 

JParrott

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I too cull anything that's flighty and high headed - even just a little bit. Had two more calves last night. One mom took the girl and headed off when I came up, the other watched and lowed a bit while I banded the calf. One will be taking a trip this fall with her baby to the sale barn.

Way too many good animals out there to be keeping high strung cattle that can keep the Tyson plants running.
 

Dsth

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I agree with previous post that docility is a must in my herd. I don't AI to anything much under +20. I wonder what is the % of cattlemen/women that get killed or injured from a bull that they think wouldn't hurt a fly vs one that is somewhat unfriendly.
 

TCRanch

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I agree with previous post that docility is a must in my herd. I don't AI to anything much under +20. I wonder what is the % of cattlemen/women that get killed or injured from a bull that they think wouldn't hurt a fly vs one that is somewhat unfriendly.
Bingo!! Never let your guard down, and make darn sure he knows you're the boss. Docile, but lack of respect is also grounds for culling in my world.
 

Warren Allison

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I have been gored and stomped and chased by a few cows and a steer or two. I have been kicked and bitten by a few mares and a gelding or two. But I have never ( knock on wood) ever been hurt by a bull or a stallion. Granted, it may be that I might pay closer attention and use more caution when I handle them. The worst a cow ever hurt me, was a bottle -raised pet Holstein I was trying to load on a trailer, to haul to a sale for a friend. I got behind her in the alley, and she would NOT move away, no matter how much I hollered and whupped her. she just snorted, ran backwards and squished me against the back gate. Damned heifer just kept trying to back up. I was kicking and clawing and punching, even bit her on the ass a couple of times, trying to get her to move forward before I ran out of air. Broke 3 ribs that day, before the owner finally had the sense to pull my truck and trailer forward, so she could step forward and get away.
 

kentuckyguy

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Docility is one of my main considerations when culling. When I can’t take a bucket and lead the cows to another pasture they get wheels under them.

I have also much higher conception rates on my really calm cows when doing AI. They can be a pain to move through the alley considering they don’t have any fear of you touching them.
 
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Hpacres440p

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Docility is one of my main considerations when culling. When I can’t take a bucket and lead the cows to another pasture they get wheels under them.

I have also much higher conception rates on my really calm cows when doing AI. They can be a pain to move through the alley considering they don’t have any fear of you touching them.
We somehow had a cow roll under a fence into the neighbors’ empty pasture. We grabbed a 5 gallon bucket and some rocks. Led her all the way around to their gate and up our driveway to get her back home-no issues. I’d rather them lead and load with feed than have to hotshot them.
 

Warren Allison

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I don't want crazy wild cattle. that will spook and stampede to the next county when they see a man or a horse. Or that will jump a 6' panel if you try to corral them. But, a damned pet that doesn't respect or fear a man or horse, is hard to do anything with, as well. I want them that I can ride up to, ride through the herd, etc, without spooking, but that will move away from the horse when I crowd it. I want them to hurry through the working pens, without trying to go over or through them, but won't go nuts in the head gate or squeeze chute.
 

Dsth

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I don't want crazy wild cattle. that will spook and stampede to the next county when they see a man or a horse. Or that will jump a 6' panel if you try to corral them. But, a damned pet that doesn't respect or fear a man or horse, is hard to do anything with, as well. I want them that I can ride up to, ride through the herd, etc, without spooking, but that will move away from the horse when I crowd it. I want them to hurry through the working pens, without trying to go over or through them, but won't go nuts in the head gate or squeeze chute.
well said
 

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