Too docile?

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Allenw

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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.

Nothing wrong with a cow looking after her new calf as long as she settles back down in a few days. I don't think I have a single cow on the place I would trust if I was messing with her new baby.
 

puzzled in oregon

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Several years back I read a short article about breeders needing to pay more attention to temperament. The individual
commenting on this topic stated that some of the Angus breeders needed to start paying more attention to the temperament
of their cattle as they were developing a reputation for being a bit snotty. He/she went on to state that some Angus
had reached the point that if any breed could hold its own against the wolves it would be the Angus.
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I had the pleasure of encountering one of these snotty individuals. We basically had a head on, when I tried
to close the trailer door on him. After wards I kept having like flashbacks seeing part of the profile of an angus
head (ear, eye and part of the nose). It took a long time for me to realize that was the last thing I saw before we
collided. Afterwards people would ask if I still had the bull. I would tell them yes, he is in my freezer.
 

Ky hills

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Several years back I read a short article about breeders needing to pay more attention to temperament. The individual
commenting on this topic stated that some of the Angus breeders needed to start paying more attention to the temperament
of their cattle as they were developing a reputation for being a bit snotty. He/she went on to state that some Angus
had reached the point that if any breed could hold its own against the wolves it would be the Angus.
View attachment 2713
I had the pleasure of encountering one of these snotty individuals. We basically had a head on, when I tried
to close the trailer door on him. After wards I kept having like flashbacks seeing part of the profile of an angus
head (ear, eye and part of the nose). It took a long time for me to realize that was the last thing I saw before we
collided. Afterwards people would ask if I still had the bull. I would tell them yes, he is in my freezer.
I don't know about reactions to wolves, but have definitely seen several wild and foul tempered Angus. There are individuals in all breeds that can be that way. One of our most gentle cows is an Angus, and the wildest one that I've had in a while has been a Hereford. I am however one of those that believe the Angus breed has a serious problem with dispositions in a significant number of the cattle.
 

TCRanch

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I believe temperament is formed primarily by how they're raised and handled and cannot be attributed to a specific breed. We had one bull (Angus) with a nasty attitude; sold him the day after he tried to run down my husband. And yet, I retained quite a few of his heifers (even named one Sweetie Pie). They're as docile as they come and I've never had an issue while I'm tagging/working their calves. I have a few that get a little testy when they calve so I just give them a day to simmer. Know your herd.
 

farmerjan

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Agree that temperament is due alot to how they are raised. BUT..... we were sorting calves this afternoon to pick who would stay and who would be going to the sale on Friday. 40 head weaned at the barn, getting fed silage, around the skid loader and my son daily. Couple of steers will come up to him and want to get petted. Some take one look and go the other way. Had 2 possible keeper heifers that went bonkers tonight... one tried to jump a 6 board nearly 6 ft high side to the catch pen.... then dared my son..... He looked at me ( I was on the other side of the gate ) giving him a run down on parentage etc.... and she "was " a keeper..... until she started getting so bent out of shape.... and she went on the "sell" side of the barn. A little upset at being worked around is okay... not this I'm outta here one way or another.... attitude. Her mother is high headed and raises a real nice calf every year.....
I don't mind a protective cow the first day or 2 with a new calf.... a couple are standoffish for a week.... but not one with an attitude of I am going to kill you if you get within 100 ft of me and the calf....
Breed used to have more to do with it I think than it does today. We have several quiet, want to see what is in your back pocket angus..... have a red poll bull that is a puppy dog with people... and keeps the peace in the bull lot regardless of who else is in there.... got a longhorn that is easy going even with her calf, but the calf is half idiot... alongside the rest of the ones born the same time on several different cows.....
Bull studs rate disposition and I have said for years it is heritable. But again, it is a combination of things.
 

Ky hills

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I believe that disposition is formed and affected in a variety of ways, management and genetics being the most prevalent. Cattle that are not used to encountering human interaction often are naturally going to be more standoffish. If they are used to seeing people and especially if they associate people with feeding them, they are more likely to be calm and have less of a flight zone. There are certain genetic lines of cattle that do seem to have a predisposition for being wild or aggressive. I will use the example of some Angus bulls, I can almost predict how animals sired by some particular bulls will act when they come into a sale ring regardless of who owns them. Granted some producers cattle can also be predicted, likely based off of their respective herd management. I believe that the temperament of a cow can affect her calves. If she is wary of people and runs her calf will likely pick up on that too. I also believe that bulls can have a genetic effect on their calves disposition as well. We had a particular Hereford bull, born on our farm from a purchased bred heifer. She was calm and yet the calf was always a bit standoffish. We kept him and used him for about 3 years. He was manageable but a little flighty at times. Kept several daughters, some were fine and a few were skittish and one was plum wild.
 

TCRanch

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I give farm-to-table tours in conjunction with Creekstone Farms Premium Beef. Complete strangers are able to walk through my herd, hand feed the cattle, even mug with my bulls. In my world, the only negative of having cattle that are too docile is occasionally getting stepped on. (P.S. that's celebrity chef Robert Irving in the 2nd pic)
 

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Warren Allison

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I think it is 95% handling over breed. I have never, ever been threatened by an Angus bull. When we were kids growing up, a friend of mine's dad had an Angus bull that we could go up to in the pasture, climb on his back, and he'd walk around grazing with us sitting up there. And yes, I have had angus cows that were bottle calves, or show heifers, that still were very protective of their new-borns the first day or two. With Angus cows in rented pastures a good ways off, that I didn't fool with but maybe 3-4 times a year, this protective behaviour may last 4 or 5 days. Nothing in the word more docile than a dairy cow, or dairy steers that were bottle fed. But, the damned meanest, most dangerous bulls I have ever encountered, were Holstein or Jeresy. They aren't handled twice a day every day like the cows are. I helped a man with tagging new born calves from a Brahma herd this week. We could ride right up to them in this huge pasture, dismount, tag and band the calves, and the cows never showed aggression. These same Brahmas, and most others I have fooled with, will get nervous and high headed when you try to pen them or crowd them in a small corral. Unless. like rodeo bulls, they are constantly penned and loaded and crowded through chutes several times a week. They will settle down and act right, then. I had a next door neighbor late 70's and late 80's, that could lead kids around on the back of his Braham bull like a pony ride.
 

Ky hills

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I've had more disposition issues with cows than bulls. Most of the Angus bulls that we have had have been fairly easy to handle. I am pretty selective when picking out bulls, and any hint of an attitude problem is a quick disqualification. As far as cows go, I don't mind a protective cow when she first calves. I don't want them wild or aggressive any other time. It's not worth it to risk getting hurt when trying to work with them. I've culled out several Angus cows and heifers for various problems mostly disposition. Occasionally have had to cull a Hereford for it but usually they are culled for other reasons. The worst one I've ever had was a BWF I bought as part of a group of heifers, She put me up a gate when she first calved. I broke my own rule and kept her 2 or 3 more years, part because she raised a good calf every year and maybe more so I didn't want to deal with getting her up and loaded. I finally knew I had to get rid of her, when she took out after me one evening. She came from out of the middle of a group of cows from over 100 feet away, her calf was probably 4 months old at that point.
 

Nesikep

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You've obviously never owned a Salers..
I have owned Salers! and yes, they can be really protective, but a Salers bull on a good docile cow can make for a nice momma, the great grandma of most of my herd was 1/2 Salers and a great cow, very docile, her best daughter I can put a bucket under her and milk her right after calving, but she will put a stomping on a dog and she sees *everything*... That leads me to say they should have the brain power to differentiate between a human and a wolf (it's really not that hard)

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Zeus is a good boy, Momma pictured above (1/4 Salers)

For bulls, you have to differentiate between being tame (OK, you can scratch my neck) and being docile and cool headed since just because you can pet them doesn't make them cool!



This is the one that I stood on his back and shot 2 shots off with the .22.. he hasn't seen me in a year, he can't be arsed to even get up to say hi

Hector (no salers) was always cool headed, the only time he bellered at me was when I had done a prolapse fix the night before and my boots were covered in all sorts of smells he didn't like
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As young calves, I play with them like all the rest of them, I find by about 2 months old and when they're on pasture they lose interest in playing anyhow, and I ALWAYS win the pushing contest!


Here's what happens around here when a heifer has a calf... she finally figured out she had to lick, not the calf, but me.. and revealed my serious hat head

I don't think I need to be worried about this one getting mean either
 

Lazy M

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I have owned Salers! and yes, they can be really protective, but a Salers bull on a good docile cow can make for a nice momma, the great grandma of most of my herd was 1/2 Salers and a great cow, very docile, her best daughter I can put a bucket under her and milk her right after calving, but she will put a stomping on a dog and she sees *everything*... That leads me to say they should have the brain power to differentiate between a human and a wolf (it's really not that hard)
View attachment 2813

Zeus is a good boy, Momma pictured above

For bulls, you have to differentiate between being tame (OK, you can scratch my neck) and being docile and cool headed since just because you can pet them doesn't make them cool!



This is the one that I stood on his back and shot 2 shots off with the .22.. he hasn't seen me in a year, he can't be arsed to even get up to say hi

Hector (no salers) was always cool headed, the only time he bellered at me was when I had done a prolapse fix the night before and my boots were covered in all sorts of smells he didn't like
View attachment 2812


As young calves, I play with them like all the rest of them, I find by about 2 months old and when they're on pasture they lose interest in playing anyhow, and I ALWAYS win the pushing contest!


Here's what happens around here when a heifer has a calf... she finally figured out she had to lick, not the calf, but me.. and revealed my serious hat head
Glad you've had luck with the salers, but you won't convince me that they aren't just bidding their time and waiting for the right moment to kill you..
Had one run through a board fence to try and tag me.. evil witches
 

Nesikep

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I think we underestimate how much of their behavior is LEARNED as well.. Mean momma = mean calf, and breeding to a docile bull is probably not going to change that much.. Even pre-birth stress on the cow (from being high strung) affects fetal development, of course as well as the momma always warning the calf every time she sees you around.
I bought this heifer from a ranch I like because they have docile cows, her calf is a spitting image of her, in character as well as build139552794_137081781481347_6432492595823097217_n.jpg

daughter
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Yes, these all have that same Salers grandma
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TCRanch

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Is he now doing "Cattle Ranch Impossible"?
Contrary to his TV personality, he is a very interesting person that is passionate about the military. Creekstone donates the steaks for his annual Sky Ball (that honors all our nations current & retired military as well as their families). And he purchases dogs to be trained as personal-assist dogs, then donates them to vets that have suffered physical injuries or PTSD. His biceps are enormous!😳
 

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