Wild Cows

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BigBear

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Hi everyone,
You may remember a few months back I mentioned getting a couple nice registered red angus cows. Well that went through and I have them on my farm. The problem is this:

They are bat sh!t crazy. :shock:

They are so scared of people it's not funny. Not aggressive just flighty. The gal I got them from would vaccinate with a medidart crossbow (she didn't have a chute). I remember her saying she wanted them about 20 yards for a good clean shot. And that's about as close as you can get to them.

Last week I set up my portable corral and fed them in there for about a week. Saturday I trapped them in the corral or so I thought. I forgot to pin a section together and they got out into the pasture. My thought was to keep them penned in to try to calm them down. I took them until this morning to come back into the corral for feed.

My other issue: I just bought stocker calves. All heifers meaning I can't really run a bull with the cows so I will have to AI (which is what I would prefer). And I'm not sure I can even get them in the corral to even run them through the chute.

Any suggestions on taming wild cows?
 

Bright Raven

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If they can be tamed - I believe most cows can be - there is only one starting point. You have to secure them where you can handle them on a daily basis until they trust you.

That takes time and patience. If you cannot accomplish the first step or do not have the time and resources, I think you are going to be frustrated at the least and fail at the most. If you AI on natural heats, they must be manageable. If you synchronize them for AI, you will have to handle them a couple times.

I have gentle cows but even I have had a couple that I thought were too shy. The frustration of dealing with shy cows does not fit my goals. I cull them.
Good luck.
 

Clod Hopper

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I have had some wild ones that were not worth the effort to tame due to age or conformation but after I got through the worst ones I used treats and that has worked really well. If you have some gentle ones it help to get the more flighty cows used to you. A good example can be just as effective as a bad one. Which is why I sold the worst behaved. Their favorite is apple and oat horse treats. Adding heifer that I raised has been well worth the effort as they tend to be calmer. Patience
 

Stocker Steve

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Need to hand feed them daily, and build up some trust.
Decent cattle settle down in a couple weeks.
Flighty cattle settle down in a couple months.
Some cattle never settle...
 

BK9954

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1 month penned up, feed them feed daily in a trough. Make it so you get closer and closer to them each time. Pretty soon you can be right next to them while they are eating. You have to talk to them. Even read a book or whatever but they need to hear your voice. Your voice needs to become a normal sound. Do this almost daily until they get used to you. But when first penned I would put some feed and give them a day to get used to the enclosure. I did this with a crazy Brahman cross that tried to jump and crawl out of every fence. Now she is tame as a baby, licks my hand when I hold it out. I do this procedure with all my new cattle. Some take longer then others. I run cattle by myself so I can't have a crazy unmanageable cow and I don't like losing money to the auction. If these girls were never handled they will take time..
 

Brute 23

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My first suggestion is you need to ask question before you do things not after it's screwed up. It looks like you have a habit of painting yourself in to a corner.

Pen the cows. Plan on having them in the pens for several weeks. Make them understand you control wether they live or die. Start with a big pen then get smaller and smaller until they have no choice but to be bear you.

Do not turn the stocker calves in with those cows because mixing a bunch of stupid together causes a disaster. Just look at the news.
 

Nesikep

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Agree with everything that's been said, and would like to add a little to it

There's no replacement for just spending time with them.. and treats!.. I've never needed to, but I've heard many people say going to their pen and reading a newspaper or book (aloud) works well and gets them used to who you are.

That said, there are some that just will not slow down, they need to go, in all likelihood they're going to be stupid at calving time too, and possibly aggressive.. hope yours are smarter than that
 
OP
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BigBear

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M.Magis":3rw0mmck said:
How much time are you working with?

Well they are due to calve in about a month so about 4 months from now I will look to breed back. I do have time to calm them down a little

They have gotten slightly better since we got them so hopefully there's a chance with them.
 

Son of Butch

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Brute 23":1ccazfkv said:
Do not turn the stocker calves in with those cows because mixing a bunch of stupid together causes a disaster.
Just look at the news.
:nod:

Just a couple of high headed cows can get a whole herd of level headed cattle riled up.
 

cow pollinater

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Take your time. Every time you have them in the corrals open your chute and let them go through at their own pace. When you have time just go get as close as you can without them taking off and stay there for a little bit. Just don't get yourself in between them and their escape route or they'll learn fight instead of flight and you might get creamed in the process.
 

farmerjan

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Agree with everyone that says time and patience. Make them depend on you for their feed/water. Talking to them etc to make sure your voice is something they associate with feed. Keeping them "close up"where they can't get too far away from you, like in a big pasture, so that they really do have to depend on you.
Some never get better.
Bought 2 young bred 1st calf heifers last dec. Ran them with 8 other older cows that were fairly quiet and calm. They have never calmed down. One had a dead calf, the other has a heifer calf, and the one went and the one with the calf is going as soon as we can get her in. The calf is high headed but will follow the other cows and calves in. They all will now try to push you to get to grain, except her; and we cannot even get her out of the paddock into the smaller catch pen to run her down the alley into the barn. We have been discussing what is going to be the best plan. She is now in with the grandma group that will all be going to the yard when they get done with their calves as they are not ones we want to try to breed back. One just recently died and her calf is stealing off 2 other young cows that were in there just waiting for them to calve, so will let the 2 raise 3 calves. None of the cows, that this nutty idiot is in with, was ever crazy and she just won't calm down at all. We had decided when we got the 6 we bought, and saw that the 2 were a bit flighty, that we would give them some time and usually I can get most all to calm down but these 2 would never slow down long enough to even consider i was not their worst enemy. Shame, but not worth the trouble anymore. She gets some of the calves taking off with her too, so will be glad when fall comes and they are gone. There are a heifer or two that we might keep, but they will have to show they have some sense.
 

angus9259

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Son of Butch":1o54r2cp said:
Brute 23":1o54r2cp said:
Do not turn the stocker calves in with those cows because mixing a bunch of stupid together causes a disaster.
Just look at the news.
:nod:

Just a couple of high headed cows can get a whole herd of level headed cattle riled up.

Generally, I agree 100%. However, if you have a couple OLD cows that won't spook that like the grain bucket, they could help. I got a couple old gals that don't like to walk fast let alone run anywhere but their head will turn for the bucket. They will also lead the heard to the next pasture when I go out.

Make sure the water is in a catch pen area too.

All that said, I wouldn't bother with em - but if I WAS to bother with em, that's how I would do it. And get it figured out BEFORE the calves hit or forget it.
 

Muddy

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angus9259":1lp0set0 said:
Son of Butch":1lp0set0 said:
Brute 23":1lp0set0 said:
Do not turn the stocker calves in with those cows because mixing a bunch of stupid together causes a disaster.
Just look at the news.
::

Just a couple of high headed cows can get a whole herd of level headed cattle riled up.

Generally, I agree 100%. However, if you have a couple OLD cows that won't spook that like the grain bucket, they could help. I got a couple old gals that don't like to walk fast let alone run anywhere but their head will turn for the bucket. They will also lead the heard to the next pasture when I go out.

Make sure the water is in a catch pen area too.

All that said, I wouldn't bother with em - but if I WAS to bother with em, that's how I would do it. And get it figured out BEFORE the calves hit or forget it.
:nod:
Wild cows with newborn calves can be a little difficult to work with than the cows without the calves. We had few wild cows that never settled down while they have the calf on them.
 

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