Young bull is testing me

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NonTypicalCPA

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I've got a soon to be 2 year old Belted Galloway bull that I need some advice on. First some background - I've only got two cows and an 11 month old bull calf besides my bull. He comes from very good genetics, in fact his half brother by the same sire just won a national competition. He too was shown until I bought him last July at 14 months old. He's covered my two cows and has been in the pasture with everyone since last July. He's been great up until a month ago. The belties are a pretty docile breed, which is why I chose them, and I at times have brushed them including the bull. The last time I brushed him, when I stopped he tried try to push me around a bit. Also he's started to toss his head at me.

So he's in need of an attitude adjustment and as he is my first bull I'm not sure exactly what to do. The last time he came up to me on the opposite side of the fence and started acting up I hollered and jumped at him, which did sent him on his way. I'm done with any grooming of him. What else do I need to do to teach him that I'm the boss, especially when I'm in the pasture with him? I've considered leasing him out so he has more cows to keep him busy. Would only having a couple at his young age cause him to get frisky resulting in this behavior? When I started I had planned on going the AI route, but it looked to be more work than owning a bull, so here I am.
 

Rafter S

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You need to teach him to respect your space.... and quit brushing him. A bull that's too gentle is as dangerous as one that's not gentle enough.
 

skyhightree1

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Personally for 2 cows id just be doing AI instead of keeping a bull.. They become bored and destructive really easy.. However, An ax handle works as well... IMO you brushing him is tempting fate. I would ship the bull boy a cow in its place and AI and leave the bull out of the equation.
 

TCRanch

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I have zero tolerance for a bull with an attitude and life is too short. And hospital bills are just too darn expensive. My bulls are very gentle; hand-feeders, I pet them a little and our herd sire allowed me to take his temperature in the pasture (3 times! long story) BUT they also respect my personal space (unlike the cows but that's a different story). One of our new, younger bulls gets a little too close occasionally and a thump on the nose is all it takes. But there's a difference between docile/friendly and aggression. Shaking his head at you is not a good sign. At this stage, your bull probably won't "get" the new rules: he's been essentially a pet, he's still young and I agree that he's probably bored. You can certainly try to outsmart or bully him into submission - and it may work - but personally I would ship him. If you don't want to go the AI route, your 11 month old bull calf should be able to handle 2 cows.
 

pdfangus

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sell his ass asap.....
this bull is not afraid of you and at this point will not become afraid of you....
for all the weapons listed above....
you darn well better not miss or you are going to be toe jam....
 
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NonTypicalCPA

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I'm not ready to give up on him yet, I've been firm with him the last couple days not allowing him to walk up into my space and he's responded well. I'll keep a close eye on him and go from there.
 

Nesikep

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My bulls are all docile, especially my homeraised guy.. One thing I NEVER do is pet him on top of his head.. they like it too much and encourages them to toss their head around.. not good. If he wants attention I'll rub his butt, his belly, or the underside of his neck on occasion, he is a big lumbering beast.. I don't want him to be afraid of me... He gets a slap if he doesn't behave properly. but I don't think using a crowbar/axe handle would train him correctly if he's just being pesky.. being AGGRESSIVE warrants the heavy artillery though.
Start by paying less attention to his front end, give him a back/butt rub, he'll like that and trains him to face away from you more... That's just my two cents..
 

BRYANT

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like I have posted before my bulls learn real fast how far my arm can reach with a hot shot in my hand, they keep their distance. cows will be a problem to if they are pets that learn to be the boss. Cows, bulls, or any livestock must know who the boss is. That even goes for kids, now grandkids that's different.
 

cow pollinater

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BRYANT":2ug78dg2 said:
like I have posted before my bulls learn real fast how far my arm can reach with a hot shot in my hand, they keep their distance. cows will be a problem to if they are pets that learn to be the boss. Cows, bulls, or any livestock must know who the boss is. That even goes for kids, now grandkids that's different.
Yep. That's how I do it with bulls. As far as I'm concerned they can shake their head, paw, blow snot, whatever they want to do but they're going to figure out to go do it out of hotshot distance and most of them won't ever get any closer than that more than once. Young bulls are like teenage boys flexing their muscles. They'll test their boundaries as far as you let them but you can teach them manners before they turn into grown men.
 

True Grit Farms

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The truth of the matter is you don't pet, rub or come into contact a bull. No matter how smart you think you are, or how tame you think your bull is, a bull is a massive unpredictable beast. Nesikep is giving some bad advice here and is going to get someone killed.
 

pdfangus

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I have to agree with grit. a ton of bull can accidentally kill you wanting to get scratched. or push a cow over you.

i like my cow gentle and quiet and I have had bulls I could touch.....but that bull must respect my space.

disposition has a genetic component as well.

breed is a possible factor as well....

therE is a fine line to walk between a bull who tolerates or likes human interaction and a bull who is not afraid of you and it takes a few bad experiences to be able to find that line......IF YOU SURVIVE THE TRAINING.
 

Rhune

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Two cows and bull... asking advice about how to deal with bulls on the internet. Don't mean to be rude but you sound pretty green. I would get that bull out of your pasture ASAP. Some of these guys have been dealing with bulls their entire life and probably could deal with your bull with very little risk. I would wager you don't have that experience. I am pretty new to ranching, did not grow up in it and would like to continue doing it. My first rule of ranching is "don't get killed". Everything else is secondary to that. You also got to think about who else might be in your fields, wife, kids, grandkids.
 
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NonTypicalCPA

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Yep I'm pretty green with cattle, but I'm guessing everyone on these boards was too at one point in time - not a good enough reason to give up in my opinion. Safety is why I'm on here asking questions, reading all that I can about bulls, watching videos, etc. I'm not going to take any chances with him. I've probably described his behavior worse than he's actually been. I've not allowed him to come into my personal space the last couple nights and he's been very respectful. Now if it turns out only having two or three cows and a bull is a poor combination, or if he gets progressively worse, then he'll move on down the road.

I appreciate all the input.
 

BRYANT

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some new people ask questions but only take advice if its what they want to hear. Its not the breed that makes them what they are its the animal, have seen Brahmans mean and seen them puppy dog tame
 

farmerjan

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NonTypicalCPA":3scfgne1 said:
Yep I'm pretty green with cattle, but I'm guessing everyone on these boards was too at one point in time - not a good enough reason to give up in my opinion. Safety is why I'm on here asking questions, reading all that I can about bulls, watching videos, etc. I'm not going to take any chances with him. I've probably described his behavior worse than he's actually been. I've not allowed him to come into my personal space the last couple nights and he's been very respectful. Now if it turns out only having two or three cows and a bull is a poor combination, or if he gets progressively worse, then he'll move on down the road.

I appreciate all the input.

I think it is great that you are willing to ask when you are new. Most of the "guys" on here and some of us "gals", are mostly concerned about the safety part with someone "newer" to cattle and maybe not realizing how fast it can go south or become a disaster.
I don't think anyone is trying to get you to give up. Just to be safe and sensible when you don't have alot of experience. They can move quicker than lightning and you can get in a position to be hurt before you know it. All that said, make sure you are aware of where he is in relation to yourself and a quick exit if you need it. If he is respecting your space more, you may be fine. The 2 cows to a bull is a very low ratio and it is likely at his young age, that he is wanting more to do. Boredom is a big thing. I would rather see you keep 3 or 4 cows and use AI simply because another cow or two will be making you some money rather than feeding a bull for 12 months that you are only getting a couple of services out of. If you have a head catch of some sort to catch your cows, then AI is not that difficult. So if they are bred, and you get a couple of calves and get them bred back, then maybe sending to another home would be good. And he might realize that you are the boss, and settle down a bit.
I know bulls can be dangerous, but I also have had a couple that are pretty docile, and we finally shipped one that arthritis had become painful for him to get up and down, that I would have trusted far beyond several of the cows we have; even when he was younger. He was respectful, knew his job, but you could go out in the pasture and put grain down and he'd let you rub him and when it was done, just go off and be fine. I often would take the truck and trailer out there and open the doors and say "come on Bubba, load up and let's go see some girls" and on the trailer he would go.
I have a few cows that to this day I would never turn my back on even when they don't have a calf on them. They don't act mean, I just don't trust them. We had another bull that would just snort a little, and I was never comfortable with him even though he never really threatened me. Just be safe whether with the bull or the cows. The thing with the bulls, they can get territorial and then they will be more aggressive. Those are HIS cows.....
 

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