bull wintering

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RyanE7
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bull wintering

Postby RyanE7 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:12 am

Im planning on building 10 seperate bull pens to hold the herdbulls during the winter. im planning a 20 by 50ft pen for each.

do you think that is big enough or would lack of excercise become a problem?
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farmerjan
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Re: bull wintering

Postby farmerjan » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:56 am

We put all our bulls together once they are done with their breeding duties. Most all farmers do here. And I am talking bulls that are relatively expensive, not just run of the mill bulls. They take a day or so to sort out who is the boss, then settle down to just live together as a bachelor group. We have about 5-10 together at any one time. Unless you have one that is exceptionally rank, there is no reason to separate them. And if there is one that is that rank, I would not want to be breeding from him as disposition is heritable. We feed several rolls of hay in a couple places so that they can all get to it without too much shoving but they really do well. There are no cows adjoining them and they just do fine and get more exercise. They have about 2 acres I guess.
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RyanE7
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Re: bull wintering

Postby RyanE7 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:19 am

:mad: I did that last year. They ended up bending up my brand new pipe fence..

My bulls fight every few weeks an then one comes up limping..hate that. So I'm trying to find a way away from that.
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Nesikep
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Re: bull wintering

Postby Nesikep » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:57 am

ranch near us is part of a corporate group of ranches.. they have a 50 acre field with about 150 bulls in there..
I had 2 bulls for the last few winters, they'd spar here and there but weren't very serious about it.. just keep cows with them or completely out of sight!
We had the bulls penned for years, but keeping them kinda clean was really difficult, and it doesn't help their dispositions any either, Now the bull is with the cows right up until calving starts, then he gets penned until breeding
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farmerjan
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Re: bull wintering

Postby farmerjan » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:27 pm

We have had the bulls get into shoving matches and have broken a few fence posts. A really good HOT strand of elec has pretty well solved that on the inside of the woven wire fence. When we get one that is constantly looking for a fight, he either goes with a group of cows to be bred, or he leaves. We have found that the worst dispositioned calves are always from the bulls that are looking for a fight. They don't have to be "wimpy" but they have to be willing to get along after establishing a "truce" amongst themselves. The bulls that have been kept separate are often the most aggressive and ill-dispositioned ones. They need some social time and we keep pretty defined calving seasons so when they are not with cows, they have time off and are kept with other bulls. They get along, and stay in, or they will leave.
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Re: bull wintering

Postby Son of Butch » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:43 pm

20'x50' pen is big enough, not sure about other problems it might create.
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Re: bull wintering

Postby Silver » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:23 pm

Bulls can get pretty brave when there is a fence between them. Our bulls spend the winter together, in a feeding area surrounded by 4 strands of barbed wire. And they are all ages.
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Re: bull wintering

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:32 pm

RyanE7 wrote:do you think that is big enough or


We pull heifer calves and leave the bulls with the cows until calving time. But you still need a place to go with them.

Location, location, location. Ideal area is where there is not any cows around. Females just cause problems.

Pen size depends on the bulls. Culled one this summer that was constantly injuring others. He was be nice hole, so we ground him for burger. :nod:
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Re: bull wintering

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:34 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
RyanE7 wrote:do you think that is big enough or


Location, location, location. Ideal area is where there are not any cows around. Females just cause problems.

We pull the heifer calves, and leave the bulls with the cows, until calving time. But you still need a place to go with them. Some use a remote bull pasture.

Pen size depends on the bulls. Culled one this summer that was constantly injuring others. He was be nice hole, so we ground him for burger. :nod:
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RyanE7
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Re: bull wintering

Postby RyanE7 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:33 pm

the bulls will always be seperated from cows by about 300 yards. the reason i need to build the seperate pens or another pen is becuase im low on pen space i need at calving, so the bulls just take up one of the pens i need come spring time.

also when its time to bring the bulls up from the 200 acre pasture to semen test them, they destroy my whole wooden corraling :D moving bulls....

lack of space is a problem so building a 2 or 3 acre pen for em is not really an option. im just wondering being held in such a somewhat small pen all winter is going to be a problem come work time.
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Re: bull wintering

Postby farmerjan » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:27 pm

When we move our bulls up to the barn to the chute to semen test, they follow a bucket or come to us when we call. They have to go through a walkway that comes through the crep area, then through another gate, and up through another 2-3 acre field. Into the barn lot, then into the barn alley and around through into a smaller pen that leads up to the chute. Have never had a bull try to destroy the wooden fencing near the barn or anything. Guess we are spoiled with the quietness of our bulls. We have had one in the last 5 years that would constantly kinda moo real low at me and when I got to where I felt he was looking at me too seriously, he left.
Our big Red Poll bull is kinda the "yard boss". He will walk up to 2 bulls that are squaring off and kinda get between them and they quit. They just don't mess with him and they don't want him messing with them so they just don't get into too many shoving matches. It's kinda funny to watch him as he never gets mouthy or pushy...just walks over to the ones that get put in the field and he must whisper something to them as they just back off and leave well enough alone. We don't use him much but he will probably have a home here as long as he can keep the peace in the bull field.
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Re: bull wintering

Postby RyanE7 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:14 pm

farmerjan wrote: Have never had a bull try to destroy the wooden fencing near the barn or anything.


what i meant was when they are getting moved they usually get excited an start shoving each other all over so inevitably wooden fence gets broke. my bulls are generally easy to be around, if i cant walk past them with them slowly walking off, they will probably go. eventually
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Re: bull wintering

Postby farmerjan » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:29 pm

RyanE7 wrote:
farmerjan wrote: Have never had a bull try to destroy the wooden fencing near the barn or anything.


what i meant was when they are getting moved they usually get excited an start shoving each other all over so inevitably wooden fence gets broke. my bulls are generally easy to be around, if i cant walk past them with them slowly walking off, they will probably go. eventually


Oh, I miss understood. Maybe we move ours around more so they don't get to shoving as much because it is old hat to them. They have done some fence damage in the past, but usually it is one being a bully, and if they keep it up, they go. Because we rent many pastures, and they get moved elsewhere, we can't deal with them wanting to tear up fences and the hot wire has really helped to get them to stay off the fences in all the fields.
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Re: bull wintering

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:33 pm

I pen all my mature bulls together during the winter (all year in fact). All the young ones stay in with old man Titan. He teaches them how to behave like respectable young bulls. I take care to ensure they all have more then enough room to graze/eat at feeders, drink and bed down without needing to fight for space. I also make sure there is one big, older bull (right now that is Max, 2700 pounds and nine years old) to keep the peace. If ruckus starts, he steps in and sends the offenders to their corners. When it is time to bring a group in the barn (I work them on a weekly basis, whether they need it or not!), I am mindful of who doesn't like to be close to who and make sure they aren't piled on one another.
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Re: bull wintering

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:20 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:I also make sure there is one big, older bull (right now that is Max, 2700 pounds and nine years old) to keep the peace. If ruckus starts, he steps in and sends the offenders to their corners.


I have tended to have several bulls about the same size, w/o the big guy you mention.
Is Max still used for breeding?
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