Dealing with a very fearful calf

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Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:42 am

Yesterday was a rodeo for me at the farm. I have one calf that is crazy fearful and I had a very hard time getting her to get in the squeeze. My set up was crap and that was a huge contributing factor but I have seen behaviour in her I have never seen in another calf on our farm.

She immediately starts foaming from the mouth and nose. Like big time foaming. She breathes very heavy and every time I approach her she pees. It’s uncontrollable peeing...she’s peeing herself in fear. By the time I finally got her in the squeeze she collapsed in it head down shaking uncontrollably, I thought she had injured herself she was so tense. Just bizarre.

She was very close to jumping the fence multiple times. She’s also a major kicker.

Now, I know, she’s going to go. I’m going to sell her ASAP.

But does anyone have any advice on how to better manage her? What kind of handling tips if any for an animal like this?


Image
I call her June Bug



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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by M.Magis » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:47 am

Wheels, ASAP has been my only solution.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:48 am

M.Magis wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:47 am
Wheels, ASAP has been my only solution.
Have you seen one pee in fear like this? I’ve never seen anything like it.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by M.Magis » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:40 am

I have not, it sounds very strange and I can't imagine being able to turn it around. I did have a yearling heifer that was given to me, and as soon as we started loading her she went bat shyt crazy. Once she got in the trailer she was bouncing off the sides. I thought she may hurt herself. I ended up leaving her in the trailer for three days until the salebarn was open. My days of chasing crazy fence jumping cows is over.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by alisonb » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:59 am

That's crazy, what is her history cowgal604. How old was she when you got her etc..
Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts. Albert Einstein
Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you!

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:19 am

alisonb wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:59 am
That's crazy, what is her history cowgal604. How old was she when you got her etc..
She’s out of one of my heifers. I actually never tagged her and cleaned her up at birth Bcs her dam was so aggressive. Which is not normal for her. Her dam is very calm and halter trained. I’m wondering if the aggression her dam shows in protection of her calf has almost trained her to fear me...

The peeing tho shocked me. I’ve had bad cows but this one is just terrified. I feel awful sending her for beef

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by alisonb » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am

cowgal604 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:19 am

She’s out of one of my heifers. I actually never tagged her and cleaned her up at birth Bcs her dam was so aggressive. Which is not normal for her. Her dam is very calm and halter trained. I’m wondering if the aggression her dam shows in protection of her calf has almost trained her to fear me...
You have probably answered your own question there...that plus the set up that was crap just did it

The peeing tho shocked me. I’ve had bad cows but this one is just terrified. I feel awful sending her for beef
You could try and 'break' her so she wins your trust. You saw it, you know her, you'll know if there is a possibility of taming her. Has she ever shown signs of fear before, how close does she come to you? I'd pen in with her mom and see how she reacts...
Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts. Albert Einstein
Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you!

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:07 am

alisonb wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am
cowgal604 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:19 am

She’s out of one of my heifers. I actually never tagged her and cleaned her up at birth Bcs her dam was so aggressive. Which is not normal for her. Her dam is very calm and halter trained. I’m wondering if the aggression her dam shows in protection of her calf has almost trained her to fear me...
You have probably answered your own question there...that plus the set up that was crap just did it

The peeing tho shocked me. I’ve had bad cows but this one is just terrified. I feel awful sending her for beef
You could try and 'break' her so she wins your trust. You saw it, you know her, you'll know if there is a possibility of taming her. Has she ever shown signs of fear before, how close does she come to you? I'd pen in with her mom and see how she reacts...
Yes ive debated that. I think I may have found a place for her on a friends farm which I am thrilled about.

How would you "break" her?

Right now I have her and her mom separated by a fence line and they have both been going crazy for 12 hours, pacing up and down the fence line.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by Ky hills » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:29 am

My thinking on this is that the cows aggression did instill a lot of that fear in her. If it were mine I would just chalk it up to one of those things and mover her on so no one gets hurt. We had a first calf heifer last year that acted calm and her calf did as well. At working times though her calf was very hard to get in the chute. ( our set up works pretty good for cows but calves can be difficult at times.) We were figuring on keeping her but after those rounds decided it would be better to sell her. Later on after the calves had been weaned quite a while we pulled out a few of the cows that we had weaned their first calves and put them with our bred heifers so they could get in a better shape before winter set in. That calf’s mother ended up jumping two fences and we found her peacefully grazing with the group of older cows she was pulled from and she is still there, however she has potentially earned herself a spot on the cull list.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by alisonb » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:03 pm

cowgal604 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:07 am
Yes ive debated that. I think I may have found a place for her on a friends farm which I am thrilled about. Beware of making your problem somebody else's ;-)

How would you "break" her? Just like halter breaking...lots of time & patience, food, eventual touching, earn her trust etc . You will know at an early stage whether you will win her over or whether she is a nut case. Contain her in a small pen when you begin.

Right now I have her and her mom separated by a fence line and they have both been going crazy for 12 hours, pacing up and down the fence line.
Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts. Albert Einstein
Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you!

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:23 pm

alisonb wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:03 pm
cowgal604 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:07 am
Yes ive debated that. I think I may have found a place for her on a friends farm which I am thrilled about. Beware of making your problem somebody else's ;-)

How would you "break" her? Just like halter breaking...lots of time & patience, food, eventual touching, earn her trust etc . You will know at an early stage whether you will win her over or whether she is a nut case. Contain her in a small pen when you begin.

Right now I have her and her mom separated by a fence line and they have both been going crazy for 12 hours, pacing up and down the fence line.
I have a small farm where I have 2 incredibly friendly pet steer. I debate dumping her there with them for a month.

And yes haha. I have warned the friend. I posted a video on my social media of her acting like a nutcase and she asked me if I would sell her to her. Ive been honest :shock:

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by darcelina4 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:27 pm

I raise lots of bottle calves. Some I buy at a salebarn. I like to get calves split off old cows. 2 years ago I bought a tiny simangus heifer. I usually take them home in the back of my suv but I had delivered a bull I sold and only stopped at the salebarn as I was driving right passed it on my way home so i had my trailer. When we went to load her they said this was the meanest calf we had ever bought there. She bolted into the trailer. I looked in and she lurched at me. We get her home and my daughter wrestles a halter on her. This is a 60 pound calf. We put her in with a month old calf that loves us. The heifer looked at him then us. She turned and went right through a 4 inch gap in the wall. Dont know how she go through but I saw her do it. She ran through the pasture, through the fence, and down on the road. We chased her. I sent the daughter back to get the horse. I tracked her hoof prints down the road and across the field. My daughter got there with the horse. Splash! The heifer had jumped in the river. The daughter and horse went after her. She tries to get her but she is slippery. A mile from the house was a new bridge with erosion boulders that stopped the horse. We lost the calf. A major thunderstorm started. We went home. We got 4 inches of rain overnight. The river was at flood stage in the morning. we looked a couple of hours but couldnt find her. Then a neighbor tells us he found her. It took another hour to catch her. I zapped myself good on someone's electric fence. So we get her home all bloody from running through barbed wire. We put her in our goat pen so she couldn't escape. She would freak out everytime we caught her to bottle feed her. She would shake like she was having a seizure and pee. It took a couple of weeks for her to settle down. Now she loves me. She was just so terrified. Having her with a very friendly calf did really help to trust us. Hand feeding helped her to want to come to use. She is going to calve soon. I can wall upto her in the pasture and feel her udder. You can easily halter her in the pasture. She leads like a dog. Being scared is not something I would necessarily cull for if you have put forth an effort to tame her down. If she were trying to run you down, I would cull for that.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by Redgully » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:46 pm

I had one recently, fantastic little heifer of course. All quiet in paddock, around her every day. Put her in yard with some others to tattoo, she went nuts. Peeing everytime i touched her or even walked up to her. Got in head bail and she was pulling back that hard nearly passed out and i couldn't get her out to open gate, was just stuck. So she got ear clipped and no tattoo and went off to market. Aint no time for cattle like that, they are no good to anyone, no good to your herd and in my opinion it is cruel to keep them because they suffer everytime they are handled. There is no shortage of better animals to replace them with.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by chaded » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:16 pm

My wife tells me I cull whenever one looks at me wrong. So some of the stuff I see people putting up with Definitely wouldn’t fly around here.

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Re: Dealing with a very fearful calf

Post by greggy » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:58 pm

darcelina4 wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:27 pm
I raise lots of bottle calves. Some I buy at a salebarn. I like to get calves split off old cows. 2 years ago I bought a tiny simangus heifer. I usually take them home in the back of my suv but I had delivered a bull I sold and only stopped at the salebarn as I was driving right passed it on my way home so i had my trailer. When we went to load her they said this was the meanest calf we had ever bought there. She bolted into the trailer. I looked in and she lurched at me. We get her home and my daughter wrestles a halter on her. This is a 60 pound calf. We put her in with a month old calf that loves us. The heifer looked at him then us. She turned and went right through a 4 inch gap in the wall.


Being scared is not something I would necessarily cull for if you have put forth an effort to tame her down. If she were trying to run you down, I would cull for that.
Weird to be that scared when so young, but who knows what happened in the first days she was around..... but being very young, there is a prospect of change.......I am not sure it would be worth trying if 4 or 6 month old, too big then too so no wrestling matches.

over time anything is possible, so it probably depends on if you want to persist, have the time etc..

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