working freaked out heifers-tips?

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pdubdo
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working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby pdubdo » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:05 am

So my 4 heifers have been skittish since I bought them. Will come close and a couple will eat from my hand, but any little quick movement and they jump back startled. Built pens around my only water source and feed them occas in the pens as well. Went to run them through my headgate (just to get some measurements) and you would've thought I was attacking them with wild dogs. I worked slowly and calmly, but the moment they went into the alley and while catching them in the headgate, they were totally freaked out--eyes rolled back, jumping/turning, and tested the posts of my headgate for sure. I released all of them after a quick chest measurement pretty quick fearing injury (them and me). I'm gonna be in for a wild ride the next time I need to vaccinate/doctor them. Any tips or suggestions? Is this normal heifer behavior (I've heard they might calm down as older cows?) and yes, a squeeze chute would be helpful but not in the budget quite yet :)
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby callmefence » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:13 am

Put a cow in to show em how it's done.
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farmerjan
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby farmerjan » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:53 am

Run them through the chute/alley with not catching them. Let them walk the route regularly. We also let an older experienced cow/cows go through regularly and they learn that the roof is not going to fall on them. Make sure that they cannot get to water except to walk down the chute/alley. They will learn. But you have to be persistent and do it regularly.... With the heifers we raise, they learn early that mom does it, so "i guess it's no big deal". The idiots go to town. PERIOD
When we do catch their heads, we don't do it too tight and put a pan with feed in it, right in front of them on the ground. If they are accustomed to feed, they will figure out to eat and not panic after a few times. Then they will be more likely to be willing to come on down.
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pdubdo
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby pdubdo » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:54 am

callmefence wrote:Put a cow in to show em how it's done.

so buying more cows fixes the problem...I like it! Gonna tell my wife that!
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby callmefence » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:05 pm

pdubdo wrote:
callmefence wrote:Put a cow in to show em how it's done.

so buying more cows fixes the problem...I like it! Gonna tell my wife that!


That's right. At least two new cows per heifer works best. Anything less could be a safety issue.
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby Ebenezer » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:54 pm

Sell them while you are alive.
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby 5S Cattle » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:06 pm

What kind of cattle?
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pdubdo
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby pdubdo » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:24 pm

5S Cattle wrote:What kind of cattle?

red angus. They were out of a show calf/registered operation and got vaccinated when I went to pick them up. They seemed okay going through a squeeze chute with a larger lot of cattle. They stick pretty tight since I just bought 4 of them. I thought they'd relax once they'd been on my place for a while. But maybe they don't have any reassurance from a mature cow and feed off each other?...Maybe I just got me some anxious millennial young heifers :)
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby wbvs58 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:16 pm

I just let mine stand in the chute not catching their head and start rubbing their tail head with a nylon curry comb, they soon become a tart for that. By the time mine go through their 1st AI synch program they are pretty good to deal with.

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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby Brute 23 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:36 pm

How long have you had them?
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby JMJ Farms » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:58 pm

pdubdo wrote:
5S Cattle wrote:What kind of cattle?

red angus. They were out of a show calf/registered operation and got vaccinated when I went to pick them up. They seemed okay going through a squeeze chute with a larger lot of cattle. They stick pretty tight since I just bought 4 of them. I thought they'd relax once they'd been on my place for a while. But maybe they don't have any reassurance from a mature cow and feed off each other?...Maybe I just got me some anxious millennial young heifers :)


Can’t be Red Angus. Everybody knows angus are calm and docile and cooperative no matter what :hide: :lol2:

I’d just keep laying with them. Talk to them. Feed them treats. Walk around amongst them. Bang on something or make a disturbance a fair distance from them gradually working closer over time. Just generally get them used to your presence. Having them go up the alley to get water is a good idea. Anything to help them understand that it’s not always a bad experience should help. Time helps many things. But not everything.
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby snoopdog » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:37 pm

Nose ring pliers tied up tight , and do what you gotta do
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby farmerjan » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:31 pm

I have to smile a bit when I read different references to the "calm docile" angus in different comments. I find that our angus are much more "calm and docile" than anything we have with limousin or charolais in them. The herefords are generally pretty quiet... but we did buy 2 bred herefords once. An older cow, and a young cow supposedly due with her second calf. The young one was NUTS. Totally. Could not get her in the catch pen unless she was in the middle of a bunch of cows and she didn't realize the gate on the far side of this lot was closed. I mean, she was worse than a wild deer. Her calf was as nuts as she was. But of course the calf learned it from the cow. We finally got them in the catch pen when the rest came in, my son had taken his truck out in the field like he was going in the other direction and when she came in, he drove like a madman, just got to the gate and got it shut as she was trying to get back out. It would've been funny if it wasn't such a close call. Her and her calf went in the small catch/loading pen at the barn and on the truck the next day to the stockyards. We never preg checked her or anything. I have never seen a hereford so totally LOONEY TUNES. The old cow we actually still have. Just as good about coming in as any. But the ones that we have that have some limi and char in are much more apt to be high strung and spooky and a few downright mean. I would trust my angus far further than the others.
So it is kinda funny to read the "hint hint" about the "docile angus" when ours are really are very docile in general.
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:20 pm

What breed are they? "" usually""" calm down with age and after their first calf..as long as you can handle em through their goofy period.and their staying within the perimeters....
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:31 pm

[quote="farmerjan"]I have to smile a bit when I read different references to the "calm docile" angus in different comments. I find that our angus are much more "calm and docile" than anything we have with limousin or charolais in them. The herefords are generally pretty quiet... but we did buy 2 bred herefords once. An older cow, and a young cow supposedly due with her second calf. The young one was NUTS. Totally. Could not get her in the catch pen unless she was in the middle of a bunch of cows and she didn't realize the gate on the far side of this lot was closed. I mean, she was worse than a wild deer. Her calf was as nuts as she was. But of course the calf learned it from the cow...........I've seen that,,and had some right the opposite..some of my most docile girls came from mammies like that...but given the choice I prefer calm ,, especially now days as my upper body don't move in conjunction with my lower.. :cowboy:
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