working freaked out heifers-tips?

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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Post by skyhightree1 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:19 pm

pdubdo wrote: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 :)

Sell them too many calf cattle to deal with problematic ones... Funny you mentioned this sunday I was catching the cattle im keeping and 2 I wanted to keep im not a cow and her 15 month old heifer the cow went beserk in the temp panel corral tearing a few up the heifer of hers kept running away taking all the calves with her so then I let her and calves stay by themselves overnight cutting off any water and took minerals and feed I threw a square bale in corral all went in the corral heifer loaded ok after an electrifying coaching calves the same. The calves have never had an issue as I move them regularly until that heifer acted up so she and her mom will take a ride.
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Post by Workinonit Farm » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:28 pm

What I've done is catch them up to give a little feed. The only way out of the pen/area is through the alley/chute. After a few times, I'll run them through, catch them in the headgate, give them a few bites of feed, then let them loose. While they're in the catch-pen/working area, eating what little feed I've put out for them, I stay in the area just watching them, talking quietly to them. As time goes by they get conditioned to having me around.

It certainly helps to have a couple of older cows, in the mix, that know the routine, BTDT.
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Re: working freaked out heifers-tips?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:12 pm

There are crazy cattle in ALL breeds. Some more than others.
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