WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

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poultryrancher
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WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby poultryrancher » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:05 pm

Hi, I'm new here, and am hoping to get some answers to my questions.
I got my steer for 4-H yesterday. He was calved March 2007 and has been petted and stuff as a calf, but never had been haltered until two weeks ago. In those two weeks of dragging a lead rope around, he has learned to lead. When we brought him home last night and let him loose in his new pen, the first thing he did was ram the horse pannels where we were :shock: . Today he is much calmer, but still will ram into the pannels if you tick him off. He'll let you pet him for a couple seconds. He also tries to lick you. What's that about? :shock:
I'm reading on the web that pasture raised steer sometimes never get as tame as hand raised steer, and that he'll be spookier at the fair and more unpredictable around people. :!: :!:
The deadline for steer ownership is tuesday, so this is my only shot at raising a steer this year. I really don't wanna give up on him, but I don't want to put alot of work and pain into an animal that will break loose and stampede people at the fair. :help:
So my question is, how do I tame him to the point where I won't worrry about him trying to kill me? :help: I've heard some people tie them to a tractor to teach them to lead. We have a little tractor. Is that a bad idea. He is 800 LBS right now. Any tips or tricks? Oh, by the way, if it makes any difference, I am 5'7 and 145 LBS.
If you've shown a pasture raised steer please comment! I need opinions from people who actually raise cattle and if this is normal or not. Thanks!
PS- The steer (who I call T-Bone) is 3/4 angus and has a little bit of shorthorn and possible holstein.
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Alice
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby Alice » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:28 pm

Put this on the Show Board, also, if you haven't already. You might get more responses there.

Good luck!

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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby VtMapleGal » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:25 pm

YAY! Finally i am not the one asking the q's, i have awnsers! I bought a red angus heifer who was about 4 months old, never been handled at all, and was used for calf roping, and a simmental heifer who was a year old, grew up in a pasture and had never been handled, both last year. They were my second and third cows i had ever owned, and the first was a calf who was basically hand raised and really friendly. Anyways, I got the red angus first, in the spring, and put her in my round pen that i had for my horse. Within 2 weeks she litteraly broke the door off my pen, letting her and my friendly hand raised calf out. It took me 28 days to get them back. Anyways, i locked her in a 14 X 14 stall in my barn and said you are NOT going out until you are friendly. I had adopted mustangs from the blm and had an easier time taming them. I had a cattle halter on her, like the horse ones, not the rope ones if you under stand what i mean, so it didnt tighten if she pulled back. I had a 6ft lead on the end. Every day AM i would feed her grain, let her eat it while i stood in the stall. PM i would grab the end of the lead, run it through a o-ring in the wall, tie her as short as i could, grain her, and stand as close as i could. eventually she ate the grain right from me. then i started with the touching. I had to use a broom to touch her hind end, as she was a bad kicker. Every time i went near her i had treats or grain for her.(pepermint horse treats work great, as they have lots of smell, and they LOVE them). I started by adding one to her grain so she liked the smell. She started to associate me with food, and good things, and now she is the friendliest cow in the herd and will do about anything to get a treat. My husband even taught her how to give kisses. All in all she was in the stall i think for maybe 3 weeks. She was also the easiest to teach to lead because we would feed her a few treats as she walked beside us. Good Luck, and have patients.
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby angus9259 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:53 pm

I have 3 pasture raised steers that are doing fine. Most likely, the ol boy just has some attitude. Whatever you do, don't get hurt. There will be other fairs.
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby HEREFORD ROADHOG » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:11 pm

i agree.dont get hurt . i don't recomend using the tractor either. if you have time tie him up for a good while . brush him .talk to him ,leave a radio playing for him. tie him up for most of the day & then lead him to the water, if you can. my boys showed steers & in 14 yrs we had 2 that we couldnt . break.( one was a bad decision from the start.) don't give up just yet but if he snorts at you ,tries to butt you through the gate,or bellows like a bull you may be out of luck. this is how one we couldnt tame acted. good luck. :cboy:
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby rockridgecattle » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:28 pm

what you want to do is commendable.
But and it is a big but! You want this steer ready in two days? I've never showed animals before and no little of what i am talking about in this matter. Except it will take several weeks to tame this animal. An 800 lb animal can do alot of damage in a few seconds. If you are near or over 100 lbs, (just a guess), you are going to have a difficult time holding him. Law of physics and the law of gravity do apply here, as well as Murphy's Law. (an attempt at light hearted humor to diffuse my negative comments...sorry)
good luck, keep safe and remember there is always next year
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby CattleHand » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:33 pm

Feed him and play load music at the same time. Use to be what we did to make our cows less spooked around loud noises. As you feed him he will get accustomed to you. But i am not putting a guarantee on that advice. But it worked with the cows in the fields
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby TheBullLady » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:38 pm

If he's been handled before, you have a good chance of bringing him around again. He's nervous because he's in a new place. The more time you can spend with him, the better. Get a bucket and sit in the stall with him.. read a book or do your homework. Don't try to touch him.. let him come to you. He'll do it eventually.. he just needs to earn your TRUST. Work slowly, and don't force him. If you can spend a couple of hours a day with him, and working around him (feeding, filling his water, etc) he'll be under your hand in no time. I would suggest not trying a halter and rope until you can start handling him again. Get a show stick.. steers LOVE their bellies scratched with a stick. It's less threatening to them when you're farther away... like the length of the stick.

Patience and time!
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby dun » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:07 am

I really don;t think it has anything to do with pasture raising. We have pasture raised steers every year that go the 4H/FFA kids for fair animals. They all gentle dowm and they don;t use a tractor.
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby BC » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:52 am

This has worked well for my kids when they were showing. We tied the calf in the front end of our 20 ft. cattle trailer. Tie with JUST ENOUGH rope to get up and lay down without tangling up. You can stay on the outside of trailer and walk the calf to back end for water. We put feed in the front end and clean up behind the calf through a sisde door. Calf will statrt leading to water in a couple of days. Some really high strung animals tokk 10 days to settle down but most in 4 to 5 days.
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby grannysoo » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:44 am

In my younger years, I raised several of these.

First rule he needs to know - the lead is his master, and you are the master of the lead. He must learn not to fight it and to follow it where it leads.

To learn not to fight it, tie him to a good stout post (a light pole works good) and let him fight it. We would not let them lay down or rest, they just had to fight it until the give up. This could take 2 days or 2 weeks, depending on his spirit.

Once you break his spirit, the rest goes much better.
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby T-Bro » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:11 pm

He also tries to lick you. What's that about?


Good answers. As far as licking you...

I think he is tasting you to see if he wants to eat you later. :shock:
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby iowafarmer » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:30 pm

If you can pet him and he tries to lick you he isn't that wild or spooky. We raise acopuple jersy steers every year and they are all tame and can be petted and try to lick you. they however want to play and don't realize how big they are so they get rough and want to box you sometimes. If he was spooky he would be at the far end of the pen nowhere near you with his head up in the air and he would be pacing along the far side looking for a way out. even seen them get so scared that they foam at the mouth and run along a solid walll looking for a way out. that is a spooky critter. Just feed him every day work with him a lot and he will come around. The one thing you have goindagainst you si that he is a yearold and has to be pretty large. Most 4H steers only weigh 500lbs at most and they get them when they are young and train them then when they are small. then if they go to the state fair it is usually far enough away that they grow to thatsize since your local fair. Im not sure if it will work or not is one way to get a horse halter broke is to leave the lead rope on the halter and let them step on it for a few days so that their head gets nice an sore and they learn to lead. Just make sure it doesn't get hooked on anything and thatyou make them walk a lot with it on so that they step on it . im not sure if itwill work on cattle though. If it does though it will be a lot easier on youthan getting pulled around by him. Another way is to have one person with the leadrope pullinbg and another person behind hitting them with a paddle or shocker if they pull back and resist. Hope it works out ofr you.
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby msscamp » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:23 pm

iowafarmer wrote:Another way is to have one person with the leadrope pullinbg and another person behind hitting them with a paddle or shocker if they pull back and resist. Hope it works out ofr you.


I have to disagree with this part - the last place in the world I would want to be is in front of a yearling steer while someone smacks him or shocks him from behind. A little common sense, please.
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Re: WILD STEER? HOW TO TAME HIM?

Postby poultryrancher » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:34 pm

WEEK ONE UPDATE: Thank you so much for all the encouragement and advice guys! T-Bone (the steer) is much calmer now. Yesterday my 4-H steer project leader came to check him and said he's pretty docile for a pasture raised steer. He even got in the pen with him, crouched down, and pulled him over to him. It was amazing! T-Bone let him pet him on the forehead and scratch him behind the ears. Something to do with when you're lower than their eye level they don't see you as a threat. Then I got to get in the pen with him and pet him and scratch his ears. I was amazed! We added some more horse pannels to the pen today to make it bigger, and he kinda got upset about that, but overall he's calming down and I will keep you posted!
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