Steer behavior/haltering/ questions

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Almond goose, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Almond goose

    Almond goose Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2015
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    I'm a first time cattle owner and have a few questions with the behavior of one of my steers and some on halter training.
    So my 500Ibs. steer Maverick is starting to head toss when I stretch out my arm towards his head, or when he comes close to me he will head toss and I'm not sure if he is nervous or aggressive.

    My other steer Shadow is a nice calm steer and I would like to halter train him and show him at the fair for a 4-h project. I can come up to him when he is eating and pet/brush him and he seams somewhat interested in me, but because Maverick is so tense when i'm around Shadow also get skiddish then and I cant sperate them because of how are cattle pen is set up.

    So If someone can answer some questions I would be so grateful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Head tossing is dangerous! He's being aggressive/ playful, and this behavior must be corrected ASAP. Have your goad in your other hand, and insist on backing him up until he quiets. Watch the boys interact, you'll see how this plays out. The dominant animal is able to move the less dominant out of the way, and you need to be dominant at all times. Can a local expert give you some help? Check with the ox drovers, who work with steers up close all the time. There's a Midwest Ox Drovers Association, and maybe someone nearby. Good luck, Mary
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  3. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you are wanting to break them to show in 4-H, you really should find an experienced 4-H member to mentor you.

    Show steers can absolutely be dangerous to break and handle if you don't know what you are doing, even bucket calves. Their normal "play" and "dominance" behaviors can crush an unsuspecting human - you need to learn how to read them and react so that they respect you.
     
  4. Almond goose

    Almond goose Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your responses I will work with him on his aggressive dominance. I have also been reading about cattle behavior and will ask someone with experience to help me asap. I have also read a lot of ways to break cattle what is the best way to go about it in your experience?
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    It's best to have expert help on hand, after you read up on it. Check with your state extension office, show people, ox drovers, whoever can help. Maybe a trip to 'boot camp' with him would be good. Paying for expert assistance is better than getting injured! Mary
     
  6. Almond goose

    Almond goose Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I will do that thank you Mary
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    How's your boy doing? Mary
     
  8. Almond goose

    Almond goose Out Of The Brooder

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    Both of them are doing well i have got the help i needed and both my boys have a had the halter on them, Maverick and I are doing good on his behavior. I have also manged to walk him on the halter. [​IMG]
     
  9. Almond goose

    Almond goose Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry I took so long to reply the holidays where hectic at my house.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  10. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Halter training really isn't my favorite thing. I have a jersey cow who I wouldn't say id halter trained but will just follow you on a halter [​IMG]. She just liked attention.

    I also was having issues with her calf though. About 600 pounds. Not dehorned yet, they aren't to long only about 2 inches from the base. She's doing ok with it but still not sure.
    Dairy cows are different from range but what I've done for both range and dairy is get the halter on them first. Leave it on for a week and don't lead them don't touch the halter other then having to adjust it, call them over with feed once a day to just visit them with feed and pet them etc

    After doing that for a week ot 2 they should be accustomed to you. Put the lead rope on them and while you have the bucket of feed in your hand walk them over to wherever you normally feed them. Do that for a few days, then start walking other places with the feed bucket. If they walk nicely with no head tossing stopping etc they get feed if they don't walk nicely just keep going. After a week or two depending the animal they don't really need the feed bucket in your hand anymore.
    Instead place the feed bucket somewhere in the corrals or wherever you are halter breaking them. Walk around in different patterns starting at the feed bucket and ending at it. If they do good they get feed if not you keep walking.
    After they seem to actually be walking because your leading them and not for feed minimize it to maybe feed when they do really good or every third time around the area.
    And when you feel they are almost fully trained change it to feed when they are done and only if they did good.

    You also need to work on tying them. Which is relatively easy you just tie them up and eventually they understand if they want relaxed pressure they must go close to the fence if they want to stay far away from the fence the pressure are will be tight. Make sure you always present during this though.



    I can't wait to show my calf! She looks so good body wise for a jersey right now!
    [​IMG]


    Also there is a 4-Her Thread if you want to come join us!
     

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