Gentling yearling heifers

CuzChickens

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Hello everyone!

I have two heifers about 14 months old that unfortunately are very skittish and jumpy. There is Jasmine, a three legged cow, and Rose, the little cow.

Jasmine is calm enough to stand and let me scratch her as long as I'm being calm, but trying something like putting a halter on her is out of the question. Jasmine probably weighs 480# to my best guess and is not yet going into heat.

Rose is OK with me touching her while she is eating, but is very frisky if I try to move around her. She will come within 8 inches of me and sniff me and touch me on her own accord, but if I try to touch her while she is not eating, she bolts. We believe Rose had her first heat cycle yesterday, she spent all day bawling and running all over the field. I'm guessing Rose is 400#

I am realizing they really need to be handled more and trying to figure out how to go about this?

TIA,

~One of those invasive BYCers. ;):p
 

cjc

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Honestly it's pretty hard in my opinion to turn a cow "friendly" at this point. The fact you can touch them at all is better than a lot I've had. In my experience you have to start touching them and haltering them young, like a month old.

I currrently have a pair that is not friendly. The calf is about 10 months old and is by far the most aggressive calf I have had. He has been with his dam with my beef herd since birth and I never put much effort into his friendliness as he is a beef cow...no point for me. But I recently put him with my bottle calves of the same age. My bottle calves are very friendly and all halter trained. Since moving him in with the friendly calves he now lets me touch him. Huge improvement. They learn from each other. Adding a really friendly halter trained cow may help, but I wouldn't count on it myself
 

jhm47

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Personally, I'd rather not have my cattle too friendly. If there's a small amount of fear/respect for you, they're less likely to hurt you. The most dangerous bull I ever had was one that had been played with from birth. He'd come running at me to get scratched, and one day he wasn't coming for his scratch. He was coming to kill me. Luckily, I knew enough about his change in body language so I was able to get to safety. From then on, I've been careful to not get too chummy with my cattle. On the other hand, I also don't want them to be extremely afraid either. There is a delicate balance, and when one has had cattle for a long time, you'll know what it is. Good luck!
 

greybeard

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Personally, I'd rather not have my cattle too friendly. If there's a small amount of fear/respect for you, they're less likely to hurt you. The most dangerous bull I ever had was one that had been played with from birth. He'd come running at me to get scratched, and one day he wasn't coming for his scratch. He was coming to kill me. Luckily, I knew enough about his change in body language so I was able to get to safety. From then on, I've been careful to not get too chummy with my cattle. On the other hand, I also don't want them to be extremely afraid either. There is a delicate balance, and when one has had cattle for a long time, you'll know what it is. Good luck!
One of those "I wish I could like it twice" posts.
I hate going in pastures where the cattle come stampeding right up to you as soon as you walk or drive into the gate. Too old now to outrun one or even climb much.
I don't want anything that outweighs me for a pet. Looking down at one is ok--looking up from the ground at him/her, not so much.
Ain't afraid of dying but prefer it not be today or in that manner.
 

CuzChickens

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Thanks for the answers! I had that happen with a Jersey bull calf, she was played with all the time as a calf, there were three kids who loved him, but he got aggressive at about 9 months and we ate him.

I don't think she'll ever be super friendly, I just need a cow that I can touch enough to care for her and milk her, and her trust me enough I can handle her offspring.

Good to know, you guys are very helpful! I think I'll be sticking around, I've got cows and pigs and this is a great place for answers!
 

Dozclan12

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Have to share this photo on here. Love it! Not mine, just one I saw.
I think she loves this cow, and the cow loves her. :) Made me smile.

12961732_10209297727220613_8695907169341739406_n.jpg
 

Latestarter

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They look to be about the same age as well... :hide
 
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