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How much supervision do cattle need?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Cattle' started by ReluctantFarmer, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Nov 1, 2018
    ReluctantFarmer

    ReluctantFarmer Chillin' with the herd

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    I’ve inherited a 23 head herd of angus. They have water from a pond-fed stock tank. They have 3 pastures that I can rotate in around the stock tank. Fences are generally good. Herd is used to the property and have no desire to be elsewhere. Have two hay rings with maximum of four round bales that I can put out at one time.

    I live ~40 miles from the farm.

    What frequency should I check the cattle?

    Daily, every 2 or 3 days? Weekly?

    I’ve also got a wife, a 2 year old, and a full time job. I don’t really want to have to drive out daily, but if that’s what it takes, I guess I’ll will.
     
  2. Nov 1, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    @farmerjan @greybeard @Wehner Homestead And I'm sure there are others who may have ideas suggestions...

    ETA: I didn't catch it till just now but @RollingAcres had already tagged the above folks in another post in your opening thread. So now it's been "doubled down" upon...
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  3. Nov 1, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Give me a bit and I’ll get back to you
     
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  4. Nov 1, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    How many acres are they on in each pasture?

    IF the fences truly are good, every 2-3 days will usually work, as long as they are a mature herd of proven calving ease mommas. If you have heifers in the mix, and a bull with the herd, you need to be there at calving.
    This is a case I would definitely put a lock on the gates so no one goes in "for whatever" reason and leaves the gate open. Hunting season is upon us. You don't want YOUR cows out on the roadway...ever.

    Long distance cow business isn't the most optimal choice, but sounds like it may have been thrust on you.
    Honestly, even living on my property, I don't see every cow, calf or bull every day, and most cattlemen don't. If they aren't easy doers, we get rid of them. Keep hay in front of them at all times this time of year and when you do go, carry a bag or 2 or 3 of @ least 20% range cubes with you. They'll get used to coming to you and it gives them some extra protein as well. Just open the bag, pick it up, tilt it down and start walking, leaving he cubes out in a long trail, tho multiple little piles will work as well. While they're eating or strung out in a line chasing cubes, count them.
    I've fed lots of cubes, with me sitting on the tailgate of a pickup while wife slowly drove me along in a straight line accross the pasture, with the edge of the bag hanging off the tail gate.

    They'll need salt and mineral out free choice as well even in winter.
     
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  5. Nov 1, 2018
    ReluctantFarmer

    ReluctantFarmer Chillin' with the herd

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    Thanks @greybeard

    Luckily, all the equipment to work the cattle is on the farm, along with storage for cubes. I was thinking Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday might work the best. I better invest in a spotlight cause I’m gonna be in the dark on Wednesday evenings.
     
  6. Nov 1, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Grass, hay or cubes in front and bull behind and most cows are happy to just stay home and do what cows do.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2018
    rosti

    rosti Overrun with beasties

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    I agree. Every two or three days is what we often do during the summer as well.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2018
    farmerjan

    farmerjan True BYH Addict

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    Hi and welcome. I am sorry that you lost your dad, is your mom still there on the place? Is she able to look them over, go out in the truck or tractor and check them? My son and I run a cow/calf operation and both of us will check on cattle at different pastures.

    @greybeard has given you pretty much standard advise. During calving season we try to make sure we see everyone everyday until the calf is on the ground. When did the cows calve or are they going to calve in say the spring? That will be the more intense time. At this time, if they either don't have a calf on them, or have some good sized calves that should be getting sold, then every 2-3 days is plenty. Again, as @greybeard said, make sure they have hay in front of them. Also, salt and mineral free choice. Since what you say is that the operation is pretty much well in place, I would imagine that most of the necessary feeders etc are there.
    I agree with the chain w/lock on the gates. No need to tempt someone to let them out because they are hunting, or just to be onery. Also, you may want to restrict the field they are in during hunting season and not allow any hunting in their field. Not surprising, some people can't seem to tell the difference between a cow and a deer in the fading light of dusk.....

    You can get a spotlight that plugs into your cig lighter or even a hand held one that you can recharge. They are lifesavers if an animal has a problem too.

    Is there a neighbor that perhaps your dad was friendly with whom you could get to check them during the week, at least in the shorter daylight times? Maybe someone who he got to help him on occasion? There are possibilities you could explore. And if there is someone who gave him a hand, maybe they are a cattle person and can give you some pointers that you were " too young and lazy" to learn as you said.

    Also, is your wife an animal person? She could even go out there mid week, and at least count heads, see if there looks to be any problems. She can stay in the truck and not have to take a chance getting out with your 2 yr old. That might save you a trip in the dark.
    Believe me, for 10 years I did all my own cattle until my son finished school and moved down with me as he had stayed with his father 500 miles away. Not by choice but court order. He was down for holidays, and the summers, and learned pretty quick what needed to be done. Did some stupid stuff like all kids, but also learned that I could do it most all by myself and that he was a help if he wanted to be. Needless to say, we have been running our operation now for 25 plus years together full time. We also both have full time jobs, although I am retiring out of mine slowly.
    Hope you stick around and hope we can help you out.
     
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