steer wont lead : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We have a 7mon.old gurnsey steer who will not lead anywhere,he falls to the ground and stays there until you walk away.I have tried a rope around is butt to pull him but he is to stonge now,today when I went to move them {the holstein hefier leads great}he almost really hurt me when he fell,or should I say laid down. I almost lost it with him and had to walk away or I think I would of hurt him! He wants to go where I move them he just does not me or anyone holding him,I feel I need to stop this before he does hurt someone. Thanks

-- renee oneill{md.} (, November 28, 2000


We used to teach stubborn horse colts to lead by tieing them with a short lead rope to another, bigger horse and let that horse lead him around. Usually the colt would follow the other horse and thus, get used to the lead. I don't know if this will work with a calf though. You might try tieing the stubborn steer to a larger calf that will lead then try leading the larger one around and see what happens.

-- Joe (, November 28, 2000.

I have friends with boys in 4-H, and the have confessed to tying their obstinate steers to a tractor, and s-l-o-w-l-y, carefully pulling, and the steer soon gets the message that he had better walk, because being drug is NO fun. It is done in a grassy place, with no fences or things to get bumped into. Sounds cruel, but it works for them. It can't have hurt the steers, since they have looked good enough at fair time to have done really well. Better have someone who KNOWS the finer points of tractor starting and stopping!

-- Leann Banta (, November 28, 2000.

What if you bribed him? With a can of grain in front of him just out of his reach? It works with ours-though they are younger.

I also have seen some folks take the tail way up and twist it in the direction they want the stbborn critter to go. Though I confess that is not the end of a steer i would want to be! That is how many get their calves and young steers into a chute for trasport or shots or whatever. My husbands employer swears by it-and husband helped him with forty six month old calves a few weeks back.

-- Sarah (heartsong, November 28, 2000.

Anyone have a donkey you can borrow? If you can get ahold of one, halter both the donkey and the steer and attach a short lead (about 2 feet) with swivels on each end to their halters. The donkey will have that steer on his best behavior within a few days. If the steer doesn't co-operate, the donk will kick the snot out of him.

-- Julie (, November 28, 2000.

I like the ideas so far I'll try hooking the 2 together and see what happens,may end up w/ 2 on the ground! I think he just does not like a human touching him,he his for the freezer so I did not fool w/ him as much as I did the hefier{Cant bare to eat something that is a "pet"}so I guess its my fault too.How do you get them up once they lay down? I do not want to use food because he use to chase you down when you would bring him his milk and run smack into you. but thanks any way!

-- renee oneill{md.} (, November 28, 2000.

You might try this... Tie your steer up to the fence. Leave him there all day with no water. A few times a day, untie him, try to lead him to a bucket of water 30 ft away. If he doesnt lead, tie him back up. Keep doing this, and sooner or later he will lead.

-- Ginny Davis (, November 28, 2000.

In my never so humble opinion of animals, they won't learn to walk on lead until you learn to drive them. While picking up the lead, use a long switch or driving rod and tap tap tap his rear or hocks and get him moving his feet, then use the lead as the directional tool. Of course reward him when he does the correct thing by not tapping and then give him sweet words and a scratch on the head. Teach him don't force him.

Don't get in a pulling contest with a steer, you'll lose! He will only learn to pull harder.

-- Laura (, November 29, 2000.

If he is going into the freezer anyway, why bother. Just get him to follow a feed bucket. Some of my girls would followed me into Waverly if I was carrying a feed bucket. I have taught them to come by calling them. Moving between pastures isn't a problem as they know the only time I call them is for them to get a treat or fresh pasture.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 29, 2000.

When my first freshener goat tried to lay down on the milk bucket, I tried lots of things. Here's what worked. I figure most animals push against pressure, so as soon as she started to go down, I put my arm up over her back and helped her along. I added enough weight for her to begin to resist by pushing back upwards, which she did pretty quickly, then I took off weight gradually. Pretty soon, she was on her tippy toes. I did this every time she squatted, and pretty soon, she quit squatting.

I don't know if anything like this would work on a steer, but if I had one like yours, I would sure try it.

-- Laura Jensen (, November 29, 2000.

I've tried all of the above with one of my cows and nothing works .One day I will probally just shoot it !

-- Patty (, November 29, 2000.

I believe cattle respect strength and the appearance of superior strength, so I guess the tractor training might work. My dad used to tie a rope around the cows' horns then take a half hitch around her nose. He would then get behind her, while holding the rope, and drive here forwards with pats on the rump or a stick if necessary. Sooner or later she would (generally speaking) try to run away but by digging in his heels and pulling hard on the rope he could bring her to her knees or even get four legs in the air. He only had to do this once or twice and from then on she respected him and the rope.

-- john hill (, December 01, 2000.

This is a dad story:

When we were on dairy farms in WI, it was still hand-milking. Dad did one side and mom the other. One on dad's side was a heifer new to the milk line. She would kick, switch her tail or step in the milk bucket. Dad put up with it for a couple of milkings. One day he walked to the equipment room at the end of the barn, came back with a sledge hammer and killed her right in the stall. Then went on with milking. She was later drug out with a tractor and slaughtered.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, December 02, 2000.

Had a nice black angus heifer when I was in 4-H. She didn't want to lead, she would just put her head down and take off. Dad tied her to the tractor and the back of the hay wagon and that cow would walk all day and never tighten the rope and as soon as you untied her, down would go her head and away she went. I never did show her, she became a brood cow. I did however show her son and won first and reserve. He was a pussycat and would follow me where ever I went, thank goodness, he weighed a thousand pounds. And people say animals are dumb. I think Ken is right, if you don't need to lead it why bother to train it. Our cows were the same, they would come from the back pasture if they heard corn hitting a metal pail. Oh, the good old days!

-- Betsy K (, December 02, 2000.

I grew up on a cattle ranch. We used to show registered grey brahmans. You couldn't tell if a calf was going to be show quality until about the age of your calf. I was pretty stout back then (still am) and I have drug many a calf around until they got the idea that it was easier to walk that be dragged. When we found a nice cow that was show quality but was a bit older than a person can train on foot we'd put a halter on it and tied the lead to the saddle horn of old Peanut (big quarter horse gelding). They would balk and set all 4 feet and Peanut would just grunt and keep going. They got the idea real quick. Papa used to keep a mule or donkey on the place just for breaking cows to lead...put em on a short lead and after a couple of days that cow knows he better go where the mule wants him to! If you can't get a horse or something big enough to pull him with...every time he goes down take off your belt and give him a good stinging swat across the back end (remember cow hide is real thick). Problem is then he'll start running and you have to dig in and not let him get away with it. If a cow (or horse) is ever let 'get away' with something it is twice as hard to break them of it. Just remember who's boss. At first it is good to rig up a hitching rail and tie them to that. Leave them there all day long everyday till they start leading good. Make sure they have water but lead them to their feed. Don't leave him much slack either or he'll get himself in trouble or break the halter. Let him work all of his frustrations out against that post before you try to lead him. A tired cow is easier to manhandle. Good luck.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 03, 2000.

My daughter had a calf like you're describing. That calf would lay herself down and refuse to get up no matter what you did. She'd resist so hard her eyes would roll back in her head and it would look like she fainted. It reminded me of young kids who cried so hard that they passed out (from breath holding). What I finally did that worked was use a portable, electric cattle prod on her. I did it secretly so that my daughter didn't know I was doing it. But the minute that calf laid down I gave her a quick jolt and she got right back up. I only had to do it twice and she stopped throwing herself down altogether.

-- Madelyn (, January 28, 2001.

We had a steer like that at last years fair, he would spaz out until he finally gave up and flopped down and refused to get up. Then one of the guys would cover his nose so he couldn't get any air, after about a minute the steer got worried and hopped back up,he still didn't lead well though but at least he was on his feet, maybe this will help, just be careful though I don't know how long a steer can last without air, good luck !

-- Meg Biddick (, April 06, 2001.

the plastic bags work great to get a cow up but I have a steer that won't lead too. I have tried the tractor and several other things mentioned. He is better for people who are 3x stronger than I and 3x bigger. he knows he can go where he wants and theres not a whole lot I can do. Any thoughts. Show is in 25 days. th

-- katie (, April 07, 2001.

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