Stray Cattle : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Help! For the past four days I have had stray cattle (4 beef steer) tromping around my yard. I have absolutely no idea who they might belong to. I have sheep, goats & chickens, but absolutely no experience with cattle. Quite frankly, I'm a little afraid of them--they appear to be fairly young, but they are a whole lot bigger than I am. I've called everyone I could think of in the area to see if anyone might be the owner, but no one seems to know where they belong. The Dept. of Agriculture told me they'd come pick them up if I can contain them, but I don't know how to do that--they are walking right through my goat fencing! I'm a vegetarian, and I really have no use for beef cattle. I don't want to just chase them out of the yard and have them wandering into the road where they could cause an accident. Anyone have any ideas?

-- Mary S. (, November 16, 2001


If no one claims them, take them to the stock yard and pocket the money.

-- ugly (, November 16, 2001.

Call the county sheriff; they have the personnel and horses able to herd cattle into cattle trailers and haul them off to "critter jail". Owner of cattle must bail them out to get them out of impound.

If they have caused any damage to grounds, you may have legal grounds to sue for damages. In Texas, any cattle you own that leaves your property and causes damages, the owner is liable for all damages.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

-- j.r. guerra (, November 16, 2001.

check with your neighbors in the area, the cattle surely didn't travel too far before they ended up in your yard.

-- Dave (, November 16, 2001.

Even in our rural area animal control will come out, crazy wanna be cowbows on horses w/ lassos & bullhorns , in my neck of the woods! 2Xs they rounded up the mangyest->sp? inbred,bony horned cows & bull i've ever seen that invaded my property. there has been no third time the 'come pick up your animal fee' gets higher each time. so it is cheaper to fix your fence.

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (, November 16, 2001.

It really depends on what state you are in. The livestock laws differ significantly. Most eastern US states require that the owner keep his/her animals contained, and are responsible for any damages they do if the owner is negligent in kepping the fence up, etc. Most western states laws go back to the open range, and it is often your responsibility to keep the animals off of your property. Are the cattle branded? If so, the state has records of the registered brands, and the owner can be tracked down that way. The western states have brand inspectors to deal with these issues. I don't know if this is as common in the rest of the country/world. In any case, do not just sell them. This is serious business, and could get you in a bunch of trouble. If you want to collect damages and the owner can't be tracked down, let the proper authorities take possession of the animals. They will likely sell them, and you can collect your damages from them. Cattle can range a long ways, and it is pretty unlikely that anyone would not notice that 4 steers are missing. The owner is probably looking for them. Good luck.

-- Marv (, November 16, 2001.

Mary, if the cattle are not afraid of you they have been around people, an untame cow will turn tail and run when you get close to them. Take a 5 gallon bucket, empty, walk into the compound area where you want the cows to go as you tap loudly on the bottom of the bucket. Keep food and water in the compound until the critter cops arrive. I know of no cases of cows attacking people who approached them quietly and calmy, cow, sreers, even bulls avoid human touch if they can.

-- mitch hearn (, November 16, 2001.

Cattle on the run can go a long ways in even one night. There was a beef cow loose here a few years ago, who belonged to a neighbor a mile and a half away. The cow travelled the roads all summer and had an area 8 miles apart that she could be seen in in one night! They just head out at a trot and keep on going, so these steers of yours, Mary, could be from someone quite aways away. I'd call the sheriff department and let them know they are there, leave a message at a feed store or, best of all, tell a gossipy farmer neighbor. :) I'd pen them up and keep calling everyone and if you don't get an answer in a few weeks, ship 'em to the auction barn. If you live in a cold area in the winter, they could very well die from exposure,lack of water, etc., when the weather gets tougher, so you may as well benefit if you can't find the owner.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (, November 16, 2001.

Thanks everyone for your answers. I live in Oregon. The first place I called was the local sheriff and they referred me to the dept.of Ag. The livestock inspector told me they won't come out unless I confine them, but I'm set up for sheep/goats, not cattle. The cattle go right through my fences, so I really don't know where/how to contain them. I heard from a neighbor a couple miles away that these same cattle had been by his place a week or so back, so they have been on the move for quite a while now. I've checked with local veterinarians, feed stores, and every cattle farm in the area as well as my surrounding neighbors. The cattle aren't branded, though they have numbered ear tags. These critters just seem very content here and I guess I'm stuck with them through the weekend until I can talk to the livestock inspector again.

-- Mary S. (, November 16, 2001.

do you have a barn? large buiding? open the doors wide and put feed where they can see it, corn is good. if you have goats, just like goats, you have to think ahead of them. A stick is a good herding weapon, they aren't actting agressive are they?,get behind and then work to what ever side they are moving to keep them moving toward your area of entrapment.if they try to turn back or go in a different way , hollar or make a noise. should work. lexi

-- Lexi Green (, November 17, 2001.

With the prices of cattle now I would try to get them .And if no one claims them away to auction.

-- Patty {NY State} (, November 17, 2001.

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