update on cross between red and black angus

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Well I found out that she was born in the later part of May. She's all red. Now when I feed her she puts her head down and comes at me in every direction.. She was with her mother in a pasture.. Right now we have her in a horse stall. This is her 4th day.. I'm trying to let her get use to us. I have a 6 yr. old. I don't want her to get hurt if you know what I mean.. Is there any ways that you might have for us to do with her coming around and being friendly or do you think she needs to go out in pasture? I'm thinking she's getting antsy being in so long... Whats you thoughts????? Thanks Jim

-- James (onemaur@yahoo.com), January 08, 2002


Does the cow "charge" you? Or does the cow come running for the feed? It is normal for grass eaters to lower their head when they meet a different species, its animal bodylangugage telling you "I am a grass eater, you have nothing to fear from me". Try feeding the cow from outside a secure fence, stay right next to the fence while the cow eats, talk to the cow in slow smooth voice, reach in and touch the cow, try as many times as it takes but let her see your hand comming.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), January 08, 2002.

P.S. Avoid direct eye to eye contact.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), January 08, 2002.

She charges at me.. Also head butts me... I feed her in a ground feeder. She's fine until I come near the feeder... Thanks James

-- James (onemaur@yahoo.com), January 08, 2002.

She could be coming into heat, and she's new at your place. Are you feeding the same thing as she was getting? You might want to buffer her feed a bit with bicarb. Livestock should never be trusted with children completely, but I think Mitch is right just get her used to you and give her time. I'd keep her in a few more days with frequent visits and regular feedings. When you go to let her out lead her with feed and feed her outside. You don't want her thinking about running off steam first thing, fences might not stop her. Spread a bit of hay around to get her used to nosing about the barn for food and leave her alone. (but watch she doesn't go wildly through fences) Angus should be good quiet animals but every breed has their crazy ones. They are herd animals and I'm not the biggest fan of keeping singles of anything. What do your horses think of it?

-- Ross (amulet@istar.ca), January 08, 2002.

Train her like the 4-H kids do. They gentle thier beef project cows by using a continous cow or calf halter. Tie her up with enough rope to lie down and reach her food. You walk her over to the water bucket a couple of times a day. This gentles them down quit a bit. Then you let them loose in thier pen with the halter still on. (The continuous halter is a lead & halter) Never, never, never let a cow or calf butt you or charge you!!!!! If you have to, smack very hard in the cows nose to keep it from running over you. I have flipped a large calf and held it down because of the head butting and that calf never tried that again with me but it would charge the fence at others. Needless to say that cow tasted good!

-- shari (smillers@snowcrest.net), January 08, 2002.

Keep a shovel handle handy. If she charges hit her as hard as possible on the head, nose preferred. You need to let her know who is boss.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), January 08, 2002.

Charging can get you and your children hurt! Smack the cow on the nose and really do smack her, not just pick at her. A halter and lead left on all the time in a confined lot will work wonders as you can catch her and pull her around to face you.

Never let any animal get away with charging as someone is guaranteed to get hurt and trust me, it won't be the animal.

-- Cindy (colawson@mindspring.com), January 08, 2002.


She feels tense. She is in a barn, she got weaned, and she is in a strange place with different people. Try if you can, try to meet her on her terms. Right now it might be dangerious to let her out because I bet she will plow through your board fence. If she is coming for you for food, the bunting is normal, but it sounds to me like she feels cornered. Can you feed her without getting so close? Can you feed her outside of the stall in a larger pen in the barn?

I agree with the others to establish who is "boss", however it would go better for the both of you if you gave her space and time to get used to her new digs and new lonliness before you smack her with a shovel handle. If you really need a weapon, let me suggest that you make a rattle with a short piece of sapling with 3 cans wired to the end. If you rattle that in front of her she will back off and probably bust through the wall of the barn. However, down the road, she will more easily trust you because you normally won't rattle in that scary way (I have controlled wild buffalo calves with such a rattle...it was more or less overkill for my cattle)Try to feed her a few times without entering her space. Always speak in low tones and move slowly. If you are looking to break her, then you have to get the halter on her. Just halter her and snub her somewhere, and don't do anything except the utmost of gentle while she is in that vulnerable position. It sounds like she has not ever been in that close confinement with a human and all of her surrooundings are strangers. I would be frightened too probably.

Calves do not naturally expect nor do they respond to petting and very close human contact unless they have been conditioned to it. Calves are fairly wary of 2 legged critters and dogs from about day 3.

Having said all of that, take your time. Don't panic and don't rush. Don't ever let your kid in a stall with a 600 pound + animal unless your child has the savvy and confidence to read and handle the animal. Confined spaces make cattle nervous, especially if you invade their cone of comfort. Avoid scratching her head to prevent head rubbing and butting behavior later. Stroke her withers and her brisket, and flank, but not her head. For a few days, you might just feed her from outside the stall and stay there with her until she is used to it. Then in stages get further and further inside her cone of comfort. Just try to remember that she is not a human,nor a pet type domestic animal. She will need to develop the feel for accepting people as her herd mates.

Once you establish the food routine, let her out if she is not too wild eyed. Use the feed to keep her coming back to the barn. If you push her hard before she is comfortable, she will probably just break out and head cross country.

Give her a week or 10 days before you let her out and in that time make her life as calm as you can.

These are large semi wild animals if they have been on pasture with minimal human contact. Be patient and don't beat her if you want her to trust you. Avoid the circumstance where you might have to beat her. If she never comes around, then you will have to halter her, but at her age, if you beat her for charging, she will rarley if ever come to you out of affection. The halter method does not apply here, because she will blame the halter not you and eventually associate haltering with good things.

Again, afford this complex and beautiful creature the patience that you would the most frail, hard of hearing of grand parents. In time and on her schedule she will come around. If she does not begin to mellow out after a month or more and if you have ruled out frisky heat related behavior, then I would raise her as a pasture animal and ship her at my convenience and look more closely at her early life and genetics.

I have a good feeling about this project though. Keep with it and keep the updates coming. You can do it and so can she.

Again, the best of luck with this.


-- Oscar H. Will III (owill@mail.whittier.edu), January 09, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ