update on 8 mnth old calf that is STILL OUT..

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We tried to walk this calf home for 8 plus hours.. The horses couldn't get in the thicket and we couldn't either... We tried and ran out of steam. it's still out there. We put a bale of hay out in pasture where it had gotten out. hopefully it will come in.. Anymore ideas I'm willing to try anything in early am.. Thanks James

-- James (onemaur@yahoo.com), January 12, 2002


Maybe your vet has a tranquilizer gun or jab pole? Might know someone with some experience catching spooked cows?

-- Ross (amulet@istar.ca), January 12, 2002.

Anybody with a cattle dog around? Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), January 12, 2002.

I have no personal expeience,but how about popping em in the rear with a bb gun or toss some fire crackers in to get em out of the thicket.and then toss a few here and there to direct him the way you want him to go.Just an Idea.Good luck.

-- Dave (duckthis1@maqs.net), January 12, 2002.

You don't want to spook it any more, It could drop dead! We give our cows bread for a treat, So when they get out we use bread to get them back. We have a day-old bakery store here so bread is cheap. Try to rope it, then you should be able to load it or walk it back. GOOD LUCK

-- John R. Smith (HawgDoc@aol.com), January 12, 2002.

Take down or otherwise completely open up where she got out and you put the bale of hay. It doesn't take much of a break in the fence for a cow to get out--but they practically need a red carpet to get back in! Also, once you get her home, whenever you feed her, even if she's right in front of you, call her. Something you can say loud. Mine have always been trained to "Come, Boss"--and that way once you make the opening big and inviting, and call them, they'll come home....once they're in earshot, of course. Good luck. Kathie

-- Kathie in Western Washington (twinrosefarm@centurytel.net), January 12, 2002.

hey no words of wisdom except that we HAD the same problem today. and 2 days before. the steer decieded to take a run at 5:50A.M. the other moring and i thought i'd never find a black cow in the black night i got the other one tied in the barn after much fuss then yelled chased and shoooed the steer in there to. i missed the bus and mom had to take me to school. oh well it ended up good. i was glad that it was light dad and mom were home. but they both got out this time we yelled stomped our feet and waved our arms they bucked and farted. to the point of the story. we got a laso were going to get them but then we notice that they didn't like it. they thought it was a electirc fence so we moved it behind them and kept em walking ha ha all turned out well. they are now kissing a pole as we call it. ha ha. they are tied to a post they get off tommorow to roam.

-- maire (jolly_old_goat@hotmail.com), January 13, 2002.

i got another question about what i just posted. i've heard many old timers talk about how the only way to teach a calf to lead good it to tye er behing a tracter and put er on low gear and take off and don't look back. is this safe or effective?

-- marie (jolly_old_goat@hotmail.com), January 13, 2002.

Hi James,

I hope that by the time you read this...if you do...that you have gotten your calf back in. If the calf is close, it might make its way back to your pasture. Put water out too...it will probably get thirsty before it feels hunger...plus it can find some forage out in the world probably. Probably all cattle folks have gone through this more times than they care to remember. Don't let yourself get too riled over it. Cattle move much easier when everyone is calm.

If you can, like some mentioned, make an opening in the fence and actually make a temporary perpendicular on one side of the opening for about 40 feet or so, or come up with another kind of funnel or trap. Just use a couple of t posts and 4 or 5 strands of barbed wire. If you can eventually get the little bugger walking the fence, you can haze it slowly toward the perpendicular piece and if you apply a bit of pressure on the outside and the rear of the calf it will bolt into your pasture when it reaches the opening. I have had luck with that, but if you do it enough times, you make perimeter fences that are more or less escape proof. It took me a while to figure that one out. If the animal is real spooky, you should be careful not to run it, just apply pressure gently to get it moving. It is so much easier to get your whole herd back, or a single back to the herd, than it is to get a single back to an empty pasture.

I don't have the whole image here, but can you get a few extra folks? Is the calf close to your pasture? If you had several quiet people, you could swing very wide around and behind the animal and slowly crowd it in the direction you are going. If you can get a couple of folks mounted and several on foot, the mounted folks could stay behind and to the outside of the walkers and head the calf off if it decides to end the others. I think the key here is going to be slow pressure though. if you crowd it too much too fast it will bolt. If you just move into its area of discomfort, it will move just that much away. So move closer and stop. Move and stop etc. If you adopt one of these strategies, you will need a trap at the pasture end. They will almost always walk right past an opening unless you aim them some. If you rope this animal, you ought to be able to drag it in. Here is where a good obedient cow dog is worth her weight in diamonds...still, you can do this without all of the crutches and tools. Remind yourself to stay calm calm calm. No John Wayne cowboy stuff...no whooping and yahaahhhing. You might go so far as to make a hissing sound or a soft whistle to get its attention.

When you get it back in, will your fence hold it? Perhaps you need to collect it into a strong but temporary fence corrall. I have so many questions to understand the layout and the calves location relative to the layout and all.

James, I wish I was there to give you a hand. Times like this is when you need neighbors for moral support as much as anything. I lost 150 head one afternoon back when I was starting out. If it wasn't for a really decent neighbor, I probably would have given up on cows. The whole herd escaped another time some years later when loggers dropped a tree on my fence and didn't fix it or tell me. Alone...no dog even and on foot, I got the group back in in the dark. Next day I started renewing my whole perimeter.

Well, take care of yourself with this one. Don't pressure yourself too much and don't let it get you down. It will be OK.

Finally, when this is all behind you and you want something interesting to do, look for a Bud Williams book or video...he is a master when it comes to moving cattle single handed on foot.


-- Oscar H. Will III (owill@mail.whittier.edu), January 13, 2002.

You have had some good advice already, I would just re enforce the advice 'bout finding a neighbor with an AuCando(Aust. Cattle Dog). My neighbors hollar for me and my dog, Howdy when stock gets out. A dog can get those buggers out of thickets, brambles etc. where you can't go. As noted above, once the dog has done it's job, stay CALM and have an opening there for the calf to go back in with a reward of grain and water waiting. And have the dog stay handy, back where the calf can see it but of course not in the way of the course back into the pasture. Good luck, LQ

-- Little Quacker (carouselxing@juno.com), January 13, 2002.

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