Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moving a bull - a tutorial....of sorts...

We have a black angus bull, named Big Daddy by the boys because they knew he'd be big and hoped he would ....*ahem*.... be a daddy many times over.  He's done an admirable job - both with our cows and several other people's cows.

There is another very nice farm family up the road who've been looking for a bull to spend some time with their lady cows....23 of them!  We thought Big Daddy might enjoy a ride to their farm....all we had to do was to convince him.

Now this bull has been very gentle and easy to work with, easy to move from field to field, easy to put in the corral when people have wanted to fish in our pond.  So, of course, we thought this would be an easy job.

Did I mention we've been having a heatwave?  It's been 102° here and MUGGY! That should have been a bit of a warning.

First thing to do was to get Big Daddy into the corral.  Piece of cake!

That was supposed to be the hard part but it didn't take long.  Shortly after this, his "limo" arrived.

This quite startled our milk cow - shortly after I took this picture she tore off across the fields kicking her heels and tossing her head.  I don't think anyone has ever told her that she doesn't have horns to toss..sshhh...

Once the door of the trailer is lined up with the headgate, all we need is for Big Daddy to take a walk down the chute and into the trailer. Big Daddy is outnumbered and easily enters the chute...

 a little tap on the rear and he begins the walk to greener pastures...

He's almost there! can you see him between the boards? He gets to the headgate...he hasn't been through a headgate for over a year....

And he moves backwards as fast as he way is he going to voluntarily go into that limo no matter how many times we tell him about the adoring crowd of ladies waiting up the road. Did I mention that it is 102°...and MUGGY?

And the process begins again...I won't bore you with pictures of the next two tries...I think he was just toying with us...

This next time the boys are ready with a board to put behind him at the head gate so he can't back up....

I heard it crack as he backed through Jeremy jumped down and grabbed a huge cedar post....
and we tried again...I did mention that it is 102° and climbing and MUGGY didn't I?

He's at the head gate again...the cedar log has been placed and now he's being given a gentle prod with a cane pole to encourage him to enter the trailer....I decided at this point that the purchase of an electric cattle prod might be a good idea...for the future...just in case....

He tried to back up but the cedar post held...I knew it would, but I was a bit worried about the rest of the corral.

He's going through the head gate - quite a close fit...And he's in!!!!

And he's off to visit those greener pastures we had been telling him about...he wasn't happy about this at the time...but a few days later we drove by his new home and he appeared to be quite contented....

The most important things we learned that day....wait for cooler weather to load cows and always have a cedar post handy......oh, and put a cattle prod on your shopping list if you are going to be dealing with stubborn bulls!



  1. If you don't have a cattle prod, a car battery and a pair of jumper cables will do in a pinch.

    I suspect jumper cables were named by farmers and ranchers, or at least it fits even better than the original reason. :oP


  2. My husband said one summer when he was helping a farmer for extra cash,he had to help load a herd into trailers to move to another farm.

    When they had a couple of bulls not want to board the trailer, the farmer handed him two sticks about 1 inch around, 2 feet long. He told the boys to put the bulls tail between the sticks, and hold gently- one hand on one end of the sticks, one hand on the other - until the bull started getting disagreeable...then squeeze a bit with both hands. The bull shot into the trailer like a rocket. Free motivation :)

  3. Great story, Cheri! I was laughing while reading because your story brought back memories of our family trying to load our steer into a cattle trailer. Let's just say that he won and was able to stay on with us until the next weekend. We had to re-group and strategize! Ha! If he would have known why he was leaving our farm he would have outwitted us the next time as well!


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