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Offline 4Rcattle

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Looking for advice/tips....
« on: August 04, 2020, 02:16:45 PM »
We have had my daughter's steer for 3 weeks tomorrow. The first week we had him, we took it easy as far as handling him.....trying to let him get settled. He had been lead and worked with a little when we got him - so we didn't have to "break" him completely. For the most part, he's good. He ties well, leads well and isn't aggressive. He's been washed/dried/brushed several times and been in the scales. He is a little sensitive to things around his head and still looks around at times for anything out of the ordinary. The biggest problem we are having is when we are working him in the evenings (leading him and practicing setting up with a showstick) he's not consistent as far as his behavior. Some days he does great - leading, setting up, behavior etc. Other days he acts like he's scared of everything and is a jerk the whole time. Two days this week while my daughter was setting him up he got spooked (seemed like it came out of nowhere) and broke away from her. She can't possibly hold him - he's almost 800lbs to her 120. Anyway, this is one of many steers that we've had and I feel like I shouldn't have to ask for advice or tips but I'm going to. I'm trying not to get frustrated with him but it's hard.....like I said he just isn't consistent in his behavior. Any advice or tips will be appreciated. I feel like I'm be impatient by worrying about it so early but it just makes me anxious when he breaks away. Thanks!

Offline Gargan

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2020, 02:40:06 PM »
Do you have a radio playing in the barn with him? Sometimes that helps to get them use to noise . Do you have a dog? Anything out of the ordinary to take around at feeding time can also help (as long as the dog ignores him).
Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.  -Ronald reagan

Offline 4Rcattle

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2020, 02:50:50 PM »
We have a radio going 24-7. We also have last year's show heifer with him so he's not alone. We take the dog and cat with us to the barn regularly as well as drive the lawn mower and ranger by the barn. I have walked him all over the barn - he has been in every corner of the barn and if he seems scared of something, I let him walk as close as he wants and smell it/check it out.

Offline Tallcool1

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2020, 02:52:11 PM »
Take the halter out of your daughter's hands and keep it in your hands for a little while.

He won't get away from you, and right now that is absolutely the most important thing.  Once they figure out that they can get away we have our hands full.

You work the steer for a couple weeks, and then slowly bring your daughter back in the mix.  At first, you hang on to him and have her stick him. 

Also, small confined spaces are good.  They just don't have anywhere to go and are much easier to hang on to. 

If he isn't mean, you're going to be just fine. 

Offline vc

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2020, 04:08:18 PM »
melatonin, start him on 30 mg and see if it does not take the edge off of him. We had one just like it, a really nice Friction steer, one day he would be fine the next spook and get real worked up over nothing. We put him on melatonin and just kept working with him, you could feel him start to get worked up, as soon as you got the inclination he was about to lose it we would snub him to a rail and just wait it out, it took a few weeks but we got there. (he had to stay on the melatonin the whole time) you may have to adjust the dosage up or down depending on how he reacts. The melatonin helps but it still takes time and patience.

We helped a girl out this year, calf was fine tied and in the wash rack but a pistol when being led, she gave him melatonin and worked with him every day, well by the time they should have been going to the fair she had him leading and setting up perfect but with no fair to take him to. I talked to her mom recently and she thinks that the steer, although a pain in the rear, definitely helped her daughter grow, she had bad days and good but in the end her persistence and hard work paid off.

Offline 4Rcattle

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2020, 06:47:35 PM »
Well the bad thing is he does get away from me.....Im not much bigger than my daughter plus I have back issues. Hes very stout for his size. He doesnt break away when leading....only when standing completely still when being set up.....which makes no sense to me. It literally just happened an hour ago. I led him around, walked him into profile. I moved one back foot, be moved the other and I tried moving it back. Before I knew it he had pulled back on the halter and broke away. I started him on melatonin yesterday and we will see if that helps. I know this is something we will just have to keep working on but like I said, its frustrating. Thanks to everyone for your replies and for being nice about it!

Offline 4Rcattle

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 07:18:13 PM »
I meant to add.....I would get my husband to help...hes 67 and a big guy but the steer doesnt like him- that alone gets him worked up. When my daughter and I are working him hes fine behavior wise....he isnt crazy or aggressive at all. I dont want to add to the stress by including someone he doesnt like. Im hoping the melatonin will help along with just hard work!

Offline shortybreeder

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2020, 07:38:53 PM »
Well the bad thing is he does get away from me.....Im not much bigger than my daughter plus I have back issues. Hes very stout for his size. He doesnt break away when leading....only when standing completely still when being set up.....which makes no sense to me. It literally just happened an hour ago. I led him around, walked him into profile. I moved one back foot, be moved the other and I tried moving it back. Before I knew it he had pulled back on the halter and broke away. I started him on melatonin yesterday and we will see if that helps. I know this is something we will just have to keep working on but like I said, its frustrating. Thanks to everyone for your replies and for being nice about it!
Try setting him up while he's tied to a post/gate/panel. Then you can get that practice in without building on the bad habits.

Offline 4Rcattle

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2020, 08:51:27 AM »
That's a good idea....it's worth trying. I made the mistake of putting on one of the cruise control halters and was planning on trying that......not a good idea at all...he flipped out as soon as I started walking him out of the gate - had to pen him and get the dang thing off. Now I'm worried if I've spooked him with anything other than a rope halter! Again, thanks for all of the advice.

Offline CAB

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2020, 08:55:55 AM »
Does he usually pull back and away or forward and down and away? If forward and away, keep him by a fence close on his right hand side and if / when he is going to go, step in so that he has to run into the fence so that he doesn't have any place to go. Good luck !!

Offline Jive Turkey

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2020, 12:14:01 PM »
Tie him to a donkey.

Offline 4Rcattle

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2020, 12:52:09 PM »
He pulls back and away. It usually starts with him just gently pulling back or trying to walk back and then he jerks and gets away.

Offline WinterSpringsFarm

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2020, 05:57:12 AM »
I had a heifer 2 years ago that acted just like your steer.  Some days when working her she was show broke and perfect.  Other days she would drag ya if you could hold on.  She got away from me several times, other times I was able to hold on and get her calmed down.  She was super inconstant and unpredictable.  I tried the melatonin and just about everything else.  I ended up giving up on her because I just didn't trust her and figured the show ring would be a nightmare.

If I had to do it all over again I would have used a donkey, and that is my recommendation for you as well.

Good Luck and and let us know how you make out.

Offline 4Rcattle

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2020, 08:07:15 AM »
Update:
The melatonin seems to be making a difference as far as him being calmer. After 2 days on melatonin, he was doing much better (he's even walking slower!). Knock on wood....he hasn't tried to break away again. We are also setting him up with him facing the fence and not spending a lot of time "picking" at his feet with the show stick (that seemed to irritate him). He does better if we just walk him around and back into place. Thanks again for all of the advice/tips! Still hoping and praying he keeps doing better each day.

Offline CAB

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Re: Looking for advice/tips....
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2020, 10:39:45 AM »
One of the things that happens if he's backing away from you is that when a calf does that the next thing that is going on is that the person leading him/her is that it seems like the rope person is kinda running at the calf with the show stick waving back and forth in front of the calf making the situation escalate quickly. IMO if the calf gets to pulling back hard first drop the stick so that it's not making the situation worse and you have both hands to try to stop him easier. I'd suggest using the stick just to scratch his belly and brisket area only until he gets to love the stick b4 you try to work on foot placement. If you can when you are going to stop him and try working with him a little bit of time place him in an area where when/if he backs up he backs himself into a corner or fence o that he can't go too far b4 hitting something that will help the lead person get him back under control. Good luck.

 

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