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Author Topic: Preventing injuries while breaking in  (Read 7530 times)

Offline Jotto

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Preventing injuries while breaking in
« on: January 22, 2015, 02:42:42 AM »
My steer got his leg caught between two yard panels today and got a nasty cut to his leg which will see him out of competition now. It is a terrible shame as he is a cracking steer. It was his first time being tied up and he is very quiet, then out of nowhere he reared right up and came down with his leg between the panels. He was tied up short but unfortunately our panels have no rubber or anything to prevent this. I would like to do something to improve the safety of our yards where we tie up to prevent this happening again. We have steel panels . Could you share your pics or advice please?

Offline Gargan

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 06:37:45 AM »
About all calves will jump a few times when first breaking. I suggest putting a solid wall in front of them. Hope ur steer heals fast for u!
Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.  -Ronald reagan

Offline HomeRaised

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 07:47:05 AM »
I had a coworker introduce breaking to me in a different light a couple years ago. I used to tie them to a wall and let r buck. Now I get a calf in a 10X10 pen by them self and start with a broom or show stick and get the calf used to being touched. spend 10-20 minutes doing this and then you will be able to move in and use a soft brush and I just start rubbing the whole body with the brush. Getting teh calf used to being touched on the legs belly, neck.... you will find their weak spot where they love to be touched. 10-20 minutes of that, and then I try to slip the halter on their head. Once the halter is on, i will tug to the side with to get the calf used to the pull to the side all while still brushing. Within 45-90 minutes, that calf will follow me right out of the barn. I dont tie them to the wall until about the third time doing this, and then its only for 1 hour tops.

This process builds trust, which is the most important factor.

Offline vc

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 10:05:24 AM »
I ran sheets of 5/8 plywood and used self tapping screws to attach them to the pipe panels. I leave the top rail exposed and then put tie rings at the appropriate level lower on the panel. This way I can tie the calf up or down.

Offline oakview

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 10:41:51 AM »
I know several people that put the halter on and let the calf drag it around for a day or two.  They say that gets them used to the pulling and tugging.  I have only done it this way a time or two in 50 years, but some people swear by it.  I like to put the calves in a fairly small area and really let them get used to me before haltering.  I second the notion of building that trust factor.

Offline GoWyo

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 10:46:32 AM »
I had a coworker introduce breaking to me in a different light a couple years ago. I used to tie them to a wall and let r buck. Now I get a calf in a 10X10 pen by them self and start with a broom or show stick and get the calf used to being touched. spend 10-20 minutes doing this and then you will be able to move in and use a soft brush and I just start rubbing the whole body with the brush. Getting teh calf used to being touched on the legs belly, neck.... you will find their weak spot where they love to be touched. 10-20 minutes of that, and then I try to slip the halter on their head. Once the halter is on, i will tug to the side with to get the calf used to the pull to the side all while still brushing. Within 45-90 minutes, that calf will follow me right out of the barn. I dont tie them to the wall until about the third time doing this, and then its only for 1 hour tops.

This process builds trust, which is the most important factor.

Bingo!  If people would quit tying them up before the calves know how to give to pressure and lead they will halter break a whole lot faster and be easier to work with their whole lives.  Try putting a halter on yourself and snubbing it tight to the fence -- you might panic and hurt yourself.
May you always have cows around . . . ~ Corb Lund

Stop the violins -- visualize whirled peas

Offline Spencer10218

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 11:33:42 AM »
I had a coworker introduce breaking to me in a different light a couple years ago. I used to tie them to a wall and let r buck. Now I get a calf in a 10X10 pen by them self and start with a broom or show stick and get the calf used to being touched. spend 10-20 minutes doing this and then you will be able to move in and use a soft brush and I just start rubbing the whole body with the brush. Getting teh calf used to being touched on the legs belly, neck.... you will find their weak spot where they love to be touched. 10-20 minutes of that, and then I try to slip the halter on their head. Once the halter is on, i will tug to the side with to get the calf used to the pull to the side all while still brushing. Within 45-90 minutes, that calf will follow me right out of the barn. I dont tie them to the wall until about the third time doing this, and then its only for 1 hour tops.

This process builds trust, which is the most important factor.

Really wish I would have know to do this because I'm 3 weeks out from an open show and he isn't broke to lead and I'm sorta in panic mode now
There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs - zig zigglar

Offline GoWyo

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 11:59:14 AM »
I had a coworker introduce breaking to me in a different light a couple years ago. I used to tie them to a wall and let r buck. Now I get a calf in a 10X10 pen by them self and start with a broom or show stick and get the calf used to being touched. spend 10-20 minutes doing this and then you will be able to move in and use a soft brush and I just start rubbing the whole body with the brush. Getting teh calf used to being touched on the legs belly, neck.... you will find their weak spot where they love to be touched. 10-20 minutes of that, and then I try to slip the halter on their head. Once the halter is on, i will tug to the side with to get the calf used to the pull to the side all while still brushing. Within 45-90 minutes, that calf will follow me right out of the barn. I dont tie them to the wall until about the third time doing this, and then its only for 1 hour tops.

This process builds trust, which is the most important factor.

Really wish I would have know to do this because I'm 3 weeks out from an open show and he isn't broke to lead and I'm sorta in panic mode now

If you spend 20 minutes a day getting them gentle by combing or brushing them before putting the halter on, the battle will be 90% won.  Once they learn to give to pressure and release, you can train (not break) them to lead in a couple of 15 minute sessions.  Then tie for half an hour or so a couple of times a day so they learn to have a little patience, then they can go to the grooming chute.
May you always have cows around . . . ~ Corb Lund

Stop the violins -- visualize whirled peas

Offline Spencer10218

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 12:09:29 PM »
My calf is broke to tie and wash and rinse (I rinse twice a day) but I stand in front of him and lead him I have to push him everywhere any suggestions
There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs - zig zigglar

Offline HomeRaised

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 01:27:10 PM »
I had a coworker introduce breaking to me in a different light a couple years ago. I used to tie them to a wall and let r buck. Now I get a calf in a 10X10 pen by them self and start with a broom or show stick and get the calf used to being touched. spend 10-20 minutes doing this and then you will be able to move in and use a soft brush and I just start rubbing the whole body with the brush. Getting teh calf used to being touched on the legs belly, neck.... you will find their weak spot where they love to be touched. 10-20 minutes of that, and then I try to slip the halter on their head. Once the halter is on, i will tug to the side with to get the calf used to the pull to the side all while still brushing. Within 45-90 minutes, that calf will follow me right out of the barn. I dont tie them to the wall until about the third time doing this, and then its only for 1 hour tops.

This process builds trust, which is the most important factor.

Really wish I would have know to do this because I'm 3 weeks out from an open show and he isn't broke to lead and I'm sorta in panic mode now


That means you have two weeks before you have to put them in a chute to clip. I say you spend an hour a day working on the trust factor and by day 5, you own that calf's full respect. Then you start training to show. Feet placement, working hair, rinsing, tying head up. Commitment isn't easy, otherwise everyone would do it.

Offline GoWyo

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 01:30:12 PM »
My calf is broke to tie and wash and rinse (I rinse twice a day) but I stand in front of him and lead him I have to push him everywhere any suggestions

Stand at the side of the calf's head and turn him to the right by pushing into and across his muzzle.  Get him to take one step, release pressure for maybe 5-10 seconds then do it again.  Do it over and over until he anticipates the pressure coming and responds to lighter pressure.  Then work him to the left a little bit, but with the idea of taking a step forward more so that left.  Get one step and release for a few seconds then get another step and so on.  Go as fast as the calf learns.  Some are quicker to pick it up than others.
May you always have cows around . . . ~ Corb Lund

Stop the violins -- visualize whirled peas

Offline BlazinA

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2015, 03:27:08 PM »
We started using the  breaking halters.  Ones with the O ring. The halter releases quicker than a regular rope halter and calves seem to learn faster to give in to pressure.  Worth the little extra money over a regular rope halter. 

Offline vc

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2015, 09:23:11 AM »
I've see many calves that are broke to lead and tie still have days where they are jumpy or just plain ornery, that is why we put a solid front on the tie area as well as the wash rack. Had a heifer we were halter breaking who instead of fighting the halter would just fall over, spent a week with her before she stopped that little game. We did not even attempt to tie her until then.

Offline Tallcool1

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2015, 01:26:46 PM »
We tie them low when we start.  They can't jump because they don't have the muscles in their neck helping them get their front feet off the ground.

We also tie them loose so if they get scared and fall down, they won't hang themselves.  We don't give them any opportunity to hurt themselves.

Offline Spencer10218

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Re: Preventing injuries while breaking in
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2015, 01:51:00 PM »
I started doing the pulling method yesterday and I'm seeing some improvements
And when I break to tie I also start at tying them low and as soon as they are comfortable tied high I wash/rinse them
Really works great for me
There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs - zig zigglar

 

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