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Offline Rustynail

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Exercising Calves
« on: August 07, 2008, 11:57:37 AM »
It has been too long since I showed a steer and the last one I showed I over walked him.  Well maybe I just didn't have him finished well.  I have seen people talking about walking up hills and in sand.  I was just kind of wondering what everyone exercise plan was.  How big of a hill and how long you walk  them in sand.  It seems like alot of the kids at our county fair have fat calves not finished calves and I think they aren't walking them.  Any ansewrs would be appreciated.

Offline Kansas Karl

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2008, 01:20:18 PM »
I walk mine about 1/2 a mile a day nothing to much but still some. If I am needing a calf to eat more, I will walk them a mile before each feeding.

On the hill it all depends on what you have around, We have a silo pit that is dug in the ground its fairly big and it has a road on 3 sides of it, about 15 foot lower and I just start at the top and walk to the top and down back to the road and then back to the top of the pit and then back down and so on and so forth, and it really builds alot of muscle
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 10:12:26 PM by BCCC »
Show Barn Manager for Kimbrell Cattle Co in Hillsboro, Texas

Offline WBar Farms

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2008, 02:44:53 PM »
So how long do i walk him like how many months of the 9 months should i walk him for

Offline chambero

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2008, 04:40:35 PM »
We don't walk our calves at all and nobody else I know does either.  20 years ago we used to try to walk each one a mile a day, but cattle have to be fatter than that now.  We do turn out in big lots at night for exercise, but I don't know of anyone on a regimented exercise program down here any more.

Offline DLD

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2008, 05:53:48 PM »
We don't walk our calves at all and nobody else I know does either.  20 years ago we used to try to walk each one a mile a day, but cattle have to be fatter than that now.  We do turn out in big lots at night for exercise, but I don't know of anyone on a regimented exercise program down here any more.

Same here. I really don't believe you're going to actually build enough muscle to make a noticeable difference by walking alot - you may get a harder appearance because you're burning off fat, but unless you have excessive amounts of fat and/or are trying to lose weight, walking for exercise isn't really going to gain much.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 08:47:42 AM by DLD »
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Offline kanshow

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2008, 07:01:40 PM »
I assumed you walked steers for the same reason we walk our heifers - as more of a training tool so they get out & walk when you ask them to.   

Offline Rustynail

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2008, 10:20:41 PM »
I am really quite surprised with the response to this question.  Now I going to ask a question and I don't want anyone to take it wrong, or get offended.  Without a controled exercise schedual how do your steers travel.  Do they walk like a fat man?  And also do you have much problem with them going off feed?

Offline Cowgurl101

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2008, 11:04:05 PM »
I walked both of my steers this year - one to make him eat better, and the other to keep muscle definition and smooth traveling. I think it works well - i went about a 1/2 mile on the picky eater and a mile on the other one.
sarah

Offline DLD

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2008, 11:10:40 PM »
I assumed you walked steers for the same reason we walk our heifers - as more of a training tool so they get out & walk when you ask them to.   

Right, our steers get led and set up at least 20 minutes each every evening. But I don't really consider that an exercise program.

I am really quite surprised with the response to this question.  Now I going to ask a question and I don't want anyone to take it wrong, or get offended.  Without a controled exercise schedual how do your steers travel.  Do they walk like a fat man?  And also do you have much problem with them going off feed?

Haven't had any problems with either one. I do understand that some controlled exercise might help certain tighter wound ones, but the majority of them travel just fine without it. Maybe the difference lies in how much exercise ours get on their own; at night they're turned out in big (100' x 200') grass traps, and they do get out and move around quite a bit (in the winter, they're in the same traps with round bales of grass hay in feeders). I know alot of people that use quite a bit smaller pens to turn out in and still get along fine, though. I can see the need for some kind of controlled exercise for steers that are kept in very small pens and don't get the chance to get out and move around on their own, though.
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Offline SD

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Re: Exercising Calves
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2008, 11:44:19 PM »
Exercise doesn't equate only to walking. They will build muscle (& train muscle) when tied high and tight or standing in the grooming chute.

But remember, when they exercise they burn energy.  Meaning it takes more feed to gain the needed weight. So it's a two edge sword.

Exercising the finicky eater more may not be gaining you anything either just a tougher carcass.

Make them walk for food and water. We use the triangle method. Water, feed bunk and shelter equal distance apart. This along with the normal activity of going to the wash rack, grooming chute and arena gives them enough of a work out.
Tact and Political Correctness were developed by those who lack the Testicular Fortitude to say what they really mean.

 

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