Bottle Calf for show won’t lead on halter

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New member
Oct 11, 2023
hello all!
Our daughter is part of a bottle calf show. We received a dairy/beef cross steer (4-H agent acquired the cattle.) we have previously halter and lead line broke 2 heifer beef calves relatively easily. But this steer is something else. Everything we have tried gets us nowhere. He was a bottle fed calf and while he isn’t the MOST friendly (meaning he doesn’t just come up to us compared to other bottle babies we’ve had) we can catch him, get a halter on and he will stand there for a few minutes. After that point, if you try and get him to move forward to walk, he will immediately fall over on his side. We have tried what seems like everything. Below is our list of things we’ve tried:
- Standard pulling
- praise/scratches/pets
- tying him to a 4Wheeler and lightly pulling (not dragging)
- Incentives like honey but he doesn’t care about them
- tying his head up to the fence: but eventually he flips over and like tried to hang himself with the halter/line
- dragging him
- picking him up (when he was smaller sized)
- whipping (unfortunately this is the only way he will get up after plopping over but obviously we don’t want to keep doing this)
- covering his nose holes - he will either roll over and flop around or has started breathing out of his mouth
- walking behind him pushing but he still ends up flopping over.
- buckets of feed. Last resort but again he don’t even care.

Please give some advice. We’ve had him for months and we’ve been trying for MONTHS. The show is coming up really soon and the last thing we need is for him to have to be drug out of the show ring. Like how embarrassing. :\


Well-known member
Jul 24, 2007
Try tying him for a few days, where he can stand and lie down, do not feed or water him where he is tied put the water and feed away from him. lead him to the water and the feed is.


Active member
Jul 25, 2023
When i get a difficult calf I just leave the halter on, as long as they aren't out on pasture. They will learn that when they go forward pressure on their head is released (they will step on the rope, and then walk forward)
Sometimes you just get ones that are especially dumb, sadly.
Good luck!