Calf that gets away on the halter

Help Support Steer Planet:

gocanes719

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
316
I have a 550 lb calf I sold to some customers that they are having trouble getting broke.  They can lead him all over indside the barn and in his pen but when you take him out to wash him or to do anything for that matter out in open space he makes a run for it.  He goes from walking to a sprint in one step.  The boy that owns him is well over 6 ft and he can't hold him.  He has been tied up for several days now, leading him to feed and water.  Today was the third full day tied.  He had been doing great so we tried to lead him to feed outside the barn but he got away.  We then put two halters on him and we could eventually get him stopped but it was a tough chore.  :p
He is fine with a brush and everything else he just won't lead without bolting.  Does anyone have any suggestions other than a nose ring or a donkey?  I was thinking of trying a temporary nose ring to see how that might get his attention. ???
 

gocanes719

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
316
bluegrass said:
I would try the donkey before the nose ring. Is he turned out at night? Maybe he would not get as wound up that way.

He doesn't have the biggest turn out but it should be plenty adequate for him.  In other words, I don't think that is triggering this behavior.
 

TJ

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2007
Messages
2,036
bluegrass said:
I would try the donkey before the nose ring. Is he turned out at night? Maybe he would not get as wound up that way.

I also vote for trying a donkey.  We used to have a good one back when we had Chi, Simmy & Limo steers, etc.  We only used the donkey as a last resort, but a few days on the donkey would really help with calves that liked to jump & bolt!!  
 

afhm

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,621
Location
parts unknown
Get a real long rope, tie it to the 2nd halter and tie it to a strong post.  When you walk him out of the barn, try to hold him, if you can't stop him, keep up with him until he hits the end of the other rope.  When it spins him around the first thing he'll see is you and think you stopped him not the post.  After he is stopped tie your rope to the closest post, and move the other rope to the furthest post it will reach and go again.  It'll work after a while (or atleast it always has for us).  Most of the time the temporary bug will only make things worse, if it comes down to that  put in a permanent ring and be done with it.  You can always take it out later if you don't need it.
 

bluegrass

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
193
Location
Bagdad, Kentucky.
I have used that method with success but tied calf to tobacco wagon then had someone sit on wagon right in front of him then go slow with tractor.
 

red

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
7,850
Location
LaRue, Ohio
It's seems that once they get away, it becomes a bad habit. I like the idea of 2 stout people holding on. He needs to learn that he's not going to get away. When it happens here, we take them right back out so they don't think that's the end of the working day.
I've never used a donkey or nose ring before. Only used the tractor very early when we didn't have much experience ourselves. It's not for everyone or every calf.

Good luck!

Red
 

gocanes719

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
316
Him getting away is nothing more than a habit.  He is fine in the barn but as soon as you get him out his demeanor changes.  He fires up and bolts.  I think we will just keep trying the two people approach for now and let him get it out of his system as best we can. 
 

red

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
7,850
Location
LaRue, Ohio
yes, once they realize they can do it or if there is a certain person they can do it with, it's hard to break! I'm a bad one on it, I tend to let them go rather than getting drug & some of the bulls have learned bad habits from that. Get 2 strong people w/ the kid holding the rope too & just walk him around. A closed area works the best. Nothing worse that a steer running down the midway at a show. Take it from me, very embarrassing! ::)

Red
 

knabe

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
13,630
Location
Hollister, CA
here's what i've done in the past with those.  do like some have said, get a long rope attached to the lead rope, long enough so it's longer than the pen you are in.  when he exhibits the bolt behavior, at some point he learned he can win.  two tacts here.  one is let him go before he tests the line and bolts.  reel the rope in without pulling on it.  when he runs again, drop it again before he tests it.  when you can get next to him, always knowing that you will drop the rope, use the lead rope to continually get his front foot to break to the direction you are on and get his back feet to cross over.  this will take him out of gear.  he has to get in gear and "set" his hind end.  most people can't get them to break fast enough without the previous.  also, lead him from both sides, which i like to do anyway, so they get used to using both eyes.  i feel this is one of the reasons when calves show perfect at home, then they go to a show, and move when someone gets near them on the off side. 

the other method to stop bolting, i like is keep bending their neck till their feet move, and keep doing it and keep doing it, and keep doing it, and keep doing it while scratching in between keep doing it.  they rarely forget they got away, but now know that you are on to them and will respond the same EVERY time.  the reason i don't think they ever forget, is that my 4 year old daughter heard GD ONCE, and when you talk with her about bad words, she says, you mean like GD.  all it takes is once, and it's burned in there, so burn in your superior moves.

these animals learn through repetition, and if you are always changing strategies without addressing the problem, it will still surface once in a while.

one last thought, by letting go of the rope, you will learn what behaviors he is doing way before he will bolt, and then you can address it earlier. believe me, there is a lot of lead up behavior to bolting if you just listen.
 

ELBEE

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
635
Location
Blue Rapids, Kansas
We've always used the tractor or a flatbed with some one sitting near the calf's head. The smaller Ferguson type tractors are best since the operator is near the calf, gives them the illusion they're being led by hand. Tractors are also good for one person, since you really need two for the flatbed deal. Flatbeds are great for multiple calves though.

NEVER! did we exercises calves out in the wide open without them being tied to something. They'll learn to get away alot faster than they'll learn they can't!
 
Top