I am a young agricultural enthusiast focused on spreading the "Colorful" world of Agriculture.
Involved with an amazing group of other Calgary Stampede Summer Synergy Youth who are committed to promoting Agricultural to others. I was introduced to blogging in participation for the Summer Synergy Marketing Campaign, which has truly inspired me.
I am excited to share my thoughts, comments, on serious and fun aspects of Agriculture. I hope that if you have an opinion on my subject matter, that you will leave a comment - I want to know how you feel, from both my agriculture and urban friends. Lets have some fun, relive some memories, make new memories and talk about what really matters most - help spread the word of Agriculture.
Get your boots out, dust them off, and join me in adding a bit of color to Agriculture!
Moving cattle is a critical thing on my farm, specially with our wide range of separated land. Today we vaccinated the baby calves and separated the cattle into their individual breeds so we could have the right bull with the right group. On our farm we have 3 different breeds of cattle: Black Angus, Red Angus, and Hereford. When moving cattle, it helps to know how they will react to various things. If you have patience and are understanding you can move the cattle efficiently with less stress. (Doesn't really happen much here! Dad get frustrated)
Moving the Herefords
You need to understand that cattle, or any animal, have a particular flight zone - or bubble of security. Each animal has its own space which it feels safe and unthreatened. You will know when you enter this imaginary boundary because the animal will move away from you. This bubble will be much larger for a wild, suspicious cow compared to a gentle, trusting one.
Watch for their signals. When cattle are stressed they tend to have a larger flight zone compared to when they are normal. Approach quietly, making sure the animal, or herd, sees you and realizes you aren't a threat. If the cattle are accustomed to seeing you, speak to them they will become more calm if they know its you rather than a stranger. Cattle have a blind spot directly behind them, so be care as they will become nervous if they can't see you.
Brick - the Hereford bull!
You will have more success trying to move a calm herd rather than a stressed one. Th calm animal is more apt to see an open gate rather than a nervous one charging by it. Understanding the security bubble is one of the keys to easy handling. When you get too close, the animals move. When you retreat from this personal space, they slow down or stop. To move cattle quietly, walk or ride on the edge of this flight zone, pressing it to make them move away from you, and easing off to slow or stop them. When they move in the proper direction at the proper speed, ease up as a reward.
The Red Angus leaving home! Blacks don't go till tomorrow!
If you are working in a small place such as an alleyway or corral remember that a confined animal will become more nervous creating a larger flight zone. If you come to close they may become agitated, especially when approaching from head on! If an animal is cornered, it will not stay calm. If you invade the bubble when it is cornered the cow may panic and try to jump the fence or run back over you.
Don't follow directly behind a cow; you need to be a little to one side so she can see you. If you are in her blind spot, she will want to stop and turn around to face you or kick you. Once the leaders are moving, move with them, just behind the leader's shoulder to keep her moving. The herd will tend to stay together if you work quietly and if not alarmed and upset, the rest will usually follow!
Careful some get nervous! Glory - the Red Angus Bull
I love moving cattle! They get so excited to move to a new field or to come home. I never miss out on it and maybe even one day I can convince my dad to stop, uhh, yelling at the cattle. It will relieve stress from them, him, and me!