Outsmarting Wild Cattle Part 3

This year I switched from being a year-round cow-calf operation to being a seasonal heifer developer, one of the biggest issues I had was with temperament. Heifers that are new to my operation can be flighty and less calm than a herd I've worked with over the years. Here is part 3 of the skills and techniques I've acquired for dealing with smart, ornery cattle and how I set up corrals using inexpensive materials. (If you missed them, here's Part 1 and here's Part 2.) Corralling Cattle Here’s how I get my herd into the corral for pregnancy checks, loading onto trucks, or whatever I need to do. I build a lane with polywire leading up to the corral, about 20 feet wide, tapering down to the width of the corral opening. The perimeter fence often serves as one side of the lane. For the last one hundred or so feet before the corral, I use two strands of polywire with step-in posts placed closer together than usual. The polywire is of course electrified. The lane must be long enough that the cattle enter and begin moving down it before they realize they are headed for the corral (while they still think it’s just a paddock shift). More people around to help is not necessarily better. My cattle don’t see anyone but me for most of the grazing season, so they panic when new people come around. A show of force will often produce the opposite result from what you want. I’ve had be

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2 thoughts on “Outsmarting Wild Cattle Part 3

  1. When a cow is focusing on you, she has completely forgotten about whatever it is you want her to do. She is only thinking about how to escape from the threat that is you.

    BINGO

  2. A great article Meg. I love your courage to try & your ingenuity to solve issues with the resources available! As you have demonstrated, panels & poly wire are effective tools to build handling facilities on rented land. For me, spending the money on free standing panels really reduced my stress. It would have been nice to have the money for them when we first started out!

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