Driving Cows and Calves – How to Make Sure They Stay Together

In the last four articles we talked about how to properly drive cattle. (Here are the last four articles in case you missed them: Approaching the Herd, Starting Herd Movement, Driving Your Herd, Turning Your Herd.) Driving pairs deserves special attention because this could well be the #1 livestock handling problem on ranches; that is, everyone has trouble, at least sometimes. The Problem The primary problem when driving pairs is cows and calves getting separated, which often leads to runbacks, or at least to very unhappy, stressed out cattle and people. But it needn’t be that way. Cows and calves trail all over by themselves and don’t have runbacks, right? Have you ever seen a runback when humans weren’t around messing with them? So, that tells us that trailing out is natural to cattle--they already know how to do it--so think how nice it would be if we could stimulate that natural behavior. The Goal So, when driving pairs our goal is (a) for cows to think of their calves first, (b) to stay mothered-up, and (c) to trail out properly so they don’t become unmothered. The Solution The question, then, is: How do we do this? 1. Foster the herd instinct. Imagine how much easier it would be to

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