NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Cattle Handling system Advice  (Read 421 times)

StephB

  • Joined Feb 2010
Cattle Handling system Advice
« on: May 18, 2019, 06:25:10 pm »
Hi all,


I only have three heifers - 2 Aberdeen Angus and 1 Jersey.  I tried my best to halter train them all but I lost the battle with the two Angus and currently only the Jersey is halter trained.


I bought an old crush from FB earlier this year but have learnt that without a handling system it is impossible to persuade the cows to go near it.


Husband is a builder and has rigged up a makeshift funnel type set up out of old scaffolding.  I am yet to try this as the cows are currently in a different paddock.


Do you have any tips on getting them accustomed to going through it?  I give the cows a small scoup of cattle mix every morning to keep them coming to me.  I was planning on feeding them inside the scaffolding funnel to get them used to it and then eventually shut the gate behind them so the only choice they have is to walk through the crush.


What do you all do with a small herd?  Do you just end up having to buy an expensive handling system??  I really want these heifers AI'd by the end of the year so need to tackle this issue.


Thanks in advance for any advice.


Steph
Living on a 6 acre smallholding in Dorset.
Jersey cow, Aberdeen Angus cattle, small flock of Poll Dorset x sheep, Occasional weaner pigs, Geese, ducks and hens.
Polytunnel / Veg plot.
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Cattle Handling system Advice
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 07:23:55 pm »
Cows love routine, so make it a routine.  They walk through the crush and something nice happens. 

A funnel made out of scaffolding should be fine to guide them.  We’ve made our milking parlour out of scaffolding :)

We are having to borrow a crush for our TB test this year as the new TB test vets won’t do it for free unless we have a crush.  The regular vets, and our AI chaps, are happy enough with the gate-and-wall or gate-and-fence approach. Thankfully one of the local small farmers has a mobile crush, and another a tractor that can transport it :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Cattle Handling system Advice
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 08:10:15 pm »
I feed my jersey in our crush twice a day and have done for months given that i was due to milk her in it, works a treat.
Even the steer we got as company for her comes into it freely when she has vacated

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Cattle Handling system Advice
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 09:44:13 am »
Absolutely agree about routien but remember, they don't know it's a routine until they've done it about seven times - you know it's the routine before the first time, so don't get cross with them  :)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Cattle Handling system Advice
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 10:33:12 am »
Absolutely agree about routien but remember, they don't know it's a routine until they've done it about seven times - you know it's the routine before the first time, so don't get cross with them  :)

Lol.  Hillie is a cow with brains, which makes her more like a collie to train.  It’s happened once, it must be going to happen again!  Whereas Flare is much more ordinary in the brains department, bless her. And thank goodness, actually. One cow with brains is lovely, two would be a challenge!  Lol
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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