Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice please  (Read 4149 times)

Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
Advice please
« on: November 03, 2015, 09:01:42 pm »
Hi There,
What a great forum, :thumbsup: I've been following this site for several months.
I'm after a bit of advice. We have two Shetland cows, they arrived about a month ago and seem to have settled in well.. One(Flora)is about  2 years old with a castrated calf at foot,( he will be going in the freezer) and the other (Flossie) is about 18 months old. I would very much like to halter train them but at a slight loss where to start. They are not kept in doors at the moment  but they do have access to our barn. I feed them a few cattle nuts each day and they sniff my hand but shy away from any more contact. Is it possible to halter train older cows? Help please!

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Advice please
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 09:12:55 pm »
I keep goats so I'm not an expert on cows but i'd say patience, quite a scary thing being taken from everything you know and finding strange people, sounds, sights. My goats took a while to settle with me.
I wonder if keeping them in for an hour a day while you talk to them, while doing jobs round the barn? would help them get used to you?

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Advice please
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015, 09:37:39 pm »
I haven't done it - I do our heifers in their first winter when they are 6-10 months old = but I would guess with many Shetlands, it's perfectly possible.

With calves, first I get them addicted to sugar beet. Then I'll start throwing the halter over their backs and letting them move away until they will stand and let me do that. Then I'll start moving it up the body until it's over the head. Then I'll slip it on but not hold them just let them move around while I hold the end. This has to be in an enclosed space obviously. This can take a week or more depending on the calf.

Then I'll change to putting the halter on first and then giving the sugar beet.

Just take your time and don't stir them up too much. If they start to get agitated, just stop and step back. You have plenty time so don't rush. Better to progress slowly.

Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Advice please
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2015, 09:49:30 pm »
Thanks for replies, I think  the message is to take things slowly, slowly. Also good idea about confining them for short periods and spending time with them, not a great hardship as I just love my Shetlands. :cow:

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Advice please
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015, 09:51:40 pm »
Most of our Shetlands are fairly driven by their stomachs -they like cow rolls and beef nuts and love carrots.
Our home bred Shetlands are all happy to be hand fed - they've been handled by us since birth. Our founder cows that we bought in took longer to  get used to us and being handled.

Patience is the key. Offer some treats in a trug, so they don't have to be touched. Progress to offering a carrot/nut by hand - at first they may just sniff and back away, but with time they'll become used to you just standing there and come closer and then gluttony will take over and they'll eat from the hand.

Once you've got them used to all that, you can progress to halter training. I'm sure Rosemary will have some hints and tips for that.

Have fun. What are their pedigree names? - my OH keeps the breeding database for the Shetland Cattle breeders association here on the mainland and we're always keen to hear of new owners.

Sue

 

Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Advice please
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 09:50:47 pm »
Thanks guys for all your advice.
Factotum, our Shetland's pedigree names are St Trinians Flood and Renwick Masse Lass. We bought them both as Pedigree Shetlands, we have pedigree certificates from SCHBA and have just sent the certificates off for change of ownership but for some reason Masse Lass does not appear on the website, any ideas why she is not on the pedigree website?
Cheers

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Advice please
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2015, 10:57:25 pm »
Hi again,
Masse Lass may be missing due to a technical problem with the Herd Book website. Some of our registered heifers from 2013 had disappeared from the on-line record for a short time.

I spoke to Evelyn - she deals with the HB - and she tells me there are a few animals from the 2013 & 2014 registrations missing on line. The 'techies' are working on this.

Cattle registered this year will not yet be visible on the website, as I understand the on-line Herd Book is updated once the registration year is complete.

Should sort itself out over time.

Sue





Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Advice please
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 09:26:39 pm »
Hi Sue,

Thanks so much for your reply, really appreciate it. I spent some time with my Shetland girls today, they certainly love their grub! I'll periodically check the SCHBA web site and see if Masse Lass eventually appears!

Nicki

Susannah

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Pencaitland
Re: Advice please
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 08:01:31 am »
Hi Border Lady,
I too have Shetland cattle and have a St Trinnians bull called Lucky Seven. Did you buy yours from Louise Dempster? I am not a million miles away in East Lothian (Haddington) where are you?
Can't help with the halter training but if yours are as laid back as Lucky seems to be (so far!) it shouldn't take too long. Try scratching their magic spot at the base of the tail when they will let you.
I have a cow missing from the herd book too. Good luck with them.
Jacob sheep, Shetland cows, Pygmy goats, Chinese geese, Khaki Campbell ducks.

Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Advice please
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2015, 09:22:05 pm »
Hi Susannah,

I didn't know about the " magic spot," I shall try that when they let me! Thanks for the tip.

We got our 3 lovely Shetlands from Kirsty Mccaig in Skegness, bl..dy miles away from us in West Devon!
We paid haulage fees of 700! As it happens my husband is from East Lothian(Tranent) He is a vet and I'm a vet nurse but this small holder lark is a massive learning curve!
It's reassuring to know that other Shetlands are missing from the Herd Book!

Nicki

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Advice please
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2015, 07:23:48 am »
It's reassuring to know that other Shetlands are missing from the Herd Book!

Hardly  ???

Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Advice please
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2015, 09:15:51 pm »
  ??? I meant it in an ironic way!  :-\

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Advice please
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2015, 09:39:35 am »
  ??? I meant it in an ironic way!  :-\

I guessed so  :)

 

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