Settling Livestock

Posted March 29th, 2014 — Filed in Herding, Stockmanship

Most people who are wanting to learn how to place animals in such a way that they will stay, put too much emphasis on “settling” them after they get there.

Please read “Question About Placing Animals” in Bud’s March 15, 2012 posting where he emphasizes the importance of driving them properly to get to that place.  When you are near the spot you want them to stay, stop doing the things that drive the animals and start doing the things that slows or stops movement such as taking all of the pressure off of the back end, riding up along the side of the herd in the same direction they are going.  You can get in front and ride in the same direction as the herd is moving, slowing as they will let you, but you must go fast enough that they don’t try to get past you (if you are checking up movement in wild cattle coming out of a corral, it might be pretty darn fast).  It is important that the movement in the herd “dies a natural death.” You can stop their body from moving but that’s not the important thing.  You must cause their mind to want to stop.

If you arrive at the place you want to leave them – and they still want to move, realize that you should have started the slowing process sooner.  Continue on (you should know how far by the progress you are making at slowing the herd), make a proper turn and drift them back to where you want them.

You are not trying to physically put them anywhere, you are working on their mind so they want to be there.  This is why it is counter-productive to turn back animals that drift away.  No matter how gently you do it, in its mind you have stopped it from going where it wants to go.  You can get in front of the animal(s) and ride in the same direction it is going until it decides on its own that it wants to go back to the others.

Pull off and watch for a while.  Even if they are lying down or quietly grazing, but they are all pretty much headed in the same direction, they are telling you that there is still “movement” in the herd and they probably won’t stay.  If they are moving or lying in all directions it is a good sign that the movement in the herd has dissipated and they will probably stay there.


“Placing” Animals on a Small Acrerage

Posted June 13th, 2013 — Filed in Herding

Question:   Is it possible to place sheep and cattle on small acreage and have them stay in the areas you want grazed. We have 137 acres and about 10 cows. We are also interested in sheep, and just wondered on this size place if Bud’s handling methods would allow us to place the animals for rotational grazing or if we had to fence paddocks to rotational graze.

Answer:   In order to rotationally graze such a small area you will have to use fences in order to protect the grasses that were previously grazed.  Bud’s methods will certainly help to make them comfortable wherever you put them and allow you to use areas they didn’t previously  want to graze..
Go to our website and click on the HERDING button on the left side.  Especially read “My Two-cents Worth” posted July 12th, 2009 which gives examples of some of the places that we have done this.

Question About “Placing” Animals

Posted March 15th, 2012 — Filed in Herding, Stockmanship

Question: . . . . I moved a little bunch of cows from one pasture to another the other day. I moved em like I think Bud would. I gathered em first then just stay moving across them from behind and steered by moving out wider if the need arose. It went real well moving as it always does when I handle them like I think Bud would. I took them to a 600 acre pasture we had cleared and burned about 40% of before the drought. It got a rain the day after the burn and a start, but nothing for over a year until this past October. I want to graze the 60%of the pasture that was unburned and uncleared that has plenty of grass though it is low quality. I want the cows to graze the low quality forage and leave the burned area alone. I was pressed for time (my mistake) and didn’t settle them when I moved them. I went back friday morning and gathered them and walked them up to a little flat and took the time to settle them, and (more…)

"Placing" Cattle

Posted July 13th, 2009 — Filed in Herding

To answer your questions:

First, I want to tell you that it is possible to place livestock in an area and have them stay there. They will even go out for water and return to the area on their own. I have done this with cattle, sheep and reindeer. The key to getting this kind of behavior is in the way you handle and drive the livestock. The video tells you how to do this. Sorry to say there are no shortcuts. You can’t decide to use parts of what I do and still get the results I do.

We worked with a couple of ranches in Texas. One runs cattle and sheep, the other just cattle. They both use a rotational (more…)

My Two-cents Worth

Posted July 12th, 2009 — Filed in Herding

To expand on Bud’s statement about placing livestock and have them stay where you want them to without the use of fences:

The traditional way of driving livestock is to get behind them and force or frighten them to move away, hopefully in the direction you want them to go. If they go the wrong way someone goes up along side to make them turn. The person riding up the side tends to slow the animals down which makes the people on the back end have to exert more pressure to keep them going. This push-pull action on the herd is very stressful (more…)


Posted July 11th, 2009 — Filed in Herding

I have been asked to give my opinion about the feasibility of herding livestock in open range conditions. I have been involved in this type of livestock work for a good many years and consider it not only possible, but preferable, under many conditions, to using fences to control the livestock. Following are a few instances which might give you some idea of what I am talking about. (more…)

From Zimbabwe

Posted July 10th, 2009 — Filed in Herding

Here is an excerpt from a letter I received from Zimbabwe, Africa.

“…..Cows calving at a good pace, but my ‘friends,’ the leopard and cheetah are still trying and in some cases causing havoc with the new born calves. Still pursuing with your principals of handling cattle with the emphasis on re-establishing the herd instinct as you did with the sheep at Joe & Dalton’s. The leopard and cheetah very much (more…)

How Long?

Posted July 9th, 2009 — Filed in Herding

Yes, Allan, you are correct in saying the herder should be able to just go to the herd once a day, start them grazing in the desired direction or move them to a new area and settle them there and then leave. But, probably anyone who is vitally interested in the answer to that question will never be able to herd cattle. If you are going to try to do this on a schedule, you are doomed to failure.

The actual amount of time required is as long as necessary for the herder to learn the skills needed to allow the cattle to feel comfortable in a herd and (more…)

Roughly Correct

Posted July 7th, 2009 — Filed in Herding

Thanks for sending me Bud’s comments on herding. I am particularly interested in the idea of placing cattle where you want them. The way I understand it, Bud works with the cattle by moving them around and getting them to trust him in so far as not penetrating the flight zone. When he places them in a spot he makes sure that the movement is taken out of the herd. Is the roughly correct? (more…)

Success Story

Posted July 6th, 2009 — Filed in Herding

I thank you for your help on the phone last week. I appreciate your advice. Although I have been working with a number of riders in many places, I have been having particular success lately with helping two riders keep a herd together and place stock. They have been facing the common problem of having to move off their allotment pastures very quickly because the cattle ate off the riparian areas and left huge expanses of feed unused on the uplands, but the Forest Service makes them move to another grazing unit because they had not been able to control the stock and keep them from impacting the creeks (more…)