Question: Eunice, Tina, and Richard,
Each winter we move our herd of about 275 cows, heifers, and replacements, frequently, in one mob, several miles from one crop residue field to another. How do we keep the leaders, and thus the entire herd, on the road or on a good path across and open field. What frequently happens is that our riders or atv riders ride up upon the leaders to keep on the path, which causes the leaders and then the entire herd to slow down, stop and mill aound. This is accompanied by lots of shouting and arm waving. We should and could do better. What say you?
Answer: I don’t have you in my database, but since you mentioned Tina and Richard I assume you have been to one of their schools. This is too broad a question to answer in an e-mail unless you have had some exposer to Bud’s methods. I would feel more comfortable answering if you had been to one of Bud’s schools or have watched either of the videos I sell on Stockmanship, but here goes …
You should not open the gate from the old pasture until you have gathered the cattle properly and they were acting “right.” If they come to the gate agitated and not mothered up you should drive them around the pasture until they are working for you. Then open the gate. If some of the cattle are liable to go too fast you can put a person in the lead to adjust their speed
(See the September 27th, 2015 posting on our website “Checking up the Herd.”) This might be a good idea anyway to help set the direction. The cattle should be driven by going back and forth IN STRAIGHT LINES behind the herd, adjusting the angle to get the proper direction. No one should be on the side of the herd.