Bull Stops Herd

Posted April 13th, 2008 — Filed in Stockmanship

Question—
April 2008, Oregon— . . . . . . . . . . . What do you do when you are trying to get movement from a group of cows and the bull is the kind that is stopping the movement. In fact he will literally stand in the gate and pitch the cows back in the pasture. I would like to shoot him and drop him right their. What would Bud do?

Answer—
Years ago Bud and I had problems with bulls “herding ” the cows and stopping them from going where you want them to go. When we learned how to get good-movement in the cows the bulls weren’t able to stop them so they stopped trying. Even the elk bulls finally gave up, and they are by far worse than any beef bull. Here are a couple of things that tend to stop or slow movement in livestock.

#1. is to travel in the direction of the flow of the animals. This is true if you are along side of the herd or if you are in back of the herd. You should always zigzag back and forth behind the herd, never move straight ahead.

#2. When you are going back and forth you must watch the animals, since if you are going to the right you tend to turn the herd to the left. When you are going to the left, you tend to turn the herd to the right. JUST AS SOON as you notice an indication that they are turning you must turn back to straighten them out.

A bull can’t stop good movement in cows that are going straight and going where they want to go. You should have the cows working for you and in the right frame of mind before you get to the gate. If not, you should drive them away and work with them until they are working for you.

Bulls don’t like to walk as fast as cows are willing to walk. If you have been driving the cattle for a long ways, you might have been pushing the cows faster than the bull is comfortable traveling. This will often cause them to try to stop the cows.