Back Valley Ranch

All natural, free range, antibiotic and hormone free, organic quality, grass fed beef.

Back Valley Ranch

How to work with tame cattle


We have a neighbor down the street who we help out on occasion with her cattle when they need shots, worming, branding, stuff like that. Today if was time to worm and scour guard them as they are about to calve and the scour guard vaccine protects the babies from getting sick when they are born. Let me paint the picture in your minds for you. The pens used to be designed to handle a large amount of cattle. So there are a few pens to go through and then a big long alley way that the cows have to walk up to get to the chute. So when there’s a lot of cattle it’s not hard to get them heading into the alley way and hold them all together. However, there are not that many cattle anymore so the cows don’t like taking the long walk up the alley to go into the chute. On top of that, the door that once locked the cows into the alley has fallen off. So here we are, three people and about 30 head of very tame and opinionated cattle.

Sometimes working with tame cows doesn’t make it easier. If they don’t want to go you can shove, twist tail, scream and they will look at you with this “fudge you” face and refuse to enter the chute. We would tie them like we do our own but these girls are very big and are hard to tie up. So here we are, one of us behind pushing one a cow, I’m standing on the darn thing and Jerry is in front trying to coax her in the chute with some hay. She wasn’t having any of that. She refused to budge one foot. We finally ended up saying fine and stuck her with the needle right in the alley way. Well that got her in gear and going forward.

On top of having opinionated cattle the equipment kept malfunctioning. The worming tube was always coming apart. Jerry probably accidentally wormed himself about as much as the cows today. The needle gun was always breaking as well. Then the cattle chute door was getting stuck. Life and times on the ranch. Hardly anything ever goes as planned.

This is how it went for most of the cattle and four hours later, we are all tired, sweaty and ready for a good stiff drink. We’re all laughing about how we should write a book called “How not to be Productive with Cattle”. But we got the job done and at the end of the day it’s still nice to know that the cattle are that tame where they do not fear us in any way. I would still rather work with a cow that are tame and refusing to move then a wild one that runs 100 miles an hour and trying to ram you.