Host: Noreena Downs Station
Written by Kate Paull – Owner, Noreena Downs Station.
So yesterday you saw some videos of us moving cattle along, well in today’s blog we are gonna catch up with them again for the last bit of the walk.
In the videos I talk about the young heifer emulating the older cow – cattle can be creatures of habit so if you have a mob of cattle that love running around and being silly and in cooperative and are not easy to control and you take the young female out to teach her a different mannerism she will take it on board until you release her back with the mob – her family and friends.
She will mix back with the naughty cows that she has all around her and emulate them ’cause she thinks she has to do what the older cow is doing, so therefore if you can’t control the main breeding herd which is generally cows, heifers, herd bulls, and calves, the heifer is back to square one with possibly a few lady like manners if you’re lucky, cattle education is for the whole mob at all times.
Breeding for quiet tempered cattle also comes into it, if it’s mad it’s a good chance it will breed mad critters like it.
Quiet cattle make the work easier and safer, the returns are better, they are easier to sell, cattle welfare is higher, and no stock agent wants to get in the yards and mingle with nut case cattle which makes quiet, content, smiling cattle rewarding and market desirable.
On the tail (rear end of the mob) if the cattle don’t get jammed up or bulged up they will walk along at a very happy pace, in the video the cattle are doing 6.4km per hour over hard ground, if the cattle walk at their own striding pace they can walk double the length you want them to walk, if you look at it from their view being pushed hard they get exhausted trying to stride out to an unfamiliar pace to them and then if they are being pushed in amongst other cattle it’s like a mosh pit they will get exhausted being pushed around and run out of energy.
If the cattle cruise on home to the yards cool as cucumbers and get treated kindly and in a relaxed manner in the yards the experience is a lot more pleasant for them and they will accept coming back into the muster and yards next year, if they get a bad experience then you can only imagine what you would think about it if you were in there hooves – if you got pushed along in a bunch of stinky armpit cows pushing each other around on a long trip back to the cattle yards and then to be thrown into yards and yelled and screamed at, hit with sticks, and then rammed up a race – what would you do, would you come back for next muster and yards or give the chopper the run around? I know I would be one hell of an uncooperative cow if that was me.