Can you manage your Hereford bull?
Everything revolves around him, or at least he thinks so!
But, he’s not too far from the truth!
After all the dirt throwing, romping around, and bellowing is done, the Hereford bull is still a beast that you either manage or he manages you & your cow herd.
It’s fun to watch the bull when you first turn him out for breeding season. He’s like a runaway freight train. Running and turning to take account of every female in his path. He’s hollering as loud as he can to stake his territory. He’s on high alert.
But that’s what we want a bull to do. He’s a bull. A Hereford bull is the powerhouse of all the hormones to chase any cows in heat and get them bred at any hour of the day or night.
The problem comes when it’s time to harness that power and put that bull back in his box. No bull likes to leave the women. He wants to stay there and protect his herd. He thinks that is his right as the male.
Few cattlemen have problems with the bull getting out when he is IN with the cows.
The biggest problem is keeping the bull from breaking OUT of his pasture and getting back in with the cows.
Once that bull knows that the fence won’t hold him and his hormones, he’s gonna do it!
However, bull management is ESSENTIAL.
My 7-way approach to holding Bull Power
Create or isolate a 1-2 acre pasture away from any females, especially open heifers!
Need shade trees &/or shelter + good source of fresh, clean water
Small corral with load out alley (no head gate needed)
Feed trough (preferably concrete and inline with corral for ease of feeding as you drive by)
Fence wires should be simple and easy to keep electrified (no other fences on that charger)
Bull Toys – safe items that he can push & rub on for entertainment (coming soon…a post on the “Bull Playground” concept)
Needs 1 companion (steer, another bull, or older cow that needs weight)
*If you locate your Bull Pasture on the same farm as the cow herd, you will need to have a double fence 6 feet apart on the side that the bull can associate with cows.
Isolation and Distance are the keys to holding the bull. If he can touch them, he will cross the fence no matter how hot the wire is. It’s not his fault. He’s a bull!
Keeping 2 groups of bulls separated by using 2 single strands of hot wires divided by 6 feet is fairly simple.
BUT, to keep a bull separate from a herd of cows requires permanent fencing & at least ONE strand of hot wire for both parties.
When breeding season is over & you take the bull away from the cows, DON’T JUST DROP HIM OFF in his pasture ALONE! He needs “hope that tomorrow is another day of breeding”.
Put him with another bull to “fight about breeding another day” or give him the companionship of an older cow or steer to “hope that breeding will come soon.”
Your bull really wants to work but you must be
the supervisor & manager of the herd.
If your bull pad is designed with a little thought and made to be low maintenance for the long haul, you will be surprised how simple it is to harness your bull power. They are predictable animals.
They understand a trailer, a bucket, and a cow in heat.
You don’t need a hot stick on your Stud.
To read more posts on bull management, Click Here