It's that time of year again.
The spring calves are being weaned and it is time to start getting them ready for the next show season.
Show season is just over a month away, so we have our work cut out for us.
The first step in getting new calves ready for show season?
This post contains affiliate links.
Our new favorite tool for breaking calves is the Weaver breaking halter.
A Weaver breaking halter is identical to a regular rope halter except for one small feature.
This little metal ring.
This ring allows the rope to slide easily as you release pressure.
You can see the difference in this regular halter.
When you pull on the rope halter it tightens up. When you release that pressure the rope stays in the same position.
So what is the big deal?
A calf needs to learn to give to the pressure of the halter. When you pull, they learn that if they move into the pressure the pressure will stop.
When first teaching the calf to walk, as soon as the calf takes a step, let up on the pressure. This is the reward for doing what you have asked.
The breaking halter adds to that immediate realease of pressure by allowing the rope to slide quickly and easily through the ring.
Another added benefit to the breaking halter is it helps to guard against abscesses that can form from the constant pressure of the halter.
Not all cows are smart...at least at first.
We have all had that one calf that thinks they can outlast the pressure from the halter. They dig their feet in and just pull. Their tongue is hanging out and they are panting, but still won't take that step to release the pressure on the halter.
Those stubborn ones tend to be the ones that usually end up with a hard abscess under their chin a few days later. The breaking halters help to prevent those abscesses and tender spots.
We first learned about the Weaver breaking halters when we attended the Kirk Stierwalt clinic. We bought one that day and haven't looked back.
Just last night Daniel was looking all over the barn for one of the breaking halters (it almost jumped out and bit him) so that he could work on getting the new calves ready for Louisville.
It is amazing how one simple change can make such a difference.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I may receive commissions from purchases made through links in the post.
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I love the last line of your post--because it IS truly amazing how one simple change can make a difference. While we don't have cows, I have gone through similar training and similar halters with horses. That pressure/release thing really works, huh?! Cute pictures, too!
10/27/2016 06:42:44 pm
10/8/2017 11:59:20 am
I love your blog! Very well rounded, and informative. We are just starting out with Mini Herfs here in Louisiana and we love them! Keep up the good work!
10/8/2017 02:16:27 pm
Glad you are enjoying your new herd. Miniature Herefords have certainly changed our lives!
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.