I am used to halter breaking dairy cattle. After bottle feeding for 6-8 weeks; I have had no problem with holsteins at any age. But dairy is gone and I have a Jan. angus heifer that I want to break for my 11 year old daughter. Caught her once; she was attacking the post I had her tied to. She nocked some hair off her nose and forehead and was bleeding a little from mouth. So I let her go. I do not have a donkey
Tie her up every day for an hour or so. Tie her loose enough so that she realizes when she steps up the pressure is released from her head. It takes a while, but she will eventually quit fighting. I have never had much luck with donkeys myself. I think just working with her everyday is the best way to go so she can't forget what she learned the day before. If you are using a rope halter on her, I would leave it on and let her drag the lead rope. Just don't leave it on so long that it rubs her nose raw. I had a steer that scraped his head pretty good the first time I had him tied. Should have probably gotten it stitched, but it healed so that you don't even notice it now.
doesn't sound like an animal I'd want my 11 year old trying to control. But with that attitude type animal I'd take a 40/50 pound
post and drill a hole in one end about 2 - 3 inches from the end
fashion a bail in it and halter the calf on a 8 to 10 ft rope, attach her to the post and put her in a NO obstruction lot and let her get used to it (several days). Better to let her get used to pull away than attack, plus will get used to resistance. May take a
Have also watched the professional 4-H parents breaking the calves to lead behind an old 3 pt bar on a tractor up and down the road tied
up close to the bar (6 - 8 inches)
Grew up on a purebred cattle operation that sold 50 two year old bulls annually, all broke to lead. A lot of them did not see a halter until over a year old or later. We would get a halter on them and tie them just high enough off the ground on a post so that they could be individually fed and hayed without getting their front feet over the tie rope and choke themselves. Most would be unhappy for a day or so and then by the second day or so they would notice that they were getting thirsty. Usually could "lead" them to the automatic water without too much trouble. Never had any luck tieing them to a tractor and trying to drag them around to teach them to lead, usually the opposite effect and made them more determined to resist. Actually, had good luck with a donkey breaking 4-H steers. Don,t know if politically correct but tied the donkey to halter of steer with about six feet of slack. Let the steer out of the chute and the steer would take off, the donkey would turn around and get in position and kick the steer in the ribs with both hind feet and the steer would immediately get docile. Also would tie the donkey to a steer and the steer would only get a drink when the donkey would decide it was time to get a drink and that worked pretty good too. If the calf has a tight swirl of hair in the middle of his forehead between his eyes, chances are he is hyper by genetics and needs to go the commercial route. Once you start with a calf, never let it win the game once or it will always remember its victory, point being that you must always be in control, take your time and do not try to do too much too fast. Leading the animal 10 feet and tieing it back up is better than trying to lead it too far the firast few times and letting it get away.
I think this was covered a few months ago, but I will be more than happy to share again.
We show every year. Every Hiefer/Steer is diferent. Some only take minutes to break others take the tractor and three point. One Hiefer refused all of them so my father in law made a Steel halter and hooked her to the loader on the tractor. She stoped fighting when her back legs were getting ready to come off the ground, after that a 2 year old could lead her around.
I agree with all these guys. There are a hundred diferent ways to break them. In fact we have probably done them all, just depends on what is available. BTW, donkeys are cheap and very efficient.
If you are wanting to show/halter break then I would recomend walking through the cows everyday. I bought 20 western Hiefers two years ago last December, that would run to the oppisite side of the pasture when I walked up. After two months of feeding them everyday in the winter I could scratch a few of them, by the end of the winter I could get within hands reach of most of them. It just shows the more time your out with them the calmer they are.
Too many guys around here never get out of the tractor or truck and wonder why there cows are wild when they go to work them.
Forgot to mention that we have founbd Angus are more of a pain to break. Dont get me wrong we have had Angus on our farm for a hundred years but when it comes to showing we have Simmental's. I havent been kicked or put a against a fence by one yet. There almost lazy compared to Angus.
There are many, many ways to break calves to lead and most of them work eventually.
. For us older guys, I like to run the animal in the chute and brush and curry for 1-2 hr until the animal is calm. Repeat the next day and thereafter until the animal stands and is not nervous. Then tie them up to an eyebolt or pole about 5 ft off the ground so their head is held up. When they have calmed down start feeding them some molasses based 3-way or sweet feed. Continue to brush and curry them and start to lead them sort distances. Soon most but not all will lead easily. I have done this on 100's of calves and it works good for me. It may not work for everyone.