My first big project of the new year is halter training the four highland calves .They are living in an open shed, staying dry with lots of fresh air and plenty of food. They don’t have to compete with the bigger cattle around the feed ring so they are growing and happy, just like I want them to be.
Last week we installed four strong hooks on the wall in the shed. Then it was time to catch the calves and get halters on their heads. Easier said than done. They are fairly calm around me when I visit them and feed them but they were not interested in being caught and tied up! Richard ‘lassoed’ each one, tackled it down, I gingerly tossed the halter around the head, then Richard dragged them up and they were hooked. All involved got an excellent work out and no one was hurt. Please do not try this at home.
I don’t think the calves had a great first night, but they have quickly become accustomed to their captivity and are doing well. They have fresh hay all the time and nice clean bedding. I give them cattle nuts and plenty of water twice a day and they like the routine. They also enjoy being combed, relaxing and dropping their heads down, and especially love the scratching around their necks.
This weekend I will try leading them out into the yard...watch this space!
Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.