How do I stop my new bull from hating me?

Becs

Member
Location
Wiltshire
Just bought a new bull, chosen partly because of a quiet, nice temperament. Unfortunately it became pretty clear that he wasn’t a well chap and in his first few days on the farm he’s had the vet out to him, resulting in antibiotic jab ( with us having to give him 2 more doses) and today he had the hoof trimmer out to him who discovered a hefty infection in his hoof, which must have been painful. With all this painful experiences every time we handle him, how do I stop him from hating us? If the boot was on the other foot, I wouldn’t like me either!! (Our last bull came to us with a long standing foot problem and it got to the stage where it was impossible/dangerous to get him into to go into the hoof trimmers crush)
 

bluepower

Member
Livestock Farmer
This might sound daft, but when we’ve been delivering veg to Riverford, we’ve been bringing graded out produce back for stock feed. The 1 thing that they have gone absolutely mad for is bananas! Might be worth bribing him with some.
Riverford must have found locally grown organic bananas to reduce food miles and reduce their carbon footprint?
 

Muddyroads

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Exeter, Devon
Riverford must have found locally grown organic bananas to reduce food miles and reduce their carbon footprint?
We put some of the good ones on our honesty table for people to take for free. When a villager asked where they were from, I told him we had an amazing micro climate in the orchard opposite the house. I was then asked if we peel them before feeding them to the pigs! 😁
 

Two Tone

Member
Mixed Farmer
Without having foot problems, I’ve noticed Bulls obviously upset and having a few problems when they first come to the farm. IMO, they might be homesick.

Spend a bit of time with them and give them a few treats.

Whatever you do, don’t put them straight to work, or you will end up very disappointed and wreck your calving index.
 
Last edited:

Becs

Member
Location
Wiltshire
We’ve put back calving next year by a month to give him time to hopefully get fit and well. I hadn’t thought about him being homesick - it’s a shame his first week here hasn’t been nicer for him 🥺
 

JSmith

Member
Livestock Farmer
Without having foot problems, I’ve noticed Bulls obviously upset at having a few problems when they first come to the farm. IMO, they might be homesick.

Spend a bit of time with them and give them a few treats.

Whatever you do, don’t put them straight to work, or you will end up very disappointed and wreck your calving index.
Being home sick will stop him serving cows when there bulling?? Or you mean if it’s a force fed pampered shed reared bull it will need time to adjust to real life??
 

abitdaft

Member
Location
Scotland
Spend time with him, let him get to know you and allow him to figure out that you mean nice things, grub, a scratch etc Most important I have found from a bull that took one look at me and went broadside was that they are not all instant culls as long as you can operate safely ( always have a barrier between you ). Some bulls are fine as long as you don't push the boundaries, some are happy to have you in their space, it's figuring out the nature and boundaries of each animal that are important, read each animal as an individual just as you would a person. Never take any chances though, if in doubt get rid!
 

Two Tone

Member
Mixed Farmer
Being home sick will stop him serving cows when there bulling?? Or you mean if it’s a force fed pampered shed reared bull it will need time to adjust to real life??
Had it happen and nearly shot a cracking bought in bull that would not work in his first year with us. Fine from then on. But he just wasn’t happy in that first year.

Had a cow we bought from a farm about 5 miles away that became one hell of an escape artist and went back to her old farm 3 times!
I think she was pee'd off that we didn’t feed in the parlour (but immediately afterwards), whereas on her old farm they did. She worked out that she could slide the parlour do open, then the tank room/dairy sliding door, then walk/trot home, between milkings. Twice her old owner rang up to tell us she was back there before we even noticed!

We swapped her for another one of his cows in the end. Which for obvious reasons seemed to give a lot more milk!
 

abitdaft

Member
Location
Scotland
Had it happen and nearly shot a cracking bought in bull that would not work in his first year with us. Fine from then on. But he just wasn’t happy in that first year.

Had a cow we bought from a farm about 5 miles away that became one hell of an escape artist and went back to her old farm 3 times!
I think she was pee'd off that we didn’t feed in the parlour (but immediately afterwards), whereas on her old farm they did. She worked out that she could slide the parlour do open, then the tank room/dairy sliding door, then walk/trot home, between milkings. Twice her old owner rang up to tell us she was back there before we even noticed!

We swapped her for another one of his cows in the end. Which for obvious reasons seemed to give a lot more milk!

I think that another issue is that some folk ( guilty in the past ) have bought in young bulls and for obvious reasons we isolate them initially, bulls don't really do too well mentally when isolated. Even giving them a pal over barrier can have a big impact.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
we had a hf bull, that caught his leg, pretty nasty, had to daily change the bandage and poultice, just stood there, while we did it, using a bull staff, and would walk him around the yard with it, really thought we were doing a great job, took about 8 weeks of 'fiddling', the day we left the bandage off, was the last time he would allow us to catch him. I need 2 sticks to get around with, and very noticeable some cows really don't like them, most don't give a damn.
 

Suffolksucklers

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Suffolk
I think that another issue is that some folk ( guilty in the past ) have bought in young bulls and for obvious reasons we isolate them initially, bulls don't really do too well mentally when isolated. Even giving them a pal over barrier can have a big impact.

We once bought a bull off a herd as they were changing breed viewed him in the field all fine and had a deal. When we went to pick him up he was penned with the telehandler against the doors to stop him breaking out. Not wanting to go back on the deal we Loaded him and hastily passed over the cheque before making our way steadily home crossing our fingers that the trailer wouldn't tip and that it would still be in one piece when we got home. Let him on a meadow with a couple of cows when we got home and he was immediately fine again and never a problem again even when we put him in the bull pens over winter. Just think it was that initial isolation that stressed him out. Our bull pens are side by side and even though they would fight if free they do seem to genuinely enjoy each others company when penned as they never square up and often lick each other through the railings and feed out of each end of the same trough.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
it's the quiet and friendly bulls, that are the killers, you just don't take 'precautions' when you are with them. If you don't trust them, you always keep your 'eye' on them. Bulls can 'turn' overnight, we reared 2 jersey bulls together, no trouble at all, put 1 with some hfrs, served 2, and had to go, really nasty and dangerous, 16 months old, the other, we still have, 10 months on, had to ask a lady, where we have some keep, to stop making a fuss of him, he would run up to the fence, for a 'scratch' every time he saw her, and still quiet in the yard now, he will go soon, as he is not 'respected' just 'ignored', that is the dangerous bull.
 

Is Red tractor detrimental to your mental health?

  • Yes, Red tractor increase my stress and anxiety

    Votes: 312 97.2%
  • No, Red tractor gives me peace of mind that the product I produce is safe to enter the food chain

    Votes: 9 2.8%

HSENI names new farm safety champions

  • 158
  • 0
Written by William Kellett from Agriland

Farm-safety-640x360.png
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
Top