Using collecting area as bull pen/ideas

coomoo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Scotland
With the different threads on electronic heat detection systems, and looking at them myself at this moment cost looks too high without grant funding. One option I’m toying with is a bull pen beside/using collecting area for the bull to pick them on other side of gate. Seen it done on other farms but would really appreciate some feedback on bull pen set ups, sizes etc. Also if the idea I’ve scetched could work or if it would disrupt milking too much. Thanks
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coomoo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Scotland
Teaser to point out heats I might miss then some ai but yeah would like to put cows in with him, help me if I expand numbers.
 
Location
cumbria
Used to have a bull pen back in the day.

Mucking him out was an issue.
He had a race which I would put cows in for service. Occasionally a cow would reverse and end up in the pen with him. Getting the cow back out was difficult.
When cows were out in the summer, he would spend long periods sat on his own.
Feeding to keep him service fit was a ball ache.
When running him outside the pen to muck out or sort a cow for instance I ran the risk of an aggressive act.

Sorry I doesn't help with design, but some issues I encountered may help with design?
 

Durry cows

Member
Location
Derbyshire
With the different threads on electronic heat detection systems, and looking at them myself at this moment cost looks too high without grant funding. One option I’m toying with is a bull pen beside/using collecting area for the bull to pick them on other side of gate. Seen it done on other farms but would really appreciate some feedback on bull pen set ups, sizes etc. Also if the idea I’ve scetched could work or if it would disrupt milking too much. ThanksView attachment 704540
Sounds a good idea to me, some may disagree but I’m assuming you’re thinking of a Holstein/dairy bull and the amount of nasty buggers I’ve seen plus 50% of calves worthless, a nice polled Hereford bull quiet as a lamb that way he’s workable in and out of the pen...seem to remember you getting good results with sexed Semen anyway..
 

coomoo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Scotland
Sounds a good idea to me, some may disagree but I’m assuming you’re thinking of a Holstein/dairy bull and the amount of nasty buggers I’ve seen plus 50% of calves worthless, a nice polled Hereford bull quiet as a lamb that way he’s workable in and out of the pen...seem to remember you getting good results with sexed Semen anyway..
Funny you mention that I’ve a lovely Hereford served piles in cubicles and at grass. Considering a friesian via the power of tff up here, but agree pens gating escapes etc would need to be spot on. @More to life i probably agree but the prices I’m seeing is too much for my cows/conscious.
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Funny you mention that I’ve a lovely Hereford served piles in cubicles and at grass. Considering a friesian via the power of tff up here, but agree pens gating escapes etc would need to be spot on. @More to life i probably agree but the prices I’m seeing is too much for my cows/conscious.

Off topic, but...
I’ve read that diary bulls are aggressive because they’re hand reared. Has anyone ever seen studies or have experience of dairy breed bulls reared on a cow. Are they more or less aggressive?
 

farmerdan7618

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
What's the calving pattern?
Not really a fan of keeping bull's on their own, had one that was really quiet when in a group, and nuts on his own.
Have done the keeping a bull in a pen next to the collecting yard, and you will be able to pick the bullers out easily as they run in first and stand by the gate all milking.
Best way we ever did it was to split the herd in half, and left the bull in with anything over 150 days in milk and not planned to cull. Did this one winter when there was a gap in bulling heifers.
Keep it simple.
 

coomoo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Scotland
What's the calving pattern?
Not really a fan of keeping bull's on their own, had one that was really quiet when in a group, and nuts on his own.
Have done the keeping a bull in a pen next to the collecting yard, and you will be able to pick the bullers out easily as they run in first and stand by the gate all milking.
Best way we ever did it was to split the herd in half, and left the bull in with anything over 150 days in milk and not planned to cull. Did this one winter when there was a gap in bulling heifers.
Keep it simple.
AYR here. Time beings my thinking, putting plans to move from 110 cows housed in a group to an extra shed of milkers with 60/70 next to it. So as you say slip bull in with the 150 day ish group would be great but still in planning. Itching to simplify things (y)
 

Durry cows

Member
Location
Derbyshire
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Funny you mention that I’ve a lovely Hereford served piles in cubicles and at grass. Considering a friesian via the power of tff up here, but agree pens gating escapes etc would need to be spot on. @More to life i probably agree but the prices I’m seeing is too much for my cows/conscious.

Admittedly I’m pro Hereford at the minute this is the 13th heifer to calve in 14 days by my lovely Hereford bull called harry :love: he’s soft as a brush not like no end of Holstein bulls I’ve seen in pens that’s brains are completely fried! Friesian be better as you say but you can buy sexed goonhilly,catlane etc bulls and pick what you put it on. Most stockmen/older farmers tend to agree herefords quietest bulls, we haven’t run a bull in over 10 years before past 18 months and it’s taken a lot of work off me doing all ai’ng. Bonuses are calves easy plus polled, can go across cows and heifers not like blues for example. Only a few things to think about not saying it’s right as above tho can run with the 150 dim group and stop all them hard breeders which you don’t want a replacement calf out of anyway (y)
 

Treemover

Member
Location
Offaly
We’re running two bulls; an Aberdeen who’s a gentle giant, and a young short horn who’s the opposite, and got a long rope. I’m sure he will pull out the ring; and then I’ll be scared.
We’re also contemplating a bulling pen, so I’d really appreciate some photos of anyone else’s pens.
 
Here when not required for service, we leave the bulls out with cows which are in calf, and any cows or heifers not in calf are kept seperate. When we want to use them for service, we seperate the ones we want to be served, and then put the bulls in as and when required.

With diary bulls, make sure you are never in a position where you need to be in the same pen, and never work alone in the vicinity. Our Bull pens have elevated walkways, with a double gate system. If moving him, we do it with a trailer from pen to field or vv. While the girls are in for milking, you will find he will probally follow them in into the yard, trick is to get him in a trailer at that point, so he doesn't mix with the bullers that you want to AI. Easier said than done mind, and shouldn't be done alone. If you have a working dog, even better.

Having that Pen near the collecting yard will wind him up if he is seeing bullers that he can't get to. Ensure that the pen is strong enough and up to the task.

Golden rules are never turn your back on them and always have an escape route. Been too many tales on here of near death experiences. Again, if you are moving him or working near him, never work alone and never give him the chance.
 
Just to add, where that new gate is next to the pen, have the same width pen gate next to it, with the hinges on the left hand side, so when the pen is open it shuts flush with the lagoon fence. When you spot him on the way in, close that outer gate then open the pen gate. Get yourself into a safe position where you can open the outer gate, and close behind him, then get behind the inner gate and then lock in him the pen. Then you are safe to open the outer gate and let remaining milkers in.

For the above, have a safe walkway behind the lagoon fence and I think that will be adequate and most importantly safe.
 

Dead Rabbits

Member
Location
'Merica
Off topic, but...
I’ve read that diary bulls are aggressive because they’re hand reared. Has anyone ever seen studies or have experience of dairy breed bulls reared on a cow. Are they more or less aggressive?

Good luck finding a study. I’ve raised them on cows. They were always very calm and never turned towards you.

The only aggressive dairy bulls I’ve ever seen were the Holsteins we had back home. Grass rat crossbreds just don’t seem as bad.
 

coomoo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Scotland
Got to disagree with that, bulls running all the time here, don't even have to think about fertility, jobs done, always have a good dog with me though, and keep them young don't have mature bulls.
Is that in groups your running bulls (away from fresh etc)? Personally think with coming from beef to dairy getting cows in calf is a lot more complicated than it necessarily needs to be. Heard that a lot about keeping the bulls young, place I used to work kept the bulls for years and they’d even try nip your fingers opening bull pen gates!
 
Is that in groups your running bulls (away from fresh etc)? Personally think with coming from beef to dairy getting cows in calf is a lot more complicated than it necessarily needs to be. Heard that a lot about keeping the bulls young, place I used to work kept the bulls for years and they’d even try nip your fingers opening bull pen gates!
Cows are in one group in summer two in winter, we've two sets of cubicles one concrete base the other deep sand, can't really run a bull in the sand ones as they dig them out, so run one in with incalf heifers and one in concrete based cubicles, when sand cows are loosed to collecting yard one of the bulls is let to them, he is then with them whilst cubicles are scrapped and cows are milked, a few taps on the nose and they learn not to come through parlour, so at the end of that group the bull is left in collecting yard by himself ready to be returned to his group, it doesn't take them long to get used to the routine, they know whether there's one bulling in the sand group without me telling them, and will be standing by the gate ready, if nothing bulling they don't want to know, cows are back running with bulls from two days after calving, we do take bulls out occasionally if we want to hold cows off being served
 

coomoo

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Scotland
Cows are in one group in summer two in winter, we've two sets of cubicles one concrete base the other deep sand, can't really run a bull in the sand ones as they dig them out, so run one in with incalf heifers and one in concrete based cubicles, when sand cows are loosed to collecting yard one of the bulls is let to them, he is then with them whilst cubicles are scrapped and cows are milked, a few taps on the nose and they learn not to come through parlour, so at the end of that group the bull is left in collecting yard by himself ready to be returned to his group, it doesn't take them long to get used to the routine, they know whether there's one bulling in the sand group without me telling them, and will be standing by the gate ready, if nothing bulling they don't want to know, cows are back running with bulls from two days after calving, we do take bulls out occasionally if we want to hold cows off being served
Now that sounds simple. How do you go about calving date accuracy? Any problems at 2 days
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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