Agisting Cattle - how do I go forward from here.

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widedragon's picture
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Agisting Cattle - how do I go forward from here.

For a couple of years we have agisted cattle - initially we did this instead of purchasing our own as we were regularly travelling overseas for months at a time.  However now we are here most of the year.  We have hilly country but are inexperienced with mustering cattle. 

 

Having cattle agisted on the property has been useful in growing our experience by watching the owner interact with the cattle for drenching, mustering etc.  The owner musters by horses and his dogs.

 

So we do now know is that in order to muster you need dogs + bikes or horses.  Horses are too steep a learning curve for us so we probably need to start mustering the agisted cattle with bikes and get some cattle dogs of our own.

 

We are also considering growing out steer calves from 8months until the age where they would be able to go to market as grown steers. 

 

Any other suggestions?

Kaz
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Hello

Don't think too much into mustering, I have found once I start my bike the sheep already know what is about to happen. I muster over 400 acres and only learned from dealing with strays who got out onto the road. If you ask your agisted farmers to join them once on a muster you'll learn plenty. A cattle dog is highly recommended, nothing brings strays back in like a good dog!! 

People of the land are far more capable than they think!

widedragon's picture
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Update - spoke to the owner of the Agisted cattle - with cattle prices so high right now we came up with the plan of helping me buy a good herd of young (have had 1st calf), quiet cows and we will breed our way to profit.   He thought I could manage without a dog, but I think you are right it will be much easier with a dog.

Andrew Thoms's picture
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Hi,

You could always pay someone to help you at muster time if you are concerned about your lack of mustering experience and skills. I'm sure a local farmer or farmer's son would be more than happy to help out and earn some additional income.

Regards,

Andrew

Johny32's picture
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How many cattle are you running? if you are only running about 100 head IMO using dogs and horses is oldschool.. if you feed those cattle once a month (doesn't even need to be much) everytime you call them they will run to you happily and follow you to the yards even 1km away

greggy's picture
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Joined: 07/10/2017 - 2:38am

Yep.

 

That is how someone I know does it, his dog is more a hinderance than help, he thinks chasing livestock is fun, but often the wrong way !

cowbloke's picture
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I'm a self taught cattle farmer, and I would second that a dog would be a potential source of angst while trying to muster unless it was taught properly, preferably in a group of experienced dogs.

 

We just use quad bikes. Don't worry about all the crap about them being dangerous, just do the safety training course, wear a helmet and ride the thing sensibly. They are a very hany tool. Main point would be ride them straight up and down steep country, not across it.

 

Quiet cattle are naturally curious, and easily lured in with a bit of feed. If you put out a bale of hay occasionally in the weeks leading up to mustering, you'll be able to have them much closer to the yards before you even start to muster them.

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