Fenn Brahmans - Where Disposition makes the difference

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Who Should Own Brahmans

  Here are  some of my personal Brahman / cattle views and observations.

  1. Brahman (bos indicus)  cattle are more intuitive and sensitive to interactions with people than the (bos taurus) European breeds. 
  2. Not just anyone can raise Brahman cattle.  If you cannot afford to spend a few minutes with your cattle at least once or twice a week, you probably should not get a Brahman.  You will become a stranger to them and they will regard you with suspicion and return to their "fight  or flight" instincts.
  3. If your philosophy is  buying cattle to turn out into a pasture to live on their own with  no human interaction except for when it is time to gather them to  work them and wean a calf crop, you should definitely not buy a  Brahman. 
  4.  If you plan to sell cattle to large breeders, cattle should be exposed to  and handled with a horse.

On Cattle Disposition:

  1. Cattle should be naturally gentle in disposition to start with. In my experience , the natural disposition of the cow sets 70-90% of the calf's disposition.  The sire's disposition affects 10-30% of his offspring's behavior.  A sire's disposition can affect all of his offspring, so disposition is important not only for handling a herd sire, but also the disposition of his herd offspring.  After these factors, quality of handling is the next important factor and then amount of handling sets the final disposition.  You can buy a naturally gentle calf and make or break their disposition with quality and amount of handling.
  2.  Quality of handling can  tip the balance on disposition.  Handle them aggressively, and they will  become aggressive (fight instinct) or scared (flight instinct). 

  •  Cattle cannot be handled like in movies or on tv westerns.  When driving cattle , you must have someone in front horseback to control the speed of the herd and MAKE THEM WALK.  Cattle moving faster than a walk are not calm and cannot be controlled.
  • Cattle see differently than humans, you must give cattle time to see a gate or time to understand what you are asking them to do, therefore, YOU MUST HANDLE CATTLE SLOWLY AND WITH PATIENCE.  You cannot be in a hurry if you are trying to get a cow to do something.  Whooping, hollering and shouting at cattle are NOT NEEDED AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED when handling cattle as it will excite them and you will lose control of the situation and the cattle will flee from or fight your efforts.

                                        

                  3. Amount of handling also affects disposition.  Even naturally gentle cattle can be made aggressive or wild with improper or aggressive treatment. Cattle that are regularly handled and have  frequent positive human interactions will be more relaxed and can be  made more gentle.  Cattle that see their handlers only once or twice a  year will become like wild animals that see hunters once or twice a  year.

                  4. Identify cattle with behavior issues and try to determine the cause and find a solution.  One cow that refuses to come to the pens or runs away can affect the whole herd.

Here's My Simple Test of Disposition

When you go to someone's ranch to look at their cattle, do the cattle come to the people or do they run away?  This to me is a first indication of a lack of quality handling, improper handling, lack of frequent positive interaction, or a herd influenced by naturally wild cattle.  

Fenn Brahmans - Where Disposition Makes The Difference

Our cattle sell themselves

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A son of my first bull. He sold himself when they went out to look at him.

You want gentle disposition when you take the bull by the horns

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Please don't try this if you don't know what you are doing.  The disposition of your herd sire can affect your entire calf crop either positively or negatively.

Bulls hating the color red is a myth

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"Hugh - The Killer Bull" This is my first herd sire. The most docile bull that I have ever encountered.  I had him in every possible situation and he never got upset or nervous.

If this bull calf wasn't naturally super gentle...

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My nephew's son could have caused a wreck when he walked up unexpectedly, like kids do, and touched this bull calf in the flank. 

Nothing like the master's touch

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Most of my cows will let me handle their babies because they trust me.

I like the value of this in my cattle

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I have a milking gate, but some of my cattle don't need it.