I’ve been telling you about loading and promoting loading bulls. Lucy Rechel is one of the real leaders and innovators of the beef industry.
She and her husband Dennis are amount some of my favorite people I have gotten to know in my work. They are having fun and enjoying life no matter if they are working, playing or killing something.(big time bow hunters)
I have gone to the bull test/feedlot several times (one time I got paid in sweet onions that they farmed). I really enjoy the noon meal, as they all eat together at the folks place.
Lucy took me up on my challenge of trailer loading training the bulls in the sale.
She and her crew worked with the bulls and got them to loading.
When I got there, we walked the bulls in a 100 foot round pen with an alley around it to stage the bulls. That was very interesting as you need to stay far enough away to not get in the shot. Then we would walk the bulls over and load them in the trailer.
One bull that was a little snuffy didn’t want to load, and I worked him pretty hard. It took about 45 minutes and he went from being scared to being on the fight to yielding to pressure and loading real nice, and not on the fight at all. I was on foot and I was pretty wore out, but it was real rewarding to make the change in the bull.
Lucy gets it. She is adamant her crew work cattle right, there is a sign at the load out to remind truckers to work the way she wants cattle to be handled, and she creates facilities that work but are not over the top expensive.
We worked hard for two days walking and loading bulls. I was wore out from all the foot work. We went back to the office when we were done and settled up (she tried to pay me in Draxxin) and I headed out and she was heading out to breed cows. A cowgirls work is never done.
I think this article and the videos of some of the bull work will tell you more than I can. The main point is when you train a bull to load in a trailer, you are teaching him to take pressure and how to respond to it. If you can’t see what advantages this creates there’s probably not much use in spending any more time on this scoop loop.
Write up for Western Livestock Journal
Trailer Trained –
Added Value from Snyder Bull Test
Bulls for the 21st Century, Snyder Livestock’s bull test and sale, is once again leading the industry in providing value to bull buyers in the form of trailer trained bulls. Lucy Rechel and her crew have spent many hours teaching the bulls to load into a trailer. The goal of the training is to sell ranchers bulls that will load into a trailer in the middle of a pasture or on the open range. “Teaching the bulls that the trailer is a safe and comfortable place could be valuable to ranchers throughout the life of the bull,” says Rechel, bull test owner and manager. As evidence of the training, the videos posted online show each bull stepping into the trailer.
Rechel was guided in the trailer training by Curt Pate, animal handling expert and educator with NCBA’s Stockmanship and Stewardship program. Curt believes the value of the training is much broader than teaching the bulls to load into a trailer. The bulls are taught to accept pressure and that will be evident whenever the bulls are being handled – into the chute for annual BSE or vaccinating, onto a scale, or just moving cattle from pasture to pasture. Rechel is appreciative of the sponsorship of Zoetis for Curt Pate’s assistance in the trailer training project.
Trailer training provided unexpected benefits. Rechel says, “what a great way to train my workers on how to handle cattle. To load bulls individually into a trailer without the aid of alleys and gates requires a high level of handling skill. My employees’ ability to read the cattle, anticipate their actions, and apply the right amount of pressure at the right time and from the right angle took a quantum leap through this project.”
Rechel adds one caveat: “These bulls can be untrained. For cattlemen to enjoy the value of trailer training for the life of the bull, he must be handled correctly. Some cattlemen evaluate their own handling ability on results – not process. Getting a bull into a trailer or a chute with crowd pens and gates does not necessarily equate to cattle that are not stressed. Forcing a bull with a rattle paddle, a loud yell, or a hotshot and slamming the gate before he can turn around is not stockmanship and is pretty likely to untrain the bull. Many options are available for ranchers to become better cattle handlers and NCBA’s Stockmanship and Stewardship trainings offer prime opportunities.”
Rechel believes that correct cattle handling has very broad industry implications. “When my employees learn to read cattle, and apply and relax pressure correctly the risk of someone being injured is greatly reduced. Vaccines are more effective, animals are less likely to be injured, conception rates increase, bawling calves to learn drink and come to the feed bunk more quickly. Cattle gain more weight with less input. Consumers are historically focused on the quality and safety of the beef they purchase. Today, they also want to understand how it is produced. Good animal handling skills make it easy to be transparent about our ranching practices.”
The trailer trained bulls will be available at Bulls for the 21st Century annual sale on March 11, at the ranch in Yerington, Nevada. Bull sale catalogs are available on the website.
Check out the videos of Bulls on sale catalog and better yet, head to Yerington, Nevada and take in the sale.