This is never an easy job and it’s another reason most of the cattle that we cull are 20 – 30 years old. Lots of farms cull at 10-15 years but we know our cattle and keep them in good shape. They are usually still fertile and raise good calves but in the times we deal with now you have to think of the money that you would not get if they died on the farm.
The other reason we might cull (sell to the nearest livestock market) a cow is curled hooves (crippling disease that is genetic), loss of calves before born in more than one year, deformities of their calves in more than one year, infertility, rogues (tear down fences), and cows that never milk well enough to keep their babes alive.
Because we only get the cattle in holding pens is to vaccinate babes, check for lice or worms and other health problems. The less you have to do this the better, the cows will stay calmer and easier to work with.
One of the cows we just sent to mark was famous number “18”. She was a beautiful cow and raised beautiful calves. But when she had a calf and you got anywhere near her, she would run you down. She didn’t want anyone or anything near her babe. She was very protective and gave us more than 20 calves over the last 18 years. She was raised on the farm and knew when the cows were called to the loading/working pens she would not come. The only other one that we had this issue with was another Angus girl “29”.
So, to deal with this problem the cows were brought in around the barn lot a week ahead of time and fed grain along with their daily ration of high-quality hay and lots of green grass to graze for a couple days. The only person allowed near them at that time was hubby. He was a real cow whisperer!! Our daughter learned pretty quickly when helping her dad to stay away from these two mommies!