Anyone that knows me knows that I love cattle and every aspect that involves raising and managing them. On December 18th, Dad and I picked out six of our top replacement heifers to halter. Every year, we halter break half of our replacement heifers. I truly look forward to this annual task! Morning feedings, evening feedings, and leading heifers bring back a lot of good memories from my childhood and days in 4-H. Standing in the barn, I can imagine my Grandpa Stevens saying, "Nice heifers!", as he said every year. Tears of joy come to my eyes thinking about it.
Dad and I halter break our heifers in case we need to assist them in calving. This way they will be use to us and a halter. Our work with the heifers establishes trust that is so very important. It may seem like a lot of work, but it has paid off for us immensely over the years. It is priceless insurance. And, it is a lot safer for everyone when the heifers are halter broken.
Over the years, I have learned there is a system to halter breaking. We do so in a calm, quiet manner that they remain relatively calm too. Within a few minutes of being haltered, our heifers were relaxed and eating the hay and corn in front of them. On the fifth day of being on halter, I started leading the heifers in the barn. They did such an amazing job! It was like they had already been halter broken. And of course, we have those times when the heifers feel frisky and like to bounce a foot or two off the ground :) After ten days, I slipped off their halters and turned them back into the feedlot with the rest of the calves. It was fun watching them run and kick once they were off halter. Now walking through the lot to check calves, those who were haltered seek me out for attention.