We Shall Call Him Jumper

Have you ever worked with cattle from far South Texas? Several of those Gerts are some kinda flighty. Not add on the athleticism of a Longhorn and you have a steer who thinks fences are hurdles on a track field.

Does he stick out like a sore thumb? I think so... What do you call a steer with athletic ability? A gridiron steak! (blame Anna Lisa for that one!)

I spent the entire day trying to keep this ole steer in the feedyard. The slightest bit of pressure and he would flat-footed hop over a fence. Cattle from large ranges, like those found in South and West Texas, have very large flight zones. Imagine a flight zone a bubble around the animal. Step inside that bubble, the animal reacts. Stay outside, the animal does not respond to the pressure. Cattle handlers learn to use the flight zone and point of balance to improve their handling methods. The photo below depicts the position around the animal to get the desired response. If you visit this page on grandin.com, Temple Grandin does a good job of describing Flight Zone and Point of Balance in cattle handling.

The Flight Zone and Point of Balance in cattle from grandin.com

This ole steer jumped fence after fence, until we finally got three people and directed him into the stock trailer and off to the auction barn. The pens at the feed yard really are not build to keep jumpers in, so it will be less stressful on the steer, not to mention us, in another home.

I grew up with a herd of Longhorns on our place. They were always looking for a place to jump out of corals but were always an amazing sight to see on the horizon of the setting sun. Have you ever had any “jumpers” on your place? Send me an interesting story about those adventures and you may just see it in a future post. (agricultureproud@hotmail.com)

Send in your story and it will get you entered for your chance at a free pair of Justin boots in the AgProud Christmas Giveaway. Enter through December 16 and special coupon code good until December 18.

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