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How to introduce new cattle to a property

When you bring new animals to your property its a good idea to have a small paddock ready where they can spend a few days before they join the rest of your animals.  This allows them to get over the stress of transport and get used to a new home without being hassled by other animals.  All herd or flock animals will fight at first to establish the "pecking order" (not sure what the cattle equivalent is! head-butting order?).  If they meet over the fence and from a distance before they are put in the same paddock or pen, the fighting won't be as bad, because they've already got used to each other.  The separation also gives you a chance to make sure that your new animal isn't sick with something that could be spread to the others.  If you put them all together immediately you might not notice in time.

Bratwurst and Frankfurter watch the other cattle
 from the safety of another paddock.
This may be the plan, but as usual around here, it doesn't always work.  When we first brought Murray home to be in Trevor's herd (see more here) we unloaded him into a small pen in Trevor's paddock.  Then we went inside to have dinner.  When we came outside to check on our new little steer, Murray was nowhere to be seen.  He had climbed out somehow, through or over the 4 foot chain-link fence!  And taken off into the back paddock with Trevor, they didn't come back for days!  Trevor was just so happy to have a friend.

Earlier this year we brought home a rooster that a friend had hatched from our eggs.  We should have kept him separate, but were running out of cages.  We thought that he could go into the cage with all the other roosters as he was a bit larger than them, so we thought he'd be fine.  Unfortunately he had grown up with another rooster and always been submissive, so when he went into the cage with the other roosters, even though he was bigger, he didn't know how to assert himself.  All the other roosters picked on him!  We had to move him into the cage with the hens instead (which I'm sure he doesn't mind).  It just goes to show that you never know how the animals will get on when you put them together, so it pays to be careful so they don't get hurt.

Any thoughts on introducing new animals?

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