How Can You Tell If a Group of Calves Are Acclimated?


A couple of years ago I took this video of my favorite blonde cowgirl at the beginning of an acclimation session.  Megan then edited the video by adding music (Fly Over States) by Jason Aldean.  The video remained up on YouTube for a couple of years but was taken down recently due to copyright infringement violation.  Apparently, Megan needed Jason’s permission to use the song 🙂

I noticed that the video had been taken down last week when I tried to use it during a presentation to the Kansas State Masters of Agri-Business students.  I fielded several questions from the group relative to low stress handling and cattle acclimating at the end of my talk.  Above is the video in non-edited form which I re-uploaded to YouTube over the weekend.

As a companion piece, below find the ways that I can tell if a group of calves are acclimated during their transition into the feed yard.

  • When asked, the calves will group in the home pen and move in straight lines around the pen.
  • When asked, the calves will exit the home pen in an orderly fashion, understanding where the gate is located.
  • Once down at the corral, when asked, the calves will calmly walk past the handler.
  • When asked, the calves will move back down the alley from the corral to the home pen with exuberance.  At the end of the acclimation period, cattle exhibit more excitement traveling back to the home pen than leaving the home pen.

The goal of acclimation is for the calf (group of calves) to become comfortable with both the home pen and a human caregiver, while learning where to eat and drink, and how to move off of alternate pressure and herd with confidence. 

An acclimated calf is comfortable in its environment, naturally curious, and accepting of a human caregiver.


*On an unrelated note, for those of you Serious XM subscribers in the group, I will be featured on the Angus Journal Show — Rural Radio Channel 80 Saturday morning (January 17th) at 10:00am CST.  Check it out!




Filed under Animal Welfare, General

5 responses to “How Can You Tell If a Group of Calves Are Acclimated?

  1. Larry DeShon

    I don’t know whether I enjoy watching the cattle move or how your daughter has learned how to do it!!(the little things like easing of)

    • Thank you, Larry. Megan does a nice job of reading the cattle and acting appropriately. I especially enjoy the interaction with the red calf with just a bit of white on the top of his face. You can see briefly that Megan got a bit frustrated with the calf, but she paused — took a breath — and then continued on as she should. Her pressure and release is good and very plain to see in the video which makes it nice to use as a “teaching” video. I was disappointed last week when I couldn’t make the technology work to show it to the group of graduate students, so wanted to make sure that I got it back up and running again.

      Good to hear from you.

  2. Love the sweatshirt!

    We have shared with the students on LinkedIn, Facebook and through email.


  3. Pingback: Monkey In the Middle… | Feed Yard Foodie

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