Cattle learn by experience

There is still little attention paid to the training of calves and cattle.

It is a pity, because this will save you a lot of trouble and time later on!




Research on the effects of early experiences on subsequent cattle behavior shows that both negative and positive early experiences are more consciously experienced by young calves than by older cattle.


The effects of early experiences are not as easily reversible as those experienced later in life.

Adult cattle that have been handled calmly and correctly as calves are more docile and easier to handle than those that have been handled roughly at calf age.

Trained calves can be handled more quickly and are easier to handle compared to calves that have had less contact with humans.


You can see this effect already at weaning age

Early and correct contact with humans significantly improves the human/animal relationship and handling of livestock.

Early experiences (both positive and negative) will have a lasting impact on how animals respond to handling, interaction and new situations.


Differences in early rearing methods result in long-term and often stable temperament differences

Cattle raised with early and more intensive human contact have lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in their blood compared to cattle with less early and less intensive human contact. This is particularly noticeable during treatments.


In summary:

Compared to cattle with distant or rough treatment at a young age, cattle with animal-friendly treatment at a young age tend to be calmer and easier to handle. A win-win situation for everyone.


Source text and photos Ronald Rongen