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“If you want to have calm cows that are not scared of people, you need to start by raising calm heifers.” explains Greg Goodell, veterinarian and co-owner of the contract-heifer-raising facility. Calm cows are easier to manage and are usually more productive, he adds.
Heifer manager Seth Sommerville and employees at the facility walk the pens daily to check animal health, chalk tails, look for heats and assess overall animal well-being. When you use horses and four-wheelers to check pens or work cattle, heifers get nervous and try to outrun the horse or four-wheeler. But when you walk among the heifers each day, they learn not to fear people. Instead of running, they come up to see what you are doing. And that, says Goodell, leads to calm cows that are used to being around and cared for by people.