Monday, December 16, 2013

Halter Training on the Farm

If you've stopped by the farm lately, you may have noticed an adorable-looking reindeer amidst all of the winter greenery. She's no reindeer, though - it's Cayla, our young calf on the farm. While Cayla enjoys posing for pictures, she's doing more than just posing. She's going through calf training! A group of local volunteers and Historic Wagner Farm's Director, Todd Price, have been working with Cayla every week to make sure she learns all of the things she needs to know to enjoy life on the farm.

What might a cow need to learn on a dairy farm? Well, the most important lesson in calf training is halter training. During halter training, a farmer will help a calf adjust to the feeling of being on a halter while they are still small enough to handle easily. Cows that have received halter training when they are young are much easier to lead in and out of pasture when they are older.

Cattle training also includes a lot of affection and grooming. Our cattle training team has been working with Cayla to get her used to the feeling of being brushed and groomed. Many animals will shy away from or be afraid of human touch if they haven't received affection when they are young. Taking time to touch and groom Cayla regularly is an important part of her training that will help her learn to enjoy the affection she gets from our staff. Making sure Cayla is used to human touch also makes it a lot easier for the vet to check her health.

If you haven't had a chance to meet Cayla yet, stop by the farm. You might catch a glimpse of her during training time.