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Message Title: roupan/teluzol
Author: Sue Whittlesey  Posted: 06\13\2001 13:17
Location: CO
Karen we were so sorry to hear about all your problems with velvetting. We have been velvetting for over 10 years now and we have used just about every method there is out there...and made pretty much about every mistake there is also...

Are you velvetting in your handling system (not in the chute)under a roof or outside out in the open with a "general"? If you feel you must use a general, could you do it in a large pen in your system under roof and administer it with a pole syringe? We have seem most success with generals administered that way. There seems to be to many distractions when giving a general out in the fields.

As far a using chutes for velvetting what we have seen is when you are using either a manual or hydraulic chute there are a number of things you can do to make them safer for velvetting. First of all you need to be very familiar and confident with operating your chute...also with hydraulics be sure to have a tractor or whatever that matches the need for the chute on the hydraulics. The more responsive the hydraulics the better.
We have no more than three people (and always they same people) around when velvetting and each has specific tasks they always do so things go pretty smooth. Kinda like doctors in an operating room.
I know one breeder in Canada told us years ago that he ran every bull through his system everyday of the velvetting season until they were cut...the theory is that they go through it a number of times before they are restrained and it lessens the stress and calms them when they are restrained for harvesting the velvet. We do not do this as a rule, but sometimes we do catch more bulls to run in the system than we plan on velvetting and the ones we are not we try to make it as pleasant an experience as stress.
We have seen this year especially, that it is OUR attitude that sets the pace. One day my significant-other was in a bad mood and in a hurry and the two bulls we worked on were very difficult to handle...and we damaged most of the antlers that day. Ever since, our motto is that everyone has to be cheerful and pleasant and take all the time they need to get the job done and we have not had a single problem since. We do not use a "general" on them. We have only had one bull ever that we really needed to use a "general" on him in the chutes...he could jump almost 10' out of a pen. He was fine in the pastures but when we got him into the system he would leap we gave him a cc of rompin to calm him down...needless to say we shipped him after we did our next whole herd TB test (the next time we had to have in the chutes) to a harvesting ranch to be dispatched in a humane way. (Aren't I politically correct?)
Good luck with your choice of velvet method.