Yesterday I was out at a friend's ranch helping run calves down the chutes for him to practice roping, and I was just curious what age is considered 'normal' for using the calves to do this. These calves were all tiny little Jerseys, definitely not weaned (I helped bottle feed them later that day) and probably not even a month old, about the size of a big dog. They were being handled very roughly, especially for tiny babies, and they were being run through the chute 5-6 times each before they became exhausted and were allowed to lie down and stop running.
They were also using cattle prods on them, which doesn't necessarily bother me, but they were zapping them in the chute multiple times to get them 'excited' before letting them out to be roped in order to get them to run. Maybe that's completely normal, but I'm just not sure. Any information? I'm not screaming abuse or anything, but it just seemed a little cruel to use such young babies for roping, especially when you have to practically electrocute them to death to get them to keep running!
I have to say though, those were the cutest darned calves I've ever seen. I almost wanted to take the littlest one, that couldn't have been bigger than a large dog, home with me xD