Source: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Who: Anyone in the cattle industry.
Why: Public perception, safety, QA programs, money.
Where: In the pastures, corrals, barns, handling facilities, trucks.
When: Starting now – anytime you handle cattle.
What: Your attitude, perception, skills, and tools.
Using Animal Behaviour
- Cattle see differently – panoramic vision – poor vision
- Cattle have a flight zone
- Cattle have a point of balance
- Cattle have a herding instinct
- Cattle will circle around
- Cattle like light and will move toward it.
- Cattle are stressed by noise
How do we use these behaviours?
- solid sides facilities, well lit handling areas, and trucks, Circular chutes, move cattle back to herdmates
- keep noise to a minimum, work cattle from the hip not behind, keep out of sight unless needed
- slow Down -2.2 miles /hr., Don’t overcrowd the pens or chutes
- learn to read the body language and react appropriately
- we keep trying-because old habits don’t change over night
Burt Smith’s Universal Laws of Herding
- If the flight zone is penetrated, the animal will move.
- There is no such thing as one best position or maneuver for all circumstances nor for all times.
- What ever you are doing you are doing it too fast.
- It’s never the animal’s fault.
- When attempting to move animals through a gate, they must first see that the gate is open.
- For every task there is a corresponding degree of patience required to complete it in a minimum amount of time.
- Step forward to make them go faster and step back to make them slow down.
- If you want an animal to go somewhere, it must have room to go there.
Calm, controlled handling doesn’t make you a wimp. It proves you are smarter than the cattle, and want to make them turn the most money for you.