July1 , 2022

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Handling Cattle

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Handling Cattle

Following these guidelines by the Health And Safety Authority, you can make your farm a safer place when dealing with cattle:

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DO’S

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  • Make sure handlers are competent and agile.
  • Work out an escape route or refuge in advance of working with cattle.
  • Know and understand the basics of cattle behaviour.
  • Maximise the use of Artificial Insemination to minimise the number of bulls required. Use bulls that produce docile offspring.
  • Be careful around cows with new born calves, they are more likely to attack.
  • Remember that cows that are ‘on-heat’ are unpredictable.
  • Try to keep cattle calm when handling them.
  • Use a stick to assist in directing cattle.
  • Disbud calves early to prevent horn growth.
  • Watch for warning signs of animal aggressiveness, especially bulls and newly calved cows.
  • Cull fractious and difficult cattle as soon as possible.
  • Exercise caution administering veterinary treatments.

Read also: step by step guide on how to start a cattle business

  • Protect yourself against biohazards with proper personal hygiene.
  • Wear suitable protective clothing and footwear.
  • Use well designed facilities.
  • Regularly check and maintain facilities such as the crush, gate latches and fences.
  • Keep ground surfaces clean, as far as possible.

DON’Ts

  • Put an inexperienced handler or a child at risk with cattle.
  • Handle cattle or get others to handle them if there is a lack of competence and confidence to do the work safely.

Read also: 10 things to consider when raising cattle for profit

  • Turn your back on a bull or trust a bull, no matter how docile he may appear.
  • Stress or arouse cattle unnecessarily.
  • Turn your back on a cow following calving.
  • Keep dangerous cattle.
  • Suddenly enter the animal’s ‘Blind Spot’.
  • Rush into the animal’s ‘Flight Zone’.
  • Beat or shout at cattle unnecessarily – they remember bad experiences.
  • Move cattle on a public road at night.

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