GFM Network News

Slow down and keep keep cattle calm — best formula to keep everyone safe.

Work cattle with safety top of mind

Low-stress handling practices better for cattle and their handlers

As we head into another busy time of year for cattle producers and handlers, it’s good to stop and think about all the increased risks we face over the next couple of months. Fall is a dangerous time because there is just a lot more movement as ranchers bring in cows and calves that haven’t […] Read more

Pushing cattle at processing can be stressful on them and hard on facilities.

How to reduce stress when processing cattle

Human behaviour has a big impact on livestock behaviour

Reducing stress can help improve health, animal welfare and production of our cattle. They do better when their heart rates, respiratory rates and cortisol levels are lower. Stress during processing, transporting, loading, unloading and any other interaction can all be reduced. A lot has been written and described on stress-free cattle handling. I would encourage producers to check out videos on the Merck […] Read more

Five tips for easier cattle processing

Five tips for easier cattle processing

As part of his appearance at the Western Canada Feedlot Management School, Curt Pate gave a processing demonstration at Ceylon Gap Feeders in Ceylon, Sask. Here are some of his tips for effectively creating flow through a processing system.

The Fentons have learned that taking the noise and panic out of handling horses and cows makes the job of working with livestock go so much easier.

Patience is key for easy cattle handling

Stay calm, stay quiet and let cattle think it through for themselves

Cattle are smart and adaptable, learning from their mothers and the environment around them. They respond to good handling by becoming easy to manage. Mishandled, they react with suspicion or fear when they see people, and can become “wild” and difficult to handle. Many ranchers are learning the value of low-stress handling and how easy […] Read more

If a squeeze isn’t bolted to a cement floor, use large bolts to anchor it to posts around the chute.

Maintain facilities for improved workflow

The job gets done and it’s safer for both workers and livestock

Because the facilities and equipment around here are all showing some age, I have had to make an effort to go through them a bit ahead of working cows and calves in order to find, repair, or replace items that have worn out or been damaged, and we still have a few surprises. Cattle chute […] Read more


Simple Bud Box adds ease to cattle handling

Famed cattle handler Bud Williams left a legacy with a design that’s been copied across the world

I always marvel at farmer innovations and the fact some people continue the search for “a better mousetrap” even as you might say they are getting “long in the tooth.” The late Bud Williams was an exemplary lifelong learner, fine-tuning ways to handle livestock throughout his life and never passing up the opportunity to share […] Read more

man riding a horse herding cattle

Handling emotions is the key to handling cattle

If you’re chasing them, you’ve already lost the battle

More beef producers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of low-stress livestock management as part of the time-honoured tradition of raising and handling cattle. Human instincts, however, can present a major obstacle by contributing to a lack of control and the conflicts, anger and frustration that commonly accompany plans gone awry. Dylan Biggs, a […] Read more

Cattle in a fenced area.

Handling system easy on cattle and people

Graeme Finn has come up with a low-manpower cattle-sorting system that allows him to sort about 200 head in an hour, is easy on the livestock, and perhaps equally importantly brings harmony to the processing day workforce. Anchored around a partial wagon-wheel layout, the sorting system enables one person to stand in the “hub” of […] Read more