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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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