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Animal Psychology and Livestock Handling Techniques. Dr. Fred Rayfield South Region Livestock Specialist Georgia Agriculture Education. To accompany Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Lesson 014323.6 July 2002. Economic Impact. $100 million annually in the beef packing industry.

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animal psychology and livestock handling techniques

Animal Psychology and Livestock Handling Techniques

Dr. Fred Rayfield

South Region Livestock Specialist

Georgia Agriculture Education

To accompany Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum

Lesson 014323.6

July 2002

economic impact
Economic Impact
  • $100 million annually in the beef packing industry.
  • Shipping Fever $500 million annually
  • If the beef industry could cut death loss by 50% it would represent a saving of $39 million dollars annually.
  • Stress is a major cause of death and carcass loss.
attitude is important
Attitude is Important
  • Positive Attitude in Handling Livestock
  • I am going to let the animal do what I want Vs. I am going to make the animal do what I want.
  • “ That sorry ?#!?#!# went the wrong way.” Vs. What did I do to cause the animal to react that way?
flight or pressure zone
Flight or Pressure Zone
  • The boundary which indicates to the animal that you are too close
  • Inside the zone produces activity and movement.
  • Outside the zone stops or slows down movement and activity.
  • These zones must be identified early!!
approaching cattle
Approaching Cattle
  • Never approach head on.
  • Initial approach in the pressure zone should be cautious and observant.
  • Do not approach directly behind
  • Do not follow too far behind them.
  • Cattle have a blind spot directly behind them and have poor depth perception.
handling secrets
Handling Secrets
  • Approach pressure zone at an angle.
  • Position your self to the side of the animal avoid the blind spot.
  • Move close enough for the animal to see you.
  • Use a back and forth pressure technique.
  • Walk in straight lines not curves.
handling secrets7
Handling Secrets
  • Keep animals in the direction you want.
  • Increase and decrease pressure to encourage movement.
  • Let animals move in the direction they are headed and follow other animals if possible.
  • When applying pressure work toward the front or the head.
handling secrets8
Handling Secrets
  • When pressuring a group pressure the front animals.
  • Stay quiet when pressuring or moving animals.
  • Moving parallel to livestock will slow them down
  • Work in a T - design to the direction you are headed.
livestock facility tips
Livestock Facility Tips
  • All working facilities should be planned and well organized.
  • Lighting should be even and constant. No harsh contrasts of light.
  • Eliminate shadows
  • Noise reduction. Rubber stops and sliding gates.
livestock facility tips10
Livestock Facility Tips
  • Design chutes either working or loading to be single file.
  • Keep floor level or texture consistent.
  • Reduce all foreign or moving objects from the working area.
  • Create shields or blinds for workers to stand behind.
livestock facility tips11
Livestock Facility Tips
  • Locate drains and metal grates outside working area.
  • Working alleys need to have solid sides. The animal should see only one way out. Cut gates should be see through.
  • Concrete surfaces should be deeply grooved and level to prevent slippage.
  • Curved chutes work better than straight.
livestock handling tips
Livestock Handling Tips
  • Position a walkway beside of and outside the pens and chutes for workers to facilitate movement.
livestock wisdom
Livestock Wisdom
  • Animals have very little patience you should have more.
  • Stress is a major contributor to economic losses.
  • All animals are potentially dangerous. For every livestock death there are 400 disabling injuries.
livestock wisdom14
Livestock Wisdom
  • Allow the animal to do what you want it to do.
  • Always strive to design facilities and environments that reduce stress.
  • Animals have a memory and they do remember.
  • Common sense is a wonderful livestock working tool when used wisely.