University News for May 24, 2012
A Colorado State University animal science professor says a combination of proper equipment and good stockmanship will make the task of animal handling safer, easier and less stressful for both the livestock and their handlers.
The topic "Animal Welfare: The Right Thing to Do" was the focus of a public presentation yesterday in Brandon.
Keynote speaker Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor livestock handling and behavior with Colorado State University and the author of several books on livestock handling, started designing livestock handling equipment in the early 1970s.
Clip-Dr. Temple Grandin-Colorado State University:
When I first started out I thought I could fix everything with equipment.
I found I could only fix half of the things with equipment.
The other half of things is good stockmanship and good stockmanship really does pay.
People handling animals need to understand some basic behavior principles, like for example you're trying to move pigs or cattle forward you don't stand at their head and tap them on the rear-end.
That's not going to work.
People need to calm down around animals, that's really important.
A lot of people get way way way too excited.
It's extremely important to have non-slip flooring.
Animals panic when they start to slip.
High traffic areas like loading ramps, chutes, scales, got to have non-slip flooring.
If you've got a lot of commotion outside the facility then you're going to need to have solid sides on it.
It's really important to fill your crowd pen only half full.
Also use your crowd pen as a passing through pen.
Wait until you get some space in the single file chute and then just bring in a group of cattle and let them walk through the crowd pen into the single file and make sure your single file is long enough so that you can take advantage of following behavior.
I've got a lot of design information on my website grandin.com.
I also have a book called "Humane Livestock Handling" and you can order that from a book store or on Internet.
Dr. Grandin says when she started in the 1970s and 1980s handling was atrocious.
She says in the last ten years there's been much more interest in low-stress handling, people are holding low-stress handling clinics and handling has improved greatly.
For UniversityNews.Org, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*University News is produced by Wonderworks Canada