Beef Buzz News
Texas A&M's Ron Gill Talks Tips for Loading and Unloading Cattle
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:42:41 CDT
When it comes to loading and unloading cattle in a stock trailer, Dr. Ron Gill, professor and extension livestock specialist at Texas A&M, says there are several things producers can do to ensure the safety of both the cattle and handlers.
Whether loading in a set of permanent pens at the ranch or a portable corral in the middle of a wheat field, Gill says it’s important to find a spot where the trailer is lowest to the ground to avoid cattle having to jump on or off.
“We see a lot of cattle try to jump off a trailer where their back feet will slip out from under them and can injure themselves, or fall and something else runs over the top of them,” he says. “The higher it is, the more they’re going to jump.”
Gill was a speaker at the recent International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare in Manhattan, Kan. He says most cattle are hauled at least five times in their lives and handling them in a calm manner during loading and unloading can make a big difference in the welfare - and ultimately the probability - of the cattle.
“If we handle them quieter, flow through the system better, they shrink less and that’s more money in everybody’s pocket,” he says. “We have less bruising, less trim loss - everything we talk about in welfare of livestock all starts with how we handle them.
“It’s a huge component in the welfare of cattle and in the overall life of that animal to do it and do it right,” he says.
Listen to Gill talk more about properly loading and unloading cattle during the latest Beef Buzz.
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