Don’t Let Misconceptions About Low-Stress Livestock Handling Get In Your Way

Low-stress livestock handling (LSLH) suffers from many common misconceptions, mostly as a consequence of its name. Without knowing anything about it, as soon as people hear the term “low stress,” all kinds of unfounded notions come to mind. My purpose here is to identify and clarify some of these before they become established, through shear force of repetition, as truth. It’s a slower, quieter version of what I already do. This is the most common misconception. Conventional stock handlers think that all they have to do is what they’ve always done, only slower and quieter. Unfortunately, this is actually “slow-stress handling” because they have not really changed how they handle their animals (i.e., their techniques are the same). Consequently, their animals are still stressed. They’re still forcing cattle, just slower and quieter. Bud Williams said, “‘Low stress’ is the end result of good stockmanship, not the result of people going slow when working animals.” LSLH is about the proper pressure applied at the proper angle and time which results in clear and consistent communication, so the animals understand and willingly do what we want. It’s not about doing what we’ve always done,

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One thought on “Don’t Let Misconceptions About Low-Stress Livestock Handling Get In Your Way

  1. Well put. I find that most people view cattle handling like they do driving a car. Once they know how to drive the car, so to speak, they don’t think that they have anything more to learn, or relearn. Since they have been working with cattle for many years, they just don’t think there is anything else to learn. They just don’t believe that there is any method better than what they are already doing.

    After 10 years of loading and hauling my cattle, my cattle hauler finally asked me, “Ho do you train your cattle to do that so easily.” I was surprised that he finally asked.

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