Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeLivestockLivestock Handling - Starting With the Basics

Livestock Handling – Starting With the Basics

If you’ve been reading On Pasture for very long, you’ve certainly seen Whit Hibbard’s articles sharing the ins and outs of moving cattle and other livestock. (We’ve put them all together in this Special Collection so you can find them more easily.)

To add to that, we’re going to share a video series out of Australia, featuring Boyd Holden. I like this series because Boyd starts at the very beginning, reminding us how to prepare for moving livestock before we head out to the pasture.

In this 2:55 video, the first in the series, Boyd covers those things I’ve often forgotten in my haste to get the job done:

• Gates – are they open or closed?
• Does everyone know what’s going on? Have we stopped to talk to each other and do we have a plan?

As Boyd points out, it’s also helpful to think about what the livestock have been doing in their current paddock before we arrive to move them on. Are they going to be hungry and thirsty and do we have food and water ready for them?

I also like that Boyd is doing this for us in bite-sized chunks. We can take this 3 minutes and ruminate on it. Then I’ll be back next week with some more helpful pointers from Boyd.

Here’s the next in this series. Enjoy!

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


  1. Re: “• Does everyone know what’s going on? Have we stopped to talk to each other and do we have a plan?” Today I was going to help a neighbor move some cow/calf pairs at 1:30. Before lunch, he called to ask me if I’d come over at 1:00 to look at the plan and the route the cows would take.

    I “accused” him of reading this article in Turns out he hadn’t, but things worked out better for the time spent in planning.

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