Low-Stress Livestock Handling and Corral Work – Part 1

It’s important that we talk about corral work for the simple reason that that’s where we spend a lot of time with our livestock, and it’s often a very stressful time for both animals and humans. Also, it’s unfortunately a great place to hurt performance and to teach our cattle that being in a herd is a bad place to be which has negative ramifications for gathering, driving, and settling cattle together as a herd. Conventionally, people often have to force their cattle into the corral because it's someplace they don’t want to be because of the treatment they’ve gotten there in the past--or so we think--and they have them in such an uncooperative mood that they make the whole day difficult for them. But, of course, we don’t understand that that is of our own doing and, instead, blame and curse our miserable old cows. Bud Williams makes the very important but generally unrecognized point that corral work begins long before we get them in the corral, and if we bring them in poorly by not using good technique and violate any of our Principles, they’re going to be uncooperative because their minds are going to be on going back. Entering a Corral Bud makes another very important point and that is that it’s not that the cows are afraid of the corral or don’t want to go in it. This photo is a great example of that. We were short 34 head of yearlings, so we made big circle to find them and still came up empty. When we arrived back at the corral, guess wh

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