Low-Stress Livestock Handling – Working Cattle in Alleyways

This piece comes to us from Whit Hibbard and Dawn Hnatow. In their first piece in this pen-working series, they described how to move cattle into a corral, how to empty pens from the front and the back, and how to get cattle out of a corner. Now, we move on to what to do once cattle are in alleyways. As always, the emphasis is on low-stress for both people and animals. Alleyways Conventionally, alleyways are used not only for livestock movement, but for storage. From the low-stress perspective, however, this is very hard on animals and will unnecessarily hurt performance. Cattle don’t like to be crowded to the point that they bump into each other. Their anxiety and stress levels go way up, and they become less cooperative because all they want to do is go back to the last place they were comfortable. The situation is aggravated if we go in from the front to peel off a draft to take to the next step. This makes all the animals crowd to the back of the alley which puts immense pressure on those already in the back. comfortable. This makes the whole corral experience bad which makes those cattle harder to work the next time. Ideally we should store our animals in corrals/pens and bring out drafts as described in Part 1 and only use the alleyway for transport. However, if we do use our alleyways for storage there are several things that we can do to make it less stressful on the animals. First, we can give them plenty of room by putting fewer in a section. These cattle are

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