The difference between working with people or animals who want to do something, vs. working with people or animals who don't, is amazing, says Tom Noffsinger, a large animal veterinarian and low-stress livestock handling consultant.
"We've all seen lots of people ask cattle to do things in a way that took away the cattle's self-esteem," says Noffsinger, who has practiced low-stress cattle handling, and taught feedyard and commercial cattle producers the technique for more than 10 years. "Our goal is to create voluntary cattle movement."
Noffsinger says the key to getting cattle to want to go where the cattle producer wants them to go is based on the cattle producer's ability to understand cattle and effectively communicate with them. He will introduce cattle producers to low-stress handling techniques and teach them how to effectively communicate with their cattle during a seminar at the Tri-County Ag Day June 8 beginning at 10:30 at the South Dakota State University Cottonwood Research Station.
"Each time cattle change their address, cattle producers need to see that time as an opportunity to increase cattle confidence in where they live," says Noffsinger, of working with young calves, moving cattle for branding, weaning, or after purchase and feed yard arrival.
Along with reducing the labor force needed to move and work cattle, low-stress cattle handling is proven to have a positive impact on the bottom-line.
"It increases their feed intake, improves immune function and disease resistance," Noffsinger said. "It also creates honesty in cattle, so they communicate their true state of health, instead of hiding lameness and signs of illness."
For more details on the seminar, click here.