Livestock producers know that handling is an area that cannot be ignored. Cattle, in particular, are powerful animals that, when stressed, can cause a lot of damage to people, equipment, and themselves.
Aside from just the safety concerns and well-being of the animals, high-quality handling also improves efficiency and maximizes animal productivity. In short: it is good for business.
What determines good handling?
Four main factors contribute to effective handling.
The animal is the hardest factor to predict. Their previous experiences with handling will play a big role, but certain breeds will have a much lower threshold for agitation and high-arousal (the term for when the animal enters “fight or flight” mode). Other factors like hierarchy, age, and whether cattle have calves will also determine how the animals behave.
An experienced handler is worth his or her weight in gold. They will be able to understand and predict animal behaviour before it occurs. They will also know how to position the animals and themselves to reduce stress and encourage the animal to do what the handler wants. Quality handlers will know how to use the point of balance to direct animals, how to work with a mob, and even how to read head movements to anticipate problems before they occur.
Even the best handlers will struggle with poor facilities that do not allow a good flow. Every aspect needs to be fully considered to produce a safe and efficient drafting system. Maintenance is also crucial for avoiding accidents.
Stock handlers can employ many different types of tools to assist in their handling of animals. Using a medication delivery system like automed can also help to reduce stress and increase productivity.
Why handlers love automed
The challenge when developing the automed system was to incorporate benefits that could be felt across the supply chain. When used in production, we wanted everyone from the owner down to the handler to feel like automed was helping them to do their job more efficiently.
When it comes to handling, automed is a superior medication delivery system because:
- It is ergonomic and automatic, making it the easiest application gun to handle.
- It delivers treatments fast, so animals can move on before they get stressed.
- The automed applicator uses universal color coding to signal to the handler, so English is not necessary.
- When used there are no loud noises that would unsettle the animal.
- The accurate dosing and recording of treatments will significantly reduce the need to re-treat animals.
Learn more about how automed can improve your handling here