On paper, moving cattle from one place to another seems simple enough. Load the animals into a livestock trailer, transport them the way you'd transport any other cargo and unload them at the destination. Easy as pie, right?
Actually, plenty of things can go wrong here. I should know.
Before the trip, the animals can become agitated, difficult to lead or even dangerous. Even if you somehow manage to lead them into the trailer – or whatever mode of transport you use – they can still suffer injuries during the trip; from slips on the floors, bumps on the walls or fights with other animals. Once you unload, you still have to ensure that the cattle won't bolt at the last minute, lest you want a stampede on your hands.
Photo: iStockphoto.com/tracy tucker
So it's a good thing you can avoid all that, and more, by following the steps below.
Keep the Cattle Calm
If you've never led a herd of cattle before, it's best to sit back, let a more experienced handler do the job and take notes. However, if you insist, here are the basics:
Make the Trip Comfortable for the Animals
Unlike most types of cargo, cows can suffer from bruises, lesions and other injuries during transportation. To avoid or minimize these, do the following:
Unload the Animals Carefully
Careful handling doesn't stop once you reach your destination. In fact, you might have to be more careful than usual at the unloading point. Before and while you unload, here's what you do:
When transporting livestock, safety is of utmost importance. Remember to put all the necessary precautions in place before, during and after getting your cattle from point A to point B. That way, your cows will be happy and healthy – and so will you.