Low Stress Livestock Handling

I had the good fortune to work with & learn from Bud Williams about 25 years ago. Up until that time I felt I was a pretty good stockman. What I learned from Bud was revolutionary. Working cattle now is much more enjoyable, stress free & fun.
Fall is when we do most of our cattle work. Each time we work the cattle I am thankful for what I learned from Bud. I am not an expert but I have learned over the years. Here are some tips.

Tips for low stress handling:

1. Learn to work off the animal’s flight zone. It is all about positioning yourself in the correct place. When you do the animals naturally want to do what you want.
2. Learn to be patient. Cattle are not very patient you need to be more patient than they are.
3. There is no need for whips, canes or prods. There is also no need for hollering or loud noises.
4. Learn to stand still & give the cattle a chance to move. This is particularly true at gates.
5. Learn to observe the animal. Respond to what the animal is telling you.
6. If you use horses remember that a horse walks about twice as fast as a cow. You need to stand still half the time or ride twice the distance the animals are moving. This is accomplished by riding perpendicular to the animals.
7. Remember that animals like to follow. Start the leaders moving. Control their direction & let the herd follow.

Working cattle can be fun & enjoyable. It is low stress for people & the animals. I was explaining this to a friend the other day.

The best explanation I had was:

Instead of trying to make the animals do what you want,
allow them to do what you want.”

If you use low stress handling I congratulate you. I am sure you find it beneficial. If you don’t understand low stress handling I encourage you to learn about it. You won’t be sorry.

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