Above you will see an antiquated field loading pen we are scheduled to replace. It pays to design livestock handling systems carefully, to ensure human and animal safety, and the calm and efficient movement of animals.
- Use curves. Curved routes help to funnel, better than straight routes
- Eliminate sharp bends. Cattle often perceive 90 degree corners as dead-ends, therefore exits should be angled gradually.
- Prevent the opportunity for escape. Overly large pens should be avoided, in favour of longer, narrower pens and the use of intermittent blocking gates.
- Minimise visual disturbance. This can involve sheeting the sides of a forcing pen, race and crush
- Facilitate correct handler position. Research shows that cattle move most willingly when the handler is 45-60 degrees back from the animal’s shoulder.
- Install slip resistant floor surfaces. Floors are important at bends and high-traffic areas. Slipping threats are not only a danger but cause cattle to hesitate.
For more information download here an excellent advisory paper by Dr Simon Turner of Scotland’s SRUC.