Dairy Cattle Handling

Dairy cattle have unique and sometimes dangerous behaviors.  They are prey animals so they have a fight or flight response in situations they feel afraid or threatened.  An understanding of cattle behavior will improve efficiency and speed of moving animals.

Injuries caused by cattle to dairy workers are common in dairy operations.  This has severe economic and social consequences.  Stress in dairy cattle reduces milk production and disease resistance.  Proper handling reduces stress in a dairy animal.  Reduced stress improves the bottom line and has a positive influence on animal welfare and production.

Developed by UW-Extension Kewaunee County Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom, Effective Cattle Handling videos (Part 1 and Part 2) highlights practical methods for moving cattle in everyday situations.  The video is the cornerstone for Dairy Workers’ Training-Module VI Cattle Movement.  The module, in English and Spanish, is a training module which helps to teach low stress management practices in cattle handling to dairy workers.  The module includes PowerPoint presentations, handouts, protocols and an Effective Cattle Handling video that can be easily produced for a meeting or on an individual basis.  For more information or to purchase Dairy Workers’ Training-Module VI Cattle Movement, please visit the UW-Extension Learning Store.

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