A production animal consultant from Nebraska helped to kick off this week’s Saskatchewan Stock Growers Convention and AGM in Swift Current.
Dr. Tom Noffsinger gave a demonstration on having a calm, low-stress approach to handling livestock and how the Caregiver’s Impact on Cattle Health, Performance and Well-being starts with the very first response to our presence.
"The sooner we see a change in the animal, the sooner that we respond to that acknowledgement," says Noffsinger. "Then we can start all of these principles of correct position. Using distance to change the working zone, using angles, gentle, more steep, knowing the angles are so important."
He notes working the angles and having patience results in a much more positive experience for both the animals and the caregiver.
Producers taking part in the Saskatchewan Stock Growers President’s Reception had a chance to learn more about low-stress cattle handling.
Noffsinger says the goal is that every interaction should be a calm, positive experience for both the animals and caregiver.
"When we talk about effective stockmanship, or production stockmanship, or simply the relationship between people and their animals the level of care that Canadians have instinctively is as good, or better than any place in the world, they're a leader in this area."
It’s also important to understand the animal's peripheral vision and to work within it, he says, if you can’t see the animal's eyes then you’re in the wrong position.