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Check out this video of Bud Williams son-in-law Richard McConnell from Bowie TX practicing the tenets of low-stress cattle handling!

As a provider of Premium cattle handling products, we at Lakeland Farm And Ranch Direct, a division of Lakeland Group have seen a distinct shift in the way producers handle cattle over the last 10 years. Back then it was all high alleyway sheeting – get up on the catwalk – “yahoo ‘em through’ – lots of shouting, hit with canes, and an electric prod or two to boot. Sound familiar? Thought so…

In order for you to learn to work livestock the way Bud Williams and other respected stockmen did & do, you must first change your attitude:

OLD – I’m going to “MAKE” that animal do what I want

NEW – I’m going to “LET” that animal do what I want

OLD – That stupid (#%$&, miserable, ornery, wild, hateful…) cow (calf, bull, sheep, pig, goat, horse…) broke back (went the wrong way, missed the gate, charged me, got sick, died…)

NEW – What did I do to cause the animal to react that way?

Proper position on your part and nothing more is enough pressure to allow you to move livestock any place they are physically able to go. By you being in the position, the animals will want to move in the desired direction. Excessive pressure will put the animals into a panic condition where none of these things apply.

Loud noise that is directed to the animal is almost always excessive pressure, especially yelling, revving the motor on your 4-wheeler, etc. it is not only stressful to the animals, but it is detrimental to your objective. They are quite willing to accept general noise such as banging chutes and normal motor sounds.

As pressure is applied to move the animals, some of it must be released when they move. Either by you stepping back, or by the fact that they moved ahead and that takes some of the pressure off. Do not lose contact with the animal by releasing all of the pressure. However, constant pressure with no let up, or excessive pressure is what panics animals.

Moving parallel to the livestock in the opposite direction (front to rear) will tend to speed them up. Animals want to continue in the direction they are headed. When they see you coming, they will try to hurry past you. This is especially effective when sorting cows & calves.