INCREASED weight gain, better conception rates and improved carcass quality are some of the benefits of low stress cattle handling that were passed on graziers at a recent North Queensland forum.
A total of 21 graziers from12 properties attended a low stress stock handling clinic at the Bowen River showgrounds last month to learn the principles of good stock handling and low stress concepts.
NQ Dry Tropics’ Landholders Driving Change (LDC) organiser Senior Field Officer Brendan Smith said low stress stock handling had grown as a recognised management technique for landholders.
“Research has shown wide reaching implications from improved stock management through low stress behaviour,” Mr Smith said.
“This includes herd health and productivity, improved grazing habits and subsequent environmental benefits, reduced impacts of predation as well as reduced labour costs providing economic incentive to land managers.
“Take the stress out of stock handling is the goal of all in the beef industry so it was great for local graziers to learn from one of the best, leading educator and cattleman Jim Lindsay,” he said.
The clinic was a mixture of theory and practical learning.
This was followed by time in the yards with cattle, a practical approach to showcase key concepts for communication with stock and highlighting the importance of position, movement and pressure when working cattle.
The response to the clinic was well received.
Sean Handley, of Wootonvale Station, said he learned how to recognise and work with animal instincts to produce low stress outcomes.
“As a result of this clinic we’ll make changes in how we move cattle in the yards by using techniques to slow cattle down and apply pressure to move them in a calm and measured way,” Mr Handley said.
Dan Kenny, of Dartmoor Station, said the practical session provided him with confidence to apply the low stress approach.
“I’m sure with practice and persistence we will achieve what we want with our cattle. We’ll definitely be making yard changes to allow cattle to flow more efficiently, as well as providing a safe working environment for staff,” Mr Kenny said.