Working with livestock
Working with livestock is a dangerous business. Even the most experienced farmers can be hurt, so it is important to ensure everyone working with livestock is trained appropriately.
‘You ask any farmer. They know someone that’s come on the wrong side of a beast.’
Hugh Flynn is a sixth generation farmer, working as a livestock manager in Goulburn. Watch Hugh talk about the day he got crushed between a gate and fence when six cattle backed up after he’d overfilled the force slightly. You can watch his personal story here.
Eight key things to remember when working with livestock:
- Only use a yard that’s designed for the stock you’re moving
- Avoid working alone
- Inspect the pen for risks and check that latches and locks work well
- Ensure there are clear escape routes
- Never overfill the yard – keep it about 2/3 capacity and you’ll have room to move
- Keep the animals as calm as possible
- Train all the workers who use the yards
- Ensure the facilities are in good condition to allow livestock transport workers to safely and efficiently load and unload from your farm.
Working with livestock demonstration – Boyd Holden
Boyd Holden is an expert livestock handler who has taught his livestock handling techniques all around the world. Here we get his tips for safe livestock handling. An accessible version is also available.
- The NSW Department of Primary Industries provides information on working with livestock on its cattle yards and equipment web page.
- The NSW Department of Education and Communities funded this YouTube clip on sheep handling, featuring livestock handling expert Boyd Holden.
- Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Dr Temple Grandin, speaks about proper design for corrals, yards, races and chutes in this YouTube video.
- The SafeWork NSW Working with livestock fact sheet lists common hazards and solutions for the sheep and beef cattle industry.
- Learn more about working safely with livestock.
- For tips on working safely with livestock, watch this short video featuring expert livestock handler, Boyd Holden. View an accessible version of the video.
- As well as listening to stories on this site, talk with others on your farm about how to work safely with livestock.