CSU ext

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Cattle  

What behaviors should we consider for cattle?
Cattle are a prey animal and have a flight response, therefore move quietly and slowly around them. They are a herd animal and move together easily especially with the use of panels, alleys and tubs.  If an animal has been separated from the herd it may become agitated and dangerous and can run over humans.  Use caution when approaching the hind end of cattle from any direction as they can kick with their hind legs.  Always be cautious with bulls, cattle with horns and cows with calves, as they can be aggressive. Do not use hotshots to move animals.


Cow Movement
Move cattle together in a herd and use caution with cows and calves

What environmental conditions should we consider for cattle?
Cattle can overheat when stressed, make sure they have plenty of fresh water and food and are kept cool. Fans help keep cattle cool at the shows.

Comfortable cows
Cattle kept cool and comfortable at the show

What is the proper way to hold or restrain a cow?
Most cattle at shows have been halter broke and taught to lead.  To stop a cow lift the head up, this will slow them down.  If a cow will not lead forward, move behind the point of the shoulder or behind the point of balance which will encourage them to move forward.  Always use caution around the hind end of cattle as they can kick, especially if surprised.  If an animal is not halter broke, use of pens, alleyways and chutes to restrain the animal is the safest for both human and animal.

Beef animal aware of human behind it
This steer is aware of the person behind it, use caution as some animals will kick.

What should we look for to identify a cow sick?
Observe the cow in the trailer looking for panting suggestive of heat stress.  Check the face; lips, mouth, nose, eyes, and ears for any lesions, discharge or abnormalities.   Part the hair in various places looking for parasites and fungus.  Observe the legs and body looking for swelling, lumps and abnormalities.   Check  for watery diarrhea and genitalia for swelling, discharge or abnormalities.  Change your gloves or wash your hands before moving onto another group of commingled animals.

check cows mouth
Wear gloves when checking animals
Calf and Cow wash
Cow and calf at wash rack

Cow palace
Fans keep show cow comfortable