Whether you’re shipping calves to market, a backgrounding lot or to a feedyard this fall, they’re probably riding in a big silver trailer. And the stress of shipping and handling can cost you and your customer money through excessive shrink, sickness and death losses. The following steps can help you minimize stress on calves and minimize losses during shipping.
- Use partitions to separate different classes and weights of cattle transported in the same truck
- Clean trucks after each load to prevent the spread of disease.
- Check the trucks regularly en route to the destination.
- Load and unload animals quietly; limit the use of electric prods. However, it is better to give a calf a small jolt than to break its tail by twisting it. Abusive handling during loading and unloading is a major problem.
- Accelerate the vehicle smoothly and avoid sudden stops when possible.
- Do not exceed the maximum capacity of a trailer - over crowding will only result in calf losses.