New animals arriving on the farm deserve the most attention especially the first days after arrival.
Daily training according to the Low Stress Stockmanship method does not have to take long at all.
10 to 15 minutes a day with a group of animals is already sufficient.
It is by herding animals in a focused and controlled manner and by making them move that they will start to accept your leadership.
Compliant and willing animals are the result of skillful and animal-friendly handling by the stockman and his or her coworkers.
Understanding perception and responses in your herd animals contributes to the well-being of you and your animals.
This is the key to success of the Low Stress Stockmanship method.
No "vague wizardry," but clear leadership and understanding of how your animals function.
Purely hands-on and with down-to-earth farm sense.
Learning "putting the right pressure at the right time" takes time to gain experience. See it as an investment that pays itself back!
Besides working more safely and efficiently, it also increases job satisfaction.
On top of that, it results in more milk and more daily growth.
Do not proceed without thinking.
Get advice from people who have mastered this method and who can and want to share the knowledge.
Not only in theory, but especially in practice.
Start with mastering and understanding the neutral zone and the escape zone in your animals.
If you want to learn this yourself, then young cattle (and even calves) are the most suitable candidates.
Approaching cattle (traditionally) closely from the rear has the opposite effect of what you want to achieve.
Often people then start yelling, screaming and waving their arms.
For those who recognize this:
Cattle will turn around and look at you, expecting what is to come.
Willing cattle that trust you will move easily and quietly.
This quiet movement has other advantages:
Moving animals that are relaxed in front of you can then easily be checked for abnormalities including disease and lameness.
Stressed animals often do not show these signs or show them unclearly.
Just ask yourself how easy (or difficult), you can move your heifers from pasture into a livestock trailer, and how they go into the milking parlor or robot the first time.
How easily do your animals walk into the livestock trailer?
If you have to ask your neighbors to come and help, there is still some room for improvement...
Time for the Low Stress Stockmanship method. Both professional and hobby herd animal handlers can learn it.
Source text Ronald Rongen, photos Nicole Beuwer-Roeven, photo (Blog): Marga Fogt