Handling animals can be quite stressful for both humans and animals! (Part 2)

3. Always look at the environment from the animal's perspective

Pay attention to dead ends, blind spots, shadows and irregularities in the floor.

All these items quickly distract the animals and slow down their movement.

The details make all the difference. Small obstacles can stop an animal or group of animals from moving forward!


4. Be aware of where you stand and be aware of your position.

Pay attention to the flight zone and pressure zones of the cattle, and realize how your position can affect them.

Work on the boundary of the pressure zone, but stay out of the flight zone.


Never herd animals while standing right behind them

Some so-called pig or cow whisperers in the Netherlands and abroad propagate that you should be herding animals by standing right behind them. From my point of view you create extra stress by doing so, because the animals cannot see you. My method is always to build up pressure from the side, in fact, always from a certain direction and a certain angle. All this with straight walking lines and not with curved walking lines.

Prey animals are usually surrounded by their predators, therefore encircling cattle and pigs often does not work....


5. When you build up pressure, you must also be able to release the pressure

When you are working with young or new animals, then this is a great tool for training them and getting them to obey.  A good start is half the battle. Taking pressure off in a timely manner is even more important than build up pressure. This is often underestimated.  By properly taking away some pressure, the animals learn to obey and trust you.

You thus become one of them, making handling and herding safer, more efficient and animal-friendly.


Source text Ronald Rongen, photos: Marga Fogt