Improving cattle handling practices provides many advantages. Cattle that remain calm during handling have improved weight gain and are less likely to have dark cutting meat. Dark cutting is a serious quality defect where the meat is darker and drier than normal and it has a shorter shelf life at the grocery store. Another advantage of adopting low stress cattle handling methods is to reduce injuries to both people and cattle. Data collected from workmen’s compensation claims in Colorado indicated that the two activities where the most injuries occurred on ranches and feedlots either involved horses or they occurred where cattle are intensively handled in the squeeze chute area. The first step in adopting low stress cattle handling practices is to develop a calm attitude when moving cattle.
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