Livestock Handling Facility Designs that are Appropriate in Asia, India, and Other Places where the Animals are Tame and Trained to be Led by People

by Dr. Temple Grandin Dept. of Animal Science Colorado State University

Cattle, sheep, deer, horses, and other animals that are NOT tame enough for people to walk up and touch them will remain calmer and be easier to handle when they are handled in races with solid sides. The solid sides prevent the animals from seeing distractions outside the race and people who are deep in their flight zone. The curved race and stockyard designs on are strongly recommended for animals that are too wild to be EASILY led with a halter (headcollar) or lead rope. They are being used with great success in North America, South America, Mexico, Central America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In places such as India and Asia, many of the cattle are very tame and easily led. If tame, completely trained animals are handled, they can be lead by a person. In this situation, much simpler facilities can be used. Very simple facilities with no races can be successfully used provided that there is good non-slip flooring. Slipping may cause an animal to panic. Trained cattle, water buffaloes, or other livestock can be lead by a person up truck loading ramps or into a slaughter plant. In some Asian countries, there is a combination of cattle that are trained to lead and wild cattle with large flight zones. If a facility is going to be used for BOTH wild and tame cattle, curved races with solid sides are recommended. A walkway must be provided alongside the race so that tame animals can be easily led by a person up the race. It is best to have a person that the animal knows and trusts.

In the Middle East where both tame local sheep and extensively raised sheep from Australia are handled, races with solid sides should be used in slaughter plants. This will help reduce stress on the extensively raised sheep.

For pigs, races with solid sides are recommended for ALL pigs from all types of production systems. This is especially important in slaughter plants where there are many people and other moving distractions outside the race.

An animal standing at the single-file chute entrance must be able to see at least three body lengths up the single file chute before it turns.

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