Equipment and safety in cattle farming

Equipment and safety in cattle farming
4 October 2022 express_farming
Veau dans sa cage de contention

Cattle farmers deal with large animals, which can be dangerous to both the farmers and their herd. Cattle are peaceful animals, but can sometimes panic. Therefore, it is important to have appropriate restraint facilities. Animals can be guided, immobilized or treated individually in complete safety.

The purpose of restraint equipment for cattle farmers

Cattle are gregarious herbivores. They have kept in their genetic heritage their prey instinct. When an individual is removed from the group, he or she may panic. The herd also needs to be guided sometimes in order to create a safe path and prevent any panic movements.

The restraining devices allow the cattle farmers to carry out the care of the animals or to direct them to go in the cattle truck, for example.

The cattle holding corridor or cattle cchute

The cattle holding corridor allows to guide the cattle. It can be used to gather cattle in the meadows, to facilitate loading operations in cattle trucks, on farms, or to lead a cow in the direction of a holding pen. The mobile restraint lanes are mounted on wheels. When the cattle farmer moves the cattle from one point to another behind his tractor, he must imperatively equip the tractor with a rear signal and a flashing light.

The restraint corridor is in the form of a U, V or Y. U-shaped corridors are generally favored by cattle farmers because they allow for the smoothest movement without the risk of blocking or falling. The  corridor must contain at least 3 cattle. Its classic dimensions are 6 meters long, with a width of 75 cm for the restraint of adult cattle. Its layout must be adapted and resized to use it for calves.

The walls of the holding corridor can be full or perforated. Solid walls are effective in preventing incidents because they prevent animals from putting their heads or limbs through. However, it is recommended to choose a corridor with walls that do not reach the floor, in order to facilitate its cleaning.

Cattle restraint cage

The restraint cage that isolates a bovine can be fixed or mobile. It can be used in the barn or in the meadows. It is best to position the cow so she can see and hear the other cows in the herd. This will help to reassure her.

The holding pen, or restraint cage,  is used for veterinary care, trimming and dehorning. It is designed to respect the balance of the cow which is contained, without being able to turn around, but without being oppressed either to help her keep her calm.

Cattle holding pen

The holding pen or assembly pen is a cattle restraint system used to bring several animals together. It is used on the farm as well as in the field. The holding pen is used to contain the herd while waiting to move: to the stall, to the meadows, while waiting to board them, to gather them before going to the vet, etc.

The cattle holding pen must be adapted to the size of the herd you wish to contain. An average of 1.5 m² per adult bovine is required. It is preferable that the animals have extra space so that they do not get in each other’s way. On the other hand, too much restraint can trigger panic movements. Finally, since calves are not used to it, they will be more reassured if they do not feel oppressed.

Circle or semi-circle holding pen shapes are the most comfortable for cattle.