Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Low Stress Animal Handling

The animal the presenter is handling in this video is a bull but his methods work even better with cows. He able to get this bull to go through a gate in the middle of a run of fence, which is pretty amazing.

This is a good video where the presenter shows how to move cattle using their natural instincts. Note: Low stress handling does not mean that you don't occasionally pressure the animal.

Every herd animal has a safety-bubble or flight zone when predators (you, based on your eyes facing forward) approach. If you move inside of the flight zone the animal will move away from you.

How big is an animal's flight zone? She tells you that by the distance she put between you and her when she stoped moving away. She stops when she feels comfortable and that is the outer limit of her flight zone. That distance defines the gas and brake pedal. Moving deeper into the flight zone is to press down on the gas pedal. She will move faster. Stepping outside of the flight zone is to step on the brake pedal. She will slow down and stop.

Cows do not want you behind them. If you think you can "push" a cow from behind you are sadly mistaken. She will curl around so she can keep her eye on you.

She is least skittish if you approach her from the front where her limited binocular vision functions.

Walking at her four-o'clock and eight-o'clock positions will move her in the twelve-o'clock direction. Again, speed is controlled by how close you are to her body. Secondarily, her speed is controlled by your "o'clock". Moving to the five and seven o'clock positions will cause her to squirt ahead but you lose directional control. That is not a big deal if she is in a corral.


  1. That is some really good stuff, Joe. Working a bull inside the barn, with slippery floors and limited gates requires even more attention to the bull's body language. And a plan for your own "flight zone".

    The man in the video shows great respect for the power of the critters. Working them in an enclosed space adds even more challenge. Really enjoyed the video.


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