Remember ‘COWS’

It’s that time of year for annual migration of cattle from summer pastures, back to the farm or ranch or into winter pastures.  Hauling cattle safely is a part of every operation, whether you transport a few miles or cattle into the Flint Hills or even out of state.   

When you haul cattle remember COWS.

• Cleanliness: is your trailer going to spread disease, does it have any sharp points that can be harmful?

• O is for overcrowding a trailer. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this a time or two, but use common sense on how crowded the trailer is, the weather conditions and the distance of the haul.

• W is for weather. This time of year is much safer than summer months. But if you should have small fall calves, be careful on a really chilly day. Be sure to cover up some of the air ventilation if you’re hauling baby calves or hogs.

• S is for slippery surfaces. As the cattle get loaded, get nervous etc., an extreme amount of manure gets deposited in the trailer. Thus causing the slippery surface. Using some straw or sawdust can aid in the traction to avoid falls.

• S is also for slow down. Rushing people and rushing animals is never a good idea. If an animal should slip and fall, that can really throw a wrench into your plans.

Remember, common sense and COWS — Cleanliness, Overcrowding, Weather and Slippery surfaces — are all the factors to keep in mind, to keep your cattle migration manageable.

Jody Holthaus6 Posts

Jody Holthaus is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the area of livestock and natural resources.

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