- Published: Wednesday, 25 June 2014 10:58
Boyd Holden, is coming to Tocal! Boyd is one of the top livestock handling trainers and consultants in Australia working for the MLA, MINTRAC, Workcover and other organizations involved with livestock handling and runs training in livestock around Australia, and from Russia, the Middle East to Indonesia.
Boyd's Livestock welfare & handling course teaches low stress livestock handling techniques which are important from both an animal production and animal welfare perspective. Handling stress reduces both immune and rumen function of cattle, which can lead to lower weight gain of cattle. Understanding the herd instincts of sheep and cattle and characteristics of flight zones, can help the stock handler to avoid agitation. This in turn makes the cattle safer for the farmer to handle.
On the first day principles are put into practice using sheep, with Boyd demonstrating handling techniques. Participants get a chance to practice with the animals and even experienced livestock handlers attending the course pick up advanced techniques for low stress handling. On the second day, cattle will be worked in the newly upgraded yards by all the participants, giving even inexperienced cattle handlers confidence in handling cattle.
Low stress in cattle also leads to low stress in the operator, and makes for a safer working environment in the yards.
Carol Rose, Development officer with Tocal said that she did the course last year with Boyd after seeing an experienced colleague sent to hospital after being shunted by an agitated bull in the yards which was enough to get her along to a course to hone up my skills.