White Fox, Saskatchewan based DNL Farms with the assistance of Linden, Alberta based Lester Reimer Trucking has developed a new low stress swine handling course for truck drivers.
The course, which is delivered in a classroom setting, uses video recorded in the field over a one week period to highlight techniques designed to make it easier to move pigs.
DNL partner Nancy Lidster explains low stress handling utilizes the animal’s natural survival instincts to get them to move. Once we start handling them and moving them they start to worry a little bit about their own safety and their survival responses kick in and, when we understand what those responses are, we can modify what we’re doing to get the responses that we want.
High animal density
In the case of moving stock onto trailers and in trailers and off again we’re working with fairly high animal densities and we’re working in a confined space. These conditions limit pigs ability to move and respond to their handlers and, if we understand that, those conditions will encourage animals to either bunch up and stop moving or to try to circle back on their handlers.
Move more freely
When handlers understand that, they can make use of that knowledge to get animals to move more freely and we can work with the movement that they give us to get them to go where we want them to and go more freely than if we’re doing things that make them scared and make them want to stop or go the wrong direction.
According to Lidster, once handlers are aware of how to work with the animal’s instincts, movement can be simplified considerably.
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