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Selecting and Caring for Stock before Transport

Transporting livestock can be a very stressful time period for both the owners and the animals. It is very easy for livestock to become stressed. One of the most stressful times on livestock is during the gathering process. The animals that are going to have the most stress during this time are the ones that are not accustomed to being handled, pregnant females, very young or very old animals and there are also certain breeds who just do not handle stressful situations very well. The best thing to reduce the stress in these animals is to allow them to rest for at least 24 hours before they are transported. This will give them an opportunity to calm down and this will also reduce their stress level during transport.

When you are preparing to transport livestock over long distances, they should be gathered and transported to their loading destination as quickly as possible. They should then be allowed to rest and eat and drink plenty of water. This will ensure that they are in good physical condition for the long ride. If you are not able to load your livestock immediately after the resting period, you should make sure that they will have sufficient food and water to maintain them until they are loaded onto the trailer. It is also important that animals are provided shelter. Livestock such as horses, cattle, sheep and goats usually do not require shelter except in extreme weather conditions; however, pigs are very susceptible to temperature stress and they should always be provided with shelter from the heat and a cool supply of drinking water.

When it is time to load the animals, only the ones that are fit and healthy should be loaded for transport. Animals that are sick, injured, weak, or females in the late stages of pregnancy should not be loaded. The only time sick animals should be transported is when they are only traveling a short distance to receive veterinary treatment. It is also important to remember that certain classes of livestock should be transported in different trailers, or if this is not possible, there should be a partition separating the animals. For example, calves should be transported separately from adult cattle, cattle that are greatly different in size should be separated, and adult bulls should always be separated from any other cattle.

If you take good care of your livestock before they are transported, you will greatly reduce their stress and have a healthier animal at the end of the ride.