Tag Archives: safety

Preparation Is Key To Helping Livestock In A Weather Emergency Situation

By: Art Gib

If livestock is an integral part of your livelihood, then you know that their safety and well-being should be uppermost in your mind at all times. Losing even a small percentage of your animals or fowl can mean the difference between your long-term success and financial disaster. If you live in high-risk areas, preparation is a key to helping your livestock survive during a weather-related emergency situation. Here are a few basic steps that livestock owners should take before disaster strikes.

Shelter

If your area is prone to floods, keep an emergency shelter on high ground to give the animals a safe, dry place to wait out the emergency separate from people. Cohabitation of people and animals is never a good idea even for short periods of time since it invites both vermin as well as disease.

If storms or earthquakes are your most likely hazards, you must have a backup power generation system in place to help your herds and flocks survive under harsh conditions. You will need to have plenty of electricity to not only keep the animals warm and calm but also to operate milking machinery, egg incubators, etc. There are plenty of great industrial power generators on the market that are suitable for a whole range of farming applications: look for the best deals online.

Food

In the case of a natural disaster, it is very possible that your hay, grain, and other backup feed supplies will be destroyed. Even if your large animals are usually pastured, there is no guarantee that that option will be available to them, especially if there is a flood. You may want to consider keeping a quantity of multi-nutrient blocks such as urea-molasses in watertight, portable containers that are easily transportable if necessary. These blocks provide much-needed energy, vitamins and minerals, as well as essential nitrogen to keep them as healthy as possible until they can return to their regular feeding routine.

Water

In the first 72 hours following a weather emergency it may be difficult or even impossible to get your livestock the clean water it needs to survive. Keeping a reserve of clean water on your property is imperative to help them get through the worst. You should have a standing agreement with a water supply company to truck in water when it becomes possible to do so. Trying to arrange for trucked-in water after a disaster occurs will be difficult indeed, and you may find that your herd will not be able to get the help it needs when it needs it.

Taking care of your animals’ 3 basic needs: shelter, food, and water should be part of any owner’s basic emergency plan. The time to plan is now, before disaster strikes.

Author Resource:-> Specialty Vehicle Service and Refurbishment (http://www.svsrinc.com/) is a power generation systems. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

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Advanced Technology Looms for Truck Drivers

tireAccording to the Modern Tire Dealer, technology is in development for a microchip to be implanted in tires. Tire dealers can use the chips for inventory reasons while the technology could also mean tracking rigs. The chips could be used not only in large truck tires but passenger tires and light and medium truck tires.

The chip can monitor a variety of conditions such as tread depth, tire pressure and temperature. However it can also give business information that some would not want accessible.

To a further degree, if it communicates such information it can also communicate where the truck is, how long it has been moving and other information. For agriculture use combined with microchips from the NAIS ,that the government wants to implement, this can mean they can also tell how many animals, what species, where you are and how long they have been on board. Many small farmers and private owners are not embracing the microchip technology.

Technology, like anything can be used for good reasons and be a source of abuse of power. Will this technology take off? The chips themselves aren’t expensive but the readers aren’t cheap. In addition to the chip and the scanner the business could need a PDA and Bluetooth technology.

The information itself can be an issue for some shippers who would rather not have the government riding shotgun. The more regulation involved the easier it can be but the less flexible also. If you aren’t in an area to pull over to unload animals and it’s an extra hour road time before you can then will someone press cruelty charges? If technology “tells” the tread depth from 15 feet away and your tires are slightly over, is that a reason to be pulled over by law enforcement? On the other hand it can mean finding a stolen trailer or vehicle.

How much technology you want on your farm or business is still an individual choice but it is changing all the time.

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Safely Loading a Horse

If you have ever been around horses, you have probably seen some very interesting trailer loading scenes. You may have seen people try to bribe their horses with food or you may have seen the two person method where one person pulls on the lead rope while the other person pushes on the rear of the horse. You may also have seen the three person method where two people use a rope at the rear of the horse as a sling while the person inside the trailer tries to pull them in. None of these methods are very effective, and none of them are safe. The only way to get a horse to load well is to practice loading with them.

There are several simple steps that you can follow to teach your horse to load properly. This will ensure that you do not have any of those “trailer loading scenes” and that both you and your horse will be safe.

Step 1 – Show your horse the trailer, open the doors and make sure that everything is safe. It is important to allow your horse to look around so that he will be able to see that he is safe. Once your horse is calm, proceed to step two.

Step 2 – Longe your horse at a walk toward the door of the trailer. You should have your horse stop, back up, and change directions. This will allow him to see the trailer from different views. Once your horse is calm with this exercise, reward him and move on to step three.

Step 3 – With the door open, drive your horse toward the door of the trailer and ask them to stop. You should them drive them by the door and around in a circle and ask them to stop again. You should again reward your horse if they are remaining calm and once they are comfortable with this exercise, move on to step four.

Step 4 – With the door open, drive your horse into the trailer. It is okay if the horse stops and does not go into the trailer. Just be patient and continue to drive them toward the open door and once they are inside, ask them to stand quietly and reward them for doing so. Next you should ask your horse to back out of the trailer. It is important to not let them turn around and come out head first because this is very dangerous. Once your horse has mastered this process, move onto step five.

Step 5 – Now you can begin to ask your horse to stand for long time intervals. The goal is to work up to thirty seconds in five second intervals. Once your horse will do this calmly, they will be ready for their first short ride in the trailer.

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.

Standards for Transport Vehicles

There are many different ways that livestock can be transported. The most common way is by trailer, but they can also be transported by rail car or plane. It does not matter how you choose to transport your livestock, but what does matter is that the vehicle is safe.

It is important that any transport vehicle be clean before loading livestock. This will help to ensure that your livestock does not get sick by riding in a dirty vehicle where there were sick animals before. There should also be no protrusions or sharp edges on the framework, doorways, floors, or partitions that are capable of injuring the animals. All gates should operate smoothly and retract fully from the animal’s pathway. Gates should not be susceptible to jamming by either the animals or by transit vibrations. All hinges and latches should not project into the animal’s pathway either and all gates should be clearly visible to animals when they are shut. An easy way to achieve this is by providing “sight boards”.

All internal sheeting of the sides of the vehicle should be smooth and also have a large area of contact with the animals to eliminate bruising and pressure points. It is also important that the height deck be tall enough to ensure that the type of animal being transported is able to stand without contacting overhead structures. It is also important that the vehicle has a floor that is constructed out of non-slip material that is easily repaired and that will not injure the legs or hooves of the animals.

If animals are traveling in multi-deck vehicles, the deck structure should be designed to minimize soiling of the animals on the lower decks. The spacing of the side rails should be small enough to prevent the animals from jamming their heads and legs between the rails. If you are using a vehicle that is not completely enclosed, the sides of the vehicle should be high enough to prevent the animals from escaping.

When choosing a vehicle, it is important to make sure that there are sufficient partitions and secure fittings to ensure that the animals are adequately separated and are not overcrowded. It is also important to make sure that the exhaust system of the vehicle is not polluting the air where the animals are riding. There should also be adequate air flow inside the vehicle to keep the animals cool and minimize heat stress.

If you are careful when selecting a vehicle for transport, you will ensure that your animals have the most pleasant ride possible.

Keeping Your Horse Safe in the Trailer

If you are a horse owner or horse transporter, then you know that every horse needs to be transported at some point in its life. You could have a show horse that is routinely hauled to shows or you may only use your trailer to take your horse to the vet for regular checkups. It does not matter what the circumstances are, you always want to make sure that the horse is safe while they are in the trailer. There are many simple things that you can do to ensure that both you and the horse are safe during loading, travel, and unloading.

• If it is possible, use two people to load the horse.

• Never stand directly behind the horse when loading or unloading.

• Train the horse so that it can be sent into the trailer by itself.

• Make sure that the ground around and behind the trailer has good footing before loading or unloading a horse.

• Remove all equipment (saddles, bridles, etc.) before loading. The only thing that should be on the horse is its halter.

• Always speak to a horse that is in a trailer before attempting to handle it. You want to make sure that your horse knows you are there; this will keep him from becoming startled.

• If you are having trouble either loading or unloading a horse, seek professional help.

• Always secure the butt bar or chain before tying the horse. Make sure that you use care when reaching for it to avoid being kicked and always gently let it down when you unfasten it so that you do not accidentally bump the horse’s legs.

• When you are unloading a horse, always untie the horse before you open the door.

• Use some type of bedding or matting in the trailer floor. This will keep the floor from getting slick and prevent the horse from falling.

• Always check the trailer regularly for rotten or weakened floorboards, weakened door hinges, broken hitch welds, and worn or broken wheel bearings and spring shackles.

• Make sure that your trailer meets all state requirements for brakes and lights.

• When driving, double check all connections like lights, brakes, and safety chains and always drive in a defensive manner.

• If you are only hauling a single horse, it is safest to load it on the left side of the trailer.

• You should always check on the horses and the trailer hitch at every stop.

If you are careful and observant, you will ensure that both you and the horse are safe no matter how far you have to travel.