It is important to get your livestock to their final destination without any injuries. Everyone knows that injuries are going to happen, but there are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of your livestock being injured during transit.
The first thing that you should do is allow enough room between the animals. Packing of animals either too loosely or too tightly will predispose them to injury. Partitions should be used to reduce the chance of the animals being injured. There should be enough animals within a space to minimize injury while at the same time providing enough space for an animal that is cast to rise with assistance. It is also important to make sure that the animals are properly separated from one another. It is recommended that the following classes be transported separately:
• Polled cattle
• Young calves
• Cow with suckling calf
• Hornless cattle
• Adult bulls
• Cattle that are greatly different in size
• Females in advanced stages of pregnancy
Lactating dairy cows that are in full production and without calves at their side should be milked at intervals not exceeding twenty four hours. When bulls are haltered and tied within the trailer, the head rope should not be fitted through a nose ring. Calves should be strong enough to withstand the stresses of transportation and they should be transported in vehicles with enclosed fronts to prevent wind chill. Newborn calves with wet umbilical cords or calves that weigh less than 50 pounds should not be allowed to travel. Cows that are more than eight months pregnant should not be transported for journeys that are longer than eight hours. Longer journeys will increase the risk of metabolic diseases and injury. All cattle should be offered food and water as soon as possible after they have been unloaded.
• Sheep that differ greatly in size
• Ewes and sucker lambs
• Ewes in advanced stages of pregnancy
Newborn lambs and newly shorn sheep are very susceptible to wind chill and should be transported in vehicles with enclosed fronts to protect them from the elements. Ewes that are more than four months pregnant should not be transported on journeys that will take longer than eight hours and they should be offered food and water as soon as possible after they have reached their final destination.
The recommendations for domestic goats are very similar to those that are listed for sheep.