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Stockmanship Keeps You (and Your Cattle) Safe

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
September 2, 2015

Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties

Stockmanship Keeps You (and Your Cattle) Safe
By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (09/02/15) — When working with beef and dairy cattle, it’s always important to practice good stockmanship, as it keeps both you and your animals safe.  My friends at UMASH-the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center provided me with some awesome information about safely moving cattle.

Remember that when moving cows, you should always be PALS, P-A-L-S:
-Be Patient
-Consider the Angle of your approach
-Think about your Location relative to the cow, and
-Slow the Speed of your movements

The cow is always right, and not to mention much larger than you are.  Cows move consistently and predictably in a calm environment.  If a cow is not moving the way you would like her to, reassess the signals you are giving her.

Think of a cow, and imagine a circle that is drawn around her about 1-2 feet out--this is her flight zone.  Now think about another circle that is about 3-4 feet out--this is her pressure zone.  To move her, start movement by slowly approaching her pressure zone.  Be sure to give the cow space and time to notice and react to you.  Walk at a speed that keeps you out of the cow’s flight zone.  The angle at which you approach a cow will influence the direction she moves in.  Also keep in mind that the area directly behind her is a blind spot, so it’s important to stay clear of that area. 

UMASH reminds you to, “Keep Calm and Move Cows.”  To learn more about the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, visit



Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
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