Livestock Transportation

How to safely move between facilities, to another farm or to a livestock market, during livestock transportation.
Livestock Transportation - Videos


More by Robert E. Mikesell 

Dr. Elizabeth Santini

View Transcript

(light acoustic and piano music)

- If you own livestock, at some point you will need to safely move them between facilities, to another farm, or to a livestock sale or market.

Transporting animals can cause stress for them and for you.

This video will introduce tips to alleviate common transportation issues.

- When moving livestock, overcrowding can be a common problem.

Too many animals in a trailer can cause poor ventilation, leading to respiratory diseases, bruising on animals, or even downed animals.

- [Elizabeth] In addition to overcrowding, other transportation challenges include injured animals that have fallen on slick surfaces, injured or stressed animals, due to improper handling, sick animals, or higher rates of animal loss due to extreme weather conditions.

- With an understanding of the common transportation issues, it's necessary to implement best practices at your farm or sale barn.

Before transporting livestock, follow these steps: - [Elizabeth] Clean and properly disinfect the trailer to prevent spreading disease.

Make sure there is no sharp metal inside the trailer.

Floors should be safe with no slippery surfaces.

Apply anti-skid material such as shavings or Calcite.

Avoid using trailers with wooden floors, as they can create a dangerous surface for livestock.

During transportation, it is important to remember these best practices for your safety and for the safety of the animals.

Slow down and calm down, follow proper animal handling practices at all times.

Do not overload livestock in the trailer, refer to industry guidelines, as proper numbers of animals will vary depending on their size.

Once the trailer is loaded, keep moving to avoid extra stress and heat flare-up.

When you have arrived at your destination, don't delay in unloading animals.

- One of the biggest factors to consider during animal transportation, is the weather.

The Livestock Weather Safety Index is a helpful tool to determine the risks.

Be sure to check the forecast for the duration of your trip, and follow these critical guidelines.

- [ Elizabeth] In hot weather, haul animals in the cool part of the day, mornings or evenings.

Keep trailer ventilation holes open for air exchange.

Make sure animals are fed and watered well before leaving, and be sure they have water available once they are quickly unloaded.

In cold weather, windchill can kill livestock.

Hogs and calves are especially susceptible.

Don't transport these animals on frigid days, unless absolutely necessary.

Avoid dangerous crosswinds on the trailer, plugging some of the air holes.

Use straw to keep the animals warm.

Taking proper care of animals is always the right thing to do.

It's important to remember that in Pennsylvania, you have a legal obligation to properly care for animals under your supervision, whether you own the animals or not.

- In review, animal transportation is a necessary logistic of ownership.

You can reduce stress for you and your animals by following this simple reminder: - [Elizabeth] Before transporting, think about COWS.

Cleanliness, Overcrowding, Weather, and Slippery Surfaces.

Is the trailer clean and free from sharp objects?

Have I limited the number of animals in the trailer to prevent overcrowding?

Have I checked the weather forecast and taken necessary precautions?

Have I provided adequate traction on the floor?

For more information on transportation programs for livestock, visit the Penn State extension website.


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