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Torén, Hanna, 2009. Hantering av extensivt hållna nötkreatur i mindre besättningar. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Extensive cattle management was reintroduced in Sweden during the 1950´s and 60´s. Usually this term refers to suckler cows for meat production that is kept outdoors all year around. Suckler cow farms tend to become fewer but bigger over time. Still however most of the farms with beef cows are small. Extensive animal husbandry can lead to animals becoming shy which leads to difficulties when they are handled due to veterinary treatments, marking, transport etc. This is both a worker safety and animal welfare issue. Working with animals is one of the most dangerous aspects in farming. Well-designed handling facilities make the handling easier but because of the economic conditions smaller farms often lack such equipment. The aim of the study is to give proposals on appropriate handling solutions for small-scale farms with cattle held under extensive conditions. This is made on the basis of earlier research, practical experience, legislation and with regard to the economic conditions.

When it comes to handling cattle there is a considerable amount of knowledge acquired in research within applied animal behaviour. A lot of this knowledge has not however been transferred to the farmers yet. Information materials about handling of cattle are distributed by sector organisations and authorities. Cattle management is regulated both in Swedish and European animal welfare legislation. Swedish Work Environment Authority has issued regulations for work with animals.

There are three factors that matters when it comes to handling cattle; the animals; the humans and the equipment. The behaviour of cattle during handling is genetically conditioned and a selection for increased docility is therefore possible. Scientific studies show advantages with regular contact between the handler and the animals. Cattle have good learning abilities which mean that they can be trained for different handling procedures. Knowledge about cattle behaviour, cognition and perception is important - especially in order to decrease the risk of accidents during handling. For smaller farms with extensively kept cattle, equipment like mobile gates that can be used when moving animals and access to an indoor pen where sick animals can be treated is required. When designing handling facilities considerations have to be taken to the animals' behaviour in order to get the equipment to function in an effective way.

Cattle being afraid of humans benefit neither them nor the people that come in contact with them and lead to unnecessary suffering for the animals. In the end it is the farmer himself who decides how effective and safe the handling will be by his choice of animals and equipment, but most of all by the way the equipment is used and the animals are treated.

Main title:Hantering av extensivt hållna nötkreatur i mindre besättningar
Authors:Torén, Hanna
Supervisor:Lidfors, Lena
Examiner:Yngvesson, Jenny
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:272
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:handling, cattle, extensively
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:02 Jul 2009 10:27
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:09

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