I was going to write something myself on stress, but then I came across this post Mom wrote on the main Stockmanship.com website. I can’t improve on it, so will just put the link here and encourage you to read it all:
I have come to the conclusion that most livestock don’t feel safe in their home pastures, no matter where they live, which is why, when Bud moved them,they were convinced that the place he left them was safe and the place they wanted to be. The increase in production and the decrease in illness bolsters my feelings on this. The fact that it makes the stock easier to handle and utilize your pastures better is frosting on the cake. Bud felt that the modern way of moving animals with feed has created neurotic cows that instead of the cow taking stress off of her calf, actually puts stress on it. Read the rest here.
You might have heard of other days, weeks, or months set aside to bring special “awareness” to various situations such as (not a joke!) International Carrot Day (today!), National Gardening Week (April 11-17), and Mathematics Awareness Month (April). Read more about them here.
One that stuck in our minds is that April is also Stress Awareness Month! During April let’s talk about stress and your livestock! How can you tell if your livestock are stressed? If they are, what can you do about it? And, why does it matter?
At the same time, let’s also talk about stress in people because, that’s also part of what we need to talk about when discussing “Proper Stockmanship.” Proper Stockmanship can only be attained when both the livestock and the people are in the proper frame of mind. If you are under some sort of stress which you are not managing well, the livestock you are responsible for will know it and not respond well to it! I know, that sounds pretty far “out there!” But, stick with us through Stress Awareness Month as we talk about all these issues and many more.