Eliminate the stress on your livestock when going to an event

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It is important to eliminate factors that can make your animals stress during the show season.

Whether your animal is seasoned to the show circuit or if it is their first time stepping out in the show ring, stress can affect your animal’s performance in a negative way.

Travelling to a field day, show or camp draft with either cattle, sheep or horses can be a stressful time for both the animal and the owner. Stress can start prior to loading the truck and can continue until the animal is back in their natural surroundings. Younger, quieter or first timers are animals usually overcome by stress at events. As owners/ producers, it is up to us to eliminate factors which may create animals to become susceptible to stress.

Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap is a unique 3-in-1 formulation consisting of trace elements, amino acids and electrolytes are aimed at naturally calming livestock to improve ways of coping with stress.

Animals can stress in 2 different ways

After months of hard work and preparation, it can all go downhill because of stress. Animals can stress in two different ways:

  • Physically:
    • Change in hunger
    • Change in thirst
    • Fatigue
    • Thermal changes
    • Can cause young heifers to abort (an extreme result from stress; is also dependant on the stage the fetus is.)
  • Psychologically:
    • Change in attitude
    • Handling different
    • Fear of objects

How do I know if my animal is stressing?

This will depend on the individual animal and the time stressing incurs – whether being at the time of transport or at the event. A key indication of whether your animal has begun to stress is a change in their attitude; you may find that their senses have hyphened to noise and movement. Other indications of stress are…

  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiration rate
  • Lethargic
  • Increase in noise level

Animals who are generally highly strung all the time are less likely to be affected by stress, unlike to quieter and calmer animals.

Factors to reduce the stress on animals

  1. Temperature:
    The higher the stress level the more heat the animal exerts. By utilizing fans, windows, having fresh water, shade and appropriate bedding will assist in keeping the animal’s body temperature down.
  2. Ventilation:
    Whether transporting or at the event, having sufficient ventilation of clean air will help keep your animal healthy and calm.
  3. Overcrowding:
    Overcrowding with other animals can cause other animals claustrophobic leading to individual animals to stress. Assure that there is sufficient room in the pen to cater for all animals.
  4. Transportation :
    Transport should be clean, safe and well ventilated. On long trips, flooring should have adequate comfort – for example, sawdust or rubber matting. On even longer trips animals should be spelled, exercise, feed and watered.
  5. Human exposure:
    Human exposure can become quite stressful to animals who haven’t had much to do with people let alone crowds and excessive noise. Small steps will help overcome this such as having noise and extra people in the yards while working with the animal.

Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap can help reduce stress

Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap is a natural formulation aimed at naturally calming livestock to improve ways of coping with stress during weaning, introduction and exit from feedlots, unfamiliar surrounds of yarding and transportation in both short-haul and long-haul trips.

When should I use Green Cap before an event?

The ideal time to give Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap is a minimum of three days before transport. This will help reduce the stress of the animal as they are leaving their normal surroundings and help them to adapt easier to their new surroundings.

Using a Beachport Liquid Minerals dispenser to dispense the Green Cap into a trough will need 48-72 hours to dispense. Or if you are mixing the Green Cap in with their feed, first you should account for an extra 20% of Green Cap and then split up their individual dose rate over two-three days. The Green Cap will then take a minimum of 12 hours to reach their bloodstream and take effect.

If you are finding that they are stressing out at an event, Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap can still be used whether it is in their feed or in their water. Just remember that the full dose rate should be split over the day in their water and feed as the smell of the aniseed will become too sweet and overbearing in a small amount of water.

For any further questions about using Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap before heading to a show, field day or camp draft please contact our team.

Written by Kate Fairlie,
Reserve Senior Champion Herdsman
SA Junior Heifer Expo 2017