Read Temple Grandin's Guide to Working with Farm Animals: Safe, Humane Livestock Handling Practices for the Small Farm by Temple Grandin Free Online
Book Title: Temple Grandin's Guide to Working with Farm Animals: Safe, Humane Livestock Handling Practices for the Small Farm|
The author of the book: Temple Grandin
Edition: Storey Publishing
Date of issue: May 2nd 2017
ISBN 13: 9781612127453
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 14.70 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.3
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Simply the best animal handling resource for farmers and ranchers.
Somehow you’ve graduated from a dog and a cat to chickens and then maybe a pony and a house cow, and eventually ended up on a farm or a ranch. With livestock. Animals that may not have names. Animals that you can’t necessarily tell apart. Animals that definitely prefer each other to the likes of you and might try to trample you, given half a chance.
This is the book you need.
Or maybe you’ve grown up on a ranch or farm and have raised livestock all your life with parents and grandparents, in which case you’ve probably seen most of the mistakes people make when they’re trying to figure out why you can’t move sheep and cattle exactly the same way.
This is the book you need.
Temple Grandin is a well-known authority on livestock behaviour, partly because she had to figure out her own behaviour first. Autistic and difficult, Temple had a difficult childhood was a trial for all around her. But she saw things that other people didn’t. She spent time on a farm, watched the animals, and began to understand why they do what they do. (You may have seen Clare Danes playing her in the story of her life, “Temple Grandin” in 2010.)
This is the result of that understanding. This is not a book for people who consider meat-eating abhorrent. Get the gardening book you’ve had your eye on instead.
I will begin at the end. Her last section is “Thoughts About Eating Meat”. Mine are similar, and I came to them the same way, while in the cattle yards, admiring our new calves and their mothers (some of whom DID have names).
“One day, I was standing on a long overhead catwalk at a stockyard and chute system I had designed. As I looked out over a sea of cattle below me, I had the following thought: These animals would never have been born if people had not bred them. They would not have known life.
I feel very strongly that all the animals that are raised for food should be raised in systems where they have a decent life. I am very concerned about welfare problems caused by poor stockmanship or neglect. . . .
Our relationship with meat animals should be symbiotic. ‘Symbiosis’ is a mutually beneficial relationship between two species. . . when caring people are good stewards of both the animals and the land, the relationship is truly symbiotic. . . nature can be very harsh . . . [some] predatory animals often dine on another animal’s guts without killing it first. When an animal quietly walks up the chute at the slaughter plant and death is instantaneous, I feel peaceful.”
I only wish that all livestock were cared for as kindly and ended their days so calmly. There is a section where she discusses slaughter in some detail (not gory, but explicit), so you can understand why she says what she does about managing animals quietly .
This book is full of facts, anecdotes, short summaries and dot points for easy learning, and the most wonderful, full-colour photographs!
There are countless simple diagrams of where a person (handler) should stand in relation to a single animal, a small group, or a herd in order to 'ask' them to move in a certain direction. You don’t have to shout and swear and wave frantically. You just have to let them know where you are, and they will do the rest.
It’s an art as much as a science, and she states often that these tactics don’t work with pets or animals that are happy to walk up to you. It’s for herd animals, and depending how familiar with you they are, they will react in particular ways – face you, turn away, move away – depending on what you do.
There’s also advice on how to give ‘treats’ to cows or other stock to reward them and encourage the behaviour you want.
There’s a lengthy section at the end with designs for everything from small, portable yards that can be carried on a trailer to bigger, permanent yards for larger holdings.
I can confirm a lot of what she says from my own experience. Shadows, clanking chains, distracting noises, startling movement – all of these disturb cattle who will pretty happily follow each other single file if you encourage them the right direction.
Cattle are easy to call with feed. That’s when a noise is useful – the truck horn will bring them from every corner, looking for hay. A friend who was renting out a cottage on his farm told me the young woman who was living there had come home one evening and was scared when seeing a few steers on the track . . . so, she honked her horn. BIG MISTAKE! Poor thing was surrounded and terrified, but she knew better next time.
Sheep are different, pigs are different, deer are different, and goats – well goats are so different they may climb up into trees to browse, making them hard to contain.
I kept remembering many anecdotes of my own while reading this, which made it extra fun for me, I’m sure.
One was when my husband rode down on a quad bike to check the cows and calves, who were in a new paddock, and he arrived to find the gate had been pushed open and the young steers had all wandered in to help themselves with the fresh feed.
Panic stations! Fortunately, there was a set of yards not too far away, so he rode onto the track along the fence in the paddock to begin heading them back out. A soon as the steers saw him, they all turned around and, giving him a wide berth, walked out through the gate behind him! Just like a bunch of naughty kids, they knew they’d been sprung, and they left.
That’s what it seemed like, but probably, they just didn’t want to be chased by a motorbike, and when they saw an open gate, they took the opportunity to 'escape'. Funny boys they were.
Dogs are mentioned, but mostly just in relation to when not to use them. Ourselves, we found that moving cows with young calves was harder with dogs, because the mums spent all their time turning around to keep an eye on the dogs.
Some dogs will run behind YOU for protection, which is mighty scary when there’s a big, hefty Brahma-cross bearing down on it! So dogs stayed home or stayed put on the back of the bike (if they had to be there at all), which the cattle seemed to accept.
But animals are curious, particularly the young ones, and I spent many happy hours perched on my quad bike with a notebook, noting which cows and calves were doing well or poorly (all were tagged), and if I were facing forwards and put my hands on the carrier rack behind, sure enough, some calves would wander up to lick my fingers. If I moved slowly, I could stroke those velvety noses – so cute!
To catch a flighty foal once, I found the easiest way was to hang a bandanna or strip of cloth out of my back pocket, then bend over a bit and pretend to rearrange some sticks at the base of a tree. In no time at all, he was nudging my pocket to see what the rag was, and then he was happy for me to pet him and hold his soft halter.
They were good times, and we are both pretty busted up from various incidents, just because it’s such a physical life, but even Temple Grandin couldn’t have saved us from all of our mistakes.
I’m sure she’ll prevent a lot of unnecessary accidents, though. What an asset she is to the animals and the industry, and what a wonderful contribution she’s made to her field!
Thanks to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for a review copy from which I’ve quoted. The exact wording may change, but I’m sure the author’s sentiments will remain the same.
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Read information about the authorTemple Grandin, Ph.D., didn't talk until she was three and a half years old, communicating her frustration instead by screaming, peeping, and humming. In 1950, she was diagnosed with autism and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. She tells her story of "groping her way from the far side of darkness" in her book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book which stunned the world because, until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life.
Even though she was considered "weird" in her young school years, she eventually found a mentor, who recognized her interests and abilities. Dr. Grandin later developed her talents into a successful career as a livestock-handling equipment designer, one of very few in the world. She has now designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the United States, consulting for firms such as Burger King, McDonald's, Swift, and others.
Dr. Grandin presently works as a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She also speaks around the world on both autism and cattle handling.
(Excerpted from Temple Grandin's Official Autism Website)