– Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist
Utilization of proper cattle handling is key. It can eliminate carcass bruising and the presence of dark cutters. Although the industry has observed a decrease in the presence of carcass bruising according to the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit results, the “2016 Lost Opportunities in Beef Production” publication indicated that carcass bruising cost the industry approximately $62.15 million. Additionally, the presence of dark cutters cost the beef industry $132 million.
These include the elimination of side and multiple brands, proper cattle handling/transport techniques and facility design, and the elimination of improper IM injections. Proper administration of animal health products, branding only in the shoulder or hip areas, marketing cattle at an optimum time, and reducing stress placed on when handling cattle are just some of the management practices that can help prevent quality defects and increase market value.
- Provide personnel with training/experience to properly handle and care for cattle.
- Make timely observations of cattle to ensure basic needs are being met.
- Provide facilities that allow safe, humane, and efficient movement and/or restraint of cattle.
- Use appropriate methods to humanely euthanize terminally sick or injured livestock.
Abuse of cattle is not acceptable under any circumstances. Provide personnel with training/experience to properly handle and care for cattle. Make timely observations of cattle to ensure basic needs are being met. Design, provide, and regularly inspect facilities (fences, corrals, load-outs, stations) to help ensure safe and easy animal movement and restraint. Keep feed and water handling equipment is clean.
This information was derived from the National Beef Quality Assurance Manual located at BQA.org
EDITOR’s NOTE: In the YouTube video embedded below, Dr. Boyles further explains how temperament impacts cattle handling, and ultimately performance and profitability.