Understanding%20Flight%20Zone%20and%20Point%20of%20Balance%20to%20Improve%20Handling%20of%20Cattle

Understanding%20Flight%20Zone%20and%20Point%20of%20Balance%20to%20Improve%20Handling%20of%20Cattle

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Understanding Flight Zone and Point of Balance to Improve Handling of Cattle, Sheep, and Pigs Understanding Flight Zone and Point of Balance to Improve Handling of Cattle, Sheep, and Pigs (Revised July 2010) This picture illustrates the flight zone of a large flock of sheep, herds of cattle behave much the same way. Notice that the sheep are circling around the handlers while maintaining a safe distance and keeping the people in sight. Note that the sheep tend to move in the opposite direction of handler movement. Walking in the opposite direction of the direction of desired movement can be used to move groups of animals. Walking in the opposite direction tends to speed up movement and walking in the same direction tends to slow down movements. These principles work with all herding animals. When animals are completely tame they will have no flight zone. Leading is usually the most effective way to move very tame animals. Handlers on farms and ranches can reduce the size of the flight zone by spending time walking through the heard or flock. The point of balance is usually at the animal's shoulder and it is determined by the animal's wide angle http://www.grandin.com/behaviour/principles/flight.zone.html (1 of 7)9/3/2010 1:14:33 PM
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Understanding Flight Zone and Point of Balance to Improve Handling of Cattle, Sheep, and Pigs vision. All species of livestock will move forward if the handler stands behind the point of balance. They will back up if the handler stands in front of the point of balance. Many handlers make the mistake of standing in front of the point of balance while attempting to make an animal move forward in a chute (race). Groups of cattle or pigs in a chute (race) will often move forward without prodding when the handler walks past the point of balance in the opposite direction of each animal in the chute (race). It is not necessary to prod every animal. If the animals are moving through the chute (race) by themselves, leave them alone. This diagram illustrates the general flight zone of an animal. The actual flight zone of an individual animal will vary depending on how "tame" the animal is.
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