Getting the cattle into the cattle crushes:
When checking the cattle for general health, ageing or pregnancy, you want them to be standing still and secure, for your safety and for the cattle! When we want to check up on the cattle – whether it be for a general check or something more specific by a veterinarian, we put the cattle into the cattle crushes.
To get the cattle into the cattle crush, we use the cattle’s flight zone to move them through the cattle yards – stand behind the cattle’s withers to move it forward, and in front of the withers to move it back. Make sure both crush gates are open as you direct the cattle through. Once the cattle’s head is past the head bail, close the crush gate so that it is tight on the cattle’s neck. Once the cattle is completely in the cattle crush, close the back crush gate too.
In the cattle crush:
When the cattle is in the cattle crush, you may find you wish to restrain the cattle’s head. This can be safer for examining the animal as it can’t swing its head around, potentially knocking you over! A halter is useful for this. Place the halter over its head. Wrap the rope around the nose of the cattle and bring it to the side of the cattle crush, making sure the head is brought to the side too. On the side of the cattle crush, tie a quick release knot. This will allow you to keep the cattle’s head securely in place, while also allowing you to quickly untie the knot in the case of emergency.