Unloading Livestock

Livestock Transport News Article - More News2007-08-23

If you have been in the livestock business you will know that getting your livestock to their final destination is only part of the process.  The next step is to unload them off of the trailer.  Careful unloading of livestock is just as important as careful loading and transport.  This can often times be a very challenging task because the animals are going to be very stressed at the end of their journey and you want to make sure that the unloading process is very simple so that you will be able to avoid injuries.

It is important to make sure that the opening of the transport vehicle is properly aligned with the unloading ramp.  This will ensure that the animals will get safely down the ramp and it will also prevent unwanted bruises on the animals.  You also want to encourage the livestock to quietly walk off of the transport vehicle.  You do not want to rush the animals because they are already very stressed and if you try to rush them off of the transport vehicle, they are more likely to injure themselves or even someone who is trying to help.

There are several methods that may be employed to encourage the animals to exit the trailer.  One of these methods is to use the behavioral characteristics of the animals.  Most livestock animals are herd animals and if just a few animals leave the herd, the rest will follow.  If you are able to quietly get a few animals to exit the trailer, the remaining animals will usually follow.  You may also use “flappers” or “metallic rattles”.  Both of these devices are ideal because they will encourage the animals to move out of the trailer in response to sound.  This will allow the animals to quietly move away from the sound without getting into a panic.

It is very important to unload livestock off of the transport vehicles as quickly as possible.  The sooner that they are out of the trailer, the sooner they will calm down.  All livestock animals should be given immediate access to water once they are unloaded.  Many animals will be dehydrated and the sooner that they are able to drink, the better off they will be.  If the animals are going to be held in the yards for more than 24 hours before being transported to their final destination, they should also be provided with food as well as water.

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