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Farm Livestock Safety

Whether you work alone or as part of a team on a farm, safety when dealing with livestock is of utmost importance. Here Jamie Cahill from Kildalton College deals with safety around livestock. Part of the AgriAware Farm Walk and Talk series for Agriculture Science students.

Livestock are responsible for over 40% of farm accidents. There is a common misconception that livestock incidents on farms mainly involve bulls. Over that last 10 years 31% of deaths on farms caused by livestock have been with cows. 

Calving time is when a cow is at its most dangerous. Up until the point of calving, the cow's priority is to keep itself safe from harm and eat enough to keep itself healthy. Once her calf is born a cow's main priority is to protect her calf from any potential danger. There are a few things to note to minimize accidents happening in the calving shed.

  1. Never turn your back on the cow
  2. Never get in between the cow and her calf
  3. Have good facilities for calving
  4. Always have an escape route

It is important to be vigilent around livestock at all times. Every year farmers are killed by cattle just doing routine jobs. Having good facilities will make the farmers everyday jobs easier and safer. A good crush with a funnel entrance makes loading the crush easier and less stressful. A headgate or a headscoop is also a vital piece of equipment. Once animals are properly restrained, stress islowered and the chances of accidents occurring is reduced.