Janice Swanson/Temple Grandin – BQA – A Cattle’s Flight Zone

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Cattle can focus on items with both eyes or
they can see individual images out of each eye and if you think about it most of your prey animals are set up that way and that is for the exclusive intention of being able to detect predators. They have very acute hearing they need to detect where those predators are for example and in our case we represent the
predator when we are working with them Therefore, we need to limit the amount of
hooting hollering and yelling and disruption that we give those animals
because it is very disturbing And also making very fast and abrupt movements is something that they detect very easily so when you work with animals you really do need to remain calm They also have a flight zone it is the safety zone an animal will keep between itself and a person or another animal The size of the flight zone is determined by cattle experience with people if they have been around people who interacted favorably with them they will have a
small flight zone. If they have been pasture animals with a little exposure to humans they
will be highly suspicious and their flight zone will be large. This
means a person can’t get too close before the cattle may attempt an escape
move. You move loose cattle by working at the edge of their flight zone applying pressure to the zone by moving
in and out. Determining the size of the flight zone is very important If you get cattle all excited the flight zone will gets bigger calm cattle tend to have a smaller flight zone, this is a diagram that schematically shows the flight zone you notice that the animal has a blind spot right behind the rear end. Cattle have panoramic vision they can see all around without turning their head, except for that one little blind spot The circle in the diagram represents the edge of the flight zone. How
do you know whether you’re inside or outside the flights zone? If cattle are turning and looking at
you, then you are outside the flight zone and when they move away you are inside the flight zone. Another principal in working a flight zone is You need to alternately penetrate the flight zone to make a move and then back off. The principal is you alternately apply pressure on the flight zone. When the animal starts to move too fast you need to back off and relieve the
pressure, when the animal slows down you go back and put a little more
pressure on the flight zone again Now here is an example of a person got too close He is running some cattle down an alley, they start to turn back So he makes the mistake of running up there on
top of them and just getting too close Why do the cattle turn back? Because they want
to get this man out of their flight zone Now, what he should have done it back out off the flight zone you need to backup when the cattle give the first little indication that they are upset or they are gonna turn back.

 

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