Farm animals can present real dangers to farmers, ranchers and their families. The National Safety Council recommends the following steps to mitigate those risks when handling livestock:
- Label livestock handling areas to keep visitors away.
- Design all livestock facilities to allow workers easy access.
- Equip pens with emergency exits.
- Keep children and visitors out of livestock handling areas.
- Be sure fences, gates and pens are in good repair and that restraining equipment is functioning properly.
Further, understanding animals’ instincts can help prepare you for some unexpected reactions:
- Changes in lighting or shadows can spook animals, as can sudden or loud noises.
- Animals can behave unpredictably when separated from other animals.
- Many types of livestock – including beef cattle, swine and dairy cattle – are color-blind and have poor depth perception, making them sensitive to noise and contrasts in light and movement.