Ryan Brand, an expert in stockmanship, discusses the importance of this skill in managing ranches and livestock. He emphasizes that stockmanship opens up doors to successful ranching and provides confidence and security to ranchers. Want to learn more about caring for your animals? Keep reading to find out!
Cattle care and management are crucial aspects of being a successful cattleman or cowboy. The following tips include focusing on three key areas: proper eating, drinking, and exercise for the cattle.
One of the primary responsibilities of a cattleman is to ensure that the cattle are eating properly. This involves providing them with the right type and amount of feed. It is important to consider the specific needs of different types of cattle, such as baby calves and high-risk, lightweight calves. Baby calves have small stomachs and need to eat multiple times throughout the day. Lightweight cattle that have just come off of grass may have underdeveloped rumens, so it is important to introduce high-quality feed slowly and steadily. Providing long stem grass hay that does not upset their stomachs is also essential.
In addition to proper eating, ensuring that the cattle are drinking properly is vital. This is particularly important for new cattle, baby cows, and cattle in extreme environments. It is recommended to add water tanks and keep them full and available at all times. Having a lot of surface area for the cattle to access water simultaneously is beneficial. Drinking properly is crucial for the overall health and well-being of the cattle, as water is essential for hydration.
Proper exercise and movement are also emphasized. It is mentioned that good movement stimulates appetite and thirst in cattle. Exercising and moving the cattle properly not only helps to keep them physically fit but also allows for the evaluation of their health. By observing their movement, any signs of illness or discomfort can be identified early on. This enables prompt intervention and treatment, ensuring better outcomes for the cattle. Proper exercise and movement also prepare the cattle for future events, such as sorting, counting, and loading, and helps to build trust between the cattleman and the animals.
Compassion and understanding for animals.
Compassion and understanding for animals are essential qualities that every cattle farmer and cowboy should possess. It is not just about herding and roping cattle; it is about recognizing and empathizing with the challenges and needs that these animals face.
Ryan Brand mentions various scenarios that can cause distress to the animals, such as bad weather, strong winds, and cold rain. In these situations, it is crucial for farmers and cowboys to do whatever it takes to ensure the animals' comfort. This may involve providing shelter, administering medication, or taking other measures to alleviate their suffering. By doing so, they demonstrate compassion and empathy towards the animals under their care.
Ryan also emphasizes the importance of proper horsemanship and cattle handling. In today's society, there is a growing trend of ranches avoiding the use of horses and limiting roping activities due to safety concerns and liability issues. However, he believes that with the right approach and understanding, horsemanship and cattle handling can be done efficiently, safely, and with minimal stress to the animals.
Ryan encourages individuals to seek educational opportunities to improve their horsemanship and cattle handling skills. He acknowledges that expertise in these areas is not innate but can be acquired through learning and practice. By investing time and effort into these skills, farmers and cowboys can make their operations more efficient, less stressful, and safer for both the animals and themselves.
Another important aspect is the importance of considering the behavior and well-being of the entire herd, not just the individual animal being roped or treated. Chasing after one animal without considering the impact on the rest of the herd can create unnecessary problems and stress. Taking the time to observe and understand the behavior of the entire herd allows for better management and handling practices.
Ryan also emphasizes the need to be patient and not rush the process. Learning and mastering cattle handling takes time, and it is essential to work within one's own abilities and the abilities of their horse. Trying to replicate actions seen without proper training and experience can lead to accidents and negative experiences for both the animals and the handlers.
For more tips on stockmanship and ranching head over to listen to our podcast episode where we talk to Ryan Brand about all things stockmanship in ranching.
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