Never turn your back on a cow around calving time
Animals are one of the top four causes of injury and fatality on local farms.
On average, at least one farmer is killed each year by a bull or a cow/heifer around calving time while many others are injured, often seriously which requires them to take considerable time off work.
Handling livestock always involves risks, and all jobs involving animals must be properly planned and thought out beforehand.
You MUST be particularly careful when animals are returned to the field after they’ve been housed indoors for long periods or with those animals you may be unfamiliar with, which you have just recently purchased.
Other cattle which may require particular attention are those that may not be as frequently handled as some other farmers’ animals.
Although bulls are traditionally viewed as the most dangerous animal on the farm, attacks by cows and heifers around calving time are also very common.
NEVER turn your back on a cow around calving time:
- ALWAYS be aware, watch for warning signs of animal aggression, especially in cows and heifers around calving time
- Plan an escape route or refuge in advance of handling livestock
- Farmers MUST have adequate handling facilities for calving
- Try to have help available when calving OR let someone know where you are AND carry a mobile phone in case of emergency
- ALWAYS keep children away from calving activities
- NEVER stress or arouse cattle unnecessarily
- Aggressive and difficult cattle should be culled as soon as possible
Good calving pens are essential to help you work safely and there are some excellent systems available that can be added to your existing cattle house.
The safest systems are designed to keep you separate from the cow/heifer as much as possible.
A short promotional video for this message can be viewed and shared on the HSENI YouTube channel at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/2DMyHIgmp4I
Remember - NEVER underestimate the risk from cattle, even with good precautions in place. It could save your life.