Submitted to: Shortgrass Steppe Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2007
Publication Date: 1/11/2007
Citation: Ashby, M.M., Thomas, J.B., Mortenson, M.C., Derner, J.D. 2007. Everybody Wins!! Happy cattle makes for a happy staff at the new low stress and low maintenance facilities at CPER. Shortgrass Steppe Symposium.
Technical Abstract: The staff at the Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER) has recently undertaken the project of renovating the animal handling, weighing and corral areas of the facility as design and materials date from the 1930s-1950s. Much of the research done at the CPER involves cattle that are part of a cooperative agreement with the Crow Valley Livestock Cooperative, Inc., and a plan was developed to provide a safe working environment that incorporated low stress facilities for staff members and livestock alike. The facility plan is based on design parameters described in “Beef Cattle Behavior Handling and Facilities Design,” by Temple Grandin, which incorporates the use of natural animal behavior and modern equipment to minimize stress and agitation of the livestock. Along with improvements to the animal handling facilities, wooden corrals are being replaced using recycled well pipe to upgrade animal holding pens. Initial material costs of steel vs. wood are similar with steel requiring less long-term maintenance. To date, nearly 25,000 feet of used oil-field pipe has been recycled into this project. Construction of low stress and low maintenance animal handling facilities at the CPER will continue to benefit staff members, livestock and the environment for many years to come.