Top work­ing dogs on show in Gympie

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

TRA­DI­TION­ALLY cat­tle and an­i­mal han­dling on large and small prop­er­ties in­volved lots of yelling, use of poly pipe and se­verely stressed-out peo­ple and an­i­mals.

Bur­nett Mary Re­gional Group Land­care fa­cil­i­ta­tor Kay Enkel­man said there were bet­ter ways to do all that.

“The big­gest cur­rent is­sues with stock han­dling are work safety for peo­ple and an­i­mal care,” she said.

“With ev­ery­one stressed to the max, ac­ci­dents are go­ing to hap­pen.”

She said the less stress an­i­mals were placed un­der meant bet­ter weight gain per­for­mance, eas­ier and quicker han­dling at all times.

“All of that means bet­ter re­turns from bet­ter meat qual­ity,” Ms En­kle­man said.

“Work­ing with, not against, your stock also ap­plies to en­vi­ron­ment is­sues, which can also im­prove prop­erty eco­nomic per­for­mance.”

Ms Enkel­man was at­tend­ing a BMRG-spon­sored Neil McDon­ald three-day ed­u­ca­tion event on Jim and Sarah Viner’s Glas­ton­bury beef prop­erty.

Mr McDon­ald gave a se­ries of talks and prac­ti­cal in-the-yard demon­stra­tions of how his cat­tle-han­dling sys­tem worked.

Fif­teen beef pro­duc­ers at­tended from lo­cally to Gin Gin, with some be­ing re­peat par­tic­i­pants in the event be­cause of the ben­e­fits they had achieved.

With most at­ten­dees camp­ing out on the Viner prop­erty, the op­por­tu­nity was avail­able for ex­ten­sive net­work­ing and find­ing out how other pro­gres­sive gra­ziers man­aged their stock and busi­nesses.

Ben­e­fits were listed as eco­nomic due to less time to carry out jobs, bet­ter weight gains that gave in­creased prices and bet­ter per­sonal and staff re­la­tion­ships.

Mr McDon­ald is a cat­tle han­dling ad­viser for large and small en­ter­prises in all parts of the coun­try and presents an en­ter­tain­ing work­shop deal­ing with ed­u­ca­tion, cat­tle and peo­ple with a largely com­mon­sense ap­proach.

He said un­der­stand­ing your cat­tle was the first thing to get right.

“Once that hap­pens the how can vary by the per­son,” he said.

“For most peo­ple dogs are im­por­tant pro­vided they are prop­erly trained.”

Mr McDon­ald said be­ing trained did not mean run­ning around crazily and bark­ing at ev­ery­thing.

“Re­mem­ber, the dogs are work­ing dogs – they can go where you can’t to get cat­tle out,” he said.

“Trust your dog.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

PRAC­TI­CAL DEMON­STRA­TIONS: The lec­ture room with Neil McDon­ald and Kay Enkel­man and a team of work­ing dogs.

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