Safe Cattle Handling

Understanding Flight Zone and Point of Balance for Low Stress Handling of Cattle, Sheep, and Pigs by Temple Grandin

The point of balance is usually at the animal's shoulder and it is determined by the animal's wide angle vision. All species of livestock will move forward if the handler stands behind the point of balance. They will back up if the handler stands in front of the point of balance.

Many handlers make the mistake of standing in front of the point of balance while attempting to make an animal move forward in a chute (race). The flight zone diagram is especially useful for training handlers on how to move cattle through a chute (race) and crowd pen.

Groups of cattle or pigs in a chute (race) will often move forward without prodding when the handler walks past the point of balance in the opposite direction of each animal in the chute (race). It is not necessary to prod every animal. If the animals are moving through the chute (race) by themselves, leave them alone.  Click here for more information...

Cattle Handling Rules Chart