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Transporting cull cows

  • Clearly communicate the breed (some are more resilient than others), body condition score and temperament with your transport operator. This information will assist with best practice preparation recommendations for the specific distance and duration of the journey.
  • Cull cows off country with wetter, green feed should be provided good quality, dry hay for a day or two prior to transport.
  • Depending on road and weather conditions, lighter penning densities may be more appropriate.
  • Cull cows need good quality dry hay and clean water prior to travel, particularly if they’ve been on fresh green feed.
  • Cull cows are often leaner and more susceptible to bruising. Bruising happens in the period leading up to transport and can cause losses in the meat processing phase. Handle cull cows with extra care, particularly in the yards in the lead up to dispatch.
  • Many transport operators will allocate senior drivers who have had experience moving older cull cows, as these animals sometimes present a higher risk. Good preparation and communication with your transport operator is critical.
  • Lighter penning densities are an important consideration for cull cows.
  • Consider animals that are not fit for loading in this older, higher risk class of cattle –g. foot deformities, lameness, cancers, blindness and lactating cows with full udders.
  • Note: Animals that are severely emaciated are likely to be very weak and should not be transported. They are likely to go down in the truck and not get back up. The strategy with this older, cull cow class is to keep them in good enough, suitable condition for transport – to give you destocking, sale options. In a prolonged drought, this can be difficult, so the focus should be on making early calls on which animals to cull, while they’re in an acceptable condition to transport. Emaciated cattle will limit your transport options and ability to sell. Planning is essential.