Low Stress Cattle Handling: What You Need To Know

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Developed by Bud Williams, the low-stress livestock handling perspective considers that the conventional methods of driving cattle is unnecessary and counter-productive. Effective driving is based on communication with the animals through proper technique, allowing them to understand what we want and to do it willingly, without fear or force.


Using Pressure Correctly

  • Always work at the edge of the animal’s flight zone, by applying and releasing pressure in this area, to keep animals clam and moving easier.
  • Using the Point of Balance allows the handler to control the movement and direction of the animals simply.
  • Make sure you relieve the pressure once you get the desired result. (Future Beef)

Acclimatise Newly Arrived Cattle.

  • Work new cattle daily (15-30 minutes) for the first few days after arrival to get them quieted and settled down – reducing stress. Take the time to work the cattle consistently and build trust to ensure a more positive experience. (Ron Gill)

Eliminate Loud Noises

  • Ensure you eliminate any loud noises in your cattle handling facility and use minimal yelling whilst driving cattle. This will help ensure animals remain calm, aiding increasing control of movement and flow. (Beef Magazine)

Using Better Control

  • Know the traits of cattle so you can be in the right place to get control and set up the right environment so they can do what you want them to, without force.
  • Use handling techniques that livestock can respond to naturally (Steve Cote)

Effective Yard Design

  • Cattle yards should be designed in a way which either uses the natural behaviour of cattle to advantage or which takes into account this natural behaviour.
  • The cladding of races, forcing yards and other strategic points in yards can make cattle flow more easily. (Department of Primary Industries)


Utilising low-stress cattle handling techniques can be quite easy, and has many great benefits for both animals and handlers. Coupled with our Cavalier Livestock Equipment, designed specifically on the low-stress handling fundamentals, you will enjoy the benefits of a smoother, calmer and more efficient cattle handling operation!