Ag Notes, Jan. 16

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018


 The importance of practicing safety on the farm

Children can learn many valuable life lessons while working with livestock, and everyone loves to see children and animals working together. However, it’s important to remember livestock can be dangerous. Injuries from livestock-related accidents are a major source of injuries to children in agricultural settings.

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According to the National Safety Council 17 percent of all farm injuries involve animals. It is important to think about how those injuries could be prevented and make changes on your farm to prevent additional accidents, particularly if there are children around.

Animals and humans sense their surroundings very differently, so it is important to recognize those differences and use that information to help handle animals with greater safety. Animals do not see color the way humans do. They also do not have good depth perception. They have a fear of stepping over grid patterns. These are the reasons cattle guards are good ways to keep cattle in and allow vehicles to cross. Livestock have extremely sensitive hearing, which is why loud noises frighten animals and high frequency sounds hurt their ears. Finally, animals are very protective of their young and could become dangerous if they perceive harm to their young. These issues help explain why animals can balk or become skittish in unfamiliar surroundings.

It is important to teach children safety measures for interacting with livestock, whether they will be working with them on a daily basis or visiting for the first time. Here are a few important tips:

•Avoid loud noises and sudden movements

•Wear closed toed shoes, preferably steel toed boots

•Stay away from the rear legs

•Approach large animals at the shoulder

•Stay away from animals with newborns

•Stay away from bulls, boars, or rams

•Have an escape route when working with animals in close quarters

Following these safety measures can reduce the risk of injury while working with livestock. Remember, be alert and always respect animals. They may look friendly, but they can be dangerous and unpredictable in certain situations. 

For more information, please contact the Boyle County Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.  University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Counties, Cooperating.

Jerry Little, County Extension Agent for Agriculture/Natural Resources