Featured photo: Tom Noffsinger, D.V.M., Production Animal Consultation (PAC), Dan Thomson, D.V.M., Beef Cattle Institute (BCI), and Paulo Loureiro, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health, discuss how to acclimate cattle to new environments in the first release.

Merck Animal Health released the first module in the CreatingConnections™ Educational Series that features industry experts who share unique insights and proven techniques to help ensure low-stress cattle handling. This module focuses on acclimation, specifically how to best help cattle adjust and thrive in a new environment, which is critical to the health and well-being of an animal.

“Producers know relocating cattle can cause stress, which can directly impact suppression of the immune system, susceptibility to health challenges and decreased performance. Minimizing that stress is key,” says Paulo Loureiro, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health. “We’ve gathered real-world examples to demonstrate handling techniques that are pivotal to working successfully with cattle and helping them to acclimate more quickly to new surroundings. This video details how to gauge each animal’s individual characteristics, as well as identify the influential animals and work with them to establish trust and confidence throughout the herd.”

In the first module, Dr. Loureiro is joined by Tom Noffsinger, D.V.M., Production Animal Consultation (PAC). The team is rounded out with Dan Thomson, D.V.M., Beef Cattle Institute (BCI), who facilitates a roundtable discussion about acclimation during the video. Both are well known and respected for their expertise in low-stress cattle handling.

“This module really highlights the powerful impact that people can have on animals – without even saying a word,” says Dr. Noffsinger. “Through this video, you learn to use strategic angles and consistent positioning and spacing to convince cattle to volunteer to move calmly. Cattle are intuitive animals and can learn to respond to nonverbal cues from handlers, which helps further create trust between the two.”

The Educational Series is a resource offered to Merck Animal Health customers and is a reflection of the company’s commitment to improving animal well-being and overall herd health through education.

“Doing what’s best for the animal is at the root of every question we ask,” says Rick Sibbel, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health. “How can we reduce the number of trips to the chute? Can we mitigate certain areas of stress for the animals? These are the questions that need to be asked and that we strive to answer when developing new solutions and best practices for the cattle industry. Creating Connections will play an important role in supporting the ongoing evolution of our industry.”