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How to Haul Long Distances and Keep Your Cattle Healthy

by AGDaily Reporters

When you have a passion for your industry, you’ll go to great lengths to make sure you are an active participant. Even if that means driving 20 to 30 hours across the country with a load of animals to show livestock. With a vast number of major stock shows and junior nationals in the Midwest, those on either coast are accustomed to hauling their stock for long periods of time, and there is a method to getting them and their animals to their destination safely and healthy.

Reducing stress and hauling them on an empty stomach are two of the tips that Garrett Blanchard, Silveira Bros., Firebaugh, California, have found useful. He said the day before a long trip he lets his cattle rest and typically only offers them hay and water, not the usual grain diet they are accustomed to.

“I don’t mess with them much the day before we leave, knowing they are going to be on the trailer for two days. I also like to haul on an empty stomach. They travel better, and their gut doesn’t get all turned upside down, and on the ride as well, we give them lots of hay, but no grain,” Blanchard said.

He also prepares their system against any bugs they might encounter and gives them a dose of intranasal, respiratory vaccine so to help prevent sickness on the way.

The trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver is roughly 22 to 23 hours. Blanchard said for that amount of time he will load his cattle on the semi, let them run loose so they can lay down, and provide them plenty of hay while on the way. If a trip is longer than 30 hours, he will typically find a place to layover, let the cattle unload, and rest about half-way, especially for summer shows when the need to hydrate is greater.

Once he arrives at his show destination, Blanchard will get his cattle unloaded and settled, preferably in tie-outs, make sure they have plenty of hay and water, and typically give them a half-feeding for their first feeding off the trailer. Depending on the temperature difference from home to his destination, he offers them Sure Champ Climate Control to help keep them on feed and water and helps them maintain their normal body temperature.

“I don’t layover on my way to Denver to put fill on my cattle. We are in Denver so long before they show, they have time to fill up and get to feeling better. It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Blanchard said. “I am a big believer in prebiotic pastes like Climate Control,”

When your passion takes you half-way across the country and you rely on your livestock to stay in tip-top shape after the long haul, make sure you have the resources they need to stay healthy, eating, and drinking on the road.


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