Tagging and Disbudding
Farmers know their stock better than anyone that comes to handling them. Farmers are more likely to take risks with their own stock as they think they know them. Tagging and disbudding is a time when accidents can happen as farmers don’t think enough about safety. Cows become very protective of their new born's, especially in the short period after calving. Yet farmers proceed to still tag calves or disband them in the same pen as the cow. This leaves the farmer wide open to attack from the cow.
When tagging or disbudding, farmers should take the calf away from the cow to a separate pen or a safe area. Then a farmer can work at ease and is not open to attack. Some calves react different to been caught which can lead to a cow reacting differently (even if she the quietest cow on the farm). Farmers need to restrain the calf properly when tagging or disbudding so not to hurt themselves or the calf. A dehorning crate is the ideal job but not every farmer has this. So it is advised that farmers do not just cut the calf freely, as it increase chances of accidents.
Disbudding should take place at a young age, within the first 14 days if possible as its less stress on the calf. Also, it is easier for the farmer as the calf isn't too strong to catch. Disbudding at a young age cuts out the need for dehorning at an older age. Dehorning isn't a nice job and can lead to cattle becoming nervous of the farmer or been penned. Farmers need to ensure that disbudding is done correctly at the young age as it leads to an easier life down the road.
Remember when tagging the calves to ensure it is done correctly. Calves need to be tagged within twenty-two days and registered within twenty-seven days. With the new tags every farmer has to take a BVD sample which has to be sent off to the labs for testing within seven days of taking it.
Farmers need to ensure their safety always when disbudding and tagging calves s cows will attack to protect their new born calf.