The Pork Chop Whisperers

Animals feel fearThe mental state of livestock has an impact on meat quality.

“Animals feel fear,” states Colorado State University animal science professor Dr. Temple Grandin, an internationally renowned animal welfare specialist and livestock facilities designer.

“Animals that are scared and excited are going to be harder to handle. You’re going to be more likely to get bruised meat – and pale soft meat.”

Teaching low stress methods, Nancy Lidster, a livestock handling instructor in Canada, says, “The main thing that we’re looking at is animal welfare. And that’s both the welfare of the pigs that we’re moving and the welfare of the people that are handling them.”

“Humans have a lot of predatory behavior which is very threatening to pigs. If we understand that conflict then we can change what we’re doing so they feel comfortable responding to us.

“We do a lot of things that are threatening to them.

“We’re yelling and hollering when all we have to do is whisper or just show up.

“Humans instinctively want to get behind animals and make them move away. Animals instinctively want to have us to the side where they can see us while they’re moving away and if we understand what they need we can give them that and they’ll give us what we want from them in return.”

“Some of this stuff just seems so basic and simple that it’s hard to believe it actually works.

If there is a bunch of us sitting in a room and somebody turns a skunk loose in that room, the skunk doesn’t have to chase us out of there. We will be quite happy to find an exit.

“The whole trick is to keep the animal calm. Stop yelling and screaming.” [from FarmScape]