A livestock farmer's interaction with livestock can have both positive and negative impacts on animal health, performance, and subsequent handling ease. The WVU-Roane County Extension Service is offering a workshop for anyone looking to learn more about animal behavior and handling principles along with the design of livestock facilities on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Roane County High School Vo-Ag Room. Participants are asked to enter the school through the gray shop door closest to the greenhouse.

Local Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Brandy Brabham says, "The goal of this workshop is to encourage farmers to think about the design of livestock working pens that not only accommodates their needs, but also makes safe and efficient use of available labor and reduces stress of animals. Research has shown that careful, quiet handling of livestock will help improve productivity. Good handling facilities are a must to effectively sort and administered recommended animal health treatments to livestock." If livestock are not handled properly, stress imposed by handling and transport can have detrimental effects on weight gain, rumen function, reproductive function, and even the entire immune system.

Dr. Kevin Shaffer, WVU Extension Livestock Production Specialist will discuss livestock behavior, provide handling tips, and advice on beneficial design features. Kevin will also give producers examples of handling systems, and discuss ideas for planning, constructing, and effectively utilizing new and existing working facilities. Careful, quiet handling of cattle will help improve productivity.

This workshop is free and open to the public. If you have questions about the workshop, please contact Brandy Brabham at the WVU-Roane County Extension Office located in the lower level of the Roane County Library or call 304-927-0975. Pre-registration is requested, but is not required.

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