Effectively managing stress in growers Effectively managing stress in growers

Effectively managing stress in growers

The transport phase can be extremely stressful for animals, requiring them to adapt to a new environment and social interactions. A well planned arrival programme can ease their experience, reducing the risk of stress related immunosuppression and shrinkage, and helping them to thrive and grow.

How to recognise stress

Stress caused by transport or other significant changes to an animal’s environment often leads to reduced intake and/or accessibility to feed and water. Signs of dehydration in animals include lethargy, weight loss, sunken eyes and low skin turgor, followed by shrinkage that can last for weeks.

The impact on the farmer

Stressed animals cannot perform optimally or develop normally, which often means longer shrinkage recovery periods and more days on feed are needed. This reduces overall profitability for the farm and negatively impacts the enterprise.

Our experience has shown that the most impactful and meaningful improvements in an animal’s development centre on effectively managing its stress. Programmes not aimed at increasing the animal’s welfare during stressful periods are largely ineffective and can be a wasted effort.
Mark Hall - Ruminant Technical Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main ways stress can impact an animal’s performance?

Stress negatively affects consistency of food intake. If long lasting, stress can suppress the immunocompetence of animals, increasing their vulnerability and susceptibility to disease.

How can I best improve my animals’ water and feed intake after transport?

Water and feed intake are linked; therefore providing good quality water can stimulate intake of both. Make sure that animals can freely access their feed and water, preferably without competition.