Youth Livestock Safety - 3 - Dairy Safety: Facilities and Equipment

Dairy Safety Lesson 3: Facilities and Equipment

Keeping yourself and your dairy show animal safe includes making sure buildings, pens, and equipment are maintained and working properly. The facilities you use to house and train your dairy show animal should be safe for you and your animals.

Here’s a checklist of suggested best practices you can use:

  • Keep floors, alleys, and pens neat and tidy because slips, trips, and falls cause many injuries when working with livestock.
  • Have a place for all supplies, equipment, and feed. Keep all of those items in their proper place.
  • Don’t allow mud, manure or feed to accumulate in alleyways or chutes.
  • Remember to clean up spills as soon as they happen.
  • Keep mechanical equipment clean and well maintained. Clean and sanitize grooming tools regularly. Not only does this keep them operating properly, but it also removes organisms that can spread disease.
  • Inspect electrical cords on clippers, blowers, and fans regularly.
  • Replace damaged plugs and cords that have exposed wires.
  • Use only electrical outlets that have three-pronged receptacles. If outlets are located outdoors, use only receptacles that are waterproof and have ground fault circuit interrupters to prevent you and your show animal from getting an electric shock.
  • Provide good lighting for indoor and outdoor work areas. Lights should be bright - but avoid creating shadowy areas because shadows can scare your dairy show animal.
  • Keep fences, gates, and doors repaired. Replace or repair equipment that doesn’t work. Gates that are hard to open can cause muscle strains or can pinch you if you have to push hard and they open or close unexpectedly.
  • Remove wire or nails poking out of fence boards that can cause scrapes or puncture wounds.
  • Choose equipment that will help make working with your dairy show animal easier. A working chute helps hold your animal while allowing you enough access for grooming.
  • Pay attention to the conditions of your facility and equipment to keep yourself and your dairy show animal safe.

What did you learn?

What do you do with your buildings and pens to help you stay safe when working with your dairy show animal? How do you care for your equipment to help you stay safe when using it to work with your dairy show animal? Why are good housekeeping and proper maintenance necessary for personal safety? List some of the safety practices you do each day – at home, work, or school?

This is the final lesson on dairy safety. Thank you and be safe!

Youth and trainers for dairy cattle show