• Avoid scheduled procedures such as vaccinating or dehorning for at least 1 week prior to transport (except for intranasal vaccines, which can be administered to boost interferon levels and help in preventing respiratory disease at the time of shipping).
• Schedule trips to minimize number of hours cattle are on the truck.
• In hot weather, schedule hauling at night or in the cooler part of the day.
• If traveling for more than 24 hours with cattle four months of age or older, stop at a clean facility for a feed and water break for a minimum of five hours.
• For trips longer than 11 hours, employ tandem drivers to avoid keeping animals on the truck for extra hours of mandated driver rest.
• Avoid any unnecessary stops.
• When hauling in cold weather, cover up to 1/2 to 2/3 of the holes in the trailer to reduce wind chill. However, do not cover all holes, which would be detrimental to air circulation and quality.
• Use as many gates as possible in the trailer to keep animals separated in small groups and avoid the possibility of bunching or piling during transportation.
See the new and previous Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Gold Standards at: www.calfandheifer.org
Geni Wren is editor of Bovine Veterinarian, a sister publication of Dairy Herd Management.