The well-being of beef cattle can be ensured by attention to health and the minimization of stress. Exposure to some environments and management techniques may cause both physical and psychological stress. In turn, stressful states cause the animal to develop an impaired immune system, thereby causing it to succumb to disease. Thus, keeping basic behavioral principles in mind and allowing cattle to exhibit normal behaviors, while at the same time decreasing deleterious behaviors, will optimize well-being. Some management procedures are inherently stressful, such as weaning and transportation. Thus, care should be taken during these times to minimize stress. Keen behavioral observations of individual animals will allow the stockperson to detect stressed animals and act accordingly to reduce this negative state.
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