Feeding Cows/Calves: Ergonomic risks in this task are governed by the degree of mechanization on each farm. The process can be very labor intensive or not depending on the automation of techniques. Climbing into the silo or mow and picking up bags of feed 50-100 lbs may be required. A shovel full of feed can weigh up to 33 lbs. Feed mangers must be swept to allow the cattle access to feed. Calves are usually fed milk from a nipple or bucket (bottles weighing around 4 lbs, buckets up to 35 lbs). Feeding requires sustained forward bending/reaching, gripping of bucket, heavy lifting and carrying materials long distances.
Cleaning Barn: Cleaning grates and stalls involves pulling or pushing a shovel across the stall surface and depositing waste into the gutter. The task involves frequent twisting, bending and sustained forward reach. After stalls are cleared of debris bedding is placed on the floor of the stall. This requires retrieval of bales and involves repetitive lifting and bending, ladder climbing and carrying 40-50 lbs over uneven or slippery surfaces.