What is the daily routine on board a cattle ship?

Each stockman will have their own routine, but a daily example is:

  • 5:30am – 6am: Scan the decks prior to feeding to observe how the cattle are acting in a rest period.
  • 6am -7:30am: Watch the cattle as they are receiving their morning feed. Seeing how aggressive they are on the feed, and seeing which animals are hanging back and understanding the mood of the cattle.
  • 7:30 – 8:30am: Stockman breakfast.
  • 8:30am – 10am: Do the ‘rounds’. This is ensuring every animal stands up, checking their legs and individually assessing the animals to ensure they are all comfortable and healthy.
  • 10 – 10:30am: Morning Smoko.
  • 10:30 – 11:30am: Any other checks/treatments that are required. Moving animals to hospital pens if requiring any extra TLC. If required, a top-up of feed can be given.
  • 11:30-12:30: Morning meeting with Chief mate and Bosun (Deck Boss) about the voyage. At this time if adjustments to plans need to be made, it will be done here. The stockman will then go and write their daily report about the voyage to be sent to the exporter (and the department depending on the voyage).
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm: Stockman lunch.
  • 1:30 – 3pm: Walking the decks to observe the cattle. Making a plan for the afternoon feed and assisting the crew to clean waters.
  • 3 – 3:30pm: Afternoon smoko.
  • 3:30 – 5:30pm: Afternoon feed and doing the rounds of the cattle.
  • Between 5:30pm and 5:30am there will be a night watchman that goes through the decks to clean waters and observe the cattle. If they observe any issues, they will alert the stock person immediately. The stock person may also go down in the evenings to have a look at the cattle whilst they are in a resting state. You do not want to constantly be disturbing the cattle in the evening as they are trying to rest.