On today’s Open Range we are talking flight zones, and it doesn’t have anything to do with transcontinental air travel, I am Susan Allen and I’ll be back after the break. Flight Zone is a term we use when working with horses, cattle and other livestock that are essentially prey animals, their first instinct under pressure is to flee. Thus the flight zone can be thought of like an imaginary bubble around the animal encasing it in an area it feels sale. Each animal has a different flight zone based on their tameness or familiarity with humans. Why do we care? With cattle we know minimizing stress insures better meat or milk, with horses understanding their flight zone creates a positive environment for the animal to learn. Young people in the roping arena, branding pen or county fair should be taught to identify each animal’s individual flight zone. Megan Neilson from South Dakota State Extension recently wrote an article on animal handling , instructing young people to approach their FFA or 4-H project animal within it’s line of vision to avoid it’s blind spot. Horses and cattle have a wider angle of vision than humans meaning they see nearly full circle, the exception , their blind spot, is directly behind them. Neilson recommends that children approach horses and livestock always from the side, behind the shoulder is recognized as the animal’s neutral zone. Learning this leads to low stress ways of moving cattle, for example to make a cow back up instead of rushing at it’s face and shouting, a better method is walking from the shoulder to the head of the animal in essence respecting the flight zone.