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Cattle sorting is an art that grew out of necessity. Ranches in the American prairie lands often butted up against each other. As a result, cattle herds became mixed up and ranchers lost track of their valuable property. Ranchers solved this problem by branding their cattle with an identifying mark and then sorting their cattle into a pen using special tools.
Cattle sorting sticks feature a paddle end used to shepherd cattle into a designated area. Successful sorting depends on a keen understanding of cattle behavior. For instance, handlers need to stay outside of the cattle’s comfort zone – sometimes a distance as large as 300 feet – in order to get them to move without spooking. A handler’s positioning outside this comfort zone helps to influence the cattle’s movement.