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Livestock Behaviour Systems

Quality Training

For less stress stockmanship and animal welfare training
and advice, please contact us for a custom package designed
to suit your business needs.

For less stress stockmanship and animal welfare training
and advice, please contact us for a custom package designed
to suit your business needs.

About Us

About Livestock Behaviour Systems

We teach people about understanding the behaviour of the animals which are usually cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and dogs, from the start to the finish. We don’t just fill your head with knowledge but provide your business operation with a system that enables you to:

1. Have guiding principles on how to communicate with the livestock, and communicate with fellow workers.

2. Have a system or framework to help you manage challenges, minimise problems and more importantly solve them when they arise. In doing so, we reduce the risk to your workers and maximise the welfare of your animals.

About Boyd Holden

Boyd Holden is a livestock handling and animal welfare consultant based on the Northern Rivers of NSW. Boyd has been providing training and advisory services across all sectors of the red meat industry. In particular, his expertise in training people in livestock handling and developing problem solving systems, have been rolled out across the Live Export Industry, the Meat Processing Sector and are internationally recognised for setting the standards globally.

Boyd has carried out work extensively in Australia, South East Asia, Middle East Region, and Russia. He is well known to many different stakeholders including MLA, LiveCorp, DAFF, AVA, AMPC, RSPCA, NSW DPI, NSW DEC, and has conducted training programs, spoken at conferences and given advisory services to these organisations as well as others. As an experienced facilitator and Certificate IV qualified workplace trainer and assessor, Boyd is currently conducting training for MLA, NSW DPI, and MINTRAC. His main aim is to achieve consistent handling and animal welfare procedures across the livestock industry.

Boyd completed a Bachelor of Rural Science, UNE, Armidale in 1998.

Boyd Holden

Boyd & The Family

Boyd, his wife Leisa and their four children, Hughie, Archie, Elsie and Harrison live on the NSW North Coast where they own and run 1600 acres. They breed Brangus cattle, Dorper sheep and Australian Stock Horses. Boyd’s passion has always been working and training animals since he was a young boy.

Boyd's Philosphy on Livestock Handling

  • Understand what the client wants in relation to training objectives and outcomes. It must be relevant to their situation.
  • Delivering training which is competency based and recognised nationally: AHCLSK205A; “Handle Livestock using basic techniques” and others.
  • A BEST PRACTICE approach to livestock handling.
  • Communicating the relevant Codes and Standards which apply to each industry.
  • Developing safe work practices for people handling livestock.
  • A systems approach to livestock handling with an emphasis on solving livestock handling problems (most accidents and poor animal welfare are around people not knowing what the solution is/or prevention).
  • The background of all of the training is scientific as well as practical based.
  • Applying the theory and practical sessions to the real on job work situation.
  • Understanding the animal welfare implications surrounding the livestock business.
  • Championing the importance of being a Stockperson is a profession, not just an occupation.


Boyd has conducted world-wide training with clients ranging from small landholders through to major Corporations. His knowledge, skills and expertise in animal handling begins at the farm gate and extends all the way along the process to the point of slaughter. Boyd’s extensive experience includes the transport of livestock, saleyards, feedlots, quarantine depots, abattoirs and live export; ships and port loadings in Australia to unloading livestock overseas. He trains and handles the animals on foot, by horse, with dogs and helicopters. Boyd has worked with sheep, cattle, buffalo, goats, horses and dogs.

List of Publications

Quality Training

Rode in the opening ceremony for the 2000 Olympics

Numerous Clients

For all your Livestock Handling Needs

Training Packages

Option 1

You can send your staff to us and we can provide the training, shared accommodation in a fully self-contained 3 bedroom house and meals at our property. We can deliver courses outlined below including sheep, cattle, horses, yard work in sheep and cattle facilities, paddock work on foot and/or horse, and loading and unloading trucks.

Option 2

Boyd can travel to your business and provide on site training. This usually involves 2 travel days (depending on location), travel and accommodation expenses, 1-2 preparation days and then the required number of training days.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS: Boyd has Certificate IV in training and assessment and can also provide a certificate for each unit of competency to those who pass each course. These units contribute to a Certificate II or Certificate III in Agriculture for the participants. There is an additional cost involved in this purely based on the documentation required.

Some of the courses which Boyd can provide certificates for are:

AHCLSK205A – Handle livestock using basic techniques

AHCWRK206A – Observe enterprise quality assurance procedures

AHCLSK331A – Comply with industry animal welfare requirements

AHCLSK212A – Ride horses to carry our stock work

Livestock Handling Course

Boyd delivers this course all around the world and to many different organisations and situations. Boyd will always customise the course to suit your needs and can add additional elements for each course if required. This course will run for a minimum of two days training to as many days as needed (on some pastoral stations, Boyd stays and works with the staff for 8-10 days). There is a mix of classroom theory and practical sessions working with livestock. All relevant information and worksheets for participants are provided.

Course Outline
1. Theory Topics (need to be understood before working with the livestock)
Principles of Livestock Handling – Position, Pressure, Movement and Communication
The Flight Zone
Mob Structure and Herding Behaviour
Animal Instincts
Moving animals with NO HITTING, NO TOUCHING, NO NOISE…..

2. Practical Activities
Each day there will be practical activities to demonstrate the theory. The participants will be asked to work livestock in yards and larger holding paddocks on foot, either alone or in groups. Boyd is always able to assist depending on the experience or confidence of the participant. Boyd has worked with cattle, sheep, goats, and buffalo.
The course can also focus on loading and unloading trucks and moving stock in feedlots, saleyards and abattoirs.

3. Assessment
For those who are wanting competency based training and a certificate, assessment is required for both practical and theoretical components of the course.

The participants are expected to be attentive and have a good attitude. No hangovers are accepted during the course! Risking their own safety or other participants is also not accepted.

Happy Clients

Fun Times

We enjoy what we do and hope you do too! We want you to learn and have a great time whilst doing it.

Hands On Activity

Hands On

Hands on training is an important part of learning how to manage livestock.



Boyd walks you through his livestock behaviour principles and framework.

Contact Us

Livestock Behaviour Systems Shirts

Boyd Holden
Mobile: +61 429 653 280

Leisa Holden
Mobile: +61 407 169 010

39 Bean Creek Road,
Old Bonalbo
NSW 2469