Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Squeeze chutes for horned cattle

One challenge with raising Highlands, with their beautiful horns, is to get them in a traditional cattle chute.  We've heard that they can learn to turn their heads to go through them, but we've only tried it once with a hoof trimmer (and it was a big NO GO for her).  Problem number two is I just can't justify spending the money on a traditional squeeze chute with our small fold.

When we first started out, we used 'redneck' ways to squeeze them when we had to, with some rope and a couple of panels (or a good ol' lasso tied to something sturdy once or twice).  I kept eyeing the swinging style squeeze made for large horned cattle, but still couldn't bring myself to spend the money, even though they were much cheaper.  Luckily my husband is pretty handy with tools, which has saved us a lot over the years in building fences, barns, etc.  My list of projects just keeps growing... I know he wishes it wouldn't. 

Here's the swinging chute that he built for our cows.  It's bolted to a post at the edge of the barn and it works for our needs.  We use panels and a small gate to corral them through the end of the barn and right into it.  The cost for materials was probably $500-600, much more manageable price to swallow.  Of course we can't include a price for the time he spent on it or I might have been better off buying one... thanks Hubby!

Here's the squeeze shoot in action as one of last year's bull calves gets banded.  We use a board behind the smaller animals so they can't move around, but the squeeze is large enough for our bull too.

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