Cattle Equipment Tips: 4 Cattle Chute Features To Avoid

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Cattle chutes are designed to safely load and unload cattle. But the safety of the chute is dependent on the design of the chute, the quality of its manufacture, and how well it's been maintained. There are a few features that can pose safety issues to your cattle. You should make sure to avoid these features when choosing your cattle equipment.  

Round Bar Panels

You might not realize that the shape of the bars on bar panels can affect the safety of your animals, but it certainly can. Round bars have less surface area than rectangular bars. While that might sound like a good thing, it can actually cause more bruising to the animals when they run up against the bars. The larger surface area of rectangular bars is beneficial in high-pressure situations because it provides a larger contact point and is, therefore, less bruising.  

Straight Queue Chutes

Another feature to avoid is a straight queue chute. Studies have shown that curved chutes will keep cattle calmer and, therefore, safer. This is because a curved chute prevents the cattle from seeing humans and it keeps other cattle within view at all times, calming them. The curve also creates the illusion that the cattle are returning to their starting point, and that also helps in keeping the animals calm. However, the turn needs to have a turning radius of 180° in order to be effective.  

V-Shaped Squeeze Chute

One controversial and heavily debated topic is the effectiveness of the V-shaped squeeze chute. V-shaped squeeze chutes are very common, and they seem like a good idea on paper. If it's popular, it must be effective, right? But it can often present problems in use, resulting in injury to both the handler and the animal. Instead of the V chute, many ranchers prefer a straight parallel squeeze chute. These ranchers argue that it does a better job of properly immobilizing the animal to avoid handler injury. In addition, the V-shaped chute can cause choking problems if the animal goes down while the parallel chute allows more room at the base.  

Open-Sided Chutes

Another controversial topic is the use of an open-sided chute vs. a closed-sided chute. While highly skilled cattle handlers may be able to master the open-sided chute in the right location, it's almost always safer to opt for closed sides. Cattle feel safer and calmer when they are enclosed and can't see possible distractions like other animals or nearby traffic.

For more information about cattle equipment, contact a local supplier, such as Ackermans online.