Cattle Stall in the Chute

Posted July 22nd, 2015 — Filed in Stockmanship

This is part of a posting on another site I monitor along with my response. I thought it might be of interest to you folks.

“We are committed to low stress handling and have watched the Bud Williams stock handling videos and are trying to learn how to handle our animals correctly.

This weekend when we worked our cattle, we had some problems in the chute – a few of our yearling heifers would just stop and we couldn’t get them moving down the chute. Also, when we were done with them in the head catch, some would just stand there and not move out and wouldn’t budge … “

Here are a few more things to consider about your cattle stopping in the chute.
It is much better to bring each draft of cattle from a pen instead of from the alley since each time you go down to get more cattle you really jam the cattle before you finally get some to go by you. But even if you are taking them from the alley, try to have quite a distance to bring them to the Bud Box. Bring them at a trot. The movement you are creating is necessary for then to have the movement they need to go up the chute. Don’t bring any more cattle than will fill the single file chute. If you brought too many – open the gate and let the excess go back to the bunch. I’ve seen many videos of people working a Bud Box and very few do it correctly. Bud was amazed that the cattle worked as well as they did even when people got behind them and pushed them in. The proper way is to pressure them against the back of the pen. This causes them to want to break back (most people don’t have any problem getting cattle to break back when they are trying to drive them). Your position very near the opening to the single file chute will pull them around you because they want to be able to keep their eye on you as they go by. All of the people and activity must be on the “inside” of this circle. Don’t allow anyone to be on the other side of the single file chute. It’s probably a good idea to have a back-up gate to hold one animal next to the chute. Any more just interferes with the flow. As soon as this animal goes into the squeeze you can go back and move the others up, but other wise, don’t let anyone bother the cattle in the chute. It is important that the animal’s mind is wanting to go forward. This is what makes it easy to get movement into and out of the chute. If they are “forced in” their mind is wanting to go back even if you are able to make them go forward. I have videos of us putting cattle through the chute at the Canadian feedlot where we spent quite a lot of time. We were testing for export and they were gong though at the rate of over 100 per hour. The guy who was loading the Bud Box wasn’t paying attention on one draft and they started back out. He slammed the gate on about five of them and got them into the single file chute. They had to fight these five all the way to the squeeze and even had trouble getting them to leave the squeeze. As soon as these five went through and they started bringing the cattle properly the cattle resumed moving well.