design & build a chute, catch, squeeze, head catch?
Okay~So I've been reading the different threads where someone needs to put their hands on a cow for one reason or another and since the cow is not "tame" they can't. I've got two tame cows I can put my hands on whenever I want but I recently purchased a heifer and borrowed a bull that while not "wild" are certainly not tame enough to stand still while I do vaccines or Doctoring as needed~ and I'm not really sure what my plan is for getting that bull out of my pasture when the time comes to return him! So I've been considering building a chute, catch, squeeze, head catch....well I'm not really sure what exactly I need but I've got a lot of ideas. I figure there are probably a lot of us trying to work our way around figuring out some sort of set up for small time use. I know we could spend a lot of money and purchase a proper one like the vet has...but I bet that cost a lot of money and all my money goes to the vet which is why he could afford to buy that nifty thing!
So I've sort of drawn out my initial idea~ this is very rough and not even close to scale. When I got done with it I looked at it and realized there is not really that much room between the round pen and the driveway. But this will give you the general idea to help me work out this plan. The blue lines are what is already here~ the pink lines are what I"m considering doing.
The round pen opens into my upper pasture. I'm thinking if I built off the outside of it I could call the animals I want into the round pen~ lure them in with feed. Close the round pen~ then crowd the animal into the chute area and close that gate behind them. Then.....something there in the middle....I need some help here....something that I can use to hold a cow still while I gave it a vaccine, played with it's udder, whatever it is I think I might want to do to that cow....then the Y area~ one direction leading to the driveway so I could back a trailer up there and push the cow on through onto the trailer or push her the other way back out into the pasture.
What do you think? Anyone got some brilliant plans for the head catch, squeeze, catch....whatever it is I should put in the middle there? I'm sure it should be built on posts in concrete in the ground~ but use panels like the round pen are made of or build wood sides? How wide? Whats your ideas? What do you do to catch those less than friendly cattle?
For your operation, a head-gate is sufficient enough. A squeeze may be too costly if you only have 4 animals to run through, and it's primarily for those cows that start jumping around like crazy when they get caught in the head gate. But, with a squeeze, you buy it with the head-gate attached.
I don't like how the run-way goes off of the round pen in the middle like that. The way I see it, those cattle are going to be running around the pen and they will keep missing that opening. Cattle don't go for gates that are right in the middle of a pen when they are herded around, they always go for the corner. So I would move that runway down to the bottom of that round pen and have the alleyway run straight out.
Check out the above links for picture examples and specs for optimum width and length of a good alleyway/working alley.
Edit: I see ramilller gave the same link as I did on the third one down (I took it off). So here's another good link to look at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/b906/
I am still working at my own pastures but stopped by the computer as I eat a snack. It will take me too long at this time to locate a simple but versatile design that I am aware of that is also cheap. I will do my best to post it tonight.
Thanks! I appreciate any and all help. I'm trying to come at this with a clear plan before I start building anything~ and I'm sure there are others out there trying to do the same kind of stuff! Thanks so much!
There is IMO a lot of merit in this design. Though sold to serve the longhorn cattle it will work for any breed and nearly all sizes. There are other suppliers and fabricators using this design so I would not concern myself with lifting the design plus I do not assume you will be selling anything. Everyone with cattle could use this and should have something similar.
Watch the video as well as scroll down to see the sketches. http://www.texaslonghorn.com/bry/
Oh Wow! THAT is COOL! AND it just so happens I was given a small welder recently and have a friend who offered to teach me to use it. Now I have a project to learn on AND a great idea to solve my hold the cow still problem.
You did say "cheap," right? When the vet drew blood from my cows for a test, we didn't have a chute available, so we coaxed them to stand alongside a board fence with their nose to the hinge of a 12 ft. steel gate (hint, a bucket of grain helps), then pulled the gate back so they were wedged into the "V." I stood behind the cow to keep her from backing out (not hard to do as she was busy eating) while the vet worked her magic. It helps if the cow are pretty tame (mine are) and really like grain a lot (ditto).
I dream of a better world, one where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.
yeah~ thats pretty much exactly what we did with my two tame cows when we drew blood for their pregnancy tests. But I don't think I would talk the bull I borrowed or the new heifer I bought into the corner like I did my two big bottle babies.
I'm actually really liking the idea Agmantoo showed. I'm thinking thats probably what I'll do unless a better idea comes along. I'll post pics of whatever I do when I do it~ with that bull in it I hope! LOL!