Calves in Squeeze Chute

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twabscs

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Hi All,

I've finally got started in the business by purchasing 10 pairs in early March. The pairs were already on my farm as I purchased them from the farmer that rented my pasture last year. He had 36 cows on my place and I picked out 10 that calved in January and February. The youngest calf was born the third week of February. Most were born in January.

Anyway, everything is going well and it's now time to work them up for the spring and get the cows ready for breeding. My questions is this: I have a good coral system, but need to purchase a squeeze chute. I've looked at the Prieferts and read several good comments (here). My local co-op has the Big Valley M1 chutes that I've looked at as well, but they are a bit pricey ($3500), though probably worth it.

My long-term goal is to get up to around 40 head on the home place (130 acres) and am looking hard at the Priefert Rancher model (S01), which I can get for $1750. Can I use this chute to effectively work my 2-4 month-old calves? They weigh in the range of 200-300 pounds. I'm going to worm, tag, vacinate, and band in the next two weeks. My neighbor says I should just "throw" the calves, but I'd rather not do that as a it will just be me and my son who is bit new to this. (Plus, I've read the stories and I can't imagine tackling a 250 pound calf at my age and not getting hurt.)

Thanks,

Tom
 

dun

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Not sure which Priefert we have but it's the economy model (cheapskate) that we put the auto catach on rather then the manual. We work everything from calves a week or 2 old up to old tired cows. To squeeze the calve effectively you'ld have to adjust the sides but the headgate works just fine. If you have the auto catch, don;t expect the little guys to be able to trip it and catch themselves.

dun
 
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twabscs

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Hi Dun,

I was hoping you would reply as I know you have the chute I'm looking at. Yes, I'll definitely get the auto-catch gate on the chute. Appreciate the response as I didn't want to spend the money if it wouldn't work with my calves.

Thanks again,

Tom
 

Tod Dague

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My brother has the SO4. Works like a dream. There is nothing my wife can't do with the thing with ease. She is 120 lbs soaking wet. My squeeze chute is another story.
 

EIEIO

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I think right now Priefert only has 2 models out. One is an economy model and the other is supposed to be heavier and have more bells and whistles I think. Anyway I opted for the more expensive one.

Picked it out during a cattle handling demo being done by a local dealer. Got a decent price on it since it was "technically" used even if it was just used for a day and had a few cows and some calves through. Knew I'd like it when it would squeeze them so tight my 3yo. was able to get up there and be by them with no worry about them gettin away or being able to kick you from the side. After getting it I have no idea in the world how I ever got by with just a head gate. Guess I'm spoiled now.

Still waiting on Dun to get by here to teach me how to work the dang "auto catch". He told me it's easy but I've yet to get it down and believe me I've tried! Problem though could be I'm so used to working with a manual I'm having problems letting go of my old ways and still will run up and hit the lever myself!

J
 

cfpinz

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My wife and I went thru the BQA training the other day and they had a priefert and a big valley chute set up to use. We both liked the priefert better, more access to the neck and just worked smoother, it was the SO4 model. The big valley made it hard to get to the necks, and was all around awkward. Both had split tailgates, (nice), but a couple calves figured out how to open the big valley chute's on their own. We have a For-Most 450 w/ the manual headgate here at the house, its my favorite to use, but it wasn't cheap. Wife liked the priefert headgate better than ours, but we both prefer the for-most chute. Hope this helps.

cfpinz
 
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twabscs

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Thanks for all the comments, especially the one contrasting the Big Valley with Priefert. Really the only two types available in my area.

Yeah, the S01 is the "inexpensive" version of the Priefert chute and the S04 is the high end, more comparable to the Big Valley I guess. I can get the S04 for $2600 vs $1750 for the S01 (not sure if it has the auto catch, but I will check. I think it's the S0191). The S04 is wider, longer, and heavier, and so the S01 would probably be better for the calves, but I need to look to the future. I'll have mostly Angus, Herefords, and crosses, small/medium frame cows and so don't need an overly large chute. I think I'll call Priefert tomorrow and asked for a good comparison of the two different models.

Tom
 

dun

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Theonly thing to look out for that may be a problem with the economy Priefert with the auto head catch is there used to be a gap between the headgate and the floor of the chute. It was just big enough that a calf could get their foot wedtged in therre. When that happened you couldn;t open the headgate. We showed the Priefert rep the problem and they paid the bill for us to have a plate welded in to cover the gap and said they would be changing the newer ones to prevent the problem. Don;t know if they did or not, that was back when they first introduced that particular chute.

dun
 

bobrammer

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I have a Priefert SO-4. Works like a charm. Super easy adjustment on the width for working calves. Headgate works
great. I was weighing and woming this weekend.
 

TheBullLady

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We've got a For Most also, which has been a great chute, but the auto catch is impossible to use if you've got docile cattle that won't hit it hard! We have to manually catch most of ours.
 

Bama

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I use the big valley m1-v. with manual headgate and neck extenders. Heavy built and works great on 300 pounds and up. Below 300 it doesn't work well. For those I use the cl-4 headgate only. I plan on making my own squeeze this summer and mount the headgate to it.
 

Susie David

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We use an old Powder River and works for us...real treat to watch Susie catch the big boys in the head gate.
IMO I'd check out the local papers and see if there are any broken in models up for sale. DMc
 

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