Loading Chute

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Well-known member
Jan 15, 2004
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China Spring, TX
Along the lines of the previous post about squeeze chutes, I was wondering how wide to make my loading chute? I was thinking about making it 26"-30" wide?

I am currently building a 64' x'64' steel pen with one 12' gate. After it is complete, I plan to build a small holding pen and a long loading chute off of one end. At the end of the loading chute, I am going to design it where I can attach a headgate for working cows/calves. To work the Longhorns we have, I plan to build a Medina hinge since I don't think I will ever get them through the head gate.
I've had tough runs with incorporating the loading and headcatch together. Last go round I put a trap door on the side of the alley to divert cattle into loading. I went with the 12' gate like you explained, and it crowds them into the alley I spoke of above. I can divert an animal from the alley that goes into the head catch to a loading system. My loading system is just 2 6' walls spread far enough apart so that my gooseneck can just back in without much extra space. This is nice because I can open and close gates on the trailer without moving it out of the loading chute. Not designed for semi loads.
We have our working chute with headgate at 27 inches inside. Nice and tight but not too difficult for the "big girls" or the bull. We added a separate loading chute off the small pen leading to the working chute. We made that 29" inches inside. So far, this has been working good for us. We have simmental cattle.
There’s nothing wrong with the big animals having to rub a little when they go down the chute. If it’s nice and comfortable for them, you’ll have problems with calves turning around. Then you’ve got to back everybody behind the idiot out, turn the idiot around and try again. If the idiot is especially gifted at being an idiot, you get to go through that exercise two or three times.

The one I finally ended up after years is 24 inches, they rub coming down but the crazy ones can't act up. This design not mine but my neighbors, really cut down the rodeos and injuries. I have a head gate on the front that swings also, acts as regular gate/head gate. The pen also has a working gate behind the cow, works as good as any squeeze chute for worming and such. We used to run F-1 Tigers (and I mean tigers) before we switched to the Herefords, my bull weighs 1995 lbs he makes it down OK . You just have to build it stout I used drill stem.

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