Squeeze chute

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SBMF 2015

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Has anyone used the Behlen chutes? Local dealer carries Tarter and Behlen, and they did not recommend the Tarter. The use the Behlen for their own cattle with the auto catch head gate. Wanting a portable one to be able to move to different pastures. The County Line seems about the same as the Tarter to me.
Not sure of the model number, but we have two self-catch Behlen headgates. One on a Behlen calving pen and one on a complete Behlen squeeze chute curved alley crowd tub set up.
We've used them on that farm for twenty years. Used to run 400+ feeder cattle a year through the squeeze chute multiple times. Vaccinating and reimplanting. No complaints.
We also run a for-most 375 portable with a a 30T headgate. I like the manual catch better for working smart cows and mature bulls.
 

RDFF

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I've got the smaller Priefert SO1, would much prefer to have the SO4... but I got this one right, so I'm making do. They're pretty similar in design and features in general, but the SO4 is bigger with a few extras that are nice. I've looked at alot of them, including the Behlen... worked the whole herd through a neighbors top end ForMost 450 on transport with A-25 self-catch (cafe' doors) headgate, palp cage and scale this fall... because it had a scale and mine doesn't... yet.... From everything I've seen, I very much prefer the Priefert (even my SO1). Nothing about that ForMost really impressed me, even though they have a pretty good following too, and are pretty solidly built. Priefert's probably got the best functional non-hydraulic headgate out there, IMO (Model 91, sliding straight in/out). Can be used as a manual or automatic, and it's much better than the swinging cafe' door type (cattle don't have to give you slack to open after a catch, width is always right because it automatically takes up any slack the animal gives it, sure catch every time, and quiet too). If you do some searching for cattle forums on chutes, you'll see that they inevitably prefer Priefert more times than any other. Nothing fancy, not the most expensive either, but very functional, and well built. No headbanging levers in your way. Highly preferred across the whole spectrum in the forums.

If you happen to win the lottery this weekend, the Lakeside 450 is really nice. Silencer's are pretty high on the list too, if your in lottery money price range.
 
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SBMF 2015

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I've got the smaller Priefert SO1, would much prefer to have the SO4... but I got this one right, so I'm making do. They're pretty similar in design and features in general, but the SO4 is bigger with a few extras that are nice. I've looked at alot of them, including the Behlen... worked the whole herd through a neighbors top end ForMost 450 on transport with A-25 self-catch (cafe' doors) headgate, palp cage and scale this fall... because it had a scale and mine doesn't... yet.... From everything I've seen, I very much prefer the Priefert (even my SO1). Nothing about that ForMost really impressed me, even though they have a pretty good following too, and are pretty solidly built. Priefert's probably got the best functional non-hydraulic headgate out there, IMO (Model 91, sliding straight in/out). Can be used as a manual or automatic, and it's much better than the swinging cafe' door type (cattle don't have to give you slack to open after a catch, width is always right because it automatically takes up any slack the animal gives it, sure catch every time, and quiet too). If you do some searching for cattle forums on chutes, you'll see that they inevitably prefer Priefert more times than any other. Nothing fancy, not the most expensive either, but very functional, and well built. No headbanging levers in your way. Highly preferred across the whole spectrum in the forums.

If you happen to win the lottery this weekend, the Lakeside 450 is really nice. Silencer's are pretty high on the list too, if your in lottery money price range.
I'm really starting to believe that chute preferences are regional. It's what you get used to. I've ran for-most A-25s,T30s, Behlen self catches, even a strong hold a time or to. The only Priefert I have seen in the area is the brand new one at a feed lot that I consult for. The had to go half way across IA to get it. Not sure of the chute number, but it's got a So4 headgate. I don't like it. It took them 1 day to trash the palp cage. We haven't had any jump over the tail gate yet, but I don't know why not. It just looks like a lot of parts to wear out.
Not counting feeder cattle we used to preg check 12,000 cows a year at the sale barn. We wore out a for-most A-25 every two years. But that's like 10-15years on most farms.
 

Brute 23

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I'm really starting to believe that chute preferences are regional. It's what you get used to. I've ran for-most A-25s,T30s, Behlen self catches, even a strong hold a time or to. The only Priefert I have seen in the area is the brand new one at a feed lot that I consult for. The had to go half way across IA to get it. Not sure of the chute number, but it's got a So4 headgate. I don't like it. It took them 1 day to trash the palp cage. We haven't had any jump over the tail gate yet, but I don't know why not. It just looks like a lot of parts to wear out.
Not counting feeder cattle we used to preg check 12,000 cows a year at the sale barn. We wore out a for-most A-25 every two years. But that's like 10-15years on most farms.
Are you sure it's a full Priefert squeeze? There are brands that just use their head gates. I ask because the SO4 has a solid tailgate. Not sure how one could jump over it.

How do they trash a palp cage?

We have the full SO4 squeeze and I want to make sure I'm understanding correctly so I dont end up with an issue.
 

C-Ranch

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I've had more than one person tell me they are having trouble with the Arrows slipping on the head gates.
I'm not sure what you mean by slipping, but I have had zero issues with my Arrow 8600 catching heads. Of course it's a manual head catch not an auto. The only heads that can back out sometimes is the large bulls if they have a huge kneck. But we just slide the adjustable butt bar in behind them and problem solved. But, this happened on my previous chutes with bulls with huge knecks, but other than that not a problem it's been a great chute. Only regret is I didn't spend the extra $$ and put in the hydraulic chute from Arrow. Maybe in another life 😊
 

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I'm really starting to believe that chute preferences are regional. It's what you get used to. I've ran for-most A-25s,T30s, Behlen self catches, even a strong hold a time or to. The only Priefert I have seen in the area is the brand new one at a feed lot that I consult for. The had to go half way across IA to get it. Not sure of the chute number, but it's got a So4 headgate. I don't like it. It took them 1 day to trash the palp cage. We haven't had any jump over the tail gate yet, but I don't know why not. It just looks like a lot of parts to wear out.
Not counting feeder cattle we used to preg check 12,000 cows a year at the sale barn. We wore out a for-most A-25 every two years. But that's like 10-15years on most farms.
SO4 isn't a headgate, that'd be a Model 91.
Are you sure it's a full Priefert squeeze? There are brands that just use their head gates. I ask because the SO4 has a solid tailgate. Not sure how one could jump over it.

How do they trash a palp cage?

We have the full SO4 squeeze and I want to make sure I'm understanding correctly so I dont end up with an issue.
Brute's right, the SO4 has a full height closure scissor type tail gate, similar in operation to the 91 headgate. No way for them to jump over it. Your probably referring to the SO1 chute, which has a less desirable slide from one side tail gate. That's the one I've got, and I can potentially see how that one might be able to be cleared... but they don't usually "jump" backward... That tail gate is one of the reasons I'd rather have the SO4 though. As for the Priefert Palp cage, I agree, looks to be kind of hokey and light.

That said, I didn't care for the palp cage on the ForMost either. Even though we had a narrowed chute approaching the squeeze, and had narrowed up the chute itself, so calves couldn't turn around, we did have one or two that figured out how to turn when they hit that palp cage on us. It doesn't narrow up to match the chute/lane width, so there's the bottleneck in the plan... Almost every chute builder has this "issue" though, IMO. ForMost is built pretty strong... pretty noisy chute though, and difficult enough to adjust that you just don't and make do with it as is.

Regional preferences is true. Go down in the southwest, you'll see alot of Prieferts (Texas built). I've heard they often make vets down there a "good deal", and offer them "dealership price"... to get exposure on the farms. ForMosts (Haywarden, IA) are concentrated most heavily in the upper midwest. Lots of vets around here have them, because ForMost follows Priefert's lead, and gives them "dealer price", usually tries to have them sell them too, to get actual working demonstration exposure out on the farms... vets often rent out their portable unit then. Out west, Powder River pops up alot (Provo, Utah). I've tried to "remove/overcome/ignore" that regional preference when I was checking them out. Lots of times you like what you've got... till you don't.... Best time to objectively compare is before you've developed a preference or spent money on one. Pretty much ANY of them beats a couple of corral panels and a nose lead though!

I try to look for overall functionality, simplicity, and ease of operation for all functions AND ADJUSTMENTS, and avoid head banging levers and pinch points, noisy operation, cheap construction, bad welds, and bad paint jobs. These things will rust fast enough, no reason to buy a new one that's already rusting before it even leaves the dealer's lot... and not many good reasons to buy a used one of that brand then either!

Yeah, the Arrow is nice equipment too. Neighbor has a new Q86 with an adjustable lane and sweep. $$$ though.
 
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Silver

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I'm not sure what you mean by slipping, but I have had zero issues with my Arrow 8600 catching heads. Of course it's a manual head catch not an auto. The only heads that can back out sometimes is the large bulls if they have a huge kneck. But we just slide the adjustable butt bar in behind them and problem solved. But, this happened on my previous chutes with bulls with huge knecks, but other than that not a problem it's been a great chute. Only regret is I didn't spend the extra $$ and put in the hydraulic chute from Arrow. Maybe in another life 😊
We have a Arrow Q-Catch head gate on our squeeze. I like it. It's quiet and takes much less work than an "automatic". Once you learn that when you open that thing you don't fool around and open it quickly and all the way.

I too dream of a hydraulic version, but for the one day a year I use it it doesn't pencil out
 

Brute 23

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I'm not sure what you mean by slipping, but I have had zero issues with my Arrow 8600 catching heads. Of course it's a manual head catch not an auto. The only heads that can back out sometimes is the large bulls if they have a huge kneck. But we just slide the adjustable butt bar in behind them and problem solved. But, this happened on my previous chutes with bulls with huge knecks, but other than that not a problem it's been a great chute. Only regret is I didn't spend the extra $$ and put in the hydraulic chute from Arrow. Maybe in another life 😊
They try to use a friction system like Preifert but it slips. Cows and especially bulls can open it. People having to stay on the handle to keep it from opening. From what I was told they called Arrow and they were told to keep it clean and that the friction system was only good for several hundred head then it needed to be replaced. Its basically a wear item. The guys said they were in shock. How do you keep it clean in the pasture? They told Arrows they may work 300-500 head in a shot and Arrow told them they should have bought a hydraulic chute that those were not made for that volume.
 

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The regional preference is correct. Powder River in this part of the world. They are in Utah now but they start in Baker City OR and were there for years. Surprisingly the Powder River runs right through Baker City. There are some Arrow chutes showing up. You just never see a Prieferts chute. All of the sale yards around here have a Silencer. A lot of the feedlots use them too. Many of the ranches have gone to hydraulics. I have a Powder River XL manual.
There waqs an old Prieferts chute here when I moved in. All the neighbors were happy when they saw me unload that Powder River chute. They soundly cussed that old Prieferts. I hauled it to an auction and got $1,100 for it.
 

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They try to use a friction system like Preifert but it slips. Cows and especially bulls can open it. People having to stay on the handle to keep it from opening. From what I was told they called Arrow and they were told to keep it clean and that the friction system was only good for several hundred head then it needed to be replaced. Its basically a wear item. The guys said they were in shock. How do you keep it clean in the pasture? They told Arrows they may work 300-500 head in a shot and Arrow told them they should have bought a hydraulic chute that those were not made for that volume.
Strange. Ours has done thousands of cycles and never slipped. And never been cleaned.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by slipping, but I have had zero issues with my Arrow 8600 catching heads. Of course it's a manual head catch not an auto. The only heads that can back out sometimes is the large bulls if they have a huge kneck. But we just slide the adjustable butt bar in behind them and problem solved. But, this happened on my previous chutes with bulls with huge knecks, but other than that not a problem it's been a great chute. Only regret is I didn't spend the extra $$ and put in the hydraulic chute from Arrow. Maybe in another life 😊
On the Arrow Q-Catch headgate, you have to manually apply a small amount of pressure down on the gate handle to "close it". There is no "gravity" assisting this operation, as it is purely a horizontal gate movement. As soon as you stop putting pressure on the handle to go on to your other tasks, it stays/locks where you've set it by way of a spring activated cam latch. Easy... but............. the headgate WON'T take up any more slack by itself beyond that, like if you catch an animal at their shoulders, and then they back up. If their neck at the shoulders is wide, compared to their head, they can "slip" backward out of the headcatch. You can take up that slack manually, if you stay there and keep pushing down on the lever (fairly easy to do from a physical exertion standpoint), but that means that you're not as able to move on to your next task.

The Priefert 91 DOES function "horizontally" too, but it does this at the same time as the doors are "lifted" some, which gives it some "gravity assist" in closing it, and it is THIS difference in design function, along with a spring if you have it set in automatic, that it uses to operate its "automatic" functionality. To close the Priefert and catch the animal, you basically just "LET GO/take pressure off of" the lever, or STOP holding the gate open, rather than "pushing it shut" (less man effort). The two headgates operate similarly then in that they both move the door "primarily horizontally", but the Priefert, because of this difference in design, WILL take up the slack in this situation automatically (avoiding the potential for an animal to"slip" out backward). As the animal backs up and the neck narrows, the headgate will automatically close and remain "fit to the animal", up to the width of the narrowing neck (without uncomfortably "squeezing" the neck... it just takes up the given slack) as much as the animal gives it. There's no need/incentive then to actually "squeeze" the headgate shut "uncomfortably tight", which means the animals are more comfortable and quiet. It'll do this every time it "gives" some, the entire time the animal is in the headgate, until you release it. They're similar in principle as to how they lock (a camlock, spring assisted on the Q-Catch, gravity on the Priefert)... with primarily a straight in, straight out door function on each side.... but with a difference in how they function in these respects. The Q-Catch does not have an automatic self catch function, from what I've seen.
 
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RDFF

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Brute 23 said:
They try to use a friction system like Preifert but it slips. Cows and especially bulls can open it. People having to stay on the handle to keep it from opening. From what I was told they called Arrow and they were told to keep it clean and that the friction system was only good for several hundred head then it needed to be replaced. Its basically a wear item. The guys said they were in shock. How do you keep it clean in the pasture? They told Arrows they may work 300-500 head in a shot and Arrow told them they should have bought a hydraulic chute that those were not made for that volume.

Strange. Ours has done thousands of cycles and never slipped. And never been cleaned.
See my post above. If you think about it, the Q-Catch uses a fairly light coil spring to set that camlock. Once it's been set, it relies somewhat on pressure outward from the door "squeeze action" to KEEP that set. Neck is wide when caught, animal backs up, taking the SQUEEZE pressure off the camlock, so now only the spring is holding it locked. Animal lunges forward against doors, slamming/shaking everything as it hits, spring isn't holding the camlock tight enough to keep it engaged and overcome this impact vibration (call it what you want), doors slide open unexpectedly. Q-Catch could probably fix this by putting a stronger spring on the camlock to help ensure it remains engaged. Q-CATCH HEAD GATE VS 2 PICKUP TRUCKS | The Ultimate Durability Test | Arrowquip - Bing video Notice in this video that they are maintaining outward pressure on the gate, and thereby, the locking cam is locked in place by the spring AND this outward pressure, ALREADY when they start pulling with the pickups (applying more pressure). That's completely different than what happens in use with a cow. They don't suddenly RELEASE that pressure, then slam the pressure on while physically banging into the doors at the same time, rattling everything, like would happen when a cow reverses direction and slams into the headgate hard with her shoulders, and jumps all over the place.

Priefert's locking mechanism doesn't have springs in it, uses two rolling cams instead. Need to keep it lubricated so it works like it's supposed to, but otherwise a very reliable lock system. (53) Priefert S04 Squeeze Chute Demo - YouTube
 
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Brute 23

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See my post above. If you think about it, the Q-Catch uses a fairly light coil spring to set that camlock. Once it's been set, it relies on pressure outward from the "squeeze action" to KEEP that set. Neck is wide when caught, animal backs up, taking the SQUEEZE pressure off the camlock, so now only the spring holding it locked. Animal lunges forward against doors, slamming/shaking everything as it hits, spring isn't holding the camlock tight enough to overcome this impact vibration (call it what you want), doors slide open unexpectedly. Q-Catch could probably fix this by putting a stronger spring on the camlock to help ensure it remains engaged. Q-CATCH HEAD GATE VS 2 PICKUP TRUCKS | The Ultimate Durability Test | Arrowquip - Bing video

Priefert's locking mechanism doesn't have springs in it, uses two rolling cams instead. Need to keep it lubricated so it works like it's supposed to, but otherwise a very reliable lock system. (53) Priefert S04 Squeeze Chute Demo - YouTube
Thanks. Good info. No dice for me on the Arrow. If I have to stay there and hold them its worthless to me.

With the SO4 I can set it to auto catch and work them 100% by myself. It will catch and hold them and I never touch the head gate lever until I release them. I can go about my business. Plus, some one doesn't have to be prodding them in to the chute because your are standing in front of them to work the controls. As soon as I set the auto catch I can walk back down the chute and the one on deck usually thinks it has gotten the slip on me and heads for the light in the head gate. Easy peasy.
 

SBMF 2015

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Are you sure it's a full Priefert squeeze? There are brands that just use their head gates. I ask because the SO4 has a solid tailgate. Not sure how one could jump over it.

How do they trash a palp cage?

We have the full SO4 squeeze and I want to make sure I'm understanding correctly so I dont end up with an issue.
I'm not familiar enough with Prieferts model numbers. My guess is that RDFF is right. Its a SO1 and a 91 head gate. That half door slider makes it so they can try and jump into the chute.

They try and use this chute does in to places. It's not a portable. They had it pinned to the palp cage and "adjusted" the way it lined up to the alley with a skid steer. The frame of the palp cage went from square to diamond shape. I wish the palp cage had been a bolted on part of the chute like for-most.

I do like the way the Priefert head gate opens. I plan on recommending it to a packing plant that is having me design their new knock box.
 

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I'm not familiar enough with Prieferts model numbers. My guess is that RDFF is right. Its a SO1 and a 91 head gate. That half door slider makes it so they can try and jump into the chute.

They try and use this chute does in to places. It's not a portable. They had it pinned to the palp cage and "adjusted" the way it lined up to the alley with a skid steer. The frame of the palp cage went from square to diamond shape. I wish the palp cage had been a bolted on part of the chute like for-most.

I do like the way the Priefert head gate opens. I plan on recommending it to a packing plant that is having me design their new knock box.
The Priefert palp cage is designed to be bolted squarely onto the squeeze chute on both sides. Rookie "time saving" installation apparently. Maybe their "skid adjustment" destroyed the cage, rather than the cattle....
 

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Thanks. Good info. No dice for me on the Arrow. If I have to stay there and hold them its worthless to me.

With the SO4 I can set it to auto catch and work them 100% by myself. It will catch and hold them and I never touch the head gate lever until I release them. I can go about my business. Plus, some one doesn't have to be prodding them in to the chute because your are standing in front of them to work the controls. As soon as I set the auto catch I can walk back down the chute and the one on deck usually thinks it has gotten the slip on me and heads for the light in the head gate. Easy peasy.
To be fair, you CAN control the headgate from the rear of the chute with the Arrow... a feature I wish Priefert would include too, because in general, I'd rather have control of the gate, instead of using the automatic. That way, you can use it like a throttle, to speed up or slow down the animals as they approach the headgate. And for the most part, the Arrow won't likely let one loose very often (I mean, that catch IS intended to hold), but that one time when it does and you happen to be standing in front of it, you'll be cussing it till it's gone! And apparently there have been more than a few times when this has happened............
 

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If you have scales under your chute you can't have the palp cage attached to it. Not a big deal for me, just bolt them down separately and tie the top back to the alley. My priefert palp cage has worked fine. The only problem I have is that small calves can turn around in it. I am very pleased with my SO4. It would be perfect if it was two or three inches wider and 4 to 6" longer.
 

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