Squeeze Chutes

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May 11, 2005
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Were looking at buying a new chute, what does everyone have? Do you like it, PROS CONS? It will primarily be used to work both cows and calves, with some AI work. Open to suggestions let me know what you like and what you dont. Not looking for a hydraulic.
I do not have one as I have a sweep chute that sweeps them down an alley into a head gate. If I was to ever get one though it would probably be a priefert. They just look more sturdy than most I have seen although the ww also looks good.
We bought the biggest one Priefert makes - its a nice squeeze with auto/manual head gate...the auto part is not so great...takes a very big cow to trigger it...the manual works very well though. Only complaint is when putting calves through it....its a huge squeeze, and two calves readily get into it if you dont have two people working the squeeze...it actually was not a problem though...you just work two calves at a time...I can see times it could be a problem, but we worked all 40 of our herd through it, having never done it before, and we were done in about an hour.
We have a priefert (the less expensive one) with auto catch. I particularly like the scissor type of head gate vs the swining kind. Even our weaning age calves can trip it. It's a little roomy for baby claves but we've never changed the wadjustments on the width and work 50 lb babys and last week a 2040 lb bull along with the weaner calves and the cows.
I like pearson the best for working my cattle the squeeze is straight not in a v.I do alot by myself so I like the auto headgate.My neighbers are backgrounding calves,they have a formost manuel head gate.I like the manuel head gate better if several of us are working cattle.We can run about 40 head thru an hour if were cutting them takes alittle longer if were banding(3 or 4 people).They also have a powder river hydrualic chute.This seems crazy be we all like useing the manuel one better.
for manual chutes I like the WW best , we never use a self catch and with the ww you will never miss a catch once you get used to it,and I have ran several 100 hd a day thru the WW from 200lb calves to 2200lb bulls
as for Hydraulic chutes I like the Filson or Stampede Steel best because of the vertical squeeze
Stampede and Filson also make manual chutes but I have never used them but they look like top of the line chutes
I don't care for a Priefert

I have a Hyd chute and that is all we use anymore
Looked at a stampede steel squeeze best built squeeze chute i have seen. We have a priefert that does ok. You will have one to choke itself out once in a while.
Many of the vets in Wisconsin use the For-Most chutes. I have an A-25 automatic headgate that works extremely well on any calves over about 250 lb. This is mounted to a For-Most 150 Squeeze chute with palp cage on the back. This is a fairly economical unit.

I think your choice also should be based on the size of your herd. Most of us smaller herd people do not need a fancy hydraulic chute with next extender etc. On the other hand if you are going to run a couple hundred head through it a couple time a year hydraulic/bells and whistles might be worth the cost...

My vet has the same unit I do but on wheels. I think he also uses the For-Most manual headgate rather than the automatic.

May I suggest you put scale either under the chute (=expensive) or in the alley (=much less expensive). You will be amazed at how much information you can get from a simple scale.

Good luck.

I have a Filson. It was cheap to buy, got it used for 700 dollars. It has done the job for us so far, but yesterday I tried to run a bull through it (2000 lb) and he wouldnt fit. Someday when I get rich I will upgrade, but that goes for just about every piece of equipment I have. I like the brands stated above, can't go wrong with them, also like Powder River.
Ours is a For-Most 450 with the 30T (?) headgate, whatever number the big manual one is. I don't forsee us ever hurting the thing, it's pretty stout. It's a bit tight on a couple of our bulls but other than that I don't have a problem with it. If you've got two people the manual gate is the way to go, I can catch them by myself but it takes a bit longer. I'd buy another one.
The one thing I would recommend is that you walk around the chute close to it. If there are any shin knockers or head crackers you'll sure find them fast when you start working cattle and forget to duck or step over.
I have a Powder River longhorn chute. I bought it because I got a good buy on it used not because I have horned cattle. I do like the horizontal bars on it better than the vertical bars on most chutes. It has been a good chute and I got it for a third the cost of new.
:D :D :D

If you ask 100 different people about chutes, you'll probably get 100 different answers.
I agree with the 100 different answers to this question....But personally, from a woman's viewpoint, I work the chute side of the operation, I prefer the Priefert. We had the Powder River, with the scissor type headgate. The animals kept getting stuck in them, we almost lost one, had to take the headgate apart to get the cow out. Told my husband I was not using it anymore, bout worked me to death. Bought the smaller Priefert, worked fine, but was too small for our bulls. We bought the bigger Priefert and I love it. I can work the headgate and tailgate simultaneously. I can squeeze it up for the calves and smaller cows, and open it up for the bulls and larger cows, one hand operation. So I'm just saying, Priefert is my choice.
For me.... having a good lane and/or workinig alley is as inportant as a good squeeze chute and head gate. Most of the time with my operation I don't squeeze every cow, when I run them through. I have a lane that is long enough that I can get 10 lined up in a row at a time. We don't even "catch" the lead cow, she just stops at the head gate and the rest stop behind the one in front. We drop a bar behind the back cow, and then we can just go right down the line with pour on, and vacinations. Working 10 at a time that way, the herd goes through pretty fast.

As for catching and working over an individual cow, you can't beat an automatic head gate. I can't even tell you what brand mine is, it has a good 30 years on it, maybe even 35 and it still works as good as it did new.

My squeeze chute is home made. My grandpa made it ten million year ago, out of rail road refridgerator car metal. It's one item I would like to replace in the fairly near future.

I recomend going to livestock trade shows and look for a deal there. Walk around pretend you are working a cow and play with the thing, then pretend you are the cow and go through the thing. (that can give you some insite too)
google.. "economatic headgate" ... it is a good automatic headgate, cow can go down without choking, they use to make a squeeze chute to go with it, i don't know if they still do. most folks around here use Prefiert, but i thik it is because that is what the feed store handles...
A cow can do down in any unit. They have dropped in a thirty thousand fully automated hydraulic unit. The cow was release and on the floor. It is simply a calculated risk. We saved her but we were quick.

No matter what unit you have - or what works for you- being prepared will save your animal. If you are not prepared, you will get into a mess. The longer she is down with her feet out of position, the worse off she will be. It seems virtually impossible to me for one person to be capable of getting he up and out.

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