Published on Wed, 08/02/2017 - 12:28pm
Take the “Work” out of Working Cattle
Article prepared by Courtney M. Dyer - Director of Marketing, Priefert Mfg
It’s no secret that low-stress cattle handling techniques are key to not only improving herd health and profitability, but also to creating a better “quality of life” for both animal and operator. Selecting and maintaining the proper cattle handling equipment is half the battle when it comes to reducing stress and improving the way you work your cattle. For guidance on selecting the right equipment, cattlemen can look to the Beef Quality Assurance Program’s guidelines and recommendations. Taking these guidelines into consideration, Priefert offers a variety of squeeze chutes and sweep options that were specifically designed with safety in mind.
Priefert’s Model S04 Squeeze Chute has grown to be one of the most popular chutes all across America. Designed to be user friendly, all levers and handles on the S04 Squeeze Chute are located so that a single individual can operate the headgate, tailgate, squeeze, and side exit from one spot with minimal effort. Priefert’s patented “Infinite Locking System” is used to control the headgate and the squeeze and is guaranteed for life. One of the most prominent features of the chute is its contoured sides, which better fit the shape of cattle and allow for a more secure and comfortable squeeze. The chute floor features a grooved surface to provide cattle with good traction. Each side of the chute features five drop-down access points and a removable bottom access panel to provide maximum access to the animal in the chute, making it easier and safer than ever to access an animal’s back, side, hooves, or udder to perform any animal health or herd management tasks.
While many cattlemen dedicate a lot of time and consideration to selecting the right squeeze chute, most don’t give as much attention or care to the selection of the equipment behind the chute. Often, it is this part of the working facility that causes the biggest amount of stress on the cattle and the producer. One of the best investments a cattleman can make is a proper sweep system, which many also refer to as a tub and alley. A good sweep system will allow cattlemen to gather small groups of cattle and flow them from the sweep tub down the alley and into the chute with as little stress as possible. For the cattle, this means that the system needs to allow them to flow efficiently and quietly from one point to the other. To this end, Priefert offers three different sweep styles designed to fit any operation or price point, including both open and sheeted options. Priefert also offers adjustable alleys to ensure that the equipment can always be adjusted to properly fit the size of the cattle flowing through it.
In today’s market, every producer is looking for an edge to make sure that they get every animal to market in top shape. Implementing low-stress cattle handling techniques is one of the best ways to improve herd health, feed efficiency, reproductive efficiency, and – perhaps most importantly – the mental health of the producer. For many, this includes not only a change in their herd management practices, but also a change in the livestock handling equipment they use to implement those management practices. This is where the experts at Priefert can help. Each customer service representative is trained in livestock flow and handling system design. Let them help you with free consulting and free CAD diagrams to ensure that the equipment setup that you get helps you take the “work” out of working cattle. To get started designing your low-stress cattle handling system, visit Priefert.com or contact a customer service expert at 844-572-1741.