The right squeeze chutes are essential equipment for any livestock operation. Since they provide the ability to safely handle cattle, these chutes need to be durable and functional to be worth the investment. There are many chutes available on the market today, such as those made by Powder River Equipment. Before buying this equipment from any livestock handling equipment services, consider the following important factors to ensure purchasing the right ones.
Squeeze chutes are used to handle all sizes of cattle, from calves to mature bulls. Unfortunately, most of these chutes cannot safely accommodate such a variance in animal size and many cannot handle a full-sized bull, making hydraulic slides necessary. Capacity is an important consideration to provide the best containment and safest use for all animals. The design must also be given equal consideration, since straight-sided chutes are better for calves and reduce leg injuries with cows.
Framework and Construction
Ensure sufficient access by carefully inspecting the framework of the chute, including how it attaches to the headgate and any necessary adjustments in order to perform required tasks. The construction, which includes the floor, should be steel for strong anchors and to prevent weakness due to rot.
Headgates and Squeeze Mechanism
Safe and efficient use of squeeze chutes requires headgates and squeeze mechanisms that operate easily. Controls should be accessible and can open and close quickly to reduce operator fatigue and increase animal safety. Headgates must also be easily adjusted to maintain efficiency and safety. An additional lower squeeze adjustment adds extra versatility in catering to different sized animals.
Ensure that squeeze gates provide the proper accessibility for how they will be used. Consider the importance of drop bar length, height and adjustments, neck bar adjustments, shoulder and side access, palpation gates, backdrop gates, and other features. Chutes sold by livestock handling equipment services can provide the necessary access to protect both animals and involved workers.
Besides the basic features, consider whether any other features are necessary. Self-catch capability, safety release mechanisms, and crash gates may all be important depending upon the size of the animal being handle, and how the chute will be used. Scales, both overhead and standard, are another feature that may be desirable when monitoring animal weights is a priority.
Understand when comparing squeeze chutes that price directly associates with quality and necessary features. Inexpensive manual squeeze chutes offer the least in terms of adjustability and safety mechanisms and are frequently built from lighter steel. On the other hand, more expensive chutes are constructed of heavier steel and include essential adjustments, locks, and other features that can make the difference between a smooth operation and wasted time. Lesser expensive ones may be suitable for some operations; however, based on how they will be used and the type and size of the animals, many find that it is necessary to spend a little more on higher quality, more versatile equipment.
Ranches and other livestock operations in need of safe, functional squeeze chutes have many options to choose from, including premium chutes provided by Powder River Equipment. Making the right choice depends on careful analysis of functional needs to ensure that these chutes purchased from livestock handling equipment services can safely and efficiently fill those needs!