Each year we find things on the farm that need updating. Our farm is more than a century old. Many fences need to be replaced, barns are starting to lose shape, and equipment/tools just aren't what they used to be. I love the historical and sentimental aspects of the farm but when safety starts to be a concern then SHOOT its time for a new CHUTE!
We have been using the same homemade chute for as long as I have been alive and probably for years before that. I am guessing the head gate in the photo below is probably 50-75+ years old. The purpose of a chute is to hold an animal still (for the safety of the animal and farmer) when doctoring, doing vet checkups, giving vaccines, tagging, etc.
Our system was set up with an alley way leading up to the head gate. It took a lot of man power to run all stages in the old system. One person would chase the cow from the corral to the alley, a second person would manually place a bar behind the cow to keep them from backing up and a third person would catch the cow in the head gate. Dad's herd is pretty calm, many are past 4-H heifers, but we are moving away from the show industry (for now... wink wink) and not all of the cows are as tame as they once were. This makes it hard to get them to cooperate.
After doing some research we found a Priefert chute at Orschelns that meets the needs of our cow/calf farm.
The new chute can automatically catch the cow or calf and has a manually squeeze option. The squeeze option applies gentle pressure to keep the cow from moving. The new chute also allows us to help a new calf nurse from the cow if struggling to latch. We can also access hooves, legs, etc. while keeping both us and the cow safe.
The new chute looks pretty shiny and sort of out of place but hey we are getting fancy... haha
Food for thought: Did you know animal proteins are considered "complete" because they provide all the essential amino acids our body needs? A diet with variety is a healthy one!