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Quite the handling system!

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Nov 30, 2020 | 07:37 1 https://www.nfb.ca/film/roundup/

We have a circular handling system at one ranch and it works very well. It could use some improvements in the loading chute area - the weak spot.

At home here, we recently rebuilt the handling system employing a 'bud box'. One side of the bud box goes into the loading chute - that works well. The other side of the bud box goes into the alley leading up to the squeeze. That is our weak spot. But not always. Sometimes they flow through really nicely. Yesterday, at weaning, it was like pulling teeth to get them to move down there. No wind, no shadows, no yellow slickers (Temple Grandin claims cattle don't like yellow - try it if you're in doubt). Obstinate, pure and simple. Maybe the full moon?

Anyway, we got her done! Reply With Quote
Blaithin's Avatar Nov 30, 2020 | 10:06 2 Is it a right hand turn?

I’ve always wanted to see a bud box in action, with cattle that have never seen it. The videos look super slick but I’m always sceptical those cows know the drill more Hah Although everyone who works cows knows how much they adore coming back on you.

I’ve got a friend with one of those portable corrals on a hitch type things. One day I’ll convince him to see if it can be set up like a bud box and see how the cows do.

Have heard they’re not very useful on quiet animals. Kinda shoots mine out of contention. Guess I’ll just have to stick with tail kinks and a shoulder in their ass cheek to get them going.

As an experiment, when I worked with sled dogs they trained them by telling gee or haw every time they turned the corresponding direction. Similar to horses. Oxen are very vocally cued so I don’t see why a herd of cattle can’t be trained to as well. I try it with mine but I’m not consistent enough. It does seem to work but on those occasions I think it was just because that was the direction they already decided to go 😆 Reply With Quote
Nov 30, 2020 | 10:59 3
Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
Is it a right hand turn?

I’ve always wanted to see a bud box in action, with cattle that have never seen it. The videos look super slick but I’m always sceptical those cows know the drill more Hah Although everyone who works cows knows how much they adore coming back on you.

I’ve got a friend with one of those portable corrals on a hitch type things. One day I’ll convince him to see if it can be set up like a bud box and see how the cows do.

Have heard they’re not very useful on quiet animals. Kinda shoots mine out of contention. Guess I’ll just have to stick with tail kinks and a shoulder in their ass cheek to get them going.

As an experiment, when I worked with sled dogs they trained them by telling gee or haw every time they turned the corresponding direction. Similar to horses. Oxen are very vocally cued so I don’t see why a herd of cattle can’t be trained to as well. I try it with mine but I’m not consistent enough. It does seem to work but on those occasions I think it was just because that was the direction they already decided to go 😆
It's hard to determine where the problem lies when sometimes things go so smooth and then there was yesterday. Have to look at a lot of different factors, right down to something blowing in the wind or a shadow, even if it's their own. But sometimes they just don't move well. Too many animals in the bud box is a HUGE issue. We like 5 or 6 at a time, but you can't always control the workers in the back. Also, we had a bunch of culls and some of them are culls for good reason.

Not sure I understand your question about a right hand turn.

A vocal cue is an interesting concept except the cattle probably don't get worked often enough for training. Some guys like to use dogs and/or horses, but we just use our legs. It's nice to have a system that one person can work alone if needed. Reply With Quote
Blaithin's Avatar Nov 30, 2020 | 11:59 4 Most cattle prefer to turn left. If it’s a right hand turn to get to the alley for working that might be the trouble. Although I don’t know why some days they’d go better than others. Leaders more willing to go right maybe. Could’ve also been a smell too. They notice weirdly tiny things we easily miss.

It would be interesting to set up a training scene. I know ours quickly learned the horn when it came to feeding in fall. If a system could be made where they have to go left or right to the alley towards food and you directed them they’d probably start to get it fairly quick. But who’s going to set up training corral Lol

A lot like any handling really. We only ever seem to do it when they need to be worked but if it was done more often the animals would be less stressed and know the drill better. When I was in Aus the station I was at would bring the weaners in every day for molasses. They all had to go through the working alley to get to their treat and then back out again. It quietened them down and got them used to the corral system. Granted their alleyway was about 10 feet wide, not single file. Reply With Quote
DaneG's Avatar Nov 30, 2020 | 17:22 5 I have been using the bud box for a few years it works better than most setups, the main key to success is the person working the box has to understand the concept and don’t put more in the box than your alley can hold. Reply With Quote
Nov 30, 2020 | 21:59 6 Have you got the sorting alley around the outside on the round set up? Reply With Quote
Dec 1, 2020 | 08:16 7 Blaithin - it is a right hand turn into the loading chute. The turn into the alley is a left hand. And heading back in the direction from which they just came.

DaneG - so true. Less is more.

shtferbrains- yeah, a circle around a circle, like the video posted above, but of a much smaller scale. Reply With Quote
Dec 1, 2020 | 10:10 8 Blaithin - was thinking about your training comments. When we wean, all classes of cattle go through the system - everyone gets pour-on and sorted on the way out of the squeeze. We don't need to actually catch any in the head gate at this time. After the calves have been weaned for a week we run them through the system again for their vaccinations. We have noticed that the calves go through the system quite well at this point, so I guess they were kind of trained the first time through where nothing really happened to them. Reply With Quote
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  • Dec 1, 2020 | 20:19 9
    Quote Originally Posted by DaneG View Post
    I have been using the bud box for a few years it works better than most setups, the main key to success is the person working the box has to understand the concept and don’t put more in the box than your alley can hold.
    That’s what we do with our portable tub and alley as well. Sometimes the crew in the back thinks bringing up more than an alley full is more efficient but actually slows everything down. Our permanent tub can hold 2-3 alley fills and generally works good as long as they’re not too crowded. Thought about trying a bud box but lots of our help is older and I don’t think they’d like to get locked in a small pen with the possibly worked up critters.

    Do you go in the bud box with the critters DaneG or do it from the outside?

    Great topic LITTLEDOGGIE👍 Reply With Quote
    DaneG's Avatar Dec 1, 2020 | 23:43 10 Usually work inside the box but if short on help I will let some in the box then duck through man gate to the outside and stand next to the box to deflect the cattle back towards alley end of the box, then help on the squeeze end. Reply With Quote
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  • Dec 2, 2020 | 08:48 11 So if your alley can hold 5 cows, how big should the bud box be? We made our bud box a little smaller after some trial because the cows seemed more liable to circle. Reply With Quote
    DaneG's Avatar Dec 2, 2020 | 09:14 12 I don’t know the size required I have steel panels so it was easy to experiment with box size and I did. One thing that i’ve noticed is the size depends on the cows. Ac/dc cows = big box Vs John Denver cows = smaller box! Reply With Quote
    Blaithin's Avatar Dec 2, 2020 | 09:52 13
    Quote Originally Posted by littledoggie View Post
    Blaithin - was thinking about your training comments. When we wean, all classes of cattle go through the system - everyone gets pour-on and sorted on the way out of the squeeze. We don't need to actually catch any in the head gate at this time. After the calves have been weaned for a week we run them through the system again for their vaccinations. We have noticed that the calves go through the system quite well at this point, so I guess they were kind of trained the first time through where nothing really happened to them.
    It’s amazing what a little bit of “desensitizing” can do. Taking time to just walk them through an alley to get to food on the other side can make a world of difference. Much like halter training by leading them for water.

    I’ve also seen people train them to be easier to load by just leaving a stock trailer open in the field with some treats in it. The animals can come and go, no stress. If you can get results like Dylan Biggs loading his bulls up in the pasture... well why not try!

    Considering how oxen are used, it’s not like cattle are dumb animals. We just don’t teach them good things, it’s usually just what to avoid. Reply With Quote
    Dec 10, 2020 | 10:45 14 We run a bud box both for our working chute and our load out. I have worked around tubs and owned a portable system with a tub and I don't like them very much. With our box on the working alley, I can't vaccinate as fast as 1 or 2 guys can load the chute. If the trucker is fast with gates we can load out a pot in well under 10 minutes. Our box on the chute is 20x14. The loadout is about 30 x 14. Reply With Quote
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  • Dec 16, 2020 | 03:50 15
    Quote Originally Posted by Blaithin View Post
    It’s amazing what a little bit of “desensitizing” can do. Taking time to just walk them through an alley to get to food on the other side can make a world of difference. Much like halter training by leading them for water.

    I’ve also seen people train them to be easier to load by just leaving a stock trailer open in the field with some treats in it. The animals can come and go, no stress. If you can get results like Dylan Biggs loading his bulls up in the pasture... well why not try!

    Considering how oxen are used, it’s not like cattle are dumb animals. We just don’t teach them good things, it’s usually just what to avoid.
    Automation of some processes is very convenient. In the modern world, this allows you to save time, which can then be used to solve other problems. And less stress to animals is a more humane decision than scaring a cow or calf every time. Reply With Quote