R-7 Drawing


A very small system on this cow-calf operation in Canada was built inside a 40′ x 60′ insulated building and features a calf table for ear tags, branding, and castrating calves. First cows and calves are sorted and the cows are worked in the squeeze chute. Next, the calves are brought up separately. Never crowd calves and calves in confined spaces.


One person operates this system and manages a small cow/calf herd in Manitoba, Canada. He moves the cattle from pasture into the main alley, where cows and calves are sorted into the sorting pens. The cows are then moved into the feeding pen on the right side, and into the building and crowd pen through a 10′ gate. It’s important to never over fill the crowd pen. Fill it only half full. One cow in the squeeze chute and three others staged in the single file chute is best practice. After the cows, calves are brought up to the crowd pen. Calves don’t know how to walk through chutes until they learn by experience. It usually takes someone to physically push from behind and guide the calf down the chute into the calf table. Calves can be sorted two ways after exiting the calf table. Three important principles when designing facilities for cattle are; Solid sided fences in high use areas like the curved lane and crowd pen. Cattle fear only what they can see. Blocking vision with solid fences keeps them calm. Deep groove concrete floors also keep cattle calm, and give them confidence to walk through the facility. The last principle is curved fences. Curves make cattle think they’re going back where they came from, and takes advantage of their natural tendency to circle.

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