How do you safely handle a nervous and untrained 1,000 lb. steer? One way to do it is with a squeeze chute. A squeeze chute is a stall or enclosure designed to safely capture and hold large animals such as cattle or horses. Squeeze chutes are usually built of steel for durability.
How does a squeeze chute work?
A chute is positioned at the end of a narrow run or alley so that one animal enters the stall at a time. As the animal enters, it is captured by a head gate which prevents it from escaping.
As soon as the head gate closes, the animal is also firmly but carefully “squeezed” from the sides by moving panels. The panels are adjusted either manually by use of levers, or with hydraulics. Either way, the intent is to apply enough pressure to immobilize and calm the animal without causing pain.
Why are they used?
Squeeze chutes are used when cattle need to be weighed, examined, treated, or vaccinated. The chute keeps animals confined and calm during the procedure, and prevents the handler or veterinarian from getting hurt. Typically, each animal is in the squeeze chute for less than a minute.