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What is a Cattle Chute: A Beginner’s Guide

What is a Cattle Chute ?

Searching for “cattle chute” online yields a staggering number of results. At first glance, it can be overwhelming to understand the differences among the various types of chutes. In general, this important piece of cattle equipment is used to guide and control the animal’s movement. It makes everyday tasks like vaccinating, branding, grooming and loading easier and safer for both the animal and its handler.

Types of Cattle Chutes and the Top 3 Places They’re Used

1. Working Cattle Operations

This category includes farming or ranching operations that breed, raise and manage cattle for the businesses of meat and dairy production. The common types of cattle chutes found in these facilities are:

Squeeze Chute

This style of chute features sides that move, manually or using hydraulics, to safely restrain the animal. The animal’s body is enclosed, reducing risk to the animal or handler while treatments and procedures are administered.

Working Chute

A cattle working chute connects the squeeze chute/holding chute to the holding pen. It features a combination of gates, panels and barriers that help guide animals in a controlled manner. It may be configured with a curved design that prevents the animal from seeing ahead to the holding chute.

Loading Chute

A cattle loading chute is used when loading cattle onto a truck or trailer. Its ramp-like, adjustable design can be stationary or portable. Portable options offer the versatility to be used in different locations and situations.

2. Rodeo Arenas

Rodeo arenas are another common place you’ll see cattle chutes. Used for rodeo events like roping, bull riding, bronc riding, barrel racing and more, arenas have the need for the following chutes:

Roping Chute

Used in the timed rodeo events of team roping and calf roping, this specialized cattle chute is designed to hold a calf or steer and release it for a roping run. Roping chutes and calf roping chutes are available in manual, automatic and solar-powered options.

Bucking Chute

This type of cattle chute is used in the rodeo arena for bull riding and bronc riding events. It holds the animal in place while the rider gets ready for their ride. Bucking chutes are generally higher to accommodate adult bulls and horses and may have a platform for the rider and handlers to access the animal.

3. Shows and Barns

Whether a showman is in the barn performing daily care or fitting show cattle before entering the ring, following are some of the cattle chutes available to make grooming tasks easier while helping to reduce the risk of injuries:

Grooming Chute/Cattle Fitting Chute

From daily care tasks like washing, trimming and clipping to fitting your calf before a show, this all-around grooming chute helps secure your animal. When selecting a grooming chute, look for features like adjustable side bars, a collapsible design for easy transportation, and a head catch that provides multiple positioning options.

Half Chute

Lightweight and portable, a half chute provides many of the same features as a full-size grooming chute. It includes a head catch perfect for shaving and clipping the animal’s head. Specifically designed for show broke cattle, half chutes secure your animal in a more open design with fewer obstructions than you’ll experience with a full-size chute. In fact, you’ll have more working space with access to the rear 2/3 of your animal while still having the convenience of a freestanding chute design.

Stall Chute

Stall chutes have a compact, lightweight design that’s perfect for taking to shows, making it a great addition to a showman’s livestock show supplies. When space is limited and you don’t have room for a full-size grooming chute, a stall chute is the perfect solution. It allows you to create a clipping and fitting space right in your stall where your animal will be the most comfortable. Since your animal’s movement is not as restricted or confined in a stall chute, it’s important to only use this type of chute for show broke cattle.

Final Notes

For a full range of cattle chutes designed for showmen, check out Weaver Livestock. Quality constructed from durable materials and American craftsmanship, Weaver cattle chutes are trusted by some of the top names in the industry.

Whether you’re just starting out with your first cattle project or are a more advanced showman, it’s helpful to have an overview of different types of cattle chutes.

Want to stay in learning mode? We invite you to explore our entire ProTips online library to learn more about a variety of topics from members of our Weaver Livestock ProStaff team.