This facility is for dipping cattle for ticks. When we got there they were putting cattle in (to many) and pushing from the back. It wasn’t working very well. They would get a couple in the run to the dip tank and then get them to go in and then get a couple more. They really don’t like to go into the dip tank, especially if there is no flow.
We changed it up a little and put five or six at a time in. It’s hard to get enough movement for the cattle to go to back of box and creat enough movement to get them to create the lead/follow that makes the box so effective.
The reason I like this what I call a true Bud Box (except for the solid gate on the back side) is that it is the correct length for the lead up to the vat, and the 90 degree angle of the gate and entrance to the lead up. This allows the animals to have more room to get strait and come through the pressure. The angle gate creates to much pressure on the following animal so you must get farther back to keep the flow going and then they jam at the entrance to the lead up. This is why the double alley is needed. It works but not near as good as the “true” Bud box, and before long the handler is using it like an old style “V” system.
I’m not saying the angle gate and double alley are wrong, they just need to be used differently than the true Bud box.
The Bud box if set up correctly and used correctly will create a better handler and better flow with cattle from the box to the chute.
I will try to get some video of working a double alley with a angle entrance and how I feel if works the best.
At one the the processing areas in Mexico we made some changes and had good results. The cattle work so good they can get by doing things completely backwards from the way it was designed. With the double alley and angle gate these cattle will go, just not near as good as if done correctly.
This is the way it was being worked when we started.
This set had no movement or fear so they just wouldn’t go.
So I asked him to bring from other direction and used it from the front and it worked much better, but he had to take the cattle farther so it seemed like more work, but it wasn’t working and it was actually more work.
Now, they had the back cut out of the bottom of the box to keep cattle from jumping out and it made a dead spot and I had to come way back to get them to turn around so I was a little out of position to get the single file flow I like but it worked, and it was the same several times.
For the past couple of weeks, as a matter of fact the whole fall has been seeing lots of different cattle in lots of different facilities. Canada, Mexico and last week in the Dakotas.
There is a great book by Ike Blasingame titled “Dakota Cowboy” My Life in the Old Days. If you a reader of western lifestyle I highly recommend it. It explains the life and people of the area in the Dakotas that used to have thousands of cattle shipped by train from the Texas country and grazed off the “Strip” a 6 mile wide by 80 mile long fenced area that opened up to vast areas of strong grass and good country.
The Flying 0 ranch owned by Wayne “Biz” Hepper is a big outfit with lots of cowboys of all different styles and levels of experience. Smally is from South Africa and heads up the crew, and each division of the ranch has a leader. The crew consists of flat brimmers to bull fighters and steer wrestlers and everything in between. There is a young guy from back east that had never ridden a horse before he came, and Scott who has been on lots of operations that is an excellent horseman and stockman. They all work together to get lots of work done in much the same manner as 120 years ago as when the strip was in operation except now they have trailers and cell phones, but the days are still long and the weather is always a factor in the enjoyment and effectiveness of the day.
I’ll share some videos of the work, the country and the crew. I’m sure glad I got to spend some time with them sharing ideas about everything stockmanship with a horseback style.
I will put some video of my time in Mexico up soon. Just getting them put together.
After a long week and many hours in the saddle everyone was proud of the work they had done, just as it was done in early 1900 and all through the years, and I hope in another hundred years it’s still the same.
I thank Biz and the crew for letting me be a part of the works and hope we were all better stockman at the end of the week than when we started.