Beef Buddy - What is it and How Does it Help Cattle Producers?
Cattle handlers can all acknowledge that there is more than one way to complete every job. In fact, having options makes it easier for cattle handlers to work in different locations and complete the task at hand, whether that is veterinary inspections or routine work. Most cattle handlers also know that there never seems to be enough time in the day and good help is getting harder to find.
Animal science research and development are continuously improving the cattle handling options we have, as we learn more about cattle behavior and develop innovative technologies to work with them. The Beef Buddy is a stress-free force yard that works cattle by using their instincts and low-stress cattle handling principles to optimize flow.
You may be wondering, how is this different from other cattle forcing yards and tubs? The Beef Buddy combines desired features found in traditional forcing yards and the Bud Box. The Beef Buddy allows handlers to guide the animals into the race effortlessly and only requires one operator – something any cattle producer will find appealing, especially if they often work cattle alone.
Traditional cattle forcing yards use a half-circle with swinging gates that guide cattle as they move freely into a holding area, race, or crush. The classic Bud Box design is popular, and as the name implies, it is rectangular in shape with gates that let cattle see just enough light, so they think they are exiting the way they came in, when instead, they are moving further into the cattle handling system.
The Beef Buddy builds upon and improves these two well-known methods by:
- Eliminating the need for multiple handlers
- Keeping handlers separate from cattle and safely out of harm’s way
- Providing cattle with unobstructed views that keep them moving forward
These three factors further decrease stress in cattle and handlers and improve the flow through the system. This reduces the amount of time the cattle spend being worked and the amount of time handlers need to spend working the cattle, a win-win situation.
How the Beef Buddy Helps Producers
The Beef Buddy features the rectangular design of the Bud Box. Cattle move through the entry gate and into the Beef Buddy, where they are able to turn around back to where they came in. The entry gate is fully sheeted, ensuring a smooth transition into the box. Cattle handlers also have man gates on either side of the race so that they can safely exit, further improving operator safety when working alone. Here are the steps for using the Beef Buddy:
- Open the entry gate. The animals enter the cattle forcing yard, or rectangular holding area freely.
- The cattle move to the back of the forcing yard because the slatted panels allow light through. Their instinct pulls them forward and towards the light.
- The handler closes the sheeted entry gate once all the cattle have moved into the forcing yard. The handler stays outside the Beef Buddy. Next, the race gate is opened.
- Cattle turn around and head back towards the entry gate when they realize they cannot exit through the sheeted panel at the far end of the Beef Buddy.
- The sheeted entry gate provides a solid barrier, but cattle notice the light from the opened race gate. They quietly move into the race and out of the Beef Buddy.
All of this is accomplished without a handler moving or having to be in the pen with cattle. The Beef Buddy relies on cattle’s instincts and their natural behavior to optimize and maintain continuous flow into the race. Furthermore, the cattle proceed in a calm and orderly fashion because they are moving independently into the race.
Extra gates in the race allow handlers to slow the flow of cattle if needed, and this depends in part on how the Beef Buddy is being used. Cattle operations are already using the Beef Buddy with their working crush, loading ramps, and for sorting animals into different pens. Operating the extra gates isn’t needed when the Beef Buddy is used with a loading ramp but may be necessary when combined with a working crush.
The Beef Buddy cattle forcing yard is a simple setup to add to existing cattle handling systems but is a game-changer for the operator because it adheres to low-stress cattle handing techniques and uses animal psychology to maintain flow.
Adding the Beef Buddy to a system elevates the effectiveness and ease with which cattle are handled daily. Animals have a positive experience working through the Beef Buddy and willingly re-enter the system for future work. Labor costs are reduced, and time is more efficiently used because it only requires one operator. Having a Beef Buddy is a piece of equipment that is like having an extra pair of hands.
Ready to invest in an extra set of hands? Order yours today by connecting with the Arrowquip Australia team today at 1800-814-107.
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