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Bud box question

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LCP

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I have a question for those of you with bud boxes. How well does that setup work with calves less than 6 months old? Do they act the same as a cow or do they pile up in the corner and not want to come back to the alley opening?

Another question - do you have any concerns about safety when working in the box? My dad is concerned about that aspect and thinks the tub is safer. I would agree if the cattle would flow into it better.

I've had an 8 ft tub for about 5 yrs. It has never been easy getting the cattle into the tub. I've tried setting it 4 different ways and it is a struggle every time. I am convinced that 8 ft is just too small for the cows to want to enter. My dad has a 12 ft tub that works much better. I will admit that some of the problem has been how the cattle are pushed into the tub. After watching a Bud Williams video, I tried a little different approach on a few head and it worked better. However I don't know that the tub is worth the money if I can do the same with a bud box. Either way it takes someone with skill to work it, and that someone has to be in the pen with the cattle so I am not sure if the tub is safer or not.
 

Faster horses

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I don't know about a Bud box, but I do know that most people try and
load too many cows in the tub at one time. Just because it will hold
8 cows, lots of people try to put 8 in it. Try 5, they will go in easy
and you'll get done much faster. Or if it will hold 5, try 3.

Not saying this is your problem, LCP, but it happens A LOT.
Too much, really. I just saw it happen awhile back and I
suggested they take fewer cattle and wow, it worked well. Not
that I always knew this, I learned it from my husband, who is
a master at working cows the low-stress way. He says you can't
put many cows in an 8' tub and that LESS IS MORE.

Anyhow, hope this helps (someone). :D
Anyway, it might be worth a try

Good luck!
 

Soapweed

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We have just an old wooden corral set-up that has been here for at least forty years. The crowding pen "vees" into the crowding alley. On the end of the alley is a 25-year-old Palco squeeze chute, which is double length besides the additional space where the palpation gate is located. The headcatch is manually operated, but relatively quiet. :wink: Yesterday, our family crew of four and a veteriarian and his assistant ran 400 heifer calves through this arrangement. The vet's assistant administered the "bangs" vaccination, and the veterinarian applied the tattoo and bangs tag. I ran the headcatch. Peach gave Resvac and a dose of Clean-Up pour-on. Sunflower pushed the heifers up the chute, and the Kosmo Kid kept them komin'. We did the 400 head in just under 200 minutes. The vet admitted that it wouldn't have gone a bit faster had we used a hydraulic chute. :)
 

jodywy

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our set up Vinto the alley, chute is at a angle on the end. roof over alley and chute but what really helps is the no-back everything walks under to get into the alley.
I do have a hydralic chute, after having both shoulders opperated on I really like it.
 

RSL

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I'm with Soapweed. We had an alley that vee'd into the chute for 90 years or so. With the setup at the back of it, it was basically a bud box we just never knew it. Our new box we just built is better than our old vee setup, but essentially works the same. It has a 6' exit that narrows into the chute. I am a firm believer that it is way safer than a tub, and it is certainly a lot faster. We have had neighbours climb into tubs and not get out in time, and I believe that you shouldn't have to push cows. We AI with a 1/4 tub and it is slow and painful compared to just the open box with a V.
The open box means you don't have to get in with ranker cattle. Their larger flight zone works from outside the box.
We have also always loaded trucks with a bud box, although again we didn't know that is what it was called until we had been using it for over 50 years. It takes just under 10 minutes for 2 people to load a tri-axle here (15 with the manifest).
Our experience with calves is that if the chute ahead of them is free/clear and prevents backing up or turning around, they flow just like water. We took 150 freshly weaned calves through a box and up the chute into a holding corral in less than 5 minutes a week ago.
 

rancherfred

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We have used a box some with calves that young. It works, but you just have to learn how to use it. Keep in mind that you may not be able to use it the same way every time because the cattle aren't going to react exactly the same every time you put them in it. If it doesn't work quite right you have to adjust where you stand or how many you put in or any other thing you need to do to get them to flow.

As to the safety issue, it really depends on the cattle. I would not use a box if I didn't have quiet cattle. If you have cows that try to take you every time you get close to the pen it probably isn't smart to put yourself in a small enclosed space with them. If your cattle don't act that way around you I wouldn't be any more afraid of a Bud Box than I am of a crowding tub. Although, most crowding tubs I have worked around haven't worked at all, so you end up in the tub with the cattle anyway. The only exception to that is the Parasal portable crowding tub and alley that we have. It is only a quarter circle tub though.

We have tried for years to replace cow sense with equipment thinking that if we could just tweak the design a little more this way or that way we could make the cattle just flow through with little effort. The truth is that we will never design the system that works perfect every time because we can't replace cow sense with equipment. Sooner or later you will lose your cool at the fifteenth idiot cow that doesn't do what you want and then your fancy setup still won't work and you will be left scratching your head saying, "But Temple said this would fix all my problems...." Bud takes us back to the old idea of learning how to read a cow and adjust your actions and movements to get them to do what you want them to. When you get back to that point then about any system will work. You will just end up spending a lot less on a Bud Box than you would on all the other equipment.
 

LCP

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FH - we're not putting too many cows in I don't think. 3 or 4 is all. They just get to the opening and won't go in. No trouble once they're in.

I just figure that if using Bud Williams technique works better to get them into the tub, then why not continue his approach to get them in the alley, sell the tub, and buy something that makes me money rather than rusts out?

Soapweed - my goal is to make a setup where myself and one other person can get the cattle to the chute. I have everything else set up to my liking, up until the tub. Dad and I could mostly keep up with the vet preg checking the other day, but once in a while they were waiting while he struggled getting cattle in the tub - not down the alley, just into the tub. At these corrals we never run more than 140 hd through so it doesn't have to be extravagant. I'm excited for the day when the wife and kids and I can do it together. Kids are 10 months (yes, kids - boy/girl twins) so it might be a few years.
 

Shortgrass

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I like Temple's idea if you change crews, or have lots of or inexperienced people. I like Bud's ideas if you have a few savvy cattlemen. I suppose if I were to need to change anything here I would lean toward the Bud box. The last pens I made was a V fed by gates in the center of a sorting alley. That works great.
 

perfecho

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A safety gate or couple of posts could take most of the risk out of a bud box, or as RSL says, cows that flighty can be worked outside. Have thought of a "bigger Bud box" ...round pen with a 10 or 12 foot gate hinged on a post in the middle of the pen (able to go completely around) and a gate that stayed behnd you in line with the alley enterance...cross between the bud box and a really big tub. Also, would like to try two alleys, side by side v-ing into one, with back up stops...think this would entice better cow traffic.
Good luck with your modifications.
 

dmndtlivestock

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I've been a visitor of ranchers.net for several years and have learned quite a bit from everyone. I never have much knowledge to pass along, but have experimented quite a bit with the bud box so felt I could pass my experiences along. I have invested in listening to bud williams several times and tom noffsinger a couple of times.

The bud box only works if everyone there wants it to work, and especially the person putting cattle through it. People standing around outside can keep it from working, being a little short handed is usually faster than having extra help.

On small calves (under 3 mo) we use a 10 X 10 or 10 X 12 foot box with at least three sides of it solid (so they can't get their head through the panels), and bring 5-8 calves depending on how much alley we have.
I prefer an open sided alley, we use the daniels portable alley panels leading to a parasal chute. We have good luck setting up the alley off of the far corner of the bud box, once cattle have been through the system over half of them make it down the alley without closing the gate.

My wife and I branded a couple of bunches last year through this and were averaging 50/hour.

Hope this helps.
 

JF Ranch

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We don't use a Bud Box, but I like the concept.

I would doubt that little calves would flow through it because they don't tend to "flow" anywhere. My experience with them is that it takes a guy behind them to "push" them in. Preferably in a very small crowding pen so they don't get you chasing them around.

We rebuilt our corrals over 20 years ago and put in our first tub. I like it, but it sure isn't perfect. I think the reason cattle sometimes don't want to enter a tub is because the sides of it are solid and the alley leading to it are not. They just don't want to enter a closed area. We have a gate close to the tub to help "crowd" them in when necessary.

FH is absolutely right about not filling a tub too full. Half full is much better. Even then, occasionally cattle will lock up with their heads together along the side of the tub. When that happens, it never pays to get excited. Just loosen up the tub gate, then go around to that side and move them away from that side of the tub. Once they stir themselves a bit, they usually flow through much better.

I learned one thing about a tub that goes against my stringent rule of never standing on or riding on a gate. Our tub gate has some rod bracing along the the outside of it. It is just right to climb up and stand on. If a guy will stand up on the gate, it really helps get the cattle to flow away from you. I think they see your body up much higher than the cattle and they naturally flow the opposite direction, away from you.
 

Big Swede

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I have both a bud box and a tub and alley so I can speak from experience. My bud box is only 2 years old, 14ft.X24ft. and we have only run cows through it so far. I have a portable Daniels double alley that comes off the box. The first year we used the box on foot but this year we worked it horseback and I think it worked better this year. Putting in about 7 or 8 cows and then just letting them work back towards the alley giving them plenty of time and not pushing them is the key though. I bought the portable alley thinking I would use it at home too to work calves and selling my High Qual tub and alley but I haven't done that yet. Like you I was wondering how the young calves would work through the box and double alley has me hesitating getting rid of the tub. At one time I thought a tub and alley was the only way to go but now know that they aren't all they're cracked up to be. I guess the only way I'll know is to work some calves through the box to find out.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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We use a Hi Hog tub and alley. We don't have much trouble getting them into the tub but then we are set up inside and along a wall leading up to the tub. Less is more when filling the tub.
 

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