We are in the undertaking of rebuilding our old loading chute. It was originally built by my father and then repaired and added on to over the years. It has gotten a little scary to use,  tho’ one of the owners of cattle we summered last year, told me not to change a thing as it works great. And it has, so far. But the posts are no longer straight and plumb and some of the planks are weak. So it is time.

I went down today and started moving junk, that had gotten piled up over the years and almost in the way. We plan to move the chute further west, so it is handier for truckers to back up to so all that needed to go. I found out I am old, fat and out of shape! Imagine that!

Chance had went to do some dirt work with his skid steer and showed up about the time I was finishing up. I had a grandson who was working here and he had went and fixed fence. So we all gathered round and discussed how to set up the pens leading into the chute as they are getting rickety also.

I have seen some great things with a Bud Box and we have something similar on our working chute that works good so we will need to change some fences. Sounds like the plan is now to use free standing panels and if everything works well, then put in permanent.

I read in one of Spike Van Cleves book a statement that I agreed with. He said, “Seems like I have to rebuild corrals about every twenty years.” Yup, me too. And many folks are now putting in pipe and sucker rod, which make a stout, pretty good looking corral. But what I have noticed, when ever I rebuilt some, I had discovered that maybe they weren’t situated to be the handiest and by moving some fences, you could get cattle to flow better. I am plumb anal about that. When things are set up right, cattle will smoothly pass thru a chute or gate with minimal interference and thus they have less stress as do the people working with them. So I am not a fan of permanent, permanent corrals, until you are sure they are the best. I would sure hate to have to tear a bunch of that pipe fence out and rebuild it.

About the time they came out with the tub system for working cattle thru’ a working chute and everyone had got one set up, someone discovered that a double alley actually works better. Most wouldn’t mess with a double alley as they already had invested time and money in a tub. I have worked around both and when set up right, the double alley is my preferred system. So I’m sure glad I never made a tub. Tho’ I did somewhat mimic one, and it never worked as good as it should have.

I also like to have things set to where it is handy to use whether you are afoot or horseback. Gates that latch at the corner so there is no room to get to them while on a horse, especially with chains, is a personal pet peeve! 

I have got most of mine set up to where they are easy to open when on a horse or afoot. But I haven’t yet found the perfect latch. Easy to operate and stout! 

So, we strive on. I know I am sore and tired and perhaps a stiff shot of Who Hit John just might be in the cards!

Enjoy this lovely spring weather, and if you get some snow, just remember, it can snow about any time in South Dakota. Mother Nature don’t always pay much attention to the calendar!

2 thoughts on “Whew!

  1. I really understand about moving junk to get to the chute. I tore out old fencing and piled it up by the gate to my corral. Wire just won’t stacked, now I have to do double the work because I didn’t do it right the first time, I guess I’ll never learn.

  2. Yeah, my grandson was helping and he kept telling us to just doing the holes.. no patients. I told him we were going to have to live with it a long time so wanted to get it right!

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