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  • Writer's pictureLeslie Graham

Processing at P Cross Ranch

Processing at feedlots can look very different depending on the location and the handling system. Here at P Cross, we have the privilege of a processing shed where we are out of the wind (which we get a lot of here). Our processing barn uses a bud box system, this system brings cattle to a dead end and allows them to go back the way they came. This allows cattle to use their natural movements to enter the chute. At the back end of the chute, we have a custom-made butt bar that hangs above the cattle so they can duck under, and then the bar drops below their butt so they cannot back out. Our hydraulic squeeze has two rice lake load bars underneath it. This allows us to get each individual animal's weight.

These weights are then entered directly into our computer which is chute side. We place a computer in a sealed tote and have a wireless keyboard and mouse. We use a program called Herdtrax. This software system connects directly to our CCIA tag reader, the Allflex RS420. This keeps our computer clean and allows us to enter RFID, weights, tag numbers, animal colour, and to put these animals into their assigned lot numbers during processing.

When a calf enters the squeeze, we scan the CCIA tag, cut out existing tags and put our new tag in the calf's ear. The calf receives Draxxin, two vaccines, an implant, and a pour-on dewormer. While they are in the chute, we are able to check steers for testicles as well. This allows us to catch any bulls or belly nuts that the auction marts may have missed. All castrated animals are treated with a tetanus shot. Before releasing the calf, we also remove any horns with a gouger.

Here is a short clip of me processing a calf alone. We usually have at least two people processing, however, Lexi had gone outside to grab more cattle. This video is only a minute for me to completely process this calf. With more people, this rate can be increased. Our goal is to move them through in an efficient manner to decrease the total stress time on the animal.

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