If you need to sort cattle or horses, you can jump on a cutting horse and cut them out one at a time. Or you can save time and use the right equipment to sort your livestock quickly and efficiently. To optimize the sorting process, keep these tips in mind.
1. Set up the sorting system before you get started.
To keep the sorting process as easy as possible, set up the sorting system before you get started. Think about how you want the animals sorted and where you want them to go. Then, set up corrals and chutes to facilitate this process.
In most cases, this requires you to herd the animals from a large field into a series of increasingly smaller corrals. Then, the corrals should lead into chutes where the livestock walk one at a time. Ultimately, the equipment should take the livestock to the desired destination.
2. Use cattle sorting alleys.
Cattle sorting alleys can be critical when you're trying to sort animals. These alleys lead from your corral or chute to the area where you want the sorted cattle to be.
They typically contain two doors at different angles. When an animal gets into the sorting alley, you simply open the door that leads to where you want them to go. Then, you close the door and repeat the process for the next animal. This lets you sort animals one by one.
3. Set up a portable corral or trailer.
For the final destination, you may want all the animals in a portable corral or a trailer. Set this up before you get started. If you don't have a secure spot for the animals to go, they may escape, and you'll have to start the sorting process over again.
4. Ensure everyone is on the same page.
To minimize errors, you need to ensure everyone helping you is on the same page. Then, they will use the cattle sorting corral correctly, and they won't misdirect the animals to the wrong locations. Have a meeting before you start the process. Ensure that everyone understands your end goal and how you plan to accomplish it.
5. Keep the animals calm.
Whether you're working with cattle or horses, the process will be easier if you keep the animals as calm as possible. The right pressure-and-release techniques can help keep them calm. Use pressure to get the livestock moving through the chutes, but if they're moving fine on their own, release the pressure so you don't stress them.
Contact a local livestock equipment supplier to learn more about livestock sorting systems.