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How to choose a portable cattle handling system


When working cattle in multiple locations, a portable cattle handling system can be an excellent addition to your operation. A portable system allows you to bring your equipment to the cattle, rather than the other way around, which can drastically decrease your processing times. Portable systems are available in multiple varieties with many features, allowing you to choose the equipment that is best-suited to the needs of your cattle handling operation.

The simplest version of a portable handling system is to make your squeeze chute portable by adding a trailer. Investing in a cattle chute with a trailer allows you to bring your main piece of handling equipment to many locations, especially if you have more than one corral and core handling setup. Look for a trailer that is specifically designed to work with the squeeze chute you have purchased, as using a generic trailer or other means of moving your chute may cause unnecessary damage to one of the biggest investment pieces in your ranch.

With the most innovative design on the market, the Q-Catch 86 Series squeeze chute is designed to give you more access and to increase your productivity.

If you would prefer a fully portable chute that offers a little bit more, a Portable Cattle Chute & Alley may be the right choice. Adding a section of alley behind the chute can help with processing times, as the additional alley space allows you to fit more cattle into your chute lead-up. A Portable Chute & Alley is also a great option for veterinary practices, as it allows you to bring the equipment to your client’s property and process cattle in equipment you are comfortable using.

If you’re looking for a fully portable handling system, you’ll want to get your hands on a Portable Cattle Chute, Alley & Tub. When combined with a set of portable corrals, this option allows you to bring your complete cattle handling system to any pasture necessary. When considering a Portable Chute, Alley & Tub, it is very important to keep the efficiency of the equipment you are purchasing in mind. A portable system is only as good as its weakest link, and for many systems, the biggest issue is the amount of time it takes to set up and tear down the equipment. Ideally, you should be able to set up your handling system and corrals to be ready to process cattle in less than one hour.

The new Portable Chute, Alley & Tub has been redesigned for maximum safety and ease of towing.

If your operation requires the ability to effectively load cattle that are in multiple locations, a Portable Cattle Alley & Tub may be the best solution for your needs. When paired with a Portable Loading Ramp and a chute with a trailer, you have everything you need to process and load your cattle effectively no matter where they are located.

Five key elements to look for in your portable equipment are:

Easy to use jacks

  • Electric jacks are an investment, but can be highly beneficial as they limit the amount of manual work required by the operator and can drastically speed up set-up and tear-down times
  • Manual jacks are a more cost-effective option, and can still be very effective if you find a unit that has as two or less jacking points

Set-up and tear-down time

  • Look for a unit that can be readied for transport very quickly as this will save you a great deal of time in the long run

Compact transport

  • Towing a portable unit can be a hassle, especially with a tub that is wider than the vehicle you are towing it with
  • Consider a unit with a collapsible tub, as it can drastically improve how well your unit tows

Proper cattle handling principles

  • Low-stress cattle handling principles are just as important in portable handling equipment as they are in stationary equipment
  • Portable handling equipment can be just as quiet as stationary equipment when it is designed properly


  • Don’t sacrifice quality and structural integrity for portability, you can have both!
  • Look for structural beams that run the length of the unit, and high-quality parts throughout

When choosing a portable cattle handling system, there are number of factors that must be considered. On top of taking the time to research the equipment you are looking at and weighing the cost-benefits of investing in new equipment for the ranch, be sure to keep these key features in mind to be sure your new equipment is the right choice for your ranch.

This is one of the two hitch styles Arrowquip has available to best suit your needs and towing preferences.


This article was published on behalf of Arrowquip.

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