Once a cow enters a hoof-trimming chute, it’s your job to restrain her in such a way that she does not feel threatened. Temple Grandin, associate professor of livestock handling and behavior at Colorado State University, offers these guidelines to help you properly restrain cattle in a hoof-trimming chute:

  • Use slow, steady pressure when tightening a belt on a cow in a hoof-trimming chute. Jerky motions tend to scare animals.
  • Use optimal pressure during restraint. In other words, hold the animal just tight enough so that she feels secure, but not so tight that it hurts. “The mistake that people make is that when the animal struggles, they make (the belt) tighter,” Grandin says.
  • Don’t trigger the fear of falling. An animal must feel supported. “If they feel like they are going to slip, that’s when they fight it,” Grandin says.