Manual vs Auto Livestock Catches, Differences & Benefits

The health and quality of life of your livestock is important to the integrity and well-being of your animals. Sometimes, to take care of your livestock, you need to restrain them for treatment. 

At SoMo Farm & Ranch Supply, we pride ourselves on providing our knowledge of livestock and farm equipment so that you can make informed decisions. When purchasing equipment to secure cattle, there are two different types of livestock catches that have their own pros and cons.


What is a livestock catch?

A livestock catch restrains the head of a cattle securely and safely so that minor medical procedures, such as administration of medicines and injections, can be done without putting the cattle in too much stress or danger. It’s also useful for things like adding or replacing tags. Many livestock catches are attached to a squeeze chute, which guides them into place so that the catch can lock. The chute also functions to keep the rest of the cattle’s body in place, providing more safety for the animal and the handler.

There are two types of livestock catches, manual and auto. A manual catch is activated by a lever that’s pulled once the cattle is in position. An automatic catch latches into place once the animal pushes itself into position, activating the catch and locking it in place. While they both serve the same function, manual and automatic catches have different benefits and drawbacks.


Pros & Cons of Using Manual Catch

With manual catches, the handler has more control over the timing. One handler can control the entire process, and there’s less chance that adjustments need to be made. Additionally, the process is less stressful for the cattle since the handler can apply the latch at a time when the cow is relaxed. When the catch is ready to be released, a manual catch can be opened up wider to allow for cattle to more easily exit the chute.

There are some drawbacks. Manual catches can vary in quality based on price. Since the process is manual, it also will take a while to adjust to and learn.


Pros & Cons of Using an Auto Catch

Auto catch does exactly as it says in the name, automatically activating a catch when the cattle are in position. This makes the process faster and doesn’t require any input from a handler except to make adjustments to more securely lock the cattle. Auto catches also tend to be less expensive than manual.

The automatic component does have a heavy psychological effect on the cattle, making it reluctant to enter the chute over time. The process can also stress them out, which can affect their health and the quality of the meat. Auto catches also clamp more forcefully around the cow’s neck, which can bruise the animal.


Stop by or Call Your Local Farm, Ranch & Pet Store

At SoMo Farm & Ranch Supply in Springfield, Missouri, we offer a wide variety of feed, supplements, supplies, and more for your livestock or pets

Call us at (417) 865-0312 and talk to us about what we have in stock. We pride ourselves on being a top locally owned pet supply store.