I wanted to drop you a quick line and thank you for all the help getting my chute. I used it all fall, with all ages of cattle, and I can’t believe I did not get it years ago. It has made cattle work fun again and all my clients like it too. Thank you for all of your help!
A.L. Silencer is my first call for a Silencer Squeeze Chute. They’ve delivered & installed Silencers for myself & many of my valued clients.
We had a great experience with A.L. Silencer from the design stages thru the installation of our Complete FZA System. The best money we’ve ever spent.
I did extensive research on squeeze chutes before purchasing. After using my Silencer & seeing how my cattle responded it’s the only chute I will buy.
This is the best product & service I’ve ever been around. We have a Silencer on our ranches in Montana & Nebraska. Also purchased a portable to use between our Kansas & Nebraska locations. All our purchases with A.L. Silencer have been a great experience & money well spent.
The main thing that made my decision was the fact that Art had what I wanted in stock. My system was delivered and installed in ten days. I’ve been sold on the quality of Silencer for years, and when I was ready to buy one I needed it quickly and I wanted someone to install and service the machinery.
It’s amazing! My Silencer has eliminated the jumping and hip hanging. The cattle stay calm and immobilized, there’s great neck access, it’s extremely quiet during operation. This is the best chute I’ve ever used!
You’re getting the best hydraulic squeeze chute on the market today. At A.L., we build your chute to your specifications, install it for you and show you and your workers how to use it. You’re going to benefit from all the features you need to keep your operation running smoothly.
Silencer cattle chutes feature a patented noise reduction system, consisting of 130 contact points encased in polyethylene. This means that there is considerably less noise during operation than you’ll find with other chutes. The hydraulic pump system is quiet, and there’s little in the way of steel-on-steel, so your animals will feel calmer when in the chute.
Pivot controls enable the lever bank to move easily from one side to the other, simply by pivoting the controls. The controls also adjust up and down vertically, delivering greater comfort to the operator. As well, the controls can be operated on only one side at a time. That means improved operator safety, since the need for communication between operators on either side is eliminated.
The Silencer cattle chute features a hydraulically operated head restraint for dehorning, that pushes the head of the animal downward and makes the horns easier to access. You can use the de-horner head restraint in conjunction with the hydraulic head restraint and the neck bar. In addition, you can release the head doors quickly and easily at any time, even when you’re using the de-horner head restraint.
The angled, louvered blinds on the Silencer cattle chute work to keep the animals for perceiving workers in the “flight zone” when entering the chute, and also reduce the chance of the animal hesitating when moving toward the head gate. The operator’s line of sight is not impaired.
Side exits can be on the left, the right, or both on either the hydraulic or mechanical bottom. You can also use the dual side exit for fitting.
You can switch easily from a 350 pound calf to a 2500 pound bull with no adjustment, or at least with very little, thanks to the Silencer chute’s total door opening system.
You need to be assured that you always have the best possible body control, with maximum head control and neck access in order to place vaccinations precisely. That means that the lower squeeze has to function separately from the top squeeze, and that you have to be able to use it continuously. That’s exactly what the Silencer chute delivers.
On the lower squeeze, both sides adjust easily, and can accommodate side exit on either or both sides along with a full size drop pan. Some hydraulic squeeze chutes sacrifice accessibility to the lower half of the drop pan, but this isn’t a problem with the Silencer.
If you’ve purchased a Silencer Extended model, you’ll be able to move in behind your animal for pregnancy checking, embryo transfer, semen checking and artificial insemination. The side panels and walk-through doors are designed to keep smaller animals from turning when performing these operations.
The head door on the Silencer chute is rubber-wrapped to guard against shoulder damage and minimize choke-down. Extension bars control the head location while allowing access to the neck, and are adjustable for different sized animals. Silencer is the only cattle chute that provides a full sixteen inches of accessible neck on each side gate. You can hold any animal from 350 to 2500 pounds for easy injection.
Silencer’s optional slotted high test rebar floor will outlast the mild steel 3/4″ channel slotted floors used on other chute brands. Slotted floor consists of 3/4” high tensile rebar with a 3/4” spacing between. The rebar floor allows manure to fall through the floor of the chute, keeping the chute cleaner during processing.
Silencer drop pans are made of 45000 PSI steel, and provide full access to the animal’s underside. The doors can be removed easily simply by lowering it and sliding it to one side.
The Silencer half drop pan gives the operator partial access to the animal’s underside, without needing to lower the pan. It can be used in conjunction with the leg puller.
The hydraulic head restraint is a fast and easy way to control the head when tagging, mouthing, drenching, etc. It provides easy access to the neck, and prevents the animal from moving its head around. It’s adjustable for various sizes. If an error occurs when using the head restraint, a shear pin causes the bar to break away so that the equipment isn’t damaged and the animal isn’t injured. A pressure relief valve delivers a high volume of oil at a low pressure, so that the head gate works quickly but does not cause undue pressure on the animal.
When using the hydraulic head restraint, remove the neck extender bar. When the head restraint is in the vertical position, it works in the same way as a neck extender, with access to the neck when additional control isn’t needed. The hydraulic head restraint is easy to remove if you don’t need it.
The hydraulic leg pull operates with the drop pan down, or with the half drop pan installed. It provides control of the animal’s leg and lifts in when working with the foot, castrating, etc.
Your Silencer chute will be powered either with an electric pump or a gas pump. The electric pump is available in both 220 single and 3-phase, and is equipped with an oil breather/fill cap, reservoir and spin on filter in a self-contained unit. The gas pump is best for remote operations, and is equipped with pressure relief, oil filter, reservoir and female quick couplers.
They’re a lot bigger than you, a lot stronger than you, and they can move a lot faster than you. That’s why it’s so important to handle them safely. Some people never learn how to do that, and they usually end up paying the price in one way or another, in the form of injuries either to themselves or to the cattle.
Safe cattle handling is a skill. Some ranchers seem to be born with an instinctive knowledge of how to work around cattle, but they’re very much in the minority. Unless you’re one of those very rare “cattle whisperers,” you need to learn your way around these big bovines, and most of the time you’re not going to learn the ins and outs of safe cattle handling overnight. It takes time, experience, and usually a few mistakes.
If you’ve ever watched a really skilled cattle handler, you’ve probably observed that they know a lot about how cattle behave, and they base their cattle handling actions accordingly. They work quietly, usually move slowly, and they don’t shout at the animals or at other handlers. They know that in any given year, approximately 10% of cattle handlers are injured on the job, and that good safety practices are the way to avoid injury. It also makes it easier to get things done, because usually, the safest way of doing something is actually also the most efficient way.
In order to maintain top production standards, ensure the well-being of your herd, and avoid being injured, follow these five important cattle handling tips.
This really can’t be stated often enough. It’s the number one thing you can do to make sure that you’re safe. Cattle are not, generally speaking, dangerous, unless they become alarmed or overly excited. They’re also very much creatures of habit, and don’t like change. If you’re moving the cattle from one point to another, make sure to give them enough time to get used to their new surroundings. Usually if a cattle handler gives them about half an hour, they’ll be considerably calmer and easier to work with.
We’ve already mentioned that good cattlemen don’t shout. Speak calmly, and speak often. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, a calm, self-assured voice lets the animals know that everything’s fine, and there’s nothing to worry about or stress over. Second, cattle don’t see the way we do. Since their eyes are on the sides of their heads, they have an amazingly wide vision range, but their depth perception isn’t all that good. And of course they can’t see what’s behind them. What that means is that if they perceive movement behind them, or to the side, they can spook. If they hear you, though, they know where you are.
This might sound somewhat counter-intuitive when it comes to handling cattle, since we’ve already talked about the importance of keeping the cattle calm. But sometimes you have to, as Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” This doesn’t mean that beating your animals is going to make them more cooperative – it’s all in how you use it. A length of alkathene pipe (sometimes referred to as a “waddy”) or a long stick can go a long way when it comes to handling cattle and ensuring your safety.
This is because cattle see you in one of three ways. You’re either a predator from whom they need to escape, nobody of any importance at all, or someone who is powerful and deserving of respect. It’s obvious which of the three you want to come across as, so you have to approach cattle with confidence and authority.
If you face cattle with the stick outstretched, you’re presenting a positive, dominant image, stating with your body language that you’re someone who has to be obeyed. Of course sometimes you’re going to encounter an animal (usually a bull) that’s giving you the evil eye. When that happens, you can often defuse the situation by lowering the stick and turning sideways. Of course if the evil eye morphs into genuinely bad intentions, a good, solid whack across the snout can work wonders.
We should offer a few words about bulls specifically. They’re the animals most likely to hurt you, and yet it’s surprising how many ranchers lose sight of that fact. Maybe it’s a case of familiarity breeding contempt, but trusting a bull is a huge mistake. They especially can’t be trusted in breeding season. Bulls also tend to become more dangerous the older they get, and a bull that’s kept in isolation is more dangerous than one that’s been allowed to mingle with the herd.
Never, ever, work bulls on your own or along with other bulls. Never turn your back on a bull. Keep in mind that when a bull goes quiet, that’s usually when he’s gearing up to give you some real grief.
This is pretty basic, but especially important if you’re moving into a yard that hasn’t been worked before. Always do a visual check, and then a bit of housekeeping. Get rid of any loose wire, stray posts, or nails that might be sticking up, big stones, and any containers that could be tripped over. Make sure that all the gates latch properly, and can be opened and closed with a minimum of effort. Also make sure that the feed bunk access is adjusted to the right size for the cattle, and that it’s working smoothly.
If you’re not at the top of your cattle handling game, that’s when you’re most likely to get hurt. If you’re feeling sick, or you’re working through an injury, there’s no shame in asking for help. Don’t try to handle cattle on your own when you’re not fully present – that’s how you end up among the 10% injured.
As a final word, we can’t overestimate the importance of a quality cattle chute. The A.L. Silencer is one of the best on the market, and one of the safest means of handling even the most difficult animals. Call A.L. in Texas at 817-736-6920, or in Nebraska at 308-215-0258 to talk about the safest chutes available for you and your cattle.
Most chutes on the market are well-built and of good quality, but it’s important to buy the right chute for the job. Each has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the size of the stock you’re working with, and the purpose of the chute. We probably don’t have to tell you that when you’re dealing with an animal that weighs, on average, 2,200 pounds, there’s little room for error, and you may not get a do-over.
Using a chute that isn’t suited to your operation can be dangerous, both to livestock and to those who work with them. If you’ve ever had to euthanize a valuable animal because of a leg broken in the chute, or had a nasty infection develop thanks to a lost needle, you know what we’re talking about. You also want the animal to feel as comfortable as possible while being restrained. If you have an animal that already has temperament issues, using the wrong chute is just going to make matters even worse.
If you buy the wrong cattle chute, it’s going to end up costing you money in terms of increased processing time. Choosing the right chute, and the right dealer to install it, ultimately helps you to avoid costly problems down the road. Your dealer should be able to advise you on which type of chute to buy, install it for you, and train your people in how to use it. You know how hard it is to get good help, so you want to be sure that even an inexperienced worker is at ease using the chute.
There are several important points to consider when you’re deciding which chute to buy.
If you’re running a mixed herd and need to frequently make head adjustments, you want to be sure that they can be done quickly. If you have to find a wrench every time you need to make an adjustment, that’s going to take up valuable time. A scissor chute doesn’t need adjusting, so it’s a great option if you’re handling cattle of different sizes.
With a mixed herd, head capacity is another important factor. You’re going to need a cattle chute that’s narrow enough for calves, but wide enough to accommodate a bull. The only type of chute that can do this consistently is one with a hydraulic head gate. A.L. Silencer hydraulic squeeze chutes are perfect for handling cattle of all sizes safely.
Consider the head gate catching mechanism on the chute you’re thinking of buying. Can you set it to self-catch? Can a cow or bull trip the catch by throwing its head? Keep in mind that some chutes have chains or cables – this type of mechanism will allow both sides of the catch to swing at the same time, and are prone to breaking. Most newer chutes have guards that will eliminate or at least minimize the problem, but if you’re considering a used chute, be sure to check this out.
Make sure that the head gate mechanism is easy to manipulate, and easily released, especially if you have a large herd. If it isn’t, you’re going to end up exhausted, and you might even find that in the latter stages of the operation, you need assistance with the mechanism.
Note that the question here isn’t “Do you need a side release?” You indisputably do. We don’t know of any new chutes that aren’t equipped with side releases. That’s because in addition to allowing for sorting, a side release offers a quick, safe escape for a downed animal. The only real issue here is whether your facility is best suited to a left-hand release, or a right-hand release.
Think about the reasons you’ll be using the chute, and choose one that accommodates your most frequent practices. For instance, if you’re operating a feedlot, you’re going to need superior head restraint for vaccinations and other injections. If you’re heavy into breeding, you’ll need to have proper access through the sidebars, and ideally, removable sides in case a C-section should be necessary. Purebred breeders also need to be able to get at a bull’s underside for semen testing, and head capacity will also be very important.
Some cattlemen never use a backdrop gate – they leave them permanently locked in the up position, or pull them out. This is usually because they’re heavy, and may require assistance to operate. Some backdrop gates are now constructed from aluminum and counterweighted for easier use. You know how you work, and you’re the best judge of whether a backdrop gate would be an asset to your operation, or just something you want to keep out of the way.
This is another feature that you may or may not need. It’s a bar which the animal straddles, preventing it from going down in the chute. It can be useful for branding purposes.
Much depends on the purpose of the chute. You’ll find cattle chutes, including hydraulic squeeze chutes in a wide range of prices. As is the case with most things, usually the lower the price, the lower the quality, and there are fewer available options. If you’re a hobby farmer with just a few cattle and a focus on the lighter breeds, you may be able to get by with a modestly-priced chute. If you’re a production farmer or rancher with several hundred head, a cheap chute is just going to deliver a ton of frustration. You’ll be better off with a quality model like an A.L. Silencer hydraulic squeeze chute.
By all means! Talk to other farmers and ranchers, and find out what they’re using. Talk to dealers as well – they’re your front line when it comes to making sure you get the chute that’s right for you. Keep in mind, though, that all dealers are different – some only do it part time, and even though you can buy a chute from any dealer, it’s best to choose one that’s committed to you full time. A.L. is the leading cattle chute dealer in the country, and you can rely on them for solid customer service. They also know all the ins and outs of chute technology – more so than other ranchers.
If you’re still undecided, your veterinarian can be a wealth of useful information. Think about it. Vets work with all types of animals or all sizes and classes, and they use chutes for just about everything – examining injured bulls, palpating cows, doing C-sections and more. They know the advantages and disadvantages of various types of chutes, and can tell you from personal experience what you should consider when purchasing a cattle chute for the specific needs of your herd.
A.L. is the national leader in selling and servicing the Silencer brand of cattle chutes, and other equipment that’s well-suited to any type of herd and any type of operation.
The Silencer cattle chute features complete opening head and tail doors to reduce hesitation when the animal is entering and exiting the chute, hydraulic neck bars that move left, right and straight ahead, patented low-pressure head doors rated for animals from 350-2,500 pounds, and a 130-point noise reduction system to keep cattle calm.
You can choose from what’s available in stock, or have a system custom-designed to suit your needs. In Nebraska, you can reach A.L. at 308-215-0258. In Texas, call 817-736-6920. Call today and get the cattle chute that’s just right for you and your herd.
For most producers, a squeeze chute plays a vital role in herd management, and it’s also a considerable investment. You want to make sure you get just the right chute, because if you buy something that’s not appropriate for your operation, you’re pretty much going to have to live with it.
One of the finest cattle chutes on the market is the A.L. Silencer squeeze chute. It’s fully customizable for every need, so the main thing is to determine exactly what your needs are.
This sounds obvious, but there are things you’ll need to consider. What type of operation do you need the squeeze chute for? This is the main consideration when thinking about the type of components and adjustments that will work for you. Are you working cows and calves? How big is the herd? What about labor? Where will you locate the cattle chute? Will it be in a permanent location, or will you need a portable chute?
A manual chute doesn’t cost much. By the same token, it doesn’t deliver much when compared with hydraulic chutes like the A.L. Silencer. Generally speaking, it’s best to buy the best squeeze chute you can afford. Cutting corners may save you money in the short term, but will usually end up costing you in terms of lost time and labor.
Squeeze chutes have pretty much the same features, but the functionality can vary widely. Check out all the features to make sure they’re easily used. For instance, if you need a wheel kit, take it off and put it back on. If you’re not comfortable with the way it works, consider another chute.
One of the primary focuses of the chute is the headdoors. Both animal and operator safety should be considered before purchasing. The patented Silencer complete opening-action headdoor maintains equal pressure on the animal, top to bottom. This results in reduced animal stress and injury and more $$$ in your pocket. The factory pressure setting of only 200 psi-top to bottom, cushioned rubber belting, along with the complete opening headdoors promote a calm animal in the chute, and then a smooth injury free exit.
Look at the neck bars on the squeeze chute where the animal’s neck is going to be held. Are they straight? This could allow the animal to move its head up and down. Curved neck bars like those on the A.L. Silencer work better to limit movement. Can you adjust the neck bars easily? Can you put a neck restraint on the headgate?
The framework on the sides of the cattle chute should attach to the headgate in a way that offers easy access to the animal’s neck for the purpose of giving injections. You should also be able to adjust the width at the bottom of the sides in order to allow for animals of different sizes. Adjustment mechanisms should be easily operated, and recessed so that there’s no danger of you tripping over them.
The squeeze chute’s sides should have drop bars. Drop bar lengths can differ from chute to chute, so you should make sure that the drop bars are neither too low nor too high to allow access to your animals. Drop bars should also be easy to raise and lower, and there should be a drop pan on the bottom to give easy access to the animal’s underside. It should be strong enough that it won’t bend, but light enough that you can easily open and close it.
The squeeze mechanism controls should be usable without a whole lot of effort, and easy to access. They should also be easy to open and close, and allow for pressure to be removed easily and quickly. They should also be located in such a way that you don’t bump into them by accident.
The squeeze chute should have an adjustable lower squeeze for most operations. The added versatility and ease of adjustment are critical determining factors.
Squeeze chutes are available with or without palpation gates. Most ranchers find that this is an essential component, because it provides access to the rear of the animal for procedures like pregnancy checking, castration, and artificial insemination. You might want to have doors on either side for even easier access.
You can buy some squeeze chutes with platform or overhead scales. A combined unit has both advantages and disadvantages. A disadvantage is that every time an animal passes over a platform scale, it is weighed, and that means additional wear and tear on the component. The overhead scales promote longer scale life and easier clean-up. You’ll need to think about how often you need to weigh, and consider whether a combined unit is best for you and your herd.
One of the best things about your Silencer chute is that it requires very little maintenance. You have better things to do with your time than be constantly oiling components and replacing parts – you have a herd to run!
Moly Manufacturing, the maker of Silencer chutes, is very much of the belief that welded components are a disadvantage when it comes to cattle chute maintenance. That’s why they make their chutes with a minimum of welded parts, and drop panels that are made to allow full access to the underside of the animal simply by sliding the door to one side. The pen latches and drop gate are fully adjustable, and easy to replace by simply removing the top bolt. The urethane, oil-based bearings are non-corrosive, self-lubricating, and also easy to replace. The main cylinder pins on the Silencer chute have grease zerks installed in order to facilitate easy maintenance. In fact, Silencer is the only chute that has this feature – other brands may claim that they have no wear points or linkage, but we highly doubt it.
The Silencer chute is easy to clean, with a latch adjustment shaft on the lower squeeze that simply flips up to allow clean-out. The floor is made of rebar that allows manure to fall through, so the chute stays clean even during processing.
The greasable main cylinder pins and rocker shaft roller bearings deliver smooth action and long life on the Commercial Pro and Heavy Duty models. The smooth action drop pan latches and drop bar have no steel on steel contact points.
Most parts on the Silencer are easy to replace, thanks to the modular design. You can easily change tail and head doors simply by removing nuts and bolts. The drop bars are replaceable on the Commercial Pro and Heavy Duty models. All you need to do is take out a single bolt, remove the bar, clean out the hair and other debris, and then re-install the bar. This is a feature that can add years to the life of your chute.
The Silencer’s mainframe is built to prevent flex, with a 4×2 or 4×3 framework (depending on the model), as opposed to other brands with 2.5×2.5 frames. The four-inch mainframe floor dimension controls the thrust that is delivered to the framework when an animal enters, providing improved longevity and superior durability.
Your Silencer chute comes with a full warranty for a minimum of one year, and up to three, depending on the model. At A.L. we have a full line of parts to keep your chute operating smoothly, and we can even provide maintenance assistance. If you have questions about maintaining your Silencer chute, need assistance, or if you’re planning your next cattle chute purchase, give us a call in Nebraska at 308-215-0258, or in Texas at 817-736-6920.
I don’t have a great answer – I just met a guy who was a dealer, and I was helping him out. It didn’t go all that well, so I figured I’d just go back to ranching. The owner of the company found out I was leaving, and he asked me to stay on for a while. He didn’t want me to go, so I told him that I didn’t like the way this particular dealer was treating his customers, but I’d like to stick with it if I could be a dealer myself.
My dad was a ranch hand. That’s all I’ve ever known, working feed yards and processing cattle. I’d seen some awful ways of doing it, and once I saw how the Silencer worked, how much easier it was on cattle and on operators, I just knew this was how it should be done. The thing is, I love cattle. It really made me unhappy to see all the stress and misery and pain they had to go through with some of the chutes that were being used. That’s what really turned me onto the Silencer, and it’s why I really love telling people about it. Selling a Silencer chute makes me happy, it makes my customers happy, and for sure it makes the animals happy.
A lot of people come to trade shows where we’re demonstrating the Silencer. I like to ask a lot of questions, like what kind of operation the person has, whether it’s a feedlot, a ranch, if they’re running everything from calves to bulls and so on, and I listen to what they have to say. Then I show them the options that are best for their particular operation.
I’d suggest a Heavy Duty Extended Silencer. If you’re a registered producer, you’ll need more options on the chute, for head control, tattooing, de-horning.
The cattle are going to be pretty much uniform in size, and speed is going to be important. The Commercial Pro Silencer would be the best option. It’s the heaviest chute we make. You want to keep it simple, because you’re going to be using a lot of different operators, and you don’t want a whole lot of options that aren’t really needed. You’ll probably want a scale. Overhead scales are the best option because they last longer and they’re easy to clean.
Safety is the most important consideration when you’re choosing a chute. Cattle don’t want to hurt you, but they will if they’re stressed, and a lot of chutes exert way too much pressure on the animal. The Silencer never exerts more than 200 pounds of pressure. It gets the job done, reduces stress, and makes for safer operation. The noise reduction system means quiet operation. Operators are also able to talk to one another without needing to shout, and again this means less stress for the animal and a higher level of safety. You’ve got a relaxed cow going into the chute, and a relaxed cow coming out of the chute.
Every Silencer is actually a custom-made product. No two Silencers are exactly alike. The three main points that Silencer offers that can be lacking in other brands are the low stress factor, noise reduction, and operator safety. With a scissor-style chute, for instance, the way the doors open, there’s a piece on the outside that if it hits you, best-case scenario you’re probably going to get knocked out. Worst-case scenario is that you could be killed. I’m not saying other chutes don’t have safety features, but the ones that do actually borrowed the concept from Silencer. We invented the technology, but we’re not resting on our laurels – we’re constantly looking for ways to make Silencer even better, and the other guys watch what we do and try to catch up.
Anyone can sell you a chute. What I bring to the transaction is 37 years of knowledge going all the way back to when I was a kid working for my dad in all different kinds of operations. I can help design exactly the right chute, taking the guesswork out of it for the customer. I’m never in a hurry. If a customer needs an hour on the phone with me talking about what he needs, I’m happy to take the time. I never suggest options that the customer won’t actually use. And it doesn’t end when the chute is sold. We’ll set it up and make sure everyone who’s using it is fully trained, and we offer full support for as long as the customer owns the Silencer.
The other thing is, if I tell you something’s going to happen, then you can bet it’s going to happen. I stand by my word, because if there’s one thing I truly believe, it’s that if your word’s no good, then you’re no good.
We have inventory chutes that can be delivered right away. A custom-made Silencer is usually ready in 3-4 months.
Two main reasons – the kindness to the animal, and the well-being of the operator. Sure, it’s an expense, but in the long run, you’ll save money because there’s less risk of injury to the animals and the people working the animals. If you’re the operator, and you get hurt, it could end up costing you your entire livelihood. There’s no going back and saying “I wish I’d bought a better system.”
We have rental chutes available if you’d like to try out a Silencer.
No. Only Silencer, because it’s safe, quiet, solid and reliable – it’s the best there is. I’ve sold Silencers all over the world – not just the United States, but Asia, Canada, Mexico, Australia – and it’s the only chute I’ll ever sell.