Temple Grandin Tells How To Choose Tub Or Bud Box

Beefs and Beliefs

Animal handling expert Grandin says Bud box and tub both work because they let cattle go back the direction they came in.

Published on: December 13, 2012

Temple Grandin this week did a great job explaining the differences between her curved "crowding" tubs and "Bud boxes."

She was one of the featured speakers at the Fifth National Conference on Grazing Lands at Orlando, Florida.

She did one of her typical talks outlining problems she continues to see as she travels the country but during the question-answer session she was asked how to decide which pre-chute device to choose. Here's what she said:

Curved, Grandin-designed tubs

  • Less skill-dependent and therefore easier to train people to use
  • More expensive
  • Require less walking
  • Sometimes can handle a few more cattle at a time

Bud boxes

  • Cost less to build
  • Require more skill by the operator
  • Require more walking

On the other hand, Grandin said, neither the Bud box nor her tubs should be filled with cattle. You should only put enough cattle in to fill the single-file lane leading to the chute.

Certainly you shouldn't leave a single animal in the "crowding" area by itself, and the truth is you shouldn't actually crowd them anyway.

"I never crowd them with the swing gate," she added. "It's just an emergency back stop."

Both systems, she said, are designed to let the cattle think they are going back the way they came, which is their natural tendency and desire. The good Bud boxes let them reverse direction and go out right next to where they came in. Her tubs use a curved design to do essentially the same thing.

In this YouTube video Grandin explains more of the same.

This video from Beef Quality Assurance shows a portable Bud box in action. This video shows a permanent Bud box being used.

Grandin also talked this week about doing a better job using squeeze chutes. One of the biggest "fixes" for squeeze chutes is to put cardboard up so the animals can't see the chute operator but have a lighted hole toward which they can move. She covers this in more depth in another YouTube video.