Development of an energy-absorbing headgate for cattle squeeze chutes

Cade W. Schoonover, Brent A. Peterson, Shannon D. Vermillion, Ronaldo G. Maghirang, Mark D. Schrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research was conducted to develop a headgate for cattle squeeze chutes that would minimize bruises on the animal during handling. The headgate on a hydraulic squeeze chute was instrumented with load cells and then tested on 12 heifers, each with a mass of approximately 413 kg (911 lb). The measured impact forces ranged from <1.3 to 8.9 kN (300 to 2,000 lbf). A new headgate equipped with air bags was then designed and developed. Tests on the new headgate involving 100 heifers showed impact forces of up to 12.9 kN (2,900 lbf). Impact tests indicated that the air bags absorbed from 19 to 46% of the energy, depending on the initial pressure inside the air bag.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-581
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Air bags
  • Animal welfare
  • Livestock handling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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