BudBoxes vs. Tub Systems: Which is Easier to Use?

Last week Whit busted the myth that distractions cause animals to balk in handling systems.  This week he address which handling systems work best. When asked about the differences between tubs and BudBoxes, Temple Grandin claims that BudBoxes are skill dependent, whereas the tubs are not. In other words, she believes that it takes less stockmanship skill to operate a tub than a BudBox. The implication is that tubs are preferable to BudBoxes because they are easier to operate. Therefore, stockmen should buy tub systems if they do not have, or aren’t willing to develop, the skills necessary to operate a BudBox. Here is a tub system designed by Temple Grandin with a round "tub" and solid sides: Here is a BudBox as designed by Bud Williams: My extensive experience with tubs and BudBoxes—and the experience of dozens of stockmen who have similarly worked both systems—strongly indicate that the reverse is true. Due to faulty premises and problematic design features upon which tubs are based, most do not work well.

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4 thoughts on “BudBoxes vs. Tub Systems: Which is Easier to Use?

  1. Patrick Tobola shared this comment:

    I read Steve Cote’s book “Stockmanship” and attended a Proper Stockmanship school presented by Richards McConnell and Tina Williams in July 2015. I was immediately sold on the concept and quickly learned to pen, sort, and load cattle more effectively without changing any of my facilities. However learning to properly drive the livestock has been a tremendous challenge. I think it would be great if someone could take all of the scientific knowledge we have on livestock behavior and lower brain function (Temple Grandin’s work) and tie it onto the techniques and principles of Proper Stockmanship (Bud William’s work) so that we all could more easily learn how to properly handle livestock. Then maybe in a few years we will see low cost handling systems at facilities like slaughter houses that must deal with panicked, fearful, and enraged animals and still protect the safety of workers and then in a few more years learn how to prevent those responses altogether in the entire livestock population. In the meantime, I think the message should be as stated in Whit’s previous articles, expensive tub systems will need to be used where you only have a few minutes contact with the animals, otherwise you do not need elaborate facilities if you learn Proper Stockmanship and work with the animals for a few minutes over a couple of days to train them to take pressure.

  2. Whit,
    Your analysis of tubs is right on. Tubs are terrible! They only work well in the videos that the tub makers post to their websites.

    1. Whit,

      You’re dead on with the Bud box. Worked many cattle with a tub and it is pure agony getting them to move forward. Cattle want to go down the alley on the Bud box to get away from you, as long as you know where to walk. Great video. Bud always told me that if you’re going to move your cattle to another pasture each day, use that opportunity to teach them something. He was talking about teaching your cows to drive, not come to you. Cattle are calmer being driven than led. Once cows learn to be driven, it is a joy working them.

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