How to Make a Fitting Chute for Cattle

By Daniel Scott

Fitting chutes are used to securely hold cattle while they are groomed, cleaned, or undergo minor veterinary procedures. They usually feature a V-shaped squeeze slot to securely hold the head, removable side bars for easier access, and wheels at the rear so that the chute can be easily transported. While 2-inch square mild steel tubing was traditionally used, the widespread availability of TIG welders has made aluminum construction more common due to its lighter weight.

Cut two 72-inch lengths, two 78-inch lengths, two 83.5-inch lengths, four 84-inch lengths, one 60-inch length, one 57-inch length, and seven 32-inch lengths of 2-inch square tubing.

Weld together two boxes with the top and bottom of the box made up of 84-inch long sections placed between a 72-inch section on one side and a 78-inch section on the other. These longer sections will make up the front of the chute and will protrude 6 inches above the box.

Connect the two boxes together by welding four of the 32-inch sections between each side at each corner. Ensure that both longer 78-inch bars are on the same plane and both are protruding above the box.

Cut four 4-inch by 3-inch sections out of the sheet metal. Measure 34 inches up each vertical 72-inch column and weld the plate onto the side of the tubing. The plate should protrude 2 inches into the 84-inch by 72-inch side of the box. Tack weld a 84-inch section to the inside of the plates on both sides.

Measure 1.5 inches from the top and bottom and 1 inch from the inside edge of each plate and drill a 5/8-inch hole through both the plate and the section of square tubing. Use a punch to get the hole started and light oil for lubrication if using mild steel for your chute. Cut off the tack welds and reattach the 84-inch sections using cotter pins.

Weld a 32-inch crossbar 12 inches up the 78-inch columns protruding upward from the front of the box.

Weld the 60-inch section 11 inches from the left 78-inch column in between the 32-inch crossbar and the 32-inch section that makes up the top of the front of the chute.

Cut two more 4-inch by 3-inch sections of sheet metal and weld each to the front and back sides of the 32-inch crossbar 11 inches from the right 78-inch column.

Cut two 8-inch by 2-inch sections of sheet metal and weld each to opposite sides of one end of the 57-inch section of square tubing. Slot the ends with these plates on it onto the crossbar at the top front of the chute and then tack weld the bottom of the section between the two plates on the middle crossbar.

Measure 1.5 inches from the sides and 1 inch from the top edge of each plate and drill a 5/8-inch hole through both the plate and the section of square tubing. Use a punch to get the hole started and light oil for lubrication if using mild steel for your chute. Cut off the tack welds and reattach the 57-inch section using a cotter pin.

Cut a 30-degree bevel onto one end of each of the last remaining 32-inch sections and then weld the inside of the bevels together to form a 60-degree angle. Weld the open end of this triangle horizontally to the tops of the 78-inch columns protruding from the top of the chute so that the triangle points to the front.

Sandblast or bead-blast the metal and then prime and paint the entire chute.