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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resource Management

First Advisor

Jonathan Jenks


There are 14 known large mammals that have been domesticated for thousands of years (Diamond: 1999, 168-169). Bison (Bison bison) are not on that list even though they have been held on private ranches and in parks for over 100 years. Bison have been treated as wild, difficult to handle animals in roundups and when processing them through corrals. This project involved several research trials during different phases of capture, working bison in corrals, loading them into trucks, and when entering animals into squeeze chutes. Seventy one percent of the bison entered the squeeze chute calmly with a window design crash gate whereas 10 percent entered calmly with a solid crash gate design. When bison were herded into and through corrals and gates without capture or threat of harm, roundups and loading of bison into trucks were carried out with minimal stress on the animals. Allowing bison to be herded through the corrals, a man-made corridor, during normal pasture rotations can make roundups a one-person operation. Using different designs to work animals through corrals and into ready chutes and squeeze chutes had dramatic effects on how well animals entered. Bison can be handled in a low-stress manner for both herders and the bison. Corral designs that allow easy movement through them can provide the conditioning results to lower stress on bison, and functionally speed the processing of animals through corrals and chutes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

American bison -- Handling
Corrals -- Design and construction


Includes bibliographical references (page 39-40)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2011 Duane J. Lammers. All rights reserved.