Learning from a Real Pro
We first met Ken Klemm on a bus tour at our first National Bison Association event in 2015. In talking with dozens of ranchers at that event, it was Ken's philosophy of management that best matched what we wanted to do on our own farm: managing an ecosystem rather than just one animal, working with bison's nature rather than against it, etc. Well, surprise of surprises, as we started to get into the specifics of designing the corral for our new land, Ken's design was the best match for how we wanted to handle our animals.
This weekend, we took a trip to Goodland, Kansas with Ian's parents to visit Ken's ranch and especially to see his corral. We watched Ken, by himself, run two buffalo bulls through his corral, squeeze chute and all, in about two minutes. It was the ultimate in low-stress handling for both animal and man. These buffalo had never been through this setup before, but it is designed to get more efficient with each run-through because it trains them. Impressive, to say the least.
This will be the model for our new corral. We're not about to give away any of Ken's hard-earned knowledge, that's up to him, but you can read a discussion that he wrote on corral building in "The Bison Producers' Handbook" Second Edition.