Here's a weird question for you. Will cattle cross wooden bridges? How about concrete?
We have several acres on the other side of our creek that I might like to use as pasture some day. However, the only access to it at the moment is a culvert and that's what the tractors and other equipment drive on for the fields back there. The creek has a bit of woods on each side and is quite a bit lower than the surrounding land (the creek is actually a spring-fed stream...not a run-off sort of creek). So, I'm wondering if we could either put in a culvert (which I don't really want to do because of washout issues...not that the creek ever gets to flowing very much, but you never know) or some sort of bridge.
If we ever do something like that, we will have to fence it in because I don't want the cattle in the woods and the creek slopping it up. How wide of an area would we need to fence for the cattle to feel comfortable walking through there? It will probably be a length of 100 feet or so (the actual bridge length would probably be 20 feet).
We once had pasture that we had to road the cows 5 miles to and from each summer. One wooden bridge on the way. Cattle refused to cross untill we roped the boss cow and literally drug her across, then, the rest would trot across to join her. Had to do it every time tho.
* I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one. .*-
We cross 2 bridges with our cattle every time we move them from one of our pastures to home. Once they get used to crossing the bridge, it is not a problem. One is on the highway, and one is a gravelled one.
Having said that, I sure wouldn't build a bridge just to get cattle across a creek, as long as it had a pretty good bottom in it, I would just chase them through it.
Remember cattle have a four wheel drive, fully-articulated drive system. I once had a cow who would climb about a 45 degree bank.
I have three water crossings. On a spring run it is gravel bottom and not a problem. Another is a ditch in which I dropped in a culvert and then poured concrete over it. Third is a creek where I had a low-water concrete bridge put in.
Slope the banks on the side of the creek on both sides, cattle will go up a creek bank easier than going down a steep one & another thing to keep in mind also they will go across easier with sides on a bridge $$$$$, its a safety feature also, as for trying to drive them across a bridge i would have second thoughts on that, also with a dog crossing a creek is no problem as long as you dont have ones that dont like to be pushed by a dog that is insecure and doesnt chicken out on the ones that turn on him other than that you should be fine, if their broke to a feed bucket move their feed troughs on the other side of the creek and dont feed them for a day then you will see how easy it is for them to cross if they want, just my 2 pennies for ya.