Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone post pics of their cattle handling facilities? I've seen lots of plans from the university extensions, but I'd like to see some actual pics. I've got a relatively small herd, but any pics would be appreciated. Particularly interested in those that were put together with inexpensive / local material, built by yourself, not professionally built (expensive) ones, although I'm sure I could pick up tips from those as well.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Don't have a pic but can describe my very simple and cheap pen. I have approx 20 head and this has worked for me. you need two pen areas each which will hold your entire herd separated by a gate. Call one pen holding , one pen working. Need enuf room so you can work in the holding pen to sort the ones you need to the working pen. 5-6 foot sides will keep them from jumping out if you work them gently. Just have your boards close together as they will go for any hole they think they can fit thru , or line it with cattle panels also.

In your working pen you need a chute feeding into a head catch. My chute is only about 8 ' long. Make no wider than your largest cow or they will try to turn around in it. Put the chute to one side or the other not the middle , so you can run them into a corner and then into the chute. i have a little gate , about 3' long that I can put on the end of the chute and use as a funnel.

you also need two gates in the working pen that will open out to the rear of your trailer to load em out or unload them in to work them.

i bought an old corral for 150 bucks and used the good lumber and posts to buildthis one , head catch cost 300 used. Overall size is about 20 x 40. Visualize two square pens with a chute that extends out from the middle of the two pens.

This assumes you have a tame herd who will follow you into the holding pen with a bit of feed. I just toss a bale of hay in when I want them , back off for a bit till they al go in and close the gates on em.

cheap and it works

i also built a small catch area right as I go into our pasture if I just need to catch and move . Keeps from having to drive the truck and trailer into the pasture during the nasty weather.
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
.netDude, I used recycled guardrail materials and a portion of a grain bin to make my cattle handling setup. I will get you a pic tomorrow if it is not raining.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply's.

KS - is yours on dirt? What did you use for posts - if they're 5-6' above ground, they must be some pretty beefy posts. What did you use for the sides?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
corral / pen parts are 4 x 6 posts with 2 x6 rails , rails spaced 6" , posts at 4 foot apart , chute is posted with railroad ties , 2 x 6 sides at 6" spacing.chute sides are 5 " high but I have a cutdown right behind the headcatch on one side about three feet wide so i can get to the necks for shots. Its about 3 1/2 to 4 foot high there. I built a little maybe 1 foot tall step there so I can get to them for shots. Headcatch posts are set 3 ft deep and in concrete. We have caught our 1200 lb'ers in and had no problems. I'd love to have a squeeze chute but no budget for that yet....

The other poster mentioned old grain bin material , might be good too , nice to have rounded corners !

It is on dirt by the way , on top of a well drained pasture. Wouldn't want it where you might get pooling water.
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
Here are a couple of pics from a phone camera with poor light. Hope you can make out what is there.
This is the overall working pen. The cattle enter from a fenced holding area on the near left corner as the main section of the working pen is too small to handle the herd at once. From there a few cattle are moved to the far left and then from left to right at the far back side. In the far right corner the cattle are crowded into either the chute that goes to the squeeze/head gate or they are permitted to enter a narrow pen where they can be group loaded onto a trailer. On the near right is a gate that is opened to permit the transporting trailer to enter for loading. The second pic is of the crowding and separating area.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
Agmantoo,

I like the way you used the grain bin to built the round pen, that would work great. I'm only going to be running a few calves from now on, but will keep those ideas for corral modifications in mind when I start to redo mine.

Bob
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
.netDude
Honestly, I do not have any crazy cattle. I took them out of the gene pool years ago. I did have one time before making the change a brangus/gert cross heifer whose mother was flightly. I was culling the herd and had intended to keep the mom but the heifer pitched such a fit after I got her contained I caught the mom and stuck her butt on the trailer too. I have learned that bad habits are learned from other cattle. Good habits can be taught also. I can move my entire herd from one end of the farm to the other without feed, a dog, a horse or human help. All I need to do is whistle a few times and get their attention. Then with all heads up I call to the cattle and we all start up or down the lane casually. I let the cattle pass me and I get in behind them to urge them along. I make 3 different sounds. Whistle moderately to get their attention. A voice call to signal we are relocating, this is done each time we change paddocks so they do not forget. the voice call is associated with fresh feed. The 3rd sound is voice and very rapid whistling (urgency) when I am pushing them, be it down a lane or onto the transport trailer or to get back to where they belong if they are on the wrong side of a partition fence.
 

·
Bovine and Range Nerd
Joined
·
910 Posts
Agman: no problems with baulking or turning around at all in your layout?

I really love your idea with the grainbin sheets as a crowding tub, as I was originally thinking of using them for when I redo the current handling layout when I have time. I'd love to hear some more on how that crowdingtub was built, posts you used, the height the sheets are positioned off the ground (looks like 8 to 10" from what I could see in the pic...) as well as how you built your crowding gate.

Plus more pictures of your layout please. :) If you don't mind that is...
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
Karin L
I will attempt to get a few more pics within the next couple of days. The sheets are off the ground to where an average sized person could crawl flat and get out of the pen by going under the wall in an emergency. Right now the dirt has built up to reduce the gap. I have not had a turning around problem but yes some balking but minimal. The balking is at the squeeze chute. I did some research on Temple Grandins work and got some good ideas from her. The one major thing I garnered was that the animal should not be permitted to see where it is being herded until the the last moment. I have a chain link fenced pen that I move the entire herd into. This is accomplished by somewhat tricking them. I have a paddock that is reserved for catching the animals and it is seldom grazed. This ungrazed paddock has a woven wire fence separating it from the adjacent paddock. The unusual thing about the separation fence is that the instead of being 90 degrees to the other fence it is on about a 30 degree angle somewhat like this___\ ___ As you can see if the animals are moving left to right the angle funnels them to go through a gate at the bottom of the \ When the animals have grazed, I force them to go back into the paddock that they were previously in. When the animals are moved right to left and the gate at the bottom of the ___\ ___is closed the \ funnels the animals to the top. They are thirsty at this time and there is another gate at the top giving them access to water. They go right in and I shut the gate. From the fenced pen I take a group of animals out at a corner and down a fenced narrow lane to the corral. The end of the narrow lane it turns and they can see into the corral but at this time I have a gate closed behind them. Another gate exists at the end of the narrow lane that will permit the animals access into the paddock. Once in the corral they cannot see where I am taking them until it is too late to turn around. From the largest of the pens I sort the ones going to the sale and move them 90 degrees into a smaller but spacious pen and close a gate behind them. From there I move them to the crowding area and the exit is one of two, either into the narrow chute or through a small gate to another holding pen. If the animal is diverted into the narrow chute it still cannot see the squeeze chute and head gate. I can then prod the animal along making a 45 degree turn into the headgate. Once the sorting takes place, the pen that is holding all the animals that are going to the sale are permitted to exit through a back gate into the pen and crowding area and held there. The exit gate to the last pen that is now vacant is opened and the trailer is backed into position and both trailer gates are opened wide. The gate the animals exited through is now opened again and since they were just in the pen they have no reluctance to reenter. They rapidly return and usually they crowd toward the trailer. I just get behind them along with the truck driver and we whistle and make noise and usually a few of the animals start on the trailer and the rest of them just follow and we shut the trailer gates promptly. Typically we batch load in just a couple of minutes. This entire process has been so simple I have never finished with the actual crowding gate for the tub section. I have the design worked out for the crowding gate and I have the materials. A hole will be dug at the center of the grain bin panels. The panels make a true circle so the pivot point is easy to determine. I will make hinges that will go over a 3 inch vertical pipe mounted in concrete so that the gate can swing more than 180 degrees. On the back side of the gate when it is fully opened will be a small space large enough to protect a man should an animal turn mean. I planned to make some snubbers to hold the gate from moving backward once the crowding is started. With the trailed backed deep into the last pen the animals could be loaded forcefully if necessary.
 

·
Udderly Happy!
Joined
·
2,866 Posts
I too have learned to move my cattle slowly and calmly to and through the working area. I've always heard the fastest way to work cattle is SLOW. And also, I couldn't agree more on them being blinded per say as to where they are going once they get into the crowded area. I usually use some conveyor belting material hung from the crowded chute lane to move the cattle into the head gate to keep them from seeing the squeeze chute until it's too late. Their only option at the point of first site it to move through it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
I too have learned to move my cattle slowly and calmly to and through the working area. I've always heard the fastest way to work cattle is SLOW. And also, I couldn't agree more on them being blinded per say as to where they are going once they get into the crowded area. I usually use some conveyor belting material hung from the crowded chute lane to move the cattle into the head gate to keep them from seeing the squeeze chute until it's too late. Their only option at the point of first site it to move through it.
I remember as a boy at the stockyards how roughly those cattle were treated and it always took 3 or 4 guys to load up each pen of livestock into the trailers. Today, my wife and I can do it ourselves and in many instances, the cattle will literally load themselves. Like you francismilker, we operate on their time, not ours. Easier on them, easier on us, and I don't get stepped on near as much!!!!! lol.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top