I have designed 11 new working facility layouts that can be easily constructed from portable panels and other remanufactured components. All the designs take advantage of the behavioral principles of animals wanting to go back to where they came from.
A common mistake is to install too many backstops or make the pivot points too low for tall animals. Backstops that are hinged on the top are preferable because they are usually easier to hold open and then close after cattle or sheep pass through.
This enables a person who is located in the crowd pen area to hold the gate open for the animals. The best chute and corral designs use the behavioral principle of cattle, sheep and other livestock wanting to go back to where they came from.
Round tub systems take advantage of the natural tendency of cattle to circle around the stock person. Simple, efficient designs for sheep and goats utilize full- or half-circle round tubs.
Jason Houston Many commercially available single-file or double-file chutes are designed so that they can be adjusted for different size cattle. Another option is to have two chutes with stationary sides, one for adult cows and another for calves or sheep.
The disadvantage is that large cows from breeds that have really wide bodies may have difficulty walking through them. The pasture entrance is positioned to take advantage of the natural behavior of cattle to return to where they came from.
The handler works the animal’s flight zone and point of balance along the fences of the inside area. A handler working in the inner area takes advantage of the animal’s tendency to circle around him or her.
A Seasonal Approach To Canning Helps Fuel Heritage Acres Homestead I’m willing to send you either ONLINE package 1 or 2 for a 7-day free look.
After working in hundreds of different cattle corrals in New Zealand, I sent 11 corral ideas to a farm magazine that was offering $10 for a good idea. I've added over 100 corral ideas since, plus 18 of the best low-labor designs which have since been the subject of over 50 further magazine articles, and put them into 3 online packages.
* A easy way to mark post positions on the ground from a plan (an idea you'll use for all future building projects). * A corral design in which one guy handles 200 head (PKS 2&3).
Mention the number of cattle you have, and I'll add plans that size. At just 0.65c per idea the online package saves you $78.00 on the book (below).
(placing them in a plastic pocket binder keeps them clean & dry) * I can add layouts that handle cattle & sheep/goats together to any package free.
* You have the option of paying in Aussie, Canadian, Euro, S. African, Brazilian or N.Z. * If you'd prefer to pay by cash (U.S. $ OK) just tell me you've mailed it, and I'll send the package on trust.
* If the PayPal button doesn't work for you (it happens occasionally) please email me, and I'll send you an invoice that you can pay online to get your package. I’ve proven this many times, if cattle won’t go through a gate or into a chute, I just stop for a few seconds to allow them to ‘evaluate’ the space ahead.
I use 8 different ways to draw cattle into and through a corral –- right up to the head gate From food to companionship, to the promise of escape. Enticing, rather than forcing, reduces stress and therefore improves safety.
Where cattle flow easily through well-designed pens and well positioned gates, one person can easily handle, and sort, a hundred or more cattle alone. But sorting cows from calves can be easily done by a gate between two pens.
Once cows discover there’s no exit from the pen they’ve just entered their instinct is to head back towards the entry gate. Shadows & odd color patterns will cause them to hesitate.
Consider sun angles & light sources and decrease shadows by putting solid sides on chutes & crowding pens. Artificial light directly overhead will eliminate some shadows.
It doesn’t make much sense to get into a crowded pen with boisterous animals ten times your weight! I’ve probably suffered more in crowding pens than anywhere else (mostly my toes!).
With a center working platform you’re completely safe as cattle flow naturally around you into the chute. If an animal backs into or kicks a gate when you’re trying to latch it, it can result in a serious dental bill.
There are various simple automatic latch designs you can make yourself. Chute gates should be quick and easy to operate, without hindering movement on the catwalk.
I suggest you move dogs well out of cattle earshot when working in a corral. The fact that dairy cows often start moving towards the milking parlor at milking time shows how comfortable cattle can become with routine.
If possible use the same entry gate, and route through a corral so that cattle become familiar with it. I worked in hundreds of different corrals TB testing cattle for 17 years in New Zealand, and I have since been designing corrals for 20 years, now in Australia.
One particular idea has saved many cattlemen thousands of dollars on materials. Package #3 has 25 ideas that will save you material costs.
Over the years the most enthusiastic responses to my ideas have come from the most experienced cattlemen. “Dave (the veterinarian) says they're the best yards (corrals) he's worked in and tells everyone about them”.
“I found these plans exciting and practical for anyone in the cattle business”. Package 3 includes a super-fast twin-chute design that has trebled the speed of cattle handling for some cattlemen.
“My Dad has been a rancher for 50 years and nothing many impresses him anymore, but these designs made totally sense to him.” The layouts are all draw to scale, and include a simple way of marking exact post positions on the ground.
All the ideas are detailed in 2D and 3D drawings with full measurements (F&I, or metric if requested). A full summary of key measurements is included on the back page for quick reference.
“Your designs have been a great help... my cows are easy to handle by myself now”. I can also add layouts that handle cattle and sheep together for free.
If you have particular slow internet I can either send it to the email of a friend or family, or you have the option of a CD or book (see below). “Your designs have been a great help.... my cows are easy to handle by myself now”.