Cattle CORRALS & GATES
Cattle Corrals, the Basics: Non-Standard Solutions for Unconventional Creatures
Cattle are interesting creatures to say the least. They seem to intuitively know when outsiders are watching or cameras are rolling and adjust their personalities accordingly to support the stereotypical quiet, submissive nature of their species. If you’re accustomed to handling these guys and gals, you know they can stray quite a bit from the cliché. This being the case, having the right livestock or cattle corral system and gates in place is as important to their well-being as proper care and nourishment.
Cattle Corral Strength is Crucial
Ladies of the species typically weigh in at around 1,600 pounds with males outranking them by upwards of 800. They’re easily spooked if you approach them without announcing your presence, and if they happen to acquire an itch they can’t reach with their tails, they’ll lean into the nearest solid surface available. With smaller livestock like goats, this might not be much of an issue, but cattle can easily set a domino effect into motion if they put the full force of their size and weight behind their intentions.
Your fencing needs to be strong and sturdy; at the same time, it needs to offer cattle a barrier they can see, so they understand where their boundaries are. Whether you’re using barbed wire, running an electrical current or relying on routine alone, structural integrity of your fencing, depth and spacing of posts and adequate bracing all play into the safety and effectiveness of your cattle corral. If your corral system isn’t designed and installed to hold up to the livestock inside, it’s nothing more than a waste of time and money.
Adaptability Gives You Greater Ability
In the event the size of your herd varies throughout the year, your fencing needs to be able to easily accommodate your space requirements. With typical fixed options, the cost of tearing down and rebuilding the entire corral system to fit those changing numbers tends to add up both financially and physically. Modular corrals are a more flexible alternative to the norm, allowing you to more quickly, easily and inexpensively adjust the size of your holding and moving areas based on immediate need.
Create a Gated Cattle Community
As is the case with corral fencing, gates need to serve their intended purposes. Installing stable posts and heavy-duty hinges is as important as the gates themselves. Aside from that, your latches need to offer immunity to both inadvertent and intentional escapes.
Just how far into the ground your gateposts need to be driven depends on location, typical climate in the area, size of the gate and several other factors. While gates are bound to sag over time, the right types of hinges give you the option of adjusting accordingly. Simple ropes might fit the bill, but ease-of-use and durability need to be kept in mind.
A number of experienced cattle ranchers advise against chain latch systems as well as certain slam latches because they can be difficult to operate in a pinch and potentially pose dangers to your livestock. That being said, custom latches from a company specializing in these matters could certainly offer the best of either world without the drawbacks.
All Things Considered for Cattle Corrals & Gates
Cattle present unique challenges for their handlers. Though they’re notorious herd-followers, each member of your clan has his or her own distinct personality. If you could count on everyone to behave and follow your guidance all the time, any corral system would do; however, that’s not going to be the case.
Since one cow deciding to balk could bring about total mayhem and a single untimely itch has the potential to bring the entire line to a halt or send them all running in the wrong direction, strong fencing; sturdy gates; and hardy, simple-to-operate yet cattle-friendly latches all work together to keep order on your property. Your needs aren’t going to be the same as a fellow handler. You need a corral system based on your unique specifications.
Modular fencing offers you all the benefits you’re looking for without a great deal of added expense and effort. Whether you have a standard or unconventional system in place, your gate could be the weakest link if it doesn’t hold up to your herd or meld with your standard operating procedures. Though each handler has his or her own preferences when it comes to a latching mechanism, this too needs to be part of a system that’s effective, efficient and safe for those on either side of the situation.