Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

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Stickney94
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Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Stickney94 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:10 am

I'm making some small changes to my alley and trying to decide if I should have solid walls or half walls or see through bars. The alleyway is inside/under a roof if that makes a difference.

Just curious what others opinions are (if there is an old thread you can point me too that is fine as well, I didn't find one)



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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:48 am

Not sure how much help I am, but, IF you have solid walls, you need a walk platform along the side that you can stand on to move cattle. Solid walls are "supposed" to work best, but hard to move them along or put a bar behind them as they progress up the alley.
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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Bright Raven » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:27 pm

I would not want my alley way to be walled. There are more options on using your alley way if it is open. However, I do wish my Sweep had solid walls.
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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Silver » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:31 pm

Solid and curved. There should be no need to block cattle into a well designed alley, they should step in and flow through. The only time I block is when I vaccinate calves, I block them in and vaccinate in the alley.

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Stickney94 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:43 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:48 am
Not sure how much help I am, but, IF you have solid walls, you need a walk platform along the side that you can stand on to move cattle. Solid walls are "supposed" to work best, but hard to move them along or put a bar behind them as they progress up the alley.
I'm blessed to be both relatively tall and have long arms, but one of my winter projects is to add a platform for my wife/daughter/vet/ai tech to be able to more safely reach over. :D

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by bird dog » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:42 pm

I have open but I think half walls would be best. My last set of pens had a solid wall alley. I didn't like it much. I built a walkway and still didn't like it. Okay with cows, but tough to work with small calves.
The best addition I made to my alley was a very stout sliding gate.
Last edited by bird dog on Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by snoopdog » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:55 pm

If you have a side that you work from, make the other solid.
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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Ky cowboy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:07 am

I have solid on a lease farm it's not bad but I think I'd like open better. I plan on making an adjustable alley at my new farm using trailer Jack's. Mount a board to the bottom part of the jack and secure it to a post at calf height. I think itll work I hope

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by JParrott » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:55 pm

We put up a solid wall tub and alley last summer and have used it about five times so far. We like it and the groups seem to follow the leader better that they did with open sides. We don't have many nervous ones to begin with but it helps overall.

We just ran about 70 head through in 30-45 minutes with two people this past Saturday. No fuss, no muss, and no rough stuff. One old man on the platform on the side and one middle aged man moving cows.

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by gcreekrch » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:18 pm

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by WFfarm » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:28 am

I designed and built the following portable weighing alley to go with our squeeze chute. We have a platform scale that goes in it so we can weigh each calf individually at weaning. Previously we had metal gates with wire panels tied to them. We had trouble getting a good weigh because the calves wouldn't settle down.

This new alley worked great! The solid sides kept them much calmer, 25" width on the inside they did not try to turn around. There are vertical slots thru the plywood so we could slide a board behind them to keep from backing up. With the old gate system we'd slide a bar thru, but they would sit on it and mess up the weight. It was better to have some opening at the top so you could see them and scoot them forward.
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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Stickney94 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:52 am

WFfarm wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:28 am
I designed and built the following portable weighing alley to go with our squeeze chute. We have a platform scale that goes in it so we can weigh each calf individually at weaning. Previously we had metal gates with wire panels tied to them. We had trouble getting a good weigh because the calves wouldn't settle down.

This new alley worked great! The solid sides kept them much calmer, 25" width on the inside they did not try to turn around. There are vertical slots thru the plywood so we could slide a board behind them to keep from backing up. With the old gate system we'd slide a bar thru, but they would sit on it and mess up the weight. It was better to have some opening at the top so you could see them and scoot them forward.
Image
I'm incorporating a scale platform into my alleyway which is why I asked the original question about walls. Good to know about calmness for weaning calves. Precisely my potential issue. Thanks!

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Dave » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:18 pm

I have some material called drier felt. It came from a pulp mill (for free). It looks like canvas but with metal screen woven through it. The first I ever saw it was on docks on the lower Columbia River. It was used by people to make a surface that didn't get slick. Then I saw it used to create a solid wall on a sweep tub. I use it for the sweep, gates in crowd areas and other places where a solid wall or a solid appearing wall is beneficial. Just cut it to fit and wire or zip tie it in place. Cows are less likely to jump or other wise try a fence that appears to be solid.

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by Ky cowboy » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:57 pm

Dave wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:18 pm
I have some material called drier felt. It came from a pulp mill (for free). It looks like canvas but with metal screen woven through it. The first I ever saw it was on docks on the lower Columbia River. It was used by people to make a surface that didn't get slick. Then I saw it used to create a solid wall on a sweep tub. I use it for the sweep, gates in crowd areas and other places where a solid wall or a solid appearing wall is beneficial. Just cut it to fit and wire or zip tie it in place. Cows are less likely to jump or other wise try a fence that appears to be solid.
We have a papermill locally. That felt is really good stuff last forever.

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Re: Alley Design -- Solid walls or see-thru

Post by BigBear56 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:41 am

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I wrastled with that decision as well. Ultimately ended up doing something in between. 3x3x1/4” tube, I think I’m 29” inside width. I’ve got some fatties that have to pour themselves in there. It works great with multiple places to throw a 4x4 behind them and with the outriggers I can use it anywhere. (2) 10’ sections. And I use a bud box design to get them in.

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