Building a New Corral

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ClinchValley

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We are redoing our corral with RR ties and milled lumber. The existing corral was built with the same materials and lasted close to 30 years. But it is unsafe at this point.

The old corral posts were tamped in. I've been thinking about using concrete this time around. At least on the corners and gate posts. Is there any reason to stay away from concrete? I'm not a carpenter/construction guy. Fill bottom of hole with gravel/rocks. Set post atop the gravel/rocks, and fill around with concrete. Leaving the bottom of the posts free of concrete. Would this help prevent rot?

We plan to cover it next year or so.

Tamped in or concrete…what do y'all do?
 
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ClinchValley

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What kind of post spacing do you all do on a corral? The current is 6' spacing. I'm planning to go back with the same except for the alley leading to the squeeze. Thinking about 4' on those.

Doing 6 feet tall.

Thought about making the working alley to where the cattle cannot see through the sides. Are there any cons to this? Keeping it where i can still climb in/out. But put boards on both sides of the posts, kind of like a privacy fence is put together. Alternating on each side going up, to where it cannot be seen through.

Also, do those of you with a bud box design regret doing so?
 

bird dog

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I built a bud box with cattle panels to try out to see if I would like it. It works okay and works better if you cover the panels with a tarp or something they cant see through. One thing I did not like is you have to get in there with the cattle most of the time. I would not build another one. I prefer the traditional tub design.
 

cowgirl8

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If you decide to use concrete, make sure its filled just to the top of the ground. Husband built an extension on our corrals and let the concrete mound above the ground and it set. So, when I mow I cant get near the post. ugh....I have no idea if it would be a good idea to use concrete, but all our H sections are concreted in.
We have a very very old set of corrals that came with our place. We've been here 30 years and it was old then. It has rough milled lumber in it and is all in pretty good shape but we never use them due to where they are. We've thought about taking them down and planing down the boards to reuse.
 

Brute 23

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Don't use concrete and wood. It will rott off right at the concrete level every time.

Also make sure you are getting quality RR ties. I have not seen any of the modern ties hold up. It's not worth risking putting all that time and money in just for them to fall apart in a couple years IMO. Buy good posts and be done.
 

Kingfisher

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Rafter S":3172yn7i said:
I never put concrete around posts because I've had to replace too many of them after someone else has.
There hard to deal w when they have concert around them
If you have good post and soil you can pact you don't need cr
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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There is a good creosote treatment plant not all that far from you. On a project that involves that much labor, I'd have to seriously consider using new material. Let me know if you need the contact info.
 

C-Ranch

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What about using 2 7/8" steel posts? Also getting ready to build a new corral (old one is falling down) and have been going back and forth between steel posts and railroad ties. The rest of the corral will be steel panels so leaning towards steel, but have seen some nice corrals that have used railroad ties.
 

rcoon1011

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Without Concrete, the cattle cannot be tied off and reeled in anywhere, they will rip them right out of the ground! Just experienced this at a friends ranch, went back with 3 feet of concrete on all poles. Mere sand will never hold a full grown cow! :)
 

Brute 23

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C-Ranch":ykmobhuc said:
What about using 2 7/8" steel posts? Also getting ready to build a new corral (old one is falling down) and have been going back and forth between steel posts and railroad ties. The rest of the corral will be steel panels so leaning towards steel, but have seen some nice corrals that have used railroad ties.

I would not trust cattle pannels stapled to wood posts. I have personally not had cattle pens like that but I had a big hog trap and we had to staple the panels every square, top to bottom, on every post. The hogs would hit the sides and start pulling staples.
 

greybeard

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rcoon1011":13ehzvd7 said:
Without Concrete, the cattle cannot be tied off and reeled in anywhere, they will rip them right out of the ground! Just experienced this at a friends ranch, went back with 3 feet of concrete on all poles. Mere sand will never hold a full grown cow! :)
Depends.
If you're still talking about cross ties or sawed surplus utility poles, I've never had a snubbin post come out of the ground, and have had to pull some and it was all my Case Backhoe/loader could do to pull them out.
Slick sided steel posts in sand might be a different story tho. On a post used for snubbing off, he could always weld some 1" X 4" rods to the post on the part that's in the ground to give it more resistance to being pulled out.
I don't use much steel and don't have any sand except down by the river and I don't work cows down there so it isn't an issue here.
Something like this I guess but folks that use steel posts probably have a better idea and thoughts on it..




 

rcoon1011

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I am in South TX and yes, it is all sand, it cannot hold anything slick and gets loose very easily, especially with T-posts. We have to install and maintain and strong backs every 50 feet to minimize movement. Thanks for the idea on rods on bottom of poles, have plenty of rebar and will try the idea on back 40 projects.
 

rcoon1011

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I am in South TX and yes, it is all sand, it cannot hold anything slick and gets loose very easily, especially with T-posts. We have to install and maintain and strong backs every 50 feet to minimize movement. Thanks for the idea on rods on bottom of poles, have plenty of rebar and will try the idea on back 40 projects.
 

C-Ranch

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Brute 23":2ho9qmuq said:
C-Ranch":2ho9qmuq said:
What about using 2 7/8" steel posts? Also getting ready to build a new corral (old one is falling down) and have been going back and forth between steel posts and railroad ties. The rest of the corral will be steel panels so leaning towards steel, but have seen some nice corrals that have used railroad ties.

I would not trust cattle pannels stapled to wood posts. I have personally not had cattle pens like that but I had a big hog trap and we had to staple the panels every square, top to bottom, on every post. The hogs would hit the sides and start pulling staples.

The panels are 6 rail and are very heavy ( takes 3 guys to move 1 panel) so they use metal strapping to lag screw them on to railroad ties. I agree flimsy staples wouldn't hold up much. I just figured the railroad ties might provide a little give over steel posts if an angry bull/cow decided to hit it...idk..
 
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ClinchValley

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I completely forgot I started this thread. Thanks for the responses.

Have had lots of work come up and haven't had time to mess around on the farm much.

I've been yay'n and nay'n on the concrete for weeks in my head. My Papaw didn't use concrete. I believe the reason it has failed is he didn't keep the animals out/off the corral. They had access all the time. Which I am sure served his purpose. But seems it was hard on it.

I've got around 100 cedars in the dry. Cut them last Summer and Fall. They've got good size to them with a good bit of redwood. I had considered using them in some places. A great majority of the RR ties I have secured are in great shape. Some not so much. I'm probably going to use the not so good pieces in landscaping projects.

We recently got a used squeeze. And to be honest, it has eaten up a lot of my funds. We do plan to cover this structure next year in hopes of slowing the decomposition of the in ground posts.

So do I gather that some of y'all have not liked the bud box thing? Prefer a sweep type setup?

I found some 5' tall corral panels on CL for a pretty fair price. The 6' are a little out of my price range. I did think about using some 6' corral panels for the alley leading to the chute. Making it 24' in length.

I'm always by myself when i need to do something with the moo cows. So if a bud box isn't ideal, I do not want to put in all this work and find i need to change it.

I've got Limo/Char cattle for the most part. Some are high headed. Some are very chilled out. I've got the movement by pressure thing down for the most part. But that is one thing i've been concerned about by the bud box. Would hate to have one turn on me.

Also, i have decided against the alternating board thing. Broken legs are something i hadn't thought of. Will just make it solid on one side. I just don't know how i will climb out if i find the need.
 
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ClinchValley

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Also, one more ?

We've always loaded through the alley and head gate. IMO I hate this. Seems the cattle are terrified to go through the gate and into the trailer. This results in driving them into the trailer. I absolutely hate this. But its how it has been done here for a while. Does it make any difference in a cow's perception to have a diverter in front of the chute to a load out? I'd rather them not be terrified of the chute. And would like them to think the trailer is "A OK"
 

bird dog

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Its not easy without seeing your place but to me and what I built, it works better to load out from a wider space than the normal alley. On my pen set up the alley running to the tub is 7' wide and I can open a gate that goes off at a 45 degree angle into a short load out area. They never see the tub or the chute,

The load out area is about 12' long and has another gate to swing against them to close it down to a small area to force them into the trailer. The second gate is heavy and keeps me away from the cattle when one turns back. I also built up the ground to slope up to where they don't have to jump to get into the trailer.
 

pricefarm

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Not sure 5 feet is tall enough. If the cow can get her head over the top they will try and jump. I build my corral 6 ft tall and sometimes one will try and jump.
 

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