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Cattle pens (Longhorns)

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Anonymous

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I am planning to build some new holding/loading pens for some Longhorns, and one area I am not sure of is the chute/head gate area. I know longhorns will need more room when going up the chute because of there horns, but I am not sure how to build for this. I have heard of putting plywood or something similiar down one side of the chute so they can turn their head and run the horns along the smooth surface without hanging up. Any design help is appreciated.
 
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Anonymous

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Hey! Hope I can help as we breed and raise Longhorns.

Now, the options: As you know, there are some specialty Longhorn chutes/catch devices on the market which usually run between $2,500 and $5,000. Too expensive in our book. There is also a manufacturer of "sweep" type chute/catch areas...little less expensive.

Traditional headgates do not work very well for a Longhorn with a tip-to-tip spread of more than 18-24". We can probably rule that device out.

One of the best systems we've researched is a simple design or concept called the "Medina Hinge." We built our own from scratch. This system consists of two 10' long heavy duty (crowding type) gates hinged on same end with hinges keeping that end of gates about 9-12" apart. On the other end, a curved piece of steel plate reaching about 6 or 7 feet high from the ground is welded onto steel posts. Along the plate, a series of holes are bored about 6" apart, horizontally, in which to slide a bolt latch into from the gate. (One of the gates is latched to a post at end of the plate with the other gate being used to push or crow the critter into the stationary one.) We have worked longhorns upto to 65" horn with very few problems. This custom unit cost us about $1,500 to build for materials and a welder charging $25. hour.

If you want more specifics, please e-mail me since the webmaster will bleep any product info that is posted. :)

Bill

[email protected]
 

TXBobcat

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Bill, or anyone else with info on the medina hinge,

Can you post some pictures of your Medina Hinge?

From the diagrams I have seen on http://www.candyscorral.com/Library/Management/medinahinge.shtml, it would appear that the length of the gates would need to be about 8' from front to back. This would be about the length of a big cow. As far as the width, it appears maybe 25"-28" between the 2 gates would work.


You said "This system consists of two 10' long heavy duty (crowding type) gates hinged on same end with hinges keeping that end of gates about 9-12" apart." I'm a little confused about the 9-12" measurment, and does it really need to be 10' from front to back? That seems like it would give them to much room to move from front to back, causing you to have to slide bars behind them.
 

lazyhill

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The system that Bill describes is the one that I have seen to work the best. As far as the alleys that lead to the "chute" area. I have seen them vary from 8 foot wide to 4 foot wide. If they are wide, you will need multiple gates for the cattle work their way through. This ensures that they keep going the direction you need them to. If the alley is narrower, you will need some sort of protection along the side (as you decribed) to keep them from getting their horns caught up. At all cost, you want to avoid broken tips.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Ok...we have some photos on our chute area at our site: http://www.runningarrowlonghorns.com goto the toolbar that says "our ranch photos."

The 9-12" hinge separation is on back side of the swing gates. Separation is needed to prevent a "Tight V" squeeze. The 10 ft gates are used in some of the commercial units. Butt bars can be used if needed. Do not put solid sides on the gates. The LHs need space to work their horns thru at their leisure.

If anyone wants more detail, e-mail me and I will email you some other photos of our set-up. Too difficult to put those on messageboard here.

With our set-up we can work calves between about 100 lbs and full sized cow/bull at 1000+ lbs with no problem. The gate that is moved to "squeeze" the animal next to the fixed gate (that swings out after animal worked) has a sliding bar latch that goes into holes on the curved metal backside that is 7' hi x 8 ft long curve. Holes spaced about 4" apart to secure various sized animals.

Hope this clarifies a few things...
 

TXBobcat

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Running Arrow Bill":1pqwzyk0 said:
If anyone wants more detail, e-mail me and I will email you some other photos of our set-up. Too difficult to put those on messageboard here.

Bill,

I PM'ed you my e-mail address. Please send any photos you think would be useful.

Thanks, TXBobcat
 

TXBobcat

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After looking at the picture on your website, I see how the V-shape works.

When giving vaccinations, or working in the head/neck area, have you had to restrain an animal's head with ropes or anything like that? Just wondering how well that works??
 

Running Arrow Bill

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TXBobcat":3vh95vcg said:
After looking at the picture on your website, I see how the V-shape works.

When giving vaccinations, or working in the head/neck area, have you had to restrain an animal's head with ropes or anything like that? Just wondering how well that works??

Yes. Some of our LH's cooperate very well with vaccinations and horn measuring. Others don't like it too much: with these, we tie a thick cotton rope (like a longue line rope for horses) around their horns and draw their head toward the hinged end of the 2 gates.

Everytime we have an animal in the Medina Hinge device (for any purpose) we take hip height, horn T-T, poll diameter, Total Horn measurement, "weigh" them with a weight tape, and spray them for flies before they are released. Will also hand feed a few range cubes after we're done if the animal was a little scared or nervous with the procedures--then let them stay confined for a few minutes until they calm down more.
 
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