HEADGATE

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Anonymous

I am building a working chute that leads to just a headgate (no squeeze), I put 2 4x6 (3.5 feet deep) posts at the end to mount the head gate, and 4x4s behind those to hold the panels up. I plan to brace the 4x6s about 5 feet up back to the bottom of the 4x4s with 2x4s. Will this be strong enough? Most of the headgates I have seen have been mounted to metal pipes. We have an angus bull and cross bred cows. Thanks for any help.

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Anonymous

Sounds very similar to my setup. Your design may work great. Just build it 2x stronger than you think it needs to be especially for that bull. Make sure headgate is mounted with heavy bolts that go all the way thru the 4x6. In my opinion, screws may work loose. Also, don't forget to add top cross-members to the 4x4's that hold up the sides. When done, it might be a good idea to get an old-timer, who's seen most of the tricks that cattle can do, to look at it. Then run the small ones thru first to break it in.

Here's a little about my experience: I first had Priefert #91 headgate on 6x6 CCA all tied into an existing oak wood chute. The oak chute seemed strong, but after working ~15 cows, things started to "move", which gives the cows incentive to struggle even more. To make it sturdy, I rebuilt adding heavy 5.5' tall, 12’ long pipe panels (that all link together) to the inside of the wooden chute. [The old chute was too wide anyway.] Tied end of pipe panel sections to the 6x6 that holds headgate with heavy bolts that go thru the 6x6. This effectively, hangs the headgate on the pipe panel. This setup has worked well for a few years now, although the bull (3-year old angus) really makes it shake when he hits the headgate.

Building all this was great exercise, but if I had it to do again, I'd just spend the money to get the squeeze chute in the first place. I plan to have one (plus a sorting tub) before I work cattle in the fall. The thrill of working cattle on a shoe string budget wears off after a few close calls. If the extra equipment keeps one person from getting hurt, it is worth the cost. You might also look into renting a squeeze chute for the semi-annual round-ups instead of buying one.

One more thing - It seems like no matter how careful you are, headgates tend to get backed into. Mine took a hit from the vet and the automatic mode doesn't work anymore. My neighbor sunk a few heavy round steal posts about 1" in front of his headgate so that the driver gets "audio feedback" before hitting the headgate. Also, remember that (despite the guarantee) CCA lumber does sometimes rot after only a few years.

Good Luck!

Jerry

> I am building a working chute that
> leads to just a headgate (no
> squeeze), I put 2 4x6 (3.5 feet
> deep) posts at the end to mount
> the head gate, and 4x4s behind
> those to hold the panels up. I
> plan to brace the 4x6s about 5
> feet up back to the bottom of the
> 4x4s with 2x4s. Will this be
> strong enough? Most of the
> headgates I have seen have been
> mounted to metal pipes. We have an
> angus bull and cross bred cows.
> Thanks for any help.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

It does sound similar to your setup, I will have a wood frame structure, with 12' panels that innerlock- bolted to the 4x6- it is good to hear that this has worked for you. I do plan on adding extra braces- I was a little worried after I got the posts in the ground, they felt very sturdy, but just didnt look too meaty. I am almost done with everything, and hopefully all will work well. Good tip on sending the smaller cows thru first... I did want a squeeze chute, but shoot, they do like em.. I know they are good though.

Thanks for the information. I am sure I will have plenty more questions in the future.

> Sounds very similar to my setup.
> Your design may work great. Just
> build it 2x stronger than you
> think it needs to be especially
> for that bull. Make sure headgate
> is mounted with heavy bolts that
> go all the way thru the 4x6. In my
> opinion, screws may work loose.
> Also, don't forget to add top
> cross-members to the 4x4's that
> hold up the sides. When done, it
> might be a good idea to get an
> old-timer, who's seen most of the
> tricks that cattle can do, to look
> at it. Then run the small ones
> thru first to break it in.

> Here's a little about my
> experience: I first had Priefert
> #91 headgate on 6x6 CCA all tied
> into an existing oak wood chute.
> The oak chute seemed strong, but
> after working ~15 cows, things
> started to "move", which
> gives the cows incentive to
> struggle even more. To make it
> sturdy, I rebuilt adding heavy
> 5.5' tall, 12’ long pipe panels
> (that all link together) to the
> inside of the wooden chute. [The
> old chute was too wide anyway.]
> Tied end of pipe panel sections to
> the 6x6 that holds headgate with
> heavy bolts that go thru the 6x6.
> This effectively, hangs the
> headgate on the pipe panel. This
> setup has worked well for a few
> years now, although the bull
> (3-year old angus) really makes it
> shake when he hits the headgate.

> Building all this was great
> exercise, but if I had it to do
> again, I'd just spend the money to
> get the squeeze chute in the first
> place. I plan to have one (plus a
> sorting tub) before I work cattle
> in the fall. The thrill of working
> cattle on a shoe string budget
> wears off after a few close calls.
> If the extra equipment keeps one
> person from getting hurt, it is
> worth the cost. You might also
> look into renting a squeeze chute
> for the semi-annual round-ups
> instead of buying one.

> One more thing - It seems like no
> matter how careful you are,
> headgates tend to get backed into.
> Mine took a hit from the vet and
> the automatic mode doesn't work
> anymore. My neighbor sunk a few
> heavy round steal posts about
> 1" in front of his headgate
> so that the driver gets
> "audio feedback" before
> hitting the headgate. Also,
> remember that (despite the
> guarantee) CCA lumber does
> sometimes rot after only a few
> years.

> Good Luck!

> Jerry



[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> It does sound similar to your
> setup, I will have a wood frame
> structure, with 12' panels that
> innerlock- bolted to the 4x6- it
> is good to hear that this has
> worked for you. I do plan on
> adding extra braces- I was a
> little worried after I got the
> posts in the ground, they felt
> very sturdy, but just didnt look
> too meaty. I am almost done with
> everything, and hopefully all will
> work well. Good tip on sending the
> smaller cows thru first... I did
> want a squeeze chute, but shoot,
> they do like em.. I know they are
> good though.

> Thanks for the information. I am
> sure I will have plenty more
> questions in the future.

I know the squeeze chutes are expensive when you look at the dollar cost. But when you look at the cow cost it gets cheeper.

Figure the number of cows you plan to work each year and multiply that by how many times you will work them in a year and then multiply that by ten years. (The amount of time the squeeze chute will last without repair if you keep it clean.) Then divide that figure into the cost of the chute.

The chute becomes much less expensive. And that is not counting the injury to the cows and your self you have advoided.



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A

Anonymous

We had our headgate moubted to 5X5 CCA timbers sunk 2 feet (around here that's considered really deep) into the ground then poured concrete around them to make them more solid. Bolts completely through the timbers with large flat washers will keep things tyight. We ended up building arches over the outside of the panels about half way down the length of each one. If a cow balks and gets her head down and can bulg the alleyway just a little, she'll destroy a lot of equipmrnt trying to get turned all the way around. Experience.

dun

> It does sound similar to your
> setup, I will have a wood frame
> structure, with 12' panels that
> innerlock- bolted to the 4x6- it
> is good to hear that this has
> worked for you. I do plan on
> adding extra braces- I was a
> little worried after I got the
> posts in the ground, they felt
> very sturdy, but just didnt look
> too meaty. I am almost done with
> everything, and hopefully all will
> work well. Good tip on sending the
> smaller cows thru first... I did
> want a squeeze chute, but shoot,
> they do like em.. I know they are
> good though.

> Thanks for the information. I am
> sure I will have plenty more
> questions in the future.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

What we did on Dad's place sounds somewhat similar, except that one side opens up. The headgate is old, but in excellent condition, and mounted onto old railroad ties that are just as stout today as when they were put in 50+ years ago. Attached to one of the railroad ties, and forming one of the sides, is an 8 ft tubular gate that can be opened outward, with one pole that remains in place alongside the cow's ribcage, preventing her from sidestepping. There are also a couple of gates worked in so that you can get into the alley and not worry about having a cow come climbing up your back.

I had my doubts about it while it was being constructed, but it worked great for AI and it appears that it will also work great when a cow has to be forced to allow her calf to nurse.

Ann B

> We had our headgate moubted to 5X5
> CCA timbers sunk 2 feet (around
> here that's considered really
> deep) into the ground then poured
> concrete around them to make them
> more solid. Bolts completely
> through the timbers with large
> flat washers will keep things
> tyight. We ended up building
> arches over the outside of the
> panels about half way down the
> length of each one. If a cow balks
> and gets her head down and can
> bulg the alleyway just a little,
> she'll destroy a lot of equipmrnt
> trying to get turned all the way
> around. Experience.

> dun



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A

Anonymous

Thanks everyone for the replies. I do plan to purchase a squeeze chute, will have to be a future upgrade. I just purchased 8 more pair of great looking cows/calves- I have found that it is very expensive to get in to this business, but I almost have my physical equipment complete. We have fenced off 80 acres in northeast Texas, bought panels, bail feeders, built troughs, bought a sprayer for the tractor, and now building a chute for the headgate--but it is well worth it. I read on here earlier that this beats a psychiatrist-- I appreciated that comment--it makes sense. I love to be around my cows, therefore, I dont mind the work.

I will take yalls advice on the chute.. build it twice as strong as I think it will need to be, then call my neighbor who has a hundred head or so to come look at it for tips and advice..

> What we did on Dad's place sounds
> somewhat similar, except that one
> side opens up. The headgate is
> old, but in excellent condition,
> and mounted onto old railroad ties
> that are just as stout today as
> when they were put in 50+ years
> ago. Attached to one of the
> railroad ties, and forming one of
> the sides, is an 8 ft tubular gate
> that can be opened outward, with
> one pole that remains in place
> alongside the cow's ribcage,
> preventing her from sidestepping.
> There are also a couple of gates
> worked in so that you can get into
> the alley and not worry about
> having a cow come climbing up your
> back.

> I had my doubts about it while it
> was being constructed, but it
> worked great for AI and it appears
> that it will also work great when
> a cow has to be forced to allow
> her calf to nurse.

> Ann B



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A

Anonymous

> Thanks everyone for the replies..... > I will take yalls advice on the
> chute.. build it twice as strong
> as I think it will need to be,
> then call my neighbor who has a
> hundred head or so to come look at
> it for tips and advice..

Call your neighbor now and ask for his critique and/or helpful observations BEFORE you finish the headgate work.
 
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A

Anonymous

That is logical, and I thought about that, but I am using a plan I got from the Canadian link to facilities. I am trying to build it just like the layout suggested.. but now would be a good time-- I can change stuff around easier now that if I were completed..

> Call your neighbor now and ask for
> his critique and/or helpful
> observations BEFORE you finish the
> headgate work.



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A

Anonymous

> I do plan to purchase a squeeze
> chute, will have to be a future
> upgrade.

Don't know what your Fair season is, but you might go to some of the bigger fairs towards the end of the season and make a deal to buy the display model on the last day of the fair and haul it yourself. We got our squeeze chute that way then put a scale under it the next year on the same kind of deal. We made the deal a few days before the fair ended and the dealer was glad not to have to pack up and move that chute one more time, so we were able to talk him way down on price.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Don't know what your Fair season
> is, but you might go to some of
> the bigger fairs towards the end
> of the season and make a deal to
> buy the display model on the last
> day of the fair and haul it
> yourself. We got our squeeze chute
> that way then put a scale under it
> the next year on the same kind of
> deal. We made the deal a few days
> before the fair ended and the
> dealer was glad not to have to
> pack up and move that chute one
> more time, so we were able to talk
> him way down on price.

That is a good idea. I heard this weekend that the Priefert plant, which is just an hour or so away, has a many seconds... that may have some cosmetic flaws, or flaws that have no impact on the function of the product- and the sell them for 40-50% off... that sounds good too. I may be making a trip to Mt Pleasant soon.



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