Holding Pen and Chute

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Nov 18, 2007
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I am going to build a holding pen with loading and head gate chute. Wooden fence posts, concrete and lumber is very expensive. I am thinking possibly going steel pipe. I need some advice. What is the overall cost per lineal foot installed compared to building it myself. I am just to darn old to do it twice.
Cost changes based on gauge of steel. I have built several holding and catch pens and even made my own head gates and from now on I am just buying pre-made stuff that is mobile. Always seems that after I built something permenant I wanted it changed its location and design. Also, I just can't afford to build something in all the places that I need it and it always took me a really long time to build everything and alot of physical strength. So now as I can afford it I just buy cattle panels and add on to my portable alley with roll gates. I built my own portable chute and head gate out of 2 inch, 1/8" walled tubing. I put exit gates on both sides which I bought, and made a palp gate on one side. After everything I spent about $600 making it and I think for $1500 I could have bought one that worked alot better then what I built, so I saved about half but had a lot of time into it and safety concerns are a big issue as far as the gates to control movements and stuff like that.
Mine are portable. Each panel is 20 foot long and 5 foot 2 inches tall. They have 3 inch end, center, vertical tube steel posts. The top and bottoms are 3 inch by 1 1/2" rectangular tube steel. They are faced with 20 foot by 5 foot sheep panels with a 4 inch grid. The ends pin together with 3 inch tube steel members top and bottom. Here is a break down of cost per panel at current prices.

3 inch vertical tube steel members 5 feet tall - $27.40

1 1/2 inch by 3 inch rectangular tube steel top, bottom and mid rail - $52.80

20 foot by 5 foot sheep panel stitch welded to the steel- $38

2 inch tube steel eyes on end for pins is 4 pieces cut 6 inches long, 1 1/4 inch pipe pins 14 inches long (1 5/8 O.D.) with scrap metal slide cap - $18.50

$137 total per 20 foot panel. Plus paint. Welding rod cost too needs to be considered.

You can set them on wood for cribbing. I use scrap 2 by 4 or 2 by 6. That keeps it off of the ground and prevents rust and galvanic corrosion.

It takes 2 people to manually load each panel on a flat bed.

I can disassemble and load it all on a flatbed with the tractor bucket in less than an hour. That includes the chute and head gate, medina hinge gates, cut gates, crowding gate, slide gates and panels.

Sometimes I haul it to the house and just use a part of the whole system. It all depends of where animals are, how many I am backgrounding etc.

Cows have hit it pretty hard at times. Once they actually moved one of the back corners about 6 inches so I have started driving one T- post at the chute to hold it all in place.
if you can weld an have a welder.building your own steel corral would be cheaper.my corral is made out of 2 7/8 drill stem an 16ft cattle panels.with drill stem post set every 8ft.an 1in sq tubing welded every 8ft for support.an drill stem for the top an bottom rails.you could also build your corral out of gardrail welded to steel drill stem posts.an id make it atlest 6ft tall.so wild cattle cant jump out.
I just got thru bidding a set of holding and working pens on the big holding pens
using 3 1/4" od sch 40 post and a 1 1/4" od sch 40 runners with a 2 3/8 top rail the cost per ft for labor and material was $10 pr ft and gates are $14 per ft, the working alley and tub was figured at $12.50 per ft hope this helps

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