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Sorting Alley Width

Stocker Steve

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My old sorting alley is a little narrow at 12 feet. I am tempted to go 16 feet wide x 40 feet long. Is this OK, or should I split the difference and go 14 feet wide?
 

backhoeboogie

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Mine is 20 feet wide with a 20 foot cut gate. I like it. The cut gate position is what makes any size work. If you get the cut gate right, the width does not really have that much importance.

One of the ranchers I help out has a funneled alley wtih a trap gate and push gate. Sorting out of a pen. It does not work all that well and it seems to get the cows spooked.
 

Stocker Steve

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backhoeboogie":fpvd6smv said:
Mine is 20 feet wide with a 20 foot cut gate. I like it. The cut gate position is what makes any size work. If you get the cut gate right, the width does not really have that much importance.

What is the right cut gate position for a 40 foot long pen?
 

backhoeboogie

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I'd go atleast 15 foot behind to dump the ones who are cut out. But in reality it is going to depend on how many head and what they are being cut in to.

There's no way a 40 foot length would work for me. My alley is more like 400 feet with two block gates behind the cut gate. There is a medina, a side catch pen, and loading chute coming off of the side catch as well as a chute with a crowding gate to push them through the chute. The cut gate is about 20 foot behind the side catch pen. Most of the time I can sort everything in the lower block gates and just use the cut gate to sort pairs that get by. It really helps to have another person helping.
 

tytower

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backhoeboogie":1oethy6f said:
I'd go atleast 15 foot behind to dump the ones who are cut out. But in reality it is going to depend on how many head and what they are being cut in to.

There's no way a 40 foot length would work for me. My alley is more like 400 feet with two block gates behind the cut gate. There is a medina, a side catch pen, and loading chute coming off of the side catch as well as a chute with a crowding gate to push them through the chute. The cut gate is about 20 foot behind the side catch pen. Most of the time I can sort everything in the lower block gates and just use the cut gate to sort pairs that get by. It really helps to have another person helping.
I'd like to see aplan or picture of this , any chance?
 

backhoeboogie

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tytower":1o60xi05 said:
I'd like to see aplan or picture of this , any chance?

No problem, except there's no way to get in all in one pic. I think I can get it in three and the portable unit in two. Most of it was on this site before.
 

KNERSIE

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backhoeboogie":29mgaydg said:
tytower":29mgaydg said:
I'd like to see aplan or picture of this , any chance?

No problem, except there's no way to get in all in one pic. I think I can get it in three and the portable unit in two. Most of it was on this site before.

Can you draw a diagram, please. I too would like to see it.
 

backhoeboogie

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I'm going to get some pics of it. My transportable and my permanent. There is a third one that I will not be sending pics of :D

My portable is actually being split between three duties at the moment. It is 24 or so miles apart as the head gate and medina are at my house where I had been back grounding/quarantining some heifers before I mixed them with the herd. Some parts were used by a vet who needed an alley way for his hydraulic units and I had set that up on a place with some of the panels.

The permanent is not a lot different than an alley way at a sale barn execept you only have two side pens on the right with one feeding the working chute. There is a medina in that pen that feeds them into the chute and a loading gate out of the end. In the alley there are gates that can be used to isolate and a 20 foot cut gate to separate problem cows.

My portable set up is what I am most proud of.
 

msscamp

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Stocker Steve":sew9nnw6 said:
My old sorting alley is a little narrow at 12 feet. I am tempted to go 16 feet wide x 40 feet long. Is this OK, or should I split the difference and go 14 feet wide?

I believe I would go with 20 feet wide, since that will give you enough room for the cows to comfortably go by you without turning back. 40' long is not long enough for a sizable herd, and you want to plan your infrastructure for future growth. Our sorting alleys consisted of 2 side by side alleys that were roughly 20' wide, and were accessible from any pen. The main alley was roughly 100 yards long, had 3 gates to divide it into smaller pens, and had 3 more gates(2 opened in one direction, the 3rd opened in the opposite direction) that led into another, shorter(roughly 40-50 yards) alley. The shorter alley had a gate to divide it into 2 seperate pens. There were also gates at each end of the longer alley that lead into 2 different pens, another alley, and another gate that led into a 3rd pen. A 4th pen was accessible through opening/closing other gates. The sweep tub and chute was accessible through the second, shorter alley.
 

Stocker Steve

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msscamp":3pw9eiju said:
I believe I would go with 20 feet wide, since that will give you enough room for the cows to comfortably go by you without turning back. 40' long is not long enough for a sizable herd, and you want to plan your infrastructure for future growth. Our sorting alleys consisted of 2 side by side alleys that were roughly 20' wide, and were accessible from any pen. The main alley was roughly 100 yards long, had 3 gates to divide it into smaller pens, and had 3 more gates(2 opened in one direction, the 3rd opened in the opposite direction) that led into another, shorter(roughly 40-50 yards) alley. The shorter alley had a gate to divide it into 2 seperate pens. There were also gates at each end of the longer alley that lead into 2 different pens, another alley, and another gate that led into a 3rd pen. A 4th pen was accessible through opening/closing other gates. The sweep tub and chute was accessible through the second, shorter alley.

Thanks for the details. I laid it out again - - a 14x40 sorting box before the head gate system, with two wider alleys to hold the main herd till they feed into the sorting box. I am going with railroad ties on 5' centers and planks for the sorting box. Can I guy get by with 8' centers and 48" high cattle panels with a board on top for the wider alleys that serve as holding pens?
 

kenny thomas

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May sound goofy but get some baler twine and lay out the pens like you think you want them. Then walk arould inside and see if it has the room you need. Easy to change design and size of pens if you want to. This is how I done the last one we built and changed a few things to work better. We would not have changed them if we had the pens already built.
 

msscamp

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Stocker Steve":2re4isn1 said:
msscamp":2re4isn1 said:
I believe I would go with 20 feet wide, since that will give you enough room for the cows to comfortably go by you without turning back. 40' long is not long enough for a sizable herd, and you want to plan your infrastructure for future growth. Our sorting alleys consisted of 2 side by side alleys that were roughly 20' wide, and were accessible from any pen. The main alley was roughly 100 yards long, had 3 gates to divide it into smaller pens, and had 3 more gates(2 opened in one direction, the 3rd opened in the opposite direction) that led into another, shorter(roughly 40-50 yards) alley. The shorter alley had a gate to divide it into 2 seperate pens. There were also gates at each end of the longer alley that lead into 2 different pens, another alley, and another gate that led into a 3rd pen. A 4th pen was accessible through opening/closing other gates. The sweep tub and chute was accessible through the second, shorter alley.

Can I guy get by with 8' centers and 48" high cattle panels with a board on top for the wider alleys that serve as holding pens?

I'm not sure what you mean by 8' centers, but 4' high cattle panels aren't going to do it - not even with a board on top. Unless they are pets, they will go through that. It has to be at least 5' high, and 6 is better.
 

Stocker Steve

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msscamp":ekshby2q said:
I'm not sure what you mean by 8' centers, but 4' high cattle panels aren't going to do it - not even with a board on top. Unless they are pets, they will go through that. It has to be at least 5' high, and 6 is better.

My wife has the pets that follow her around. They only need a single strand of twine to hold them.
The high headed ones are all mine. Sounds like a 5' minimum for them.
 

tytower

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A diagram scribbled on a piece of paper is all it would take ,scan it in and post it .
I tried to draw the one with lanes above but well...got nowhere .
 

irked

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personally, i think 20' is way too wide for a sorting alley. i like to be able to cross gates across my alley and a 20' gate is just too much. i also like pens opposite each other off of my alley to sort into. with a helper or a good sorting dog, a 12' alley will let me stand virtually in 1 spot and work 2 gates. if you sort into 2 pens and let some cattle go by to the end of the alley or to the next cross gate, you can cut 3 ways fairly quickly and easily with just yourself and a good dog or other helper. and if your alley isn't too wide, your cattle aren't too rank, and you take your time, you can also do a pretty good job by yourself.
 

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