Working pens

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Nov 16, 2015
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Sorry for the poor drawing but this is what I'm working on.
I have the two lots, alley, chute finished but still working on the drive through load out/crowding area.

A variation of this but with a drive through load out opposed to backing up to it

It just doesn't seem like a set up to handle several dozen head.

How do you channel the cows into that pen?

My "alley" was a fenced road. Each time the cows changed pastures they went down that alley. Each time I cubed them they were fed in that alley. I can't see getting 81 cows and their various staged calves into that pen. You'd have a tough time sorting thirty in that set up, in my opinion.
You're still way ahead of people who have absolutely nothing. It amazes me that some people have pastures with nothing to help a cow when she is in trouble.
I don't have all the gates in place and using panels as gates for now but it works pretty smooth.
Bring all cattle in west gate and push into east pen.
Stand in gate between two pens.
Hold what you want to keep and let others filter out.
Close gate between pens.

Swing gate open in NE corner to the load out/chute pen.
Push cattle in and use the gate to crowd to alley and chute.
Exiting the chute you can release to the west pen, but for any reason you want to release one back to the east pen you can close the gate in front of chute and release the cow out of the head gate

To load out cattle repeat above but pull trailer into the load out.(gates on both ends)
Push cattle in load out pen and use gate to help push in trailer

Pretty simple and easy for a 1 man operation
i always wondered how you get cows into a pen in the middle of a field.

as well the one in the pic..not the drawing looks kinda wide open to get them to do anything..if I don't crowd mine into a corner they don't wanna go that way
Bribing. put something they want in there, get them coming in a couple times then shut the gate behind them. A good dog can put them in there, or very rarely - luck.
All out cattle are cube broke and we put the water for those traps in the pens so the cattle are use to going in. We have fence lines or small traps attached that you can kind of help push any stragglers in.

If your cattle are easy to handle and you are confident that will work then its a good set up.

My family has a set of pens at one place that is a circle with a chute made in along one edge. There is one gate in the whole set up to let the cows in the big pen and close behind them. It has been the same for all 30 years of my life except for about 10 years ago they added another gate on the end of the chute. Now it has 2 gates. That's not how I operate but it has worked for them for a long time.
Southwest corner (bottom left) I labeled trap fence. To bring cattle in.

I just separated cows and calves to spray for flies and ear ticks.
I didn't want a calf injured when spraying so I separated them

Put them all in east pen and stood in the gate and let the cows back to west pen and turned calves back.

Calves ran around and my hose wasn't long enough to reach them so I put them in the load out/chute feed pen and sprayed them.

No problems so far but I take it quiet, easy very seldom say a word or get out of a walk.
I try not to excite or upset them.
Slow and easy
RanchMan90":1xxuxmum said:
Looks functional to me. You can't make everyone happy, but I think it'll work well for a small herd of gentle cattle :2cents:

I wasn't looking for validation or approval, simply stating what I was working on.
Cross-7":3n4zcyg7 said:
RanchMan90":3n4zcyg7 said:
Looks functional to me. You can't make everyone happy, but I think it'll work well for a small herd of gentle cattle :2cents:

I wasn't looking for validation or approval, simply stating what I was working on.
Well you didn't find much :lol2: That's the same attitude I have too though.
Cross-7":1bk9iiid said:
I wasn't looking for validation or approval, simply stating what I was working on.

You're working. That's value. It sounds like your set up is adaptable or can be easily manipulated into something different. If your need shift 3 years from now, you've already got a good start.

The rest of it is no different than a Ford versus Chevy versus Dodge. If you came out and looked at my set ups, they probably wouldn't suit you either.
Best thing to do is try it out and see how it works. That's the only way you'll be able to see if you need to make corrections or if all is OK. I think it looks like a good set up. Let us know if you make changes.
I like your version (the drawing) better than one in the photo. Your drawing has a sweep gate--their's does not that I can see. Some of mine don't like to make a right angle turn. The good thing about those panels is you can shape it like you want it as you try different versions. The bad thing about those panels is it only takes one asshole cow to turn it into new geometric shapes never before seen by man. Once you get it like you need it, put some posts down in the pressure areas to hold the shape.
I have way more trouble in the 12'x24' sweep alley (sweep gate is halfway down the alley) than anywhere else.

I do my sorting just after where the sweep gate closes. Sliding gate, then a 3 way sort gate. Right leads to loading chute. Straight leads to headgate. Left leads back out to another holding area.
Your drawing is a starting point, apt to be changed and improved as you use it. You'll get it like you want it eventually. One antsy animal is all it will take to show you the weak areas. :lol2: :lol2:

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