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Building Corrals

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3 M L & C

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I'm wanting to build some new corrals. I've looked at a lot of people stuff and some plans online I have an idea what I want, but always looking for something better. They are going to be at a main headquarters where sorting working and loading cattle will be taking place. Anybody have any unique ideas or plans to look at?
 

lefty

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Look at every corral you can & pick out the things you like . Build it out of string & sticks & work some imaginary cattle in it before you dig a hole .
An outer loading area keeps the trucks out of the mud .a long ally coming out of the chute with many pens gives easy choices for sorting . If you taper your chute ally narrow at the bottom so cattle cant turn around will save much time . round corners on pens & a very good croud tub to feed the chute & ally .
a corral needs flow , cows need to know how to leave , so when you strip calves the cows are gone & the calves are penned before they know what happened . Build it for your maxinum # of cattle corrals are hard to stretch . no warranty implied .....just my thoughts
 

Soapweed

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There are nice corral set-ups shown in maps and drawings. They look to be wonderful, but there are always variables in real life situations that don't allow these to function quite as planned. A person building corrals for their own use always has to take into consideration other givens. Some considerations that don't allow "book plans" to work ideally are: existing barns and fences already in place, whether or not ground is level, proper drainage, and if the terrain is blow sand or mud. Every operation is different, so corrals must be set up to accommodate for these variables. Good luck in your endeavors.
 

JDBalerman

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Close to the end of a sorting alley build a calf sorting gate. It amounts to a gate with the bottom one or two bars (depending on spacing) designed so that they can be removed. The cattle will crowd down to that end and mill about, and the calves will squeeze out like water through a strainer in the kitchen.
The same thing built between two large corrals will act as a re-unighting gate for cows and calves. After branding or working the calves, sort a large group of cows into these two pens, as desired, then just dump the calves in with them randomly, and by morning they will be all sorted with their mommas.
 

Houston

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If you haven't looked already, I'd recommend reading some of Temple Grandins material on corral design.

http://www.grandin.com/design/design.html
 

4Diamond

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And after you get it all done and work cattle through it be prepared to go back in and change things or add things to your liking.
 

littlejoe

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personal predjudices, etc:

I hate square corners, cattle ball up, don't flow. Don't like rr ties--nasty and like to rot off where spikes were. Not nuts about poles--like split rails or planks better, but maybe not go bio-degradeable at all? Pipe, cement, guard rail?

Stout enuf to hold 99+% is good---at least one pen that'll hold craziest s.o.b. ever born is better.

I think 12' alley for only on foot, 14' for some foot some horse, 16' for all horse is kinda in the ballpark.

A gate hinged directly accros from head catch makes possible a very low labor 2 way sort, coming outa the gate.

Don't like single file alley to be too long---maybe half a dozen cows is plenty.
A provision for getting an upside down cow outa this thing would be neat---wrecks seem to happen.

would look very strongly at bud box over a tub.

If limited # of pens, a couple of small kinda 'jugs' can be very handy---place to stash a few that alla sudden got go someplace different.

Too old to enjoy crawling over fences---man/escape gates, and lots of 'em.

If 'hey, we can also use this alley for...calf table, trimming chute, whatever---if we just move the chute outa the way..." Why not just build another short alley branching off and leave everything where it's at? Ya--not only old, but lazy.
 

3 M L & C

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I think I'm going to use pipe post's in concrete with probably a combo of oil field pipe and sucker rod for the fence. I really like the looks of the silencer turret gate and alley. I don't know anyone who personaly has one but havn't heard anything bad about them ecept the price. I like to work critters with as little help as posible. I like to have calm cattle then someone shows up to help yelling and wanting to use a hot shot on everything. I think the turret gate could do away with that.
 

redrobin

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littlejoe said:
personal predjudices, etc:

I hate square corners, cattle ball up, don't flow. Don't like rr ties--nasty and like to rot off where spikes were. Not nuts about poles--like split rails or planks better, but maybe not go bio-degradeable at all? Pipe, cement, guard rail?

Stout enuf to hold 99+% is good---at least one pen that'll hold craziest s.o.b. ever born is better.

I think 12' alley for only on foot, 14' for some foot some horse, 16' for all horse is kinda in the ballpark.

A gate hinged directly accros from head catch makes possible a very low labor 2 way sort, coming outa the gate.

Don't like single file alley to be too long---maybe half a dozen cows is plenty.
A provision for getting an upside down cow outa this thing would be neat---wrecks seem to happen.

would look very strongly at bud box over a tub.

If limited # of pens, a couple of small kinda 'jugs' can be very handy---place to stash a few that alla sudden got go someplace different.

Too old to enjoy crawling over fences---man/escape gates, and lots of 'em.

If 'hey, we can also use this alley for...calf table, trimming chute, whatever---if we just move the chute outa the way..." Why not just build another short alley branching off and leave everything where it's at? Ya--not only old, but lazy.
Littlejoe is a man that has worked lots of cows. All good advice.
 

RSL

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FWIW - we are currently rebuilding a multi generational setup and are not really changing too much.
I would strongly vote for the bud box over the tub. Also, if you can work cows back in the direction they came from (chute pointing back towards incoming alley) things are much quicker and easier - especially with one person).
Alleyways around 12' are about right for sorting on foot, a bit wider for horse work.
We got a book from onemancorrals.com that has some good stuff, and we are building with steel pipe and 7/8 sucker rod using clamps our neighbour sells. It is cheaper than panels by a lot, much sturdier, and faster than welding. As well, if a cow gets hung up, you undo some nuts rather than busting out the cutting torch. You can also add rails or re-space them quickly and easily.
The only other thing I would say is to spend money on good gates, and quite a few of them. The flexibility is worth the $.
We use a seperate budbox/alley for our loading chute and I would never do it any other way. Since no one gets paid without shipping cattle out, this is a big priority in my mind. We built a solid loading chute and filled it to grade with gravel. The cattle like the footing and load really well.
The one splurge we have done is to purchase an alley and squeeze, and I may run some air line to have an air cylinder operated gate at the end of the chute for sorting.
Also to save $, we have built larger holding pens out a bit further with wire panels, and then further out again with electric wire. Works good to enable lots of cattle to go through without pressure and crowding, and it only takes 5 minutes to bring up a larger draft from the holding area when you are done the ones you are working on.
 

4Diamond

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Pros and cons to bud boxes and tubs alike. All boils down to the user and not over filling them.

Also when working slower is generally faster.
 

GM88

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Dont know if there is anything to this or not , but I load alot of cattle in the afternoon after gather sort etc. I have been told and found it is easier to load cattle with the sun at thier back instead of thier face. Creates more shadows?? I try to build my loading ramps east for this reason, the main one I have now faces west, and loading #s, it does not work well. It came with the place so I am living with it for now.
 

GM88

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Should also mention we are always short handed so cattle need to flow on thier own, might be useless advice I dont know want to hear some feed back on this. A 16' alley also came with the place, to wide for anything I have found .
 

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