Setting up beef cattle corrals and handling facilities is an important part of livestock management. The first thing to consider is a detailed plan that includes a list of the features that are need to haves, nice to haves, and not necessary. It is important to think about the tasks that you complete regularly so that you can put together the ideal corral system that fits your needs. The plan should include everything you could possibly want. Once your plan / design is settled, it’s time to move forward with the project.
The first thing to do is find the right location. You want to choose a convenient location that is centrally located where you can easily bring in trucks and trailers carrying livestock to load and unload them, and that has access to water and electricity. Don’t forget drainage and grading, protection from the elements, and proximity to neighboring properties. It is much easier to adjust a site to add drainage or fix the slope before your facilities have been installed.
If you are planning on expanding your operation in the coming years, it is important to keep that in mind when designing the new cattle corral. You want to make sure your facilities can adapt and grow with the needs of your operation. There are many factors that impact the size and scope of your beef cattle corral design, most importantly the projected growth of your herd.
Cattle equipment of any kind is an investment, and investing in a new cattle corral is a large one for any operation. Choose equipment and cattle corral components that are built to last. Quality matters and will greatly impact the longevity of the equipment you install. While those components may cost more upfront, the longevity of your equipment and safety associated with high-quality parts will pay off in dividends over time. Any cattle management system will require numerous gates therefore, you will want to choose gates from a quality manufacturer such as: Tarter or Behlen and make sure that the hinge side posts are properly installed and that you are using quality hardware and hinges. This is also the time to install gate wheels to support the latch end of your longer gates as they will relieve stress on the hinges and increase the longevity of the gate. There are several manufacturers such as: Valley Vet, Powerfields, and SpeeCo, Farmex however, bar none, the absolute best are made by Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/product-category/gate-wheels-casters/ their #767 16” , flat free, end mount unit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0851QDGZM?ref=myi_title_dp will get the job done. It has a steel hub and dual ball bearing sets so that it rolls easily over even rough terrain or turf. https://youtu.be/OvmIZtE0IyM It is best to take extra time to make the right decision rather than having an impulse purchase you regret down the road because it does not fit your needs.
Sometimes, you have no choice but to work cattle alone. Choosing equipment that gives you the freedom to work cattle by yourself is an important thing to keep in mind because you never know when you may need to pull a calf or treat an animal quickly. Your beef cattle corral should be designed to work livestock solo in the event of an emergency, while also providing the features you need when working with a large group of handlers. Place your cattle alley gates strategically to control the flow of beef cattle, and choose equipment that is designed for a single operator to use.