Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First test of the corral and loading chute with the cows

This is the first time we've used the new corral with full-sized cows.  we've loaded and unloaded various pigs, sheep and goats, but my $5 calves are HUGE now.  The biggest is around 1400lbs, the smaller ones are around 900.  They're between 5 and 6 foot tall at the shoulder. The load/unload chute walls are too short for them; I'm going to extend them up another 18", and I'm going to add more crossbars across the top to prevent cows from going up and over.  These guys were pretty calm, but as you can see their backs are level with the walls of the chute. 

As big as they are, their hips touch both sides as they walk through.  I was a bit concerned about size, but these are my biggest critters, and they fit nice and tight; no way for them to turn around, which is the point. 
The first cow through balked a little; there were turkeys perched on both sides, and the cow didn't like them above her head, so stopped.  We had to move all the turkeys before she'd continue. 
The ramp framing was sufficient to hold 3 of the cows at once, which is good.  This is the hinged part that allows us to move the ramp from side to size to precisely line up with the trailer door.  Worked well.  The slotted part slides out, so that when the ramp is at an angle, you can extend it so that there's no gap a cow can fit through. 
Here's the chute entirely full of cows, following nose to tail. 
Here's my holstein swim team, all safe and sound in the crowding gate area.  Welcome home, critters!


Nancy - Olympia WA said...

I'm so glad to hear you made it through this storm with no losses.

When I'm mucking through my standing water and 'suck your boots off' clay, I remind myself that someone has it worse.

goldforestfarms.blogspot.ca said...

Hey Bruce that looks like a slick system. Glad it is working out for you as you had planned.