Cattle guards are not effective for all animals
As we’ve stated in previous posts, cattle guards are not designed as a deterrent for all animals or even all livestock. To illustrate the point, here’s a cute little Beagle on YouTube that summoned the courage to cross a guard on it’s own even thought the gap between the pipes presents a real challenge.
This neat little video shows how non-hoofed creatures can navigate their way across and this little guy who is still pretty young was able to find his way.
Cattle guard: designed for most hoofed animals
Called by many names; cattle gaps, Texas gates and many more, they are specifically for cows, bulls and deer and some other hoofed animals. The major exception that we don’t recommend them for are horses. The equine animals have slender legs and smaller hoofs that can allow their legs to slip in-between the pipe and when their hoof hits the bottom of the vaulted area, it can expose their legs to breaking at it’s most vulnerable point on the leg. A horse will most likely spook at the surprise of being in such a precarious situation and will probably struggle to get out. This can lead to spooking it’s way to a broken leg which no one wants. We recommend only gates for horses.
Goats, sheep and other smaller hoofed, sure-footed livestock are also able to cross the guards. We also recommend traditional standard gates for these animals as well.
While they can be an effective barrier for all animals, they are designed for cattle and work best with this type of livestock. Other animals are simply too sure footed, cleaver or have soft pads that allowing crossings without too much trouble.
If we can help answer and questions or provide any guidance for your particular project, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We will be more than happy to help with small private plans or larger commercial or public roadway and government jobs.