Cattle Guard Synonyms

There are many names for what we, in the American West, call cattle guards. These effective livestock barriers are a simple series of parallel bars, made with either square or round top rails that are set in the ground across a road. They allow a vehicle tire to simply roll across the gaps created between the top rails while providing a physical deterrent for flat-hoofed animals.

Cattle Guard Installation

cattle guard with wings diagram
Sometimes, they’re ironically called cattle crossings but they’re actually anything but that. They’re designed to prevent livestock from crossing and not to provide a crossing for cattle!

In New Zealand, they are more appropriately called cattle stops and in the United Kingdom can be known as a cattle grid. Australians commonly refer to them as cattle grates and other names in the US include the Texas Gate, livestock guard, and cattle grill. As long as they keep your cattle from wandering away, any name will do.


Even though they’re called different names, they’re both available in steel and concrete. Steel is by far the most common material and they’re seen in use around the county. Concrete offers great flexibility for private use and can be much more economical than steel. They can also be highway-rated like steel.


The most common construction material is steel pipe. The pipe, also known as rails, is available in both flat and round rails. The top rails for the flat top guards are shaped like hexagons and create a flat surface for rolling tires. They’re good for high-speed traffic areas and give a smoother ride to crossing vehicles.

The round is a little more aggressive for livestock. and the concrete can be placed just about anywhere!


Visit Barn World and see our large varieties of whatever you prefer to call them. We have the right configuration for private use as well as highway ratings from the AASHTO for your operation. We can help with any decisions you may be facing.

If you have any questions about them or would like a quote with delivery right to your project site, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help!

Barn World may be reached at and 720-238-2190.


How is a Cattle Guard delivered?

Cattle guards can be one of the most useful time savers when crossing through a fence line. They don’t require you to stop and open a gate only to pull forward and do it all over again. You know how it goes, it’s most likely in deep snow and during a downpour! However, once installed, these long-lasting, set-and-forget livestock barriers can be the ultimate in convenience for you, your equipment, and your guests.

Below are some quick explanations of what to expect regarding the delivery and unloading process for these large cattle grids.

Concrete Foundations

cattle guard on concrete foundations

How is a cattle guard delivered?

Cattle guards are very large, one-piece steel structures that require a long, heavy-duty delivery vehicle. Typically a semi-truck is used which can raise some issues.

Entry and Exit

Due to their long trailer lengths, access to a large delivery and unloading area is necessary. This requires easy entry and exit from the site so the rig may pull through or use a large turn-around area to leave.

Unloading Equipment Requirements

The large weights involved also require that the receiver is able to provide a mechanical means of unloading upon arrival. The delivery vehicle and driver are unable to unload them from the truck so equipment must be present when the delivery is made.

From a shipping perspective, cattle guards are very large and extremely heavy., very heavy, and therefore expensive to ship. They are usually shipped by a freight company on a semi-truck. They can either be shipped inside a box trailer or on a flatbed trailer. If you include the wings, they must be shipped on a flatbed trailer. Consider buying a cattle guard with bolt-on wings as they can be shipped by either flatbed or box trailer and stack nicely. The bolt-on feature allows for more economical shipping are easy to install in the field.

Make sure you have the ability to unload the heavy cattle grid from the trailer when you arrange your delivery date as the freight trucks do not have any kind of un-loader.  You must have a forklift or front-end loader ready when it arrives.

Call Barn World with your cattle guard questions at 720-238-2190 or email today!


Using Cattle Guards for Deer

cattle guard

We get a lot of questions about whether a cattle guard can be effective at keeping deer from entering a property. The answer is yes, and no.

Most people think of deer as quaint and harmless animals, and they can be. Truth be told, they can also cause a lot of damage to landscaped vegetation, such as your prized flowers and expensive plants. They can also be an irritant to pets as well as a physical danger to people and animals during rutting season.

Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to keep them at bay because they’re so athletic. They’re very able jumpers and can easily leap long distances and clear tall heights.

Cattle Guards for Deer Need to be Imposing

To provide an effective barrier and dissuade them from simply jumping over a cattle guard, an extra distance must be created. Typically two are placed side-by-side to create a 12′ – 16′ distance in the direction of vehicle travel. We’ve found that this distance is usually enough to discourage them from attempting to jump across. At Barn World, we do offer pre-drilled guards so they may be bolted together on-site and easily provide the distance needed.

With deer, you want to make sure the barrier is imposing and daunting enough so they don’t attempt to cross. If it’s a distance they think they might be able to jump and aren’t successful, they may become entangled in the guard. They have more slender hooves and legs than livestock and can slide down between the top rails. This presents a dangerous situation where they can injure themselves during a struggle to get out.

Check your fencing for height

Even with the extended distance of two guards on the ground, you’ll also need to be sure your perimeter fencing is tall enough to keep them from jumping over. They’re incredibly good at jumping vertically as well as horizontally.

Cattle Guards and Horses Don’t Mix 

As a quick side note, we do not recommend using cattle guards with horses. A lot of people have used them for years with horses without incident, but the potential risk of injury can be severe. Like deer, they too have a smaller hoof and a slender leg that can slide between the top rails. If that happens, the leg is then exposed to breakage and it can be extremely difficult to get them out. Most horses won’t test the uneven surface of a cattle guard but it’s best not to risk losing your animal, use a gate instead.

If you have any questions about cattle guards, please call (720) 238-2190 or email Barn World at anytime and we’ll be happy to help!

cattle guard installed in roadway for livestock