Cattle Guards and Horses – A Word of Caution from Barn World

Cattle Guards and Horses

Lately we’ve been receiving a lot of calls for cattle guard quotes from horse owners. I wanted to give a quick review of why they’re not recommended for use with horses and why a traditional livestock gate is your safest alternative.


Cattle Guards vs. Gates

A red livestock gate with a locking chain attached cattle guard installed in the road with a truck driving over it

 

Dangers of cattle guards

Although cattle guards are very popular and provide the ultimate ease of access to all your pastures. They can also be very dangerous when used with horses as they have a more slender hoof and leg than a cow. These physical differences can allow a horse’s hoof to slip between the cattle guard rails. When this happens, they can slide down between the top rails until they reach the bottom of the vaulted area.

This exposes one of the weakest parts of their leg directly to the cattle guard rails itself. This ‘fall’ into the guard can lead to a struggle to free itself. It is an extremely difficult situation and can be very hard to even assist the horse in freeing itself.

The safest and really the only viable alternative to a cattle guard for horses is a gate. It may be less convenient than driving over a cattle guard, but it is certainly safer than exposing your horse to a possible broken leg.

As a quick side note: There are other hoofed animals that can easily cross the barrier. Goats, sheep and other sure-footed livestock that are very nimble can quickly learn how to get across the curved rails. Of course animals with pads, such as cats and dogs can also learn to tip-toe across the rails and escape to freedom!

 

Concrete Cattle Guards

As a quick point-of-interest, there are concrete cattle guards that are designed to prevent a hoof from sliding down between the top barriers.

The top vertical cross members are rounded concrete that taper together to a distance of 2″ at the bottom. This prevents the hoof from falling through and exposing the leg to breakage.

concrete cattle guard

Advantages Of Concrete Cattle Guard Forms

This style doesn’t require a vaulted area or foundation for support. They are built to sit directly on the ground without an open vaulted area underneath as seen in traditional designs. It’s recommended that they rest on a flat surface such as a bed of gravel to aid in drainage. Draining water away from any site is important for the longevity of any structure.

cement cattle guard form

The other nice thing is that you make them yourself in a re-usable plastic form!  This is beneficial in two ways:  lower shipping costs than steel and you can make as many as you like.  Set them side-by-side to create larger crossings and never have to worry about a hoof sliding through some steel rails!

 

Help with cattle guards

If you’re considering using a cattle guard where horses are present, we would suggest that you use a traditional farm gate or livestock gate and realize the inconvenience of operating the gate is well worth preventing the risk of injury to your horse.

Take a look at some of our Sioux Steel Livestock Gates in the video below and if you’d like a shipping quote to your address, just let us know!

Livestock Gate review:

If you have any questions or if we can help with your cattle guard decisions, please let us know and we’ll be more than happy to help.

 

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Hay feeders from Barn World

Although the grass is starting to grow and hay becomes more plentiful, it’s still important to contain your feed costs with a hay feeder from Barn World Livestock Supplies.  Wasted hay is a common problem that can increase feed expense as wasted hay is money down the drain.  Selecting the proper equine or livestock hay feeder for your animals is not only a simple and effective way to keep costs low and profits up, but it will also save you time refilling and cleaning up the blown-around trampled hay.  Make sure you get one before the price of feeding sneaks up on you in the summer months.

Selecting the right hay feeder

There are many different styles of hay feeders for every budget and all will produce large savings that will allow them to pay for themselves in short order.  Designed for everything from large round hay bales, square bales and even as small as feeding individual flakes, there’s a feeder that will minimize waste and provide years of higher profits.  Selecting the right one for your animals is quick and easy.

Hay feeders Styles

Rack and Trough Feeders

Combo, or rack and trough feeders are very popular as they serve a double duty:  They suspend the hay for consumption over a trough which can be used to feed supplements and also catch loose hay before it hits the ground.  Your animals will easily pull the scraps out of the feed trough and not waste fallen hay.

Combo hay feeders are designed for goats, sheep, horses and cattle by varying the height of the trough.  The most common heights are:

  • Sheep – trough height 20″
  • Horse – trough height 30″ and 36″
  • Cattle – trough height 23-1/2″

Their versatility allows them to feed both hay and/or grain & minerals when necessary, which is a very convenient feature when supplementing diets and they are available for both round bales and square.

One of the most popular and indestructible of the cattle hay / grain feeders is this large 600 pound, skid-mounted bale feeder:

A large yellow cattle hay feeder that can also feed grain to livestock

Large cattle hay feeder

Made from a very heavy 2″ x 2″ square 16 gauge tubing, this almost eight foot square feeder stands 72″ tall and is one of the toughest out there.  It can accommodate both square and round bales and has an 18 gauge steel pan with rolled edges to avoid any cuts on your cattle.  The center is composed of outward angling tubing to keep the hay on the outside where your cattle can reach it.  To ensure longevity and make it the toughest around, it is an entirely welded design that contains not nuts and bolts, eliminating wobble and torquing.  It’s one solid piece designed to last a lifetime!

Below is a quick video tour of this indestructible hay feeder from Sioux Steel:

Hay hopper round bale feeders

Along the same design as the combo feeders, the Hay Hopper Round Bale Feeders suspend the hay with chains and come with or without a skirt at the bottom.

A green hay feeder with a hay bale suspended in it.

Cattle eating from hay feeder

The skirted hay hopper feeder does will with buffalo and cattle too.  It has a large 7′ 6″ inside diameter and is made with 14 gauge, 1-1/4″  square tubing. Built for round bales, it stands 68 inches tall and has 16 feeding stations – a lot of cattle can eat at once!  It’s unique chain design allows a large bale to be dropped in from the top for livestock to access below. The steel skirt keeps the wind from blowing around the straw and presents it for easy consumption.  This particular feeder is powder coated and all tubes are either capped sealed to keep water out.  Its bolt together, two-piece design allows this feeder to be easily ship economically throughout the United States.

Round bale feeders

The traditional round bale feeder is made from a steel skirt with a large diameter to accommodate field bales and will have stanchions to separate animals during feeding time.  Built to be extremely tough and left out in the elements, these heavy-duty feeders coming in all types of shapes and sizes.  The most popular design is of course is round, and usually in an 8 to 9 foot diameter for your largest bales.

Below is an example of a round bale feeder with a closed bottom and mud legs to keep the skirt from resting directly on the ground.

A large yellow horse hay feeder.

Large hay feeder

A cradle style bale feeder with a large round bale in pasture.

Cradle bale feeder for livestock

These feeders are powder coated or galvanized to protect them from rust and are designed to give years of feed savings.

A big cattle and horse hay feeder with a cowboy next to it.

Round bale feeder for cattle and horses

Another very tough round bale feeder is the Bull Tuff feeder.  The bull tuff round bale feeder is very large and extremely robust with twelve openings and nine mud legs to keep it entirely off the ground. The three-piece design allows it to be shipped very economically.

Plastic Horse Hay Feeder

Our most popular for horses is poly round horse hay feeder from Sioux Steel.  Designed from the beginning specifically for horses, all of the joints are overlapping to eliminate any kind of sharp edge and all bolts our countersunk into the walls to prevent any cuts or scrapes to equine legs.

A poly round horse hay feeder with a round bale in it and a horse walking by.

Horse walking by a large hay feeder

Brochure picture of the poly horse hay feeder

Horse hay feeder diagram

A woman loading the horse hay feeder in a pasture.

Setting up the horse hay feeder

 

Extremely easy to maneuver at only 80 pounds, it can be rolled into position and dropped over the round bale quite easily.  Once in place, the legs also have the ability to be staked down in high wind areas if necessary.  The thoughtful 4-piece design allows it to be shipping in four pieces, keeping shipping costs low and economical to send to send to any of the lower 48 states.

To keep profits up, you’ll need to keep expenses down and a simple and efficient hay feeder is the best way to make sure you realize both goals.  Don’t wait until prices skyrocket this summer to invest inequality hay feeder from BarnWorld.com

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Cattle Guards from Barn World

barn world cattle guard logo

Cattle Guards – an effective invisible livestock gate!

A properly installed cattle guard is an effective and popular livestock control devise that saves valuable time and effort. Available with the highly effective round top-pipe for the maximum hoofed animal deterrent and the flat top-pipe which provides a smoother ride for your vehicles while creating a barrier for livestock, it is easy to establish a safe perimeter to your pastures while granting the best ease of access possible. It won’t matter who’s crossing your land, they will never leave a gate open and cattle won’t be wandering off on their own.  Keep your livestock safely contained with a simple and very effective cattle guard.

There are many different types available, but the most common and effective are the flat top rail and the round top rail designs. Each of them is available with an engineered, heavy-duty highway rating, wings and the flat top rail can even ship  with pre-cast concrete foundations!


Round Top Rail Cattle Guards

These are the traditional design style in use all over the country. Typically they’re made by welding round pipe to the top of heavy duty c-channels or I-beams. The design calls for them to be mounted over a vaulted or open area with concrete footings to hold back the dirt and provide a foundation to transfer the weight of crossing vehicles to the ground. The vault area underneath the rails creates a void and the important visual perception of depth needed to deter an animal attempting to cross. Proper installation of the foundation is critical and a contractor familiar with the local soil conditions, including soil freezing levels and drainage issues should be consulted to ensure a long lasting crossing.

Cattle Guard with round top pipe

Boxed cattle guards

This design is made to lay directly on the ground. They have a steel skirt welded around the perimeter to keep dirt from creeping in underneath and are very popular in low traffic, low-speed areas like private driveways or pasture entrances.

It’s recommended to install on a flat area with crushed rock beneath to help with drainage away from the site. Simply dig a small amount to away from the top level of soil so that when installed, the top rails are slightly above the surrounding soil. A lot of customers will mount them on top of buried railroad ties to help prevent any movement over time. It also helps disperse the weight of crossing vehicles to the ground.

Popular installations include driveways, construction sites to clean dirt off equipment before reentering public roadways and remote areas such as cell phone towers, oil wells etc.

These ‘semi-portable’ guards can be relocated from site to site as needed and are easy to clean underneath. You can just drag it out of its locations, remove any debris and pull back into place!

Picture of a Boxed Cattle Guard

A cattle guard with a steel box welded around the outside of it.

Flat Top Rail Cattle Guards

This design is very popular with higher speed crossings. The ‘flat top’ of the rails are shaped like a hexagon (see picture below) and still provide an effective deterrent to livestock. The flat top allows vehicles to cross at higher speeds without the bumps of a traditional round-rail design. They’re seen on public roads around the country and are the most common design for high-speed traffic.

cattle guard with flat top rails

Cattle Guard Foundations

The flat top rail guards are able to ship them with pre-cast concrete foundations. This means a complete crossing can be delivered to the site without the need to pour concrete footings.

They are sold in pairs and are very heavy but you can off-load, set directly in the ground and bolt the guard to the top right in the field. It’s a very straightforward means of installation that can be done very quickly if the site is prepared in advance.

Cattle guard load ratings

The AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) provide axle load ratings for cattle guards to be used in public installations. Rated cattle guards are certified to meet the requirements of state and federal entities such as the Department of Transportation.

AASHTO Design Specifications
H-15 (12 tons per axle)
H-20 (16 tons per axle)
U-54 (25 tons per axle)
U-80 (30 tons per axle)

Private use cattle guards When used on private property, certified load rating certificates are not required. This fact alone can save hundreds of dollars on a single cattle guard even though they’re built to the same specifications.  Private use guards will handle fully-loaded semi truck trailers as well as farm and ranch equipment. Very popular on private driveways, these cattle guards can be more economical.

If you need any help with your cattle guard project, would like a quote with shipping or have any questions at all about cattle guards, please contact Barn World anytime and they’ll be happy to help!

Sales@BarnWorld.com | (720) 238-2190 | www.BarnWorld.com

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Pig Feeder Review Includes Osborne’s Hog Feeders

Barn World is proud to offer both the Pig and Hog Feeders from Osborne. Keeping your feed fresh for your pigs is essential in getting them ready for market.

pig feeders
The pig feeders are designed to eliminate waste from spoiled or spilled feed. They are much more efficient than the best gravity feeders as the feed is only dispensed when the paddle wheel is turned by the pigs. It does not sit in the truck waiting to be consumed. This ensures the fresh feed in the hopper is delivered to the trough clean and ready to eat. Eliminating the square corners of a rectangular feeder keeps the feed from accumulating in corners, turning stale, rotting and going to waste. The round trough and sweeping action of the feeder arm keeps the food supply fresh and will be consumed in its entirety by your animals.

How the patented feed flow system works

All the pig feeders come with an adjustable rate gauge to control the amount of food dispensed when the wheel is turned. Inside the feeder, the flow system is controlled by an adjustable cone they can be raised and lowered in the bottom of the hopper. It is the cone that regulates the rate of feed flow, not gravity. As the pigs eat, they move the large feed wheel sweeper arm in the bottom of the trough. They don’t know it, but the sweeping action literally cleans the bottom of the trough and dispenses fresh feed at the preset rate. As the feed wheel is agitated feed falls through the center hole of the cone and into the trough where it is dispensed to the pigs. When they stop eating, the lack of movement on the sweeper arm stops the flow of feed. As such, these big wheel feeders are self-cleaning and self-regulating which reduces feed waste to none!

 

Build for longevity and efficiency

The Osborne feeders are designed and built to last for generations. In fact the very first big wheel feeders were built 20 years ago and are still in use today. The frame is made with heavy-duty steel construction and the fiberglass troughs and hoppers are easy to clean, maintain and can be used indoors or out. The feeders can be anchored to almost any service and maybe placed in a fence-line to handle every type of feeding situation. Their large trough openings and round shape give pigs much better access and provide more trough openings than rectangular feeders can. Easier access and adjustable flow rates create a less stressful eating environment and will allow your pigs to eat in less time with less stress.

Types of pig feeders

1. Nursery Feeders

Fresh feed is critical for young pigs as they are very sensitive to stale feeds. The patented mechanical flow delivery system of the Osborne nursery feeder guarantees fresh feed every time. The agitation on the sweeper arm keeps the trough clean and dispenses feed only on demand. All types of feed including crumbles and pellets can flow through the system without damaging it’s texture or appearance. These conditions allow the pigs to eat at will while maintaining the fresh, unneeded green in the hopper. This produces a better quality of gain for consumption and will better the overall health of your pigs. The careful design of the head space openings and trough reduces eating stress and promote consumption, producing better gains.

Available in the one bushel, 3 bushel and 4.5 bushel sizes, these nursery feeders are the best in the industry.


one bushel pig feeder  pig feeder with 3 bushel capacity  pig feeder cut out diagram to show feed flow meter and trough

2. Finishing Feeders

As your pigs grow in size, the main sources of food waste are more pronounced but are still eliminated with the patented delivery system of the big wheel feeders. The self dispensing feeders required no human activity and eliminate waste on their own by stopping the feed from entering the trough when the pigs are not eating. The self-regulated and self-cleaning finishing feeders will completely eliminate spoilage.

Available in three sizes from 4.5, 7.5 and the 15 bushel capacity these finishing feeders will reduce your management time and minimize feed waste to guarantee maximum efficiency.


pig feeder with grain in the trough pig feeder with a 7.5 bushel capacity large pig feeder with a 15 bushel capacity

 

3. Bulk Hog Feeders

Just like the smaller models the big wheel feeders, the bulk hog feeder is designed for maximum efficiency and the elimination of spoilage. The feeders are engineered to last for decades while minimizing your time, waste and need for adjustment. The reinforced fiberglass and hot-dipped galvanized steel supports all add up to a feeder that will produce healthy weight gains in your pigs for generations to come.

Hopper lids are not needed as plugging is never a problem even in heavy rains. The self-cleaning movement of the patented sweeper arms keep the feed flowing regardless of conditions. Set your feed rate once with the easily accessible outside mounted controller arm and it will remain constant for years to come.

Designed to be used with 90 head and possibly more, the big wheel bulk feeders are available in five different capacities: 24, 45, 65, 85 and 105 bushels. Using the same self-cleaning and regulating feed delivery system inside the hopper, the capacities are adjusted by adding rings to the height of the feeder. Available with an optional galvanize steel skid to be mounted underneath for easy moving, these pig feeders are some of the most versatile on the market today.


Osborne outdoor hog feeder  Sioux Steel outdoor hog feeders

Be sure to contact Barn World for all your cattle guard and livestock supply needs today!

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