Working pen materials

Share knowledge or ideas about doing anything and everything.
redandblack
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:50 am

Working pen materials

Postby redandblack » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:22 pm

If you were going to build a set of working pens what materials would you use? Already have 2 3/8 tubing for posts...what would you recommend for rails? Panels? Have about 40 head of angus cattle nothing too hot. Old pens are pipe with pipe railing, but calves can squeeze through. Looked at the heavy duty bull panels that you can weld (smaller squares similar to hog panels). Also looked at the continuous panels. Want something small calves can't squeeze under, through, but don't want to spend a fortune. Thanks in advance for any responses.
0 x

NolanCountyAG
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:18 pm
Location: Nolan County TX

Re: Working pen materials

Postby NolanCountyAG » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:47 pm

Our pens are built with 4" drill stem posts and 2 7/8 for rails. Some places we just used sucker rod for rails. Yet to have a calf get through.
0 x

bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1007
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:33 pm
Location: North Central Texas

Re: Working pen materials

Postby bird dog » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:22 pm

I use regular 16' x 50" wire cattle panels. I use 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1/8 square tubing instead of pipe because the ease in welding offsets the higher cost of material in my opinion. Square posts and top rails. Angle iron rail at the bottom and middle. Wire panel welded over that. In the sorting pens I don't even use the middle rail.

Its funny but the calves are actually harder on the setup than the cows. The calves think they can run through it. The cows don't try. I weld the panels at about 16 spacing on the rails and about 10" on the posts. They hold up very well, are quick and easy to build and fairly reasonable price wise. I have had some cows try to jump over but none never have. The top rail won't give as the wire makes it strong like a truss.
0 x

callmefence
GURU
GURU
Posts: 3648
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:36 pm
Location: Fencemans place...central Texas

Re: Working pen materials

Postby callmefence » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:49 am

I really like sucker rod. 3/4 inch or bigger. It's fast and easy to work with.
For customers we generally use all 23/8 pipe. Because it's expected.

But more often where using sucker rod
Especially on our own stuff. Typically six foot pipe with top rail. Come down eighteen inches face weld sucker rod and then another every 8 inches. Post on eight foot centers. With two sucker rod vertical stays every section.
Won't make the prettiest pens you ever saw but you'll like the price.
Both on material and labor.

Panels work well on a pipe frame but it's sure hard to get out if you need to.
1 x
Always take care of your credit. When you need it. It will take care of you.

Tennessee Tuxedo


You can all go to he// . I'll go to Texas.
David Crockett

User avatar
Caustic Burno
Crusty
Crusty
Posts: 21615
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Big Thicket East Texas

Re: Working pen materials

Postby Caustic Burno » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:46 am

Image

I concur that is why there is portable panels chained in the O Shyt spots.
0 x

Dave
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6366
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 1:35 pm
Location: Klickitat County Washington

Re: Working pen materials

Postby Dave » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:42 pm

I am too far from the oil patch to get affordable sucker rod. I can get used guard rail at an affordable price. Three high it makes a good solid pen. I just helped a guy build a pen using some solid panels that they use in making bridge deck. They were 20 feet by 2.5 feet. We held them 8 inches off the ground and 8 inches between. That made the fence a little over 6 foot tall. he said that new those panels were over $200 apiece. He got them surplus for $7.50 each. Lots of things will work. Find what you can get surplus in your area.
0 x

User avatar
Brute 23
GURU
GURU
Posts: 6559
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:59 pm
Location: South Texas Gulf Coast

Re: Working pen materials

Postby Brute 23 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:13 pm

Im sold on portable panels. I can designs them exactly how I want with the guy that makes them. In a couple hours they are up and I am done. I can buy pieces and budget a little ever year to add on as the money comes.

If its not portable panels I would use wood.

Im done with pipe. I grew up the son of a welder and we have done the sucker rod, the cattle panels, saddling every runner in, welding the horizontal pipes to the outside, etc. I cant stand cattle panels... its dangerous and tears the cattle up. The sucker rod flexes and I have seen more than one yearling stick its head in and get stuck. Putting 2 3/8 top to bottom looks great, works great, but I just can't justify that cost.

I would like a solid pipe working chute or wood working chute but to do the whole facility like that is too costly.
0 x
Brimmer Pimpin Ain't Easy

"Don't let schooling interfere with your education" - Mark Twain

customcattle
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:04 pm

Re: Working pen materials

Postby customcattle » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:20 am

Brute 23 wrote:Im sold on portable panels. I can designs them exactly how I want with the guy that makes them. In a couple hours they are up and I am done. I can buy pieces and budget a little ever year to add on as the money comes.

If its not portable panels I would use wood.

Im done with pipe. I grew up the son of a welder and we have done the sucker rod, the cattle panels, saddling every runner in, welding the horizontal pipes to the outside, etc. I cant stand cattle panels... its dangerous and tears the cattle up. The sucker rod flexes and I have seen more than one yearling stick its head in and get stuck. Putting 2 3/8 top to bottom looks great, works great, but I just can't justify that cost.

I would like a solid pipe working chute or wood working chute but to do the whole facility like that is too costly.


With all due respect, I tend to disagree about the wood vs pipe. I realize that the wood goes up a lot faster and the initial cost is cheaper, but in the long run, any pipe corrals I put up are going to be there long past my time. I have had wood posts that I set rot off in my life time (I'm 32), not to mention a person is probably going to be replacing at least one rail per year depending on what you use and the amount of pressure.
I personally really like using 2 3/8" pipe and continuous fence panels. Unless in a high pressure area you don't need to top rail it, and you can buy 20' panels for the same cost or less than a 12' portable panel.
0 x

bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1007
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:33 pm
Location: North Central Texas

Re: Working pen materials

Postby bird dog » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:05 pm

What kind of 20" panels are you speaking of? Just curious but without a top rail, what happens when they decide they want to try and jump over? Even in non crowd areas, one knuckle head will try for a jail break.
0 x

Atimm693
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:44 am

Re: Working pen materials

Postby Atimm693 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:46 pm

We have continuous panels, with two top rails of 2 1/2" pipe, and a run of sucker rod below the panel to stop calves from slipping under.

I don't like sucker rod for rails either, but it sounds like Callmefence has them figured out.

I hate working with cattle panels too. Tough to weld, tough to handle, lots of sharp edges. Only advantage is the cost.
0 x

bird dog
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1007
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:33 pm
Location: North Central Texas

Re: Working pen materials

Postby bird dog » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:55 pm

Wire cattle panels are a breeze to weld with square tubing and will make the sharp ends not so prominent as they will lay flat against the tube. One thing I have found to make the welding easier is to use 7014 rods.
0 x

User avatar
bbirder
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 674
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:23 pm
Location: S. Louisiana

Re: Working pen materials

Postby bbirder » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:22 pm

My pen is made with 2 7/8 drill pipe for posts 8ft apart. Weld in 2 3/8 around bottom about 15 or 16" off ground, then set cattle panels on top of that and weld in. Top it off with another run of 2 3/8 around top and you have a sturdy fence almost 6' that has worked well for me. The chute area is straight run 2 3/8 pipe.
0 x
"A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years. A bad climbing rope will last you a lifetime."

User avatar
Caustic Burno
Crusty
Crusty
Posts: 21615
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Big Thicket East Texas

Re: Working pen materials

Postby Caustic Burno » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:33 pm

If I had it to do over again I would use my layout but my neighbors design.
He used drill stem welded in the shape
and the portable panels fit right in.
It has lots of strength and easy to repair if you get an idiot.
Gets a panel tore up unpin it and replace with a new one.
2 x

customcattle
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:04 pm

Re: Working pen materials

Postby customcattle » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:19 am

bird dog wrote:What kind of 20" panels are you speaking of? Just curious but without a top rail, what happens when they decide they want to try and jump over? Even in non crowd areas, one knuckle head will try for a jail break.


We will top rail in alley ways and working pens, but in just corrals we don't. Most often they are 14 ga. 1.25" round tubing 20' long and you would set posts at 10' centers. Pretty much the same or better material as most portable panels, but dang near twice as long and the same price. You can find them all over the internet in 4 bar to 7 bar. I like using 5 bar with a top rail.

Image
0 x

gcreekrch
Trail Boss
Trail Boss
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:51 pm

Re: Working pen materials

Postby gcreekrch » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:10 am

Start with 8 to 10 inch x 10 ft. pressure treated posts on 12 ft. centers. 14 ft peeled or dry pine logs with 8 inch top, 5 high and an upright wired to the post to make them stay. I'm 6' 4" and can't see over. Never had a cow even try. My alley uses the same posts an 2x8 rough sawn lumber 8 high with a 4 inch space in the middle to accommodate a bar to keep them in.

The other place is free standing panels 24 ft long and Hi Hog panels and gates for sorting alley, load and chute alley. We did hang snow fence on the free standing panels to keep heads from going through.
0 x
Vaccinations, cheaper than whiskey. ;-)


Return to “Tips 'n Tricks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests