Cattle yards are an important facility designed for raising cattle. Although it is capital intensive, once they are built to a standard, they last for several years. In most cases, cattlemen do not erect more than one or two of such yards in their lifetimes.
Unfortunately, poorly designed and erected cattle yards can lead to many years of frustration and inconvenience. This is why it is critical to invest some thought and professionalism in designing a well-planned yard to allow efficiency in handling stock, maximize manpower, and reduce bruising of animals.
How should you set up your cattle yards?
There are many things that cattlemen should put into the plan when designing and setting up cattle yards. Putting all these into perspective will help to achieve a good design and highly effective structure.
- Arrange the laneways and paddocks in a way that there will be easy access.
- The cattle yards should be erected away from the living area to reduce dust, smell, flies, and noise
- Power and water should be carefully planned to be close to the yards
- If you have any trees, it is best to build the cattle yards around the shades. It is easier and more relaxing to work cattle under shaded trees during summer
- Plan for good drainage. If possible, erect on gravel or erect the structure with gravel.
What is the cost of building a cattle yard?
The cost of erecting cattle yards depends on several factors. Your location, the size of the yards, and the infrastructure are parts of the consideration. However, you can have an average cost to work with. If you are looking to build an average cattle yard, it will cost about $284,000. However, if you are considering smaller cattle yards, the cost will be lesser.
You can expect to spend about $85,000 for a 61m x 21m size cattle yard. Other full-sized cattle yards that may also double as sale yards will cost up to $800,000 or more. For this, you can look at an area of about 110m x 90m size. It is recommended that you discuss with a professional in this field to get the actual cost for building a cattle yard in your location.
How do I protect my cattle yard?
The materials used in constructing the cattle yards will determine the durability and protection that your structure will have. For example, termites can destroy timber yards, which is why metal posts are often used. However, it is also possible to keep a timber yard away from termites by placing the structure in such a way that it will not come in contact with the round.
It is recommended that you use pre-treated timber posts or de-sapped durable timber where steel posts are not possible. You can also minimize deterioration of timber structures when you bevel the post tops with de-sapped durable timbers and chemical treatment. When you treat timber, it increases its durability.
What makes a good cattle yard design?
It does not matter the number of cattle you want to run, a functional, well-designed yard set should have basic good management. Top things that make a good cattle yard design include:
- Safety: The operators’ safety should be carefully considered to include easy access and exit in the case of danger.
- Efficiency in handling the cattle for loading and drafting, and restraining them for different husbandry procedures, including vaccination, pregnancy testing, ear tagging, and drenching.
Of course, the layout and design of cattle yards do not have to be complicated to function optimally. A simple but functional design will make more impact than a complicated but clumsy design. Therefore, when choosing a designer and builder, ensure you stick with an experienced professional and discuss your requirements in detail with them.