Friday, June 17, 2011

Corrals, part 2

I have been making slow progress on the corrals. The post-hole digger I was using digs a 9" hole, which requires lots of cement to fill it back in. Two bags of quickcrete at least, at $4 a bag. $8 a post. With something like 80 posts to set that would the one.........borrow 10............ uh... A LOT of concrete. I knew this before I started so I ordered a 3" auger that would be almost the same size as the posts. I had to make an adapter to fit it to the old digger, and it works great. Now the hole is about 1/2" bigger than the post, and I use masonry mix to set the post. I can probably set a dozen posts with one bag of masonry mix.
Once I get the hole dug, I have to vacuum out the loose dry dirt.
Drop the post in, a little cement mix, add some water.

Yes these posts are angled. This is the working chute "lead up" and the sloped sides help keep the cattle from turning back. Cattle generally put their heads down when they turn and keeping the sides tight against their sides helps prevent that.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Do it yourself corrals, some assembly required....

...batteries not included, plus T,T, and L, may be closer than it appears, professional stunt persons do not attempt this at home.

I am building a small set of corrals to work cattle. Two pens, a crowding tub, a load out and squeeze chute. I have been designing it on paper for several weeks now, and have finally decided on the plan. Now to the hard hot part. I will build it out of pipe and cables and I think "C" purlins. I will try to update as I get more done so you can see what I am talking about. I hope it is something I get to use and build onto through the years. Right now as dry as it is I may not get to do all the welding right away. I do have water nearby, so I may spray the ground all around where it will be wet to help not set the world on fire. I hope to have it done by the middle of July, working mostly in the mornings when it is cool.
The four wheeler is sitting where the "crowding tub" will be. A crowding tub is basically a 1/4 of a circle, where the gate can sweep and crowd the cattle towards the working chute. The gate should have some sort of automatic holding mechanism where they can't push it back open and escape. And you can keep it up tight against them where they have no other choice but to go through the chute. The small rebar posts in the picture are to mark where all the pipe will go, so I can see how it is laid out.

I managed to get 3 posts set in concrete this afternoon in the 100 degree heat.
The best, post-hole, digger, EVER! If you have ever used PTO diggers, and have never used a Continental brand digger like this you have never experienced Posthole Digger Bliss. This thing is pretty old, but I wouldn't take $5000 to trade to a Tractor Supply Company cheapy digger. These dig straight, right through the hardest ground, and automatically stop at a preset depth. Sadly the company doesn't make them anymore, so if you have one you take care of it and don't let the neighbors borrow it.

Nice and straight, can't straighten it after the concrete is set.

35- 30' joints of 2 3/8 "drill stem". When the oil industry wears it out and they don't feel it is safe to use anymore, the cattle industry turns it into corrals. The shorter pieces are 8' sections of 2 7/8 and it is heavy, about 10# per foot.

It is still very hot and dry. I have no summer crops planted due to no rain. We have about 2-3 weeks left to plant milo, but I am thinking we are going to miss that. I will plan to plant some haygrazer later in the summer, but otherwise it may all go to wheat next fall.
BEEP BEEP BEEP, I stand corrected, you can still get a newer much fancier digger made by the same company.