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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6, Page #25
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Cheap Way To Make Solid Sided Alleyways, Chutes For Livestock

Livestock producer Ron McNear of Koshkonong, Mo., wanted to line his alleyways, squeeze tub, and squeeze chute with solid plastic in order to keep his cows moving along. The problem was that conventional 4 by 8-ft. recycled plastic panels were too rigid and also too expensive.
  He solved the problem by buying flexible, UV stabilized white plastic in a roll 5 ft. wide and 100 ft. long. The plastic is only 1/16-in. thick, making it easy to cut and bend. McNear used a sheet metal tin snips to cut the plastic into the desired length. Then he drilled pairs of holes in the plastic at various places and used white, 8-in. long plastic wire ties to attach the plastic to the alleyways and chute.
  "Buying plastic in rolls is the way to go. The material is easy to cut and also bends easily so it'll work no matter what equipment or spacing needs I have. It's also lightweight which makes it easy to handle," says McNear. "Unlike sheet metal, it doesn't require a lot of hardware or engineering and it's easier to set up and to replace. Best of all, it's less expensive than using either sheet metal or plastic panels. Most 4 by 8-ft. plastic panels sell for about $24 apiece, whereas I paid only about $150 for an entire 100-ft. long roll. I've found only one economical source that sells poly in rolls (FarmTek, Dyersville, Iowa 52040 ph 800 327-6835). The rolls are sold 4 or 5-ft. wide and 50, 200, or 400 ft. long. If you want, these companies will also cut pieces for you at a cost of $1.50 to $2 per foot. The plastic ties I used came from Harbor Freight, Camarillo, Calif. 93011 (ph 800 423-2567). They sell for less than a penny apiece and are available up to 11 in. long to fit special needs.
  "I really like being able to bend the plastic. For example, on my squeeze chute, I bent a series of panels to fit the curvature of the sides. When installing the plastic I leave a 12-in. high opening at the bottom which allows the wind to blow through.
  "I like the plastic wire ties because they're dirt cheap and they're flexible, which makes them much easier to use than bolts. I drill two holes in the plastic for each tie. Unlike sheet metal, there are no bolts to rust out and nothing for cattle to snag on. I use clear or white ties because they resist ultra violet rays better than colored ties and will therefore last longer."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron McNear
, Rt. 1, Box 149, Koshkonong, Mo. 65692 (ph 417 867-3343; fax 417 867-3777; E-mail: rnmcnear@ortrackm.missouri.org; Website: www.ahbleza.8m.com).
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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6