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Wheel out calf pens
Cleaning out calf pens is a much easier job for Winford and Janie Little, Eaton-ton, Ga., since they built "wheel-out" calf pens for their open-sided pole barn. The pens roll along steel tracks embedded in concrete.
The 2 by 4-ft. pens are mounted on stainless steel frames and have easy-toclean polyvinyl sides. The front two thirds of the floor in each pen is expanded metal covered by rubber cow mats while the back third is parlor grate positioned directly over the barn's 24 by 18 in. flush gutters. There are four rows of 30-pen sections inside the 120-calf barn.
"They have eliminated many of the disease problems usually associated with calf barns," says Winford. "We had been raising calves outside, but it was miser-able working in cold weather. We still get cold in the winter, but not wet. Calves in confinement need to be kept as clean as possible to reduce the chance of disease. Whenever we want to clean the pens we simply roll them out and use a scrubber and steam cleaner to disinfect them. The nonporous polyvinyl sides clean off easily. We leave them in the sun as long as we can until we need them again. The pens have helped reduce our calf death losses to less than 5%. We keep calves in the pens until they're two months old."
A pair of concrete runways for each 30-pen section extends 30 ft. outside the barn. A 3 by 3-in. track made from galvanized angle iron is embedded in one side of each pair of runways. The wheels on that side of each pen are grooved to follow the track. The other side of each pen is equipped with caster wheels that simply roll freely along the flat concrete.
One person can pull out an entire 30-section unit. The wheels can be greased. The front side of each pen is equipped with feed pail holders.
Little spent $175 to $200 per pen to build the rolling units.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Winford Little, P.O. Box 583, Eatonton, Ga. 31024 (ph 404 485-4547).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #5