2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Power Gates Save Labor Sorting Cattle
The Westlock, Alta., feedlot operators set up a system of hydraulic gates that allows them to sort cattle while standing inside the processing shed, next to the hydraulic squeeze. As cattle are released from the squeeze and head out of the processing shed and down the sorting alley, the squeeze operator uses valves to open or close hydraulic gates on 4 different pens.
"It saves a huge amount of manpower," Stanley explains. "It provides 5 sorting options based on animal weight, sex or color."
Before building the shed and pens, the men laid down hydraulic lines under the floor before pouring the concrete.
Each 12-ft. gate has a 2 by 20-in. hydraulic cylinder mounted across the hinged corner. 1/2-in. rubber hydraulic lines run from the gate cylinders to the floor, where they T into sub-floor steel lines (1/2-in.), which run to a control panel next to the squeeze chute. The control panel T's into the squeeze's hydraulic pump, which runs the entire system. The panel consists of one lever for each gate.
As an animal is released from the squeeze, the appropriate pen gate can be opened and closed again without the operator ever having to take a step.
"It's virtually unlimited how many gates you could include in a system like this," Forbes points out.
Although their below-floor system works great, Forbes says he's seen similar set-ups on farms and feedlots where they've run it above ground.
"It's certainly possible to retrofit a facility," Forbes points out.
The feedlot at Jubilee Farms has a 6,500-head capacity.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Stanley and Wayne Forbes, Jubilee Farms, Box 5510, Westlock, Alta., Canada T7P 2P5 (ph 780 349-2476; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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