Crowd Gate System Helps Separate Hogs

“Loading market hogs at our farm became safer and easier after we built a double crowd gate system inside our finishing barn,” says Iowa hog producer Dennis Backhaus. “For several years, we used metal crowd gates that two people held on to and moved forward by hand, but that became too dangerous as the finished hogs got larger. These days the market pigs weigh close to 300 lbs., the size of football linemen, and they have the advantage of 4-legged drive.”

 

   Backhaus and his son created a safer and more efficient sorting system that uses a series of 3-ft. tall solid metal panels. They’re made of 12-ga. sheet steel welded to a tubular steel frame with a center horizontal brace for added support. Panels on the outside of the sorting system are slightly curved to create a natural funnel that moves hogs toward the chute and never into a corner. Those panels are supported by vertical steel post uprights bolted to the concrete floor.

 

   “The inside of the sorting area has a 15-ft. long double crowd gate so we can bring in two batches of hogs at one time and keep them in smaller groups,” Backhaus says. The gates swing on hinges attached to a 4-in. dia. steel well casing bolted to the floor and supported on top by a bracket bolted to the concrete sidewall. As the pigs move forward through the sorting area, a worker secures the crowd gate behind them by lifting a metal handle and hooking it behind catches on the side panels.” Four slam/lock gates at the ends of the system partition off the alleys so once pigs are inside, they can’t get out. All panels are positioned 3 in. off the floor so the loadout area can be easily pressure-washed.

 

   Backhaus says he’s gotten many compliments on the system because pigs can be moved quietly and safely without any visual distractions coming through the solid panels.

 

   Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dennis Backhaus, Westside, Iowa.