Whether you are a hobby farmer or a commercial beef producer, it always comes in handy to know how to build your own cattle handling equipment. One of the benefits of building your own equipment is that you can modify the designs to suit your needs. All you need to make your project come to life are the plans, materials and equipment.
Plans specifically made for handling and caring for cattle can be found through many college agricultural departments. Both the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky have online lists available through their biosystems and agricultural engineering departments. The University of Tennessee states that plans they have developed are “based on research and demonstration experiences at the University of Tennessee.” They include cattle guards, squeeze chutes and building plans for barns.
The majority of livestock equipment is built out of wood, metal and concrete. The most common wood materials are boards and posts such as 2x4s and 4x4s. Common metal materials include various grades of metal piping and hardware. Concrete is commonly used as a foundation for larger buildings such as barns or chutes. You will have to refer to the plan’s bill of materials to get a proper idea of what you will need.
The most common equipment used in farm projects are hammers, saws, clamps, drills and drill bits. Larger equipment such as tractors may be needed in the construction of farm buildings. Welders are another common piece of equipment used on farms. You can rent rather than buy equipment that you need temporarily and return it when you are finished.
Construction and welding are both skills that you need to be proficient in or even certified for before you start a project. Without sufficient knowledge of the skill, you could place yourself or someone else in harm's way. Most communities require a building permit before constructing any buildings with a solid foundation. They may also require that inspections of new buildings be made by an inspector. Check your local or state building codes and standards before starting any new construction.