The Suprising Impact of using the wrong Corral Panels

Published on Mon, 04/03/2023 - 2:03pm

The Suprising Impact of using the wrong Corral Panels

Impact of Using the Wrong Corral Panels

Are You Sabotaging Your Cattle Handling Systems?

 By Kaydence Michalsky.

 As a rancher, you know cattle handling systems are essential for a safe and efficient cattle working experience. A properly designed corral system will help reduce the risk of injury to you and your livestock by making it easier to move, sort, and treat your animals. Though all pieces are important, one of the biggest components of your cattle handling system is corral panels. Using the wrong panels in certain areas of your system and keeping panels beyond their useful life can lead to serious safety hazards and inefficiencies in your operation.

Undertand High & Low-Pressure
To understand where certain corral panels should be placed in your system, you must first understand the difference between low-pressure and high-pressure. Low-pressure panels are used for exactly what you would expect: low-pressure cattle handling situations.

These panels are usually made with thinner gauge steel with rails and posts that are typically 1.5" or less in diameter. Low-pressure corral panels are also designed for more flexibility and easy portability as they’re ideal for more “low traffic” areas where cattle will be less likely to challenge them – such as temporary holding pens.  

High-pressure panels are ideal for locations where strength and durability are key factors. These panels are normally crafted with thicker steel rails and posts at least 2" in diameter. They are ideal for “high traffic” areas where cattle are more likely to hit against the panels or challenge them, as they’re built to hold steady against strong forces. Areas such as the space that narrows near the chute, around cattle gates, or any other areas where cattle are more concentrated are perfect examples.  

Consider Corral Panel Placement
Using the wrong type of panel in different areas of a cattle handling system can cause several issues. One of the most significant risks is the potential for injury or even fatalities to both livestock and handlers. Low-pressure panels are more flexible than high-pressure panels and may not be able to withstand the force of cattle if placed in high-pressure situations.

This can also increase the risk of broken or bent panels, which can create gaps in your corral, allowing your cattle to escape or become trapped. All this chaos can create stress within your herd which can increase the risk of injury and lead to monetary loss for your ranch.

A complete, proper cattle handling system will increase efficiency and save time on your ranch. If you have equipment incorrectly placed within your system, this can reverse all the things that do work.

Replace Corral Panels when Necessary
Using the wrong panels in specific areas of your corral can increase the need for them to be replaced more frequently, leading to higher costs over time. This can also cause damage to other parts of your corral system which will lead to costly repairs and more time spent fixing your equipment.  

Low-pressure panels are also more likely to break or bend when situated in high-pressure locations. This can cause a need for repairs or replacement. Most ranchers work on a tight timeline, and if that timeline is broken by the need to fix or replace equipment, it can lead to lost time and profits.

This is why it’s important to ensure your corral panels are placed in areas suited to their specifications. Working with a Livestock Expert to create a proper corral system with the right panels in the correct locations will reduce the risk of financial implications.  

Cattle System Design Matters
When it comes to designing cattle handling system, there are many things to keep in mind to create a safe and efficient cattle system. You must keep in mind the size and temperament of your cattle. Larger, rowdier cattle may require you to incorporate more high-pressure panels, and smaller more docile cattle may require less.  

A corral that is too small or too large for your herd can also be dangerous. If cattle are overcrowded, it can cause high-stress situations, and if they are in too large of an area, it is much easier for them to avoid you when you try to guide them through the system.  

This is why it’s also important to incorporate animal science research and low-stress handling techniques into your system. Ideally, your handling system should be designed to allow for easy natural movements to help handle and move your animals effectively. Ensuring you have clear pathways and gate that can be opened easily and are accessible throughout your system are helpful in case you need to enter or exit quickly.  

Consider other Cattle Equipment Components
A complete cattle handling system will also include a head gate or ideally, a full squeeze chute, so you can get all your processing done at once. When looking for cattle equipment, it’s important to do your research and choose the best products for your operation.

Always make note of the warranty and any safety guarantees from the company you want to work with. Proper maintenance of your corral components is important to increase their lifespan, but as any rancher knows, any cattle equipment can break or bend. That is why it’s important to work with a company that has your back 24/7.  

Choosing the right equipment, especially corral panels, for your system is crucial for the safety and efficiency of your operation. By taking time to choose the proper equipment, you can save time and money while ensuring the safety and well-being of you, your handlers, and your livestock, and keep up the success of your business.  

Using the wrong panels in certain areas of your system and keeping panels beyond their useful life can lead to serious safety hazards and inefficiencies in your operation.