Thompson Longhorn

Permanent Cattle & Livestock Stockyard Crowd Pen/Yard

Introduction

Crowds are typically a small circular yard with a gate used to remove excess space preventing cattle circling in the yard and stubbornly refusing to enter a race. Circling of cattle is a natural instinct as they would prefer to return to where they came, particularly if it was free open paddocks. This circling also excites and frightens the cattle making them more difficult and dangerous to handle. A crowd pen or yard may also referred to as a corral.

 
Cattle Crowd Pen
Pneumatic 3.0m Crowd with Pneumatic Entry & Catwalk

Description

A crowd is typically used to feed cattle into a race. It is normally small in size allowing an operator using a persuasion device to reach all animals from outside the crowd. Advantages are - reduced livestock stress, improved productivity, improved efficiency and operator safety by removing people from amongst the animals. These units are suitable for any operation that processes at least a moderate number of cattle and/or has to employee staff while offering a safe and healthy working environment.

Crowd Pen Operation

Cattle which have been processed with a crowd at least once before, are generally used to its operation and will flow through without even requiring to always use the center swing gate. A crowd with about 270° sweep angle helps encourage flow by tricking the cattle into thinking that they can return back to where they are coming from. This does encourage a continuous flow. Use of a gate to reduce the excess yard space discourages circling and encourages them to think that the exit of the crowd is a way of escape.

Misunderstanding

You may hear the ‘force’ used instead of ‘crowd’ however this term may be misguiding to the use of the crowd. By applying a force or pressure against the cattle with the center swinging gate will give them no room to move and they will do just that! Cattle need room to move so they can align themselves with the exit, not always can they see the exit until the one in front has exited. With no room to move or orientate then they will jam stopping or interrupting a continuous flow.

Crowd Pen Catwalk

Each crowd is fully sheeted which helps prevent baulking from external distractions. Also a fully sheeted crowd has a catwalk which puts an operator at the right level to coax any untutored animals into the right direction. The size of the crowd is also an important part of the design as a too large crowd makes it difficult to achieve effective coaxing from the catwalk. A catwalk typically has step access at the entry and exit ends. There is also an interim set of steps which allows an operator to access the catwalk without baulking the first few which are ready to enter the race. All catwalks have handrails for operator’s safety meeting OH&S requirements. It is important as stated in the Australian Standards that any operator’s platform that is greater than 300mm above ground level must have a handrail.

Crowd Pen Entry Gate

At Thompson Longhorn there are two styles of crowds one being a full circular and the other semi-circular or anywhere from 180° to 270°. Full circular crowds have entry gates, which can be manual or pneumatic operation. Entry gates increase the holding capacity of a crowd.

Crowd Pen Center Gate

Crowd center swing gates can be either pneumatically or manually driven. These gates are fitted with backstops, which allow the operator to move the gates and not have to worry about a secondary locking of the gate. This gives the operator safety by preventing livestock driven gate.
A full circular crowd with pneumatic centre gates is the only crowd to offer continuous operation. This being so the center gate doesn’t need to be reversed prior to refilling the crowd. This is achieved by having two pneumatically driven gates. When one has completed a full rotation then the other is activated and rotates behind the next group of cattle.

Extra Options

There are two versions of crowd, the portable and the heavy duty. The portable crowd is semi-circular and manual only. Catwalk steps also can be located to suit your site layout.

Summary:

  • Main purpose is for fill a race.
  • Reduces livestock stress and agitation.
  • Improves productivity, processing efficiency and operator safety.
  • Experienced cattle can flow without the needing to always use the centre gate.
  • Cattle aren’t to be forced out of the crowd, only to remove excess space.
  • Catwalks have handrails for OH&S and Australian Standards.
  • Full circular crowds have entry gates which also increase holding capacity.
  • Centre gate can be pneumatic or manually operated.
  • Only full circular pneumatic crowd offer continuous operation (no centre gate reversing).

Features:

  • Heavy duty frame construction.
  • Hot dipped galvanized feet, good for highly corrosive environments.
  • Adjustable feet can take variations in slab height. Units need to be plumb for optimal operation of all gates.
  • Feet bolted to concrete allowing for removal and locating during installation (after concrete slab is poured).