Crowding Yards

Crowding Yards.jpg
Crowding Yards.jpg

Crowding Yards


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For constant cattle flow when processing

  • Manual 270° and 360° and pneumatic 360°
  • Ergonomic design allows for an increase in productivity
  • Safely index your cattle into a laneway
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Our legendary crowding yards (or more commonly known as "tubs" or "forces") have developed to be the pivotal point of your livestock processing centre. Contrary to popular belief, the crowding yard does not "force" the animals but rather uses animal psychology to persuade cattle to line up in single file inside a narrow laneway. With the correct training and use, this will be one of the most valuable pieces of equipment in your yards.

Crowding yards have been, and still are, often mistakenly known as "forcing pens". This is an ignorance that is carried over from a time when people risked their lives trying to close heavy gates on ill-designed triangular pens called "forces". The idea back then was to force cattle towards the narrow end of the triangular pen in an attempt to drive them into a single lane, usually with the aid of a "jigger".

With over 35 years of continual improvement backed by our research and observations in different situations, our crowding yards have developed to solve the traditional challenge of how to increase productivity whilst maintaining your safety and the welfare of your animals.

The ergonomic design of our crowding yards has utilised the natural behaviour of cattle whilst incorporating these elements - safety and efficiency - to create an ideal working centre.

Our research proves that the cost of production is the most crucial element to measure in the effectiveness and efficiency of your operation. This factor is often overlooked when deciding on a new crowd as people wrongly think that price is the only consideration.


Crowding yard operation and catwalks

At Thompson Longhorn we believe the crowding yard is best operated from a catwalk on the outside of the yard. This is not because we believe that cattle should not be habituated with people, our reasons are safety related. The “crowd pen”, be it a tub or pen, is a confining area just like a single raceway or alley. A skilled stockman will not step on foot into any pen where they cannot move to be in the correct position in relation to the animals. In any useful crowding system that is impossible to do, with the exception of a ‘Bud box’ in which the operator moves amongst the animals to persuade them to exit. The ‘correct position’ is never in the middle of the group and rarely directly behind them. Good stock handlers have always moved animals with relative ease and efficiency, just like they do today, but it was rare to find one of these people who could articulate the methods, skills and animal behaviour that they used. In the changed culture of today we have eradicated the term “forcing pen” and the best stockmen do not use “jiggers”. This is a great step forward for both aspiring stock handlers and the stock that we handle. It has always been impossible to force grown animals to do anything. It is a good idea for anyone to understand how a crowding yard works but it is more important to understand that cattle will walk through a good one if you follow a simple procedure. This means that in a short training session you can train a novice to feed cattle into a crowding yard and through to a single race. This is not to say there are no stock handling skills to be applied when using even the best designed equipment, there are. But these skills are so easy to understand and apply that even someone whom you would never dream of letting into a pen full of cattle can be trained if necessary. They will be safe and do a reasonable job even on their first day.

Crowding Yard Options:

270° Manual Crowding Yard

Our 270° manual crowding yard with 23.3m2 of controlled animal space is our most economical option to reduce costs. It provides you with full manual control of the crowd from the catwalk whilst still maintaining a high level of productivity. The crowd gate tucks away into a recess for smooth animal flow through the entry gate, whilst the non-ratchet, friction braking system ensures that you have a quiet operation that does not scare your animals.

360° Manual Crowding Yard with Pneumatic Entry Gate

Our 360° manual crowding yard with pneumatic entry gate offers you the advantage of a full 360° but with the affordability of a manual operation. The pneumatic entry gate allows you to have a steady, yet continuous flow of cattle in the crowding yard with the least amount of effort and reduced labour requirements. The manually operated inner gate means that you have control over the speed of which you index your animals into the laneway.

360° Pneumatic Crowding Yard

Our 360° pneumatic crowding yard provides you with the best of both worlds. The pneumatic operation allows you to continuously feed the laneway whilst maintaining a high level of productivity and safety. The pneumatic operation reduces your labour requirements by requiring only 1-3 people to fully operate the whole core working centre by remote control. 

Standard Features:

·         16.2m² (180°), 23.3m² (270°), 28.7m² (360°) controlled animal space

·         Optimised radius of 3.0 metres.

·         Nearside or offside operation.

·         Easy and safe to operate from catwalk.

·         Rubber buffers are used to reduce operational noise.

·         Quality Australian steel; heavy duty construction:

o   Posts: 75x75x4 SHS

o   Rails: 50x50x3 SHS

·         Durable 2mm galvanised sheeting 1200mm high.

·         Hot-dip galvanised adjustable footing 65x65x5 SHS which allows on-site levelling for quick and easy installation.

·         Non-ratchet, friction braking system ensures quiet operation and reduces stress on livestock

·         Heavy duty greasable urethane bushed gate hinges or large slew bearings keep gates level and prevent excessive pneumatic cylinder seal wear.

·         Catwalk and safety guardrail included:

o   Galvanised expanded mesh catwalk and step treads,

o   2 sets of steps per crowd,

o   Compliant with AS1657-2013.