Circular pen for visual selection

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A pound draft might be easily explained as a circular draft. This type of unit is to aid with the selection of animals by visual characteristics such as brand, frame or butt type. Also a pound can be just a hub that connects a number of pens. Separating animals is against their instinctive nature as they feel safety in numbers. As this is against their nature there have been many cattle handler injuries trying to perform this process. Sometimes when a single or small selection is required people try and do this on foot, exposing themselves to the highest risk of getting injured.


A pound can be located off a feed lane, as a hub or at the end of a race for drafting. A pound is good for the separation of cattle into groups based on the shape, brand, paint ID or bull selection in a way that is safe to the operator and non traumatic to livestock. A drafting unit is fitted with pneumatics which allows remote control operation from a safe location. These units are commonly used by feedlots, stations, sale yards, dairies etc.

Manual Pound & History

A manual pound should only be used to draft complete pens of cattle. Used as a hub, a central connecting point between a group of pens and lanes. Manual pounds have been a common item in a set of yards for many years. They were operated by having someone standing inside the pound, processing a couple of animals at a time and separating them using the exit gates. However this operation is very dangerous and caused many injuries and disabilities. In later years, to improve safety, external levers were connected to the gates however injuries caused from livestock driven levers can still occurred.

Pneumatic Pound Drafting

With the pneumatic pound draft it is important to understand its operation and whether the selection decision is made inside or prior to the pound. The important function of operating a pound for drafting is to index the animals into the pound instead of filling it with several animals at once then trying to separate each one, is slower, error prone and difficult in a pneumatic pound. Draft decisions made inside the pound can be for grouping cows based on their frame for bull mating, brand verification if you need to clearly see both sides of livestock, evaluation of rump score for abattoir selections and many more. For these types of decisions animals need to be indexed individually for smooth continuous operation. Draft decisions that can be made prior could be based on paint marks for vendors, RFID tag identification, livestock colour etc. Prior draft decisions allow multiple animals to be indexed at the same time if they have the same grouping, thereby speeding up the drafting. Another important note is that pounds do not support automated processing, commonly used with selections based on weight and ID, whereas a lane draft does.


  • A pound is a circular draft
  • Good for sorting animals by visual characteristics
  • Manual Pound used as a hub for drafting complete pens of cattle
  • Pneumatic pounds need to be indexed
  • Draft decisions can be either made inside or prior to the pound


  • 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)
  • Can have leg extension instead of adjustable legs, where pounds aren’t located on concrete slabs (common for manual pounds)
  • Entry gate double slam latched
  • Can have personnel entry gate if pound used in conjunction with a catwalk. (common for pneumatic pounds)