Recommended Handling Facility Layout
- This diagram illustrates a modern
cattle stockyard and chute system. All the animal movement is one-way and
there is no cross traffic. Each long narrow pen holds one truckload. The
animals enter through one end and leave through the other. The round crowd
pen and curved chute facilitate movement of cattle to the stunner.
- A curved chute is more efficient for cattle because it takes
advantage of their natural circling behaviour. It also prevents them from
seeing the other end while they are standing in the crowd pen.
- A curved
single file chute with solid sides at a ranch.
- A curved
chute should be laid out correctly. Too sharp a bend at the junction
between the single file chute and the crowd pen will create the appearance
of a dead end. All species of livestock will balk if a chute looks like a
dead end. Round crowd pens are efficient for moving all species into a
single file chute.
Curved system for handling and loading cattle.
- Crowd gate lengths for pig operations may vary based on line
and plant sizes. As a guideline, the recommended radii (length of crowd
gate) are: Cattle, 12 feet (3.5m); pigs, eight feet (2.4m); and sheep,
eight feet (2.4m).
Sheep in a crowd pen moving into a single file race.
The basic layout principles are similar for all species, but there is one
important difference. Cattle and sheep crowd pens should have a funnel
entrance and pig crowd pens must have an abrupt entrance. Pigs will jam
in a funnel. A crowd pen should never be installed on a ramp because animals
will pile up in the crowd pen. If ramps have to be used, the sloped
portion should be in the single file chutes. In pork facilities, level
stockyards and chute systems with no ramp are most efficient.
Pigs being handled in a round crowd pen.
- Example design for truck loading ramp for pigs with a curved
chute and round crowd pen system for a meat plant.
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