What is Cattle Guard and how does it protect cattle?

What is Cattle Guard and how does it protect cattle?

You know, those people who are hired guns in their industry, keeping an eye on the herd. Right?

The term lends itself to many jokes, particularly for individuals who are ignorant of agriculture, farming, and ranching. But, it is not necessarily a bad thing just because you might not understand what it means. Explore now.

A livestock guard is what?

Horses, cattle, and other types of livestock have less accurate vision and have trouble with depth perception. Hence, we can employ visible barriers that allow a vehicle to pass smoothly and prevent animals from crossing instead of installing gates at each road crossing in fencelines. In order to prevent wildlife crossings, we typically see cattle guards where a road crosses a fence line on farms or ranches, on roads or highways in open range areas, or in high-traffic corridors.

Typically, cattle guards consist of beams—of steel, concrete, or occasionally wood—crossing a small hole in the ground. Either a ditch crossing or a hole can be dug. Paint is often used to draw lines on the pavement to serve as cow guards. The objective is to provide a visible barrier that keeps animals from crossing the fence line.

Work cattle guards?

The fence line barriers generally function but occasionally fail. Cattle will learn how to cross or jump over the livestock guards if they realize that the hole is not extremely deep or wide.

Since the grass is always greener on the other side, I've trained a few cattle through the years to cross the cow guard. One cow who would repeatedly jump the cattle guard to graze was caught on camera. She would immediately jump back in the pasture if I approached her.

On occasion, gravel or dirt from the road crossing will fill up the borders of the hole beneath the cow guard. When this occurs, we'd have to manually dig out the hole underneath the cattle guard crossing or, for a bigger effort, lift the barrier with a tractor. On her ranch, The Pioneer Woman photographed herself cleaning out a cattle guard.

How safe are livestock guards?

Most people and animals are safe around a cow guard. They are simple for individuals to patiently cross. Cars can safely pass over a livestock guard. But it does put livestock at risk.

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