Steer Planet - Show Steers and Club Calves Forum

Steer Planet Chat => The Big Show => Topic started by: CAB on February 09, 2010, 10:12:17 AM

Title: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: CAB on February 09, 2010, 10:12:17 AM
  I've been wanting/needing a calving pen for sometime and was wondering what PPL think is the best way to go.
  In my hunt for the calving pen I ran across this website, www.danielsmfg.com (http://www.danielsmfg.com). They make some awesome looking portable calving barns IMO.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: randiliana on February 09, 2010, 11:52:42 AM
As far as I'm concerned, the one we built for ourselves. 2 gates and a self catch headgate on two big posts.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: DL on February 09, 2010, 11:59:46 AM
Are you looking for a calving pen or calving barn??

I use 12 X12 or 12 X 14 pens for individual cows and about 40 X 40 for a group of cows - several of the pens have calving/nursing gates - you can see them at the building a barn hall of fame

http://www.steerplanet.com/bb/index.php?topic=1230.15 (http://www.steerplanet.com/bb/index.php?topic=1230.15)

did you get my pm?
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: aj on February 09, 2010, 12:37:38 PM
We calve heifers in a pen 16x16. They usually calf unassisted. If they need help we can toss a lariet over neck with a quick release on it. The shorties stand there 90% of the time to hitch up calf legs. Its almost impossible for cows to go down in a wrong direction. We very seldom have to assist any more after getting bwts down. If cow chokes down you can loosen rope tension or flick the quick release and get the rope off her neck in an instant. Then you don't have a cow dragging a rope around. Not sure this would work as well with dads black cattle though. The disposition deal is really nice in handling cattle. Not sure how you put a number on it.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: CAB on February 09, 2010, 02:01:03 PM
Randiana I used to have one just like you made,but have moved since. The last 1/2 dozen years I've used the lariet with a half hitch so they can't choke. I'm getting too old or lazy for that. The calving pens that I was asking about are usually 10 X 10ft with an automatic catch headgate in one of the corners with a swing gate to help get the heifer headed that way. Usually have @ least one side that will swing up so that you can help a calf to the teat. Some have what they call a pad which is a plate that the cows must stand on while in headgate so that they can't push it. These pen also can double as a breeding chute during the season. I used to breed for a Gelbvieh breeder that had one and actually liked it better than a portable chute. So far I have priced Palco, Stroberg, & Sioux. I like the looks of the Sioux's the best. Seems stronger than the other 2. I think that DanielsMFG would be good, but it's a ways to Ainsworth & I think that they may be pricey.

  DL, I did get your PM & thanks for the input. I was asking DL for her personal experience with the Taz bull on heifers. Anyone else tried the bull. I noticed that John Griswold had a bunch of heifers bred to him in the Exposure sale. The milk EPD's are great on Taz. I wonder why the HW's don't have any?
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: jbw on February 09, 2010, 02:35:19 PM
I really like my Sioux, I threw the red bar off the top swing gate and added a chain to hold the gate over. That red bar hit me in the face and I had a tempertantrum, chain is alot easier to use.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: randiliana on February 09, 2010, 02:40:59 PM
Here's some photos of ours.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: Kansas Karl on February 09, 2010, 06:04:24 PM
We have two blattner calving pens, one in town, and one wherever the cows are. Have already had to use it twice in the past week. Its going to be a long 2 months!
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: kanshow on February 09, 2010, 06:34:17 PM
We have a very old WW system.  Would I improve it? Yes.   But works for us.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: vcsf on February 09, 2010, 09:58:59 PM
I have a Hi-Hog which is a Canadian manufacturer and I am not sure how many American dealers they have.  The reason I bought this brand is that the headgate is located in the center of the pen with a split gate on each side.  I really like the headgate in the center especially for trying to get calves to suck or milking a cow out.  I also think it is easier to pull a calf or if a cow happens to go down on you.  My vets have also said that they prefer this set up to one with the headgate on the side.  I have had this pen for thirteen years now and while it seemed like a lot of money initially I would not be without it now.  I have used this to breed a lot of cows and for other jobs and have even put mature cows in it and dehorned them and worked on big bulls without doing any damage to the pen and have never had an animal move it any noticeable amount.   Here is a link to a video of it and one to their website.

http://www.youtube.com/user/BETTERbyDESIGN1#p/u/8/VA9_sXMZErs (http://www.youtube.com/user/BETTERbyDESIGN1#p/u/8/VA9_sXMZErs)

www.hi-hog.com (http://www.hi-hog.com)
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: justintime on February 09, 2010, 11:01:24 PM
I have had a Morand maternity pen for about 5 years now, but seldom have had to use it. I have used it for a few backwards calves and I find it very easy to use and you have lots of options as to opening sides and working with the animals. I have used it more for semen testing and clipping bulls that I have for calving, and it works well for everything I have used it for. It is also Canadian built and it is built very strong. I have seen a few listed for sale that were over 10 years old and they have sold for more than they were priced at when new. Before i purchased one, I checked with as many Charolais and Limo breeders as I could and I asked them what they had or would buy... it was almost a unanimous vote for the Morand calving pen. I thought that if anyone knew what a good calving pen looked like, it would be people who really had to be able to catch cows and work with them without hurting themselves or the cows.

http://www.morandindustries.com/maternity-pens.html (http://www.morandindustries.com/maternity-pens.html)
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: braunvieh on February 10, 2010, 10:35:56 AM
Not sure the mfg but my dad bought one from a dealer at the Nebraska Classic a couple years ago. It is 3 pens with headgate, nursing area, all of the good stuff. Works real handy, easy to operate. My dad never got around to anchoring his down and it has twice flipped over into the windbreak behind it....gotta love the Kansas wind. But a real nice system and I know they make them in any size.
Title: calving pens
Post by: justme on February 10, 2010, 03:12:19 PM
We have a yellow one that is a Souix something.  LOVE IT! I wouldn't trade it for anything <beer>
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: CAB on February 10, 2010, 04:53:26 PM
  From what I saw on the 2 wesites, I think that our neighbors to the north probably have the 2 best set ups. I liked the Hi Hog pen the best B/C of the headgate location. I liked the design idea to put the calf in front of the cow to let them get acquainted also. The biggest downfall was the price to get it here. I did end up buying a Sioux pen. The quote was $1550.00 with a pad & no headgate.
  Randiana your set up is almost identical to the one that I made. Railroad ties to secure it, Peason auto catch & 2 gates. The only thing different on the one that I had was, we put it on concrete and had 2 sleeves in the concrete that we stuck steel pipe down into. That way we could take them out if we were pulling a calf so that the cow could go down either way or we could leave the poles in and take the gates away if we had to work with a calf to help it nurse.
  Thanks to all that posted up for me. I think that if the Canadians could get the right distribution down here that they would sell a bunch of them.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: vcsf on February 10, 2010, 05:40:05 PM
 From what I saw on the 2 wesites, I think that our neighbors to the north probably have the 2 best set ups. I liked the Hi Hog pen the best B/C of the headgate location. I liked the design idea to put the calf in front of the cow to let them get acquainted also. The biggest downfall was the price to get it here. I did end up buying a Sioux pen. The quote was $1550.00 with a pad & no headgate.
  Randiana your set up is almost identical to the one that I made. Railroad ties to secure it, Peason auto catch & 2 gates. The only thing different on the one that I had was, we put it on concrete and had 2 sleeves in the concrete that we stuck steel pipe down into. That way we could take them out if we were pulling a calf so that the cow could go down either way or we could leave the poles in and take the gates away if we had to work with a calf to help it nurse.
  Thanks to all that posted up for me. I think that if the Canadians could get the right distribution down here that they would sell a bunch of them.


CAB my Hi-Hog was $1500 Canadian sitting in my yard thirteen years ago which was comparable to the others available here at the time.  I think it is now $2500 - $3000 but they have gone to heavier and higher panels and gates around the outside and made some other small  improvements.  I do really like the headgate in the center.
Title: Re: What's the best calving pen for the money?
Post by: farmerjoe on April 26, 2012, 10:57:38 AM
[I asked my Vet the same question and he recommended a Ranchers Pen without hesitation. He was right, it's awesome. Built heavy, safe and a breeze to run. We even us it for AI and as a crowd tub its so versatile. We bought it direct from the factory and the people there were great. Showed us all the features of the pen before we left and were sincere in asking us to give feedback when we used it. Great people. Here's their website www.rancherslivestockequipment.com (http://www.rancherslivestockequipment.com) . Give them a call.