Make a hutch gate

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Does climbing over the wiring paneling outside a calf hutch sometimes deter you and your employees from checking on a calf or bedding the hutch? If so, you may want to install an easy-access gate panel, designed by Tom Nelson, a heifer grower in Salmon, Idaho.

To build, take a 3-foot by 16-foot hog panel and cut it into three pieces. Two pieces will be around 6 feet long, and the remaining piece about 3 feet long. Use a 0.3125-inch eyebolt and 0.25 metal rod to attach one end of each long piece to the hutch.

Next, bend two pieces of 10-foot 0.75-inch conduit into a rectangular shape. Attach the remaining end of the long hog panels to the conduit with eyebolts and rod, creating a doorframe. Place the small piece of hog panel between the conduit, making the door or gate. A snap hook fastens to an eyebolt in the conduit to latch.

Nelson mounts the hog panels about 6 inches off the ground to ensure that calves don’t jump the paneling. Nelson presented his design during “heifer tips” at the Professional Dairy Heifer Growers Association’s annual meeting in March.

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