A cattle guard is a specially designed metal grid that lies on top of a ditch. Typically these guards are placed along roadways or property lines to prevent livestock from getting too far away from their owner’s designated pasture. They are a common site in open range states (states in which livestock do not have to be fenced in while grazing), but are used by livestock farms in just about all states across the country.
Here’s some information you should know about cattle guards from our fencing company in Carlsbad, NM:
- They won’t harm your vehicles: If you’re out driving a tractor or truck, you can drive over the cattle guard without a problem. The spaces between the bars are just wide enough to make livestock nervous about walking over them. However, they are still narrow enough that they will not do any damage to your vehicle. The bars are much smaller in diameter than your vehicle’s tires and will not be pushed forward or apart from each other upon contact with your tires. You may experience some bumps and noise when you drive over the guard, but you don’t need to worry about damaging it or your vehicle.
- Proper cattle guards won’t injure your animals: So long as you have properly designed cattle guards on your property, you won’t have to worry about them injuring your animals. You should never have cattle guards that have large enough spaces that the animal’s entire leg would fit through—this is just asking for a broken leg or other injury. Instead, the best cattle guards will have much smaller gaps that simply make the area a little more challenging to walk over, making cows extremely hesitant to walk on them.
- Most cattle guards will be self-cleaning: We often have people ask whether the ditches located underneath the cattle guards will fill up with mud and debris and need to be cleared out after a certain period of time. In general, rainwater will wash away any of the debris that does accumulate and do enough to keep the spaces under those guards clean. However, if it does get to the point where you need to clean out those ditches yourself, the process is relatively simple. The best strategy is to remove the guard with a chain you attach to your truck or tractor, then go down and use whatever tools necessary to clear it out. You can then easily reset the guard in the same position it was in before.
- They are highly beneficial: Cattle guards have many benefits, which is why they are so popular among ranchers across the United States. They save a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent trying to get livestock back on ranchers’ properties, or opening or closing cattle gates. They also prevent animals from grazing in places where they are not allowed.
For more information about the benefits and uses of cattle guards, contact our fencing company in Carlsbad, NM.