Livestock panels - Alternative use : LUSENET : Countryside II : One Thread

Somewhere I saw information on making a stock shelter out of livestock panels.

It said take a panel(s), anchor one side, then bend into the shape of an arch, and anchor the other side. Cover with tarp or plastic. Ends can be closed with additional panels, and they could be used for sheep, goats, dogs, calves. . . .parking my ATV. Voila!

Problem: I can't remember how to anchor the sides of the panel. Anyone see this article somewhere, ( please don't tell me I saw it in countryside - - that would be the ultimate brain drain admission-LOL).

Anyone got great ideas to anchor the sides - - permanent like?


-- Granny Hen (Cluckin, May 14, 2002


What you need is to put a row of metal fence posts on one side closer together than the width of the panel.And than about 9 feet apart put another row of fence posts. You arch the panels on the inside of these two rows of posts. Friction will hold them there as you wire them secure to the posts. Also, along the long sides I wire the panels together the full length as well, for stability.. Than cover the whole thing with a tarp and bungee cord that on. The panels I use are a standard 16 feet long and either 48 inches high ( cattle panel) or 34 inches high ( hog panel). Space your posts apart a couple of inches less than either the 34 or 48 inche width of the panels you are using to allow two adjacent panels to overlap and be tied to the same post. The main problem I have had with these is if snow loads are heavy they can collapse in the center. This could be alleviated by putting some sort of center support, maybe like a ridge pole. And yes this was in a back issue of CS a number of years ago. Hope I didn't totally confuse you.

-- the lady shepherd (, May 14, 2002.

We've made a combination covered chicken yard & greenhouse out of the panels. Next to duct tape & staple guns cattle panels are my favorite homestead items.:) We attached the 'hoops' to the standard perimeter panels with plumbing connectors, I don't know the actual name of the part but they're a little unit with two bolts sticking out that go around the panels and there's nuts to hold them tight. Since we wanted it more than 10 ft wide which was the width to allow for the hoop to be high enough we set another set of metal T posts so now we have a double hoop setup each being 10' x 48'. We covered the hoops with 8mm greenhouse plastic and used sand bags to hold the plastic tight to the ground which allows us to raise the plastic if it starts getting too warm inside. We covered the outside of the clear greenhouse plastic sheeting with a layer of plastic garden netting to prevent the wind from destroying the greenhouse plastic, that was held to the ground with Ushaped garden spikes. In the winter & early spring we will use it to start plants by installing shelves high enough to allow the chickens to run underneath. During the summer we'll remove the plastic and let the chickens have it as a secure run. They're free range when I'm home but if I go away I like them to be secure from predators. I'll post some pics in my yahoo photo album and post the address here when I get a chance.

-- Kathy Aldridge (, May 14, 2002.

maybe its reginal, but what are cattle panels? Those BIG peices of tube fense from QFF or TSC? those are expensive

-- Stan (, May 15, 2002.

I don't know if they are regional. I'm in New York State. The panels are very heavy welded wire that one needs a bolt cutter to cut. They can not be bent, at least not by me, but can be flexed somewhat into an arch shape. Here they come in two sizes, both 16 feet long. The cattle panel is 48 inches high and the hog panel is 34 inches high. Prices here run about $16.00 to $18.00 for the cattle panels. And they are a pain to transport on a pickup. If I am getting a few, the local Agway store will deliver for free.

-- Kate in New York (, May 15, 2002.

Down here they come in both 16 foot and 20 foot length and run about $15.00 for the 16 foot ones that are a little over 4 foot tall (like 52 inches).

Thought about building a shelter using one up right(4 foot side) on the side (attached to t-posts) and one arched over the top (16 foot or 20 foot). Figure that would give me more height at both the center and the sides, so I could use that side space better, but haven't tried it yet.

-- BC (, May 15, 2002.

Yup, I've built them just like that! Easy and pretty cheap. My current chicken aviary (it's pretty big, used to be a greenhouse, 10' wide, 32'long, and 10' tall) is built with PVC though, also cheap and easy! I think all I bought was the PVC, hardware, 3 landscape timbers and 4 sheets underlayment, the rest was scrounged...some tin and scrap one bys. Oh, and the tarp. It's worked great for 100's of birds for years!

-- Patty (, May 15, 2002.

Anybody have an idea how to keep it from collapsing with a heavy snow load? I was able to keep it swept off ubtill we had one big blizzard and it got ahead of me. Luckily no sheep were in it at the time. A center post would be pushed on by the sheep. I was thinking of some type of ridge pole or plywood for the ends with a door.

-- Kate in New York (, May 15, 2002.

I would go with a ridge pole and the plywood doors here in Michigan. We have had major collapses of barns in my area due to snow loads. We have been eyeing them as the frame for a greenhouse.

-- diane (, May 15, 2002.

I fenced a large portion of my outer boundary with 52"x16' cattle panels and "T" posts.

It was, for me, the only way I would ever have gotten in the fence by myself. I can't lift the rolls of field fence, I'm not very fond of tamping fence posts, and I HAD to have new fence, and some that would give me a decent chance of keeping my wandering herds at bay. They were walking through the old field fence, and stepping through the newer high tensile.

Now, I'm thinking I'm going to use the panels for some more projects. I can't grow weeds, but I'm still harboring the idea of making a little green house with one, and I DO want to move a lot of chickens to an area much farther from the house, as the current chicken house is only about 30 feet away. ( The rooster tunes begin at 4:00 every morning, than they go back to sleep until around 5:30).

Amazing that it is WOMEN answering this thread. hmmmmm.

I'm thinking about the ridge pole. If you wanted it to be somewhat permanent, you could dig in the ridge pole like you would a fence post. That way the sheep wouldn't knock it out.

Great ideas

-- Granny Hen (Cluckin, May 15, 2002.

Granny Hen, I think it's great that we've all found ways to 'get around' the muscle power needed to do some jobs. I know that although I used to be able to pound a whole fields' worth of metal fence posts, now I hire a teenager for $6.00 hr(his rate) to do it. For 12- 18 dollars I get them all in and I'm still able to walk & move.:) At first I felt guilty, then I started thinking about all the years I'd done everything by myself & realized that with age/medical limitations doing some jobs became next to impossible without days in pain afterwards; for me it's worth the cost of hiring someone to help me. I guess I'm 'wussing out' as I age or maybe I'm just finally admitting my limits. Once I found cattle panels I was in heaven; I can put those up alone and not tear myself up with the rolled fencing- That stuff attacks!! Does anyone have any other good tips? Blessings,

-- Kathy Aldridge (, May 15, 2002.

Hey Kate, how long are the shelters, two panels(8')? I would drive T- posts in flush with the "roof", centered at both ends. Then drill a hole in the t-post and bolt a cheap stud grade 2x4 on as a ridge pole...I'm sure that would solve the problem.

-- Patty (, May 17, 2002.

I have four panels, which gives me a shelter 16 feet long by 9 feet wide. I can keep 12 sheep in there. I keep one end open and they can go in and out freely. Mostly they are outside unless its extremely hot or heavy rain. Thanks to all for ideas.

-- Kate in New York (, May 20, 2002.

Has anybody ever welded two of these panels end to end to form a bigger wider arch. After butting the arches together to get preferred length, then if one welded the seams, this should give rigidity. If not enough, maybe a ridgepole as previously suggested or some homemade rebar trusses? Now I am thinking a more permenant structure. If panels are welded together, they would have to be cut apart to be moved and they probably wouldnt be easy to reuse for other purposes.

As to anchoring, think I might use long fencing staples to nail panels to railroad ties or poles laid along the ground. For permenant structure, I'd put in concrete or concrete block foundation with rebar stubs sticking out the top, then clamp or weld to bottom of panels.

-- Hermitjohn (, May 27, 2002.

I think panels would be better for this type of application if you could figure out a way to put a more permanent "skin" on them. I find they really tear up a tarp or plastic pretty quickly. That's why I like the pvc hoops.

Don't get me wrong, stock panels are a definate staple! Right along with duct tape, fencing wire and 5 gallon buckets..oh and landscape timbers...

and zip ties! and my weed eater! and.....luv my chop saw, and what would I do without drywall screws!? oh and...


-- Patty (, May 27, 2002.

livestock panels are just about my favorite item around the place too. I use them as fencing, greenhouses, storage space and woodsheds. as mentioned above they are a pain to transport but I was recently turned on to a brilliant solution to that. in an open pickup place one end of the fence against the area that meets the cab then bow the fence up and tuck the other end into the back of the truck and close the gate. takes two to three people to do this and 6 panels seems to be about the limit. you can then use rope to tie the panel ends so that they stay in the position they are now in even if the gate were opened. tie down your load, drive home, untie your load (not the fence ends), open the rear gate and carefully roll the fencing out. then carefully release the ropes that hold it in the hoop shape. viola! - a one man job and an easy one at that. only drawback I can see is that it encourages buying fence panels more often than in the pain-in-the-butt transport days.

-- B. Lackie (, May 30, 2002.

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