I had to build one more thing before the ground froze. This is project crowding tub.
Truthfully, this wasn’t a spontaneous project created to greet winter. I started this last May and finished just this week. I am willing to spend my labor more than money and so do not pale at the scores of hours paid out to create something out of very little.
A crowding tub is a semi-circle of curved gates that cattle are allowed to enter. There is then a heavy gate, mounted on a center pivot, that is swung behind then and moves them through the tub and out the exit into a cattle chute where they organize themselves single file and are then loaded into a trailer.
Crowding tubs start at about four thousand dollars. I didn’t have four thousand for this project but I knew Larry Kruse had a grain bin. Larry finds himself involved in many of my projects but he always stays pretty patient with me. The grain bin would form the semi-circle of the crowding tub.
I believe in class five gravel and geotec fabric, almost as much as I believe God and country. The fabric is laid on leveled ground and the class five goes on top of the fabric. Geotec keeps the black dirt underneath from mixing with the gravel on top and makes a real nice project base. I measured the grain bin and then traced the outside dimensions onto the class five. I then dug a post four feet into the ground about every four feet along the perimeter. Jamie Marimontes and Nate Koland used a telehandler to lift the grain bin over the group of posts that formed the semi-circle and carefully let it down on top of all that class five and geotec. I then bolted the bin to the posts after which I removed the front 1/3 of the grain bin and used those sheets to double the thickness of the remaining sheets that form the crowding tub.
Bryan Steiger (he gets drafted into my crazed projects a lot also) made up the center post which was made of four inch pipe with half-inch sidewalls buried four feet deep into concrete after which I then filled the pipe with concrete. I am not an engineer so I overbuild everything, even deep frost could not move that pipe. I was unable to place a post in one position around the perimeter of the tub and so bent one inch treated boards to follow the curve of the bin and lag bolted each board end to a post.
I am proud of the header system I used across the opening of the bin and often use a flashlight to visit the whole project after Lisa has gone to bed.
I added some new pens, a sorting chute and Bryan built me a palpation cage too but those are all pretty standard so I didn’t mention these little additions. I am most proud of the crowding tub because it left me only about seven hundred dollars lighter and is probably more stout than most professionally-built models.
I like to use my creativity to enlist items forgotten by time to make something better than new. I am supposed to model my life after the example created by the Lord and if He can use the stone cast aside by the builders for a cornerstone then I can sure use a grain bin for a crowding tub.