Farm gates make farming faster and safer. The right gate protects your livestock and makes access more secure for employees, guests, and whoever else comes by. Choosing the best gate is sometimes challenging, but it’s worth the time and effort required to make the best choice.
Gates keep things you want in and stop things you want to stay out. Different farms have various requirements that determine a good gate’s material, shape, and function.
For example, some areas need gates that stop predators from getting to chickens, goats, and even cows.
However, you’re not going to protect chickens from foxes with the same gates that keep coyotes from attacking sheep. Each case needs a specific gate designed to accomplish its purpose.
Here are some of the most common gates you’ll see on farms across America and why farmers choose them over others. Hopefully, this points you in the right direction for when it’s time for you to buy gates for your farm.
1. Property/Main Gates
Farmers like having gates at the property entry point to control vehicle entry and exit. When you’re managing a farm all day, you don’t have time to watch the comings and goings of everyone on your property.
A gate is a good way to control access so people who shouldn’t be there don’t trespass on your farm.
Property gates don’t have to be intimidating or anything. A simple metal gate at your entry road is typically enough to stop people from driving through.
Many farms don’t even have a lock on their gates because just having the entrance is good enough for 99% of what you need it for.
Of course, you can outfit your gate these days with a smart lock mechanism or an intercom that gives you a video feed of who’s there and why they want to come inside.
It makes receiving customers, guests, vets, and employees a lot easier because you know who’s there and what they need.
You have a ton of options regarding main gates. Fancy ranches have large, ornate wooden gates that open automatically with a code or a proximity sensor. Other farms have a simple, lightweight aluminum gate that does the trick.
2. Livestock Gates
Your livestock gates will significantly impact how easy it is to move your animals and keep them safe. Not only do these gates offer protection, but they make herding cattle and other animals much more efficient.
Modern livestock gates interlock with each other quickly. They’re made of lightweight metals that are strong but easy enough for people to move around without much difficulty. You can join gates with five to seven horizontal bars in custom configurations based on your need.
3. Field Gates
Most farmers like to separate their pastures with fences and gates to simplify managing grass, crops, and animals. However, if you don’t have fences and gates, it is harder to control where your cattle graze and how to preserve resources on various parts of your land.
With field gates, you need something that is easy enough for a single person to open and close, but it also should be big enough to let a tractor or your biggest farming vehicles pass through. If it’s too small, it will make working on the farm a lot more challenging.
Field gates are typically the same height as your fencing. They look like livestock gates but usually have additional bars to reinforce them if a car runs into them.
4. Swing Gates
Swing gates swing open and close like a regular house door. They work on hinges that attach to the livestock gates next to them or fence posts on either side. Swing fences are famous farm gates because they’re easy to maintain and move.
You can use swing gates, for example, to push sheep or goats into an enclosure easier, and they usually have the simplest mechanisms, so repairs are fast and easy.
5. Sliding Gates
Sliding gates slide on tracks to open and close. They’re usually more complex than swing gates, but farmers like sliding gates for small spaces where swinging doors aren’t possible.
In addition, sliding gates avoid having to use as much room, so you can make your enclosures bigger.
The main issue with sliding gates is that they’re usually harder to move. People have to use more strength to pull or push the gate on the tracks, especially if the wheels get stuck or there isn’t enough grease on the tracks.
Sometimes farmers install mechanical sliding gates that open and close automatically after you give them a slight push or tug.
6. Tube Gates
Tube gates refer to the tubular design with horizontal and vertical poles running through the gate section.
A tubular gate looks like any other section of your typical farm fence, but the gate has hinges and a latch, so you can open or close it when necessary.
Tubular gates are also sometimes called pipe gates, with the only difference being the thickness of the metal beams. They’re often made of galvanized steel and deliver excellent performance and durability for farmers.
Tubular gates are also cost-effective, so they’re a popular choice for cattle farms, horse farms, and other farmers who keep livestock.
7. Wire-Filled Gates
The main drawback to standard tube gates is that, unless you have a large horse or cow, you can fit through the bars without too much trouble. However, if a human can get through, it’s very easy for something like a coyote to make its way onto your property.
Wire-filled gates are a good choice if you need something that gives a bit more protection. These are essentially the same as tubular or pipe gates, but they have wire grids that fill the space between the bars to stop smaller animals from getting in or out.
8. Bow Gates
Bow gates are one of the best fencing and gate solutions for farmers who need to access livestock in a pen or some other sealed-off area. The bow gate is installed in any fencing section and sits off the ground to make operating it easy.
However, it doesn’t open as widely as a regular swing gate, which is what some people want if animals are always trying to squeeze out.
A bow gate is also a reasonable precaution against animals escaping if anyone forgets to latch or close the game. Because the bow gate doesn’t open fully like a swing gate, animals are unlikely to notice or be as eager to try and get out.
9. Mesh Gates
Mesh gates are quite similar to wire-filled gates. It has much smaller openings than other meshes. You can typically buy mesh gates with different wire gauges that give varying degrees of strength and durability.
For example, if you have chickens on your farm that you want to keep in, you’ll likely need smaller mesh for something larger like geese.
The gates you choose depend on what you’re farming and what needs to move through your gates. Most farms have a mixture of gate styles in different parts of their farm.
For example, field gates need to be big enough for trucks to drive through, but you may only need a small mesh swing gate for your chicken coop.