As the location that provides entrance and exit into a pasture, livestock corral or garden, the gate is often the most heavily trafficked area in your fencing system. Making a gate out of fence panels (also called stock or livestock panels) provides an affordable, easy-to-install alternative to more traditional gates. Unlike traditional livestock tube gates, fence panels have vertical steel rods that inhibit smaller animal animals, such as goats and sheep, from slipping between the horizontal bars. Stock panels measure 16 feet long by 54 inches tall and weigh more than 16.3 Kilogram, so you'll need to cut them to the correct length if you're installing a smaller gate.
Measure the gate opening on your fence. Lay the livestock panel flat on the ground and use a brightly-coloured piece of chalk to mark the gate width measurement on one of the horizontal steel rods. Use the chalk to mark the vertical steel rod that is larger than the width of the gate. For example, if the gate width is 38 inches and the nearest vertical rods are 37 inches and 42 inches, you should mark the vertical rod that measures 42 inches; this provides you with enough extra gate width to secure the gate in place.
Use bolt cutters to cut off the excess width from the fence panel. Open the bolt cutters and encircle the top horizontal bar that is on the outside edge of the vertical bar you marked. Slide the bolt cutters along the horizontal bar until they're flush with the vertical bar. Pull the bolt cutters shut using a slow but firm motion to sever the horizontal bar. Repeat this process with each horizontal bar; place the unused portion in storage until you need to construct another fence panel gate.
Lift the cut fence panel from the ground and position it in the gate opening on the fence. Secure the hinge end of the fence panel to the fence post in at least 4 different locations along the height of the panel to ensure that it is securely in place. Use 4 elastic bungee cords or 12-inch lengths of heavy-duty twine if the fence post is a steel T-post or other small, temporary post style, such as metal rebar or fibreglass. Use galvanised fencing staples to secure the hinge end of the gate panel if the hinge post is wooden.
Secure the gate shut using at least 2 lightweight chains or elastic bungee cords, spacing them to ensure that the animals can't escape by pushing against the bottom or top of the gate.
Cherry Hill, author of "Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage," says most livestock panels are not suitable for use with horses, especially as gates, since the openings between the intersecting steel rods are more likely to trap and injure their legs.
Tips and warnings
- Cherry Hill, author of "Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage," says most livestock panels are not suitable for use with horses, especially as gates, since the openings between the intersecting steel rods are more likely to trap and injure their legs.