How to Build a Cattle Gate

Written by sharyl stockstill
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Building a wire livestock gate is an economical way to go especially considering the price of a wooden or metal gate. They are simple and sturdy and will last for years while providing excellent service. Wire gates are easy to build and are customisable in overall length. This is another plus when considering which type of gate to build and install.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2 gate posts
  • 2 set posts
  • Barbed wire
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Wire cutters
  • Fence wire (non-barbed)

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    The Gate

  1. 1

    Install the two set posts to connect the fence to the gates. Bury them in the ground a minimum of 2 feet, standing about five feet above ground. These posts set the framework for the gate.

  2. 2

    Attach two loops by twisting the ends of the wire loops together to the set post on the side you will open your gate. One should be about 6 inches above the ground, the other will be approximately four feet high. These loops will hold your gate closed. To help hold the loops at the desired height, nails or screws may be used on the set posts. Place one gate post into the loops. The top loop should be near the top of the gate post. To open the gate, you will lift the loop over the top of the gate post, then lift the gate post out of the bottom loop. To close the gate, place the gate post into the bottom loop, then squeeze the gate post into the set post until the loop can secure the top of the gate post.

  3. 3

    Secure the pivot post to the second set post. Loop the fence wire around the pivot post and secure to the set post. This post will pivot allowing the gate to readily swing open. There should be a small gap of a few inches between the set post and the pivot post.

  4. 4

    String four lengths of barbed wire between the two gate posts while both gate posts are held in place by the wire loops. It is best to do the top line first, then bottom, then the two middle lengths. This will usually allow the top wire to be slightly looser than the one below which will facilitate opening and closing. Be sure that your open side loops are above and below the four wire strands.

  5. 5

    Install stays to hold the wires in place to ensure longevity of the gate. Stays should be installed approximately every 2 feet. Commercial stays are twisted wire that will keep the four wires spaced evenly apart. Smooth or barbed-wire can also be used for this same purpose. Start on the top wire and twist the wire on complete loop, then move down to the next wire and repeat.

Tips and warnings

  • Test your gate to be sure it is easy to open.
  • Gates can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the loops and/or running wires.
  • Use goggles and gloves when working with barbed-wire.

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