Yard/crush/race requirements for my teensy enterprise?
We are about to get 2 Dexter steers for our 4 acre ex-dairy property. These are our first and we are complete novices, although determined to learn!
The current owners have been doing a little hand feeding but the 2 steers are not really used to handling or being tied up with a halter. We intend to get them used to us and handling over time. My question relates to what yard/crush etc I will need for them and how soon. I read that a yard would be sufficient if they can be handled, but I'm not sure how long it will take to get them to that stage. Would it be sufficient to make a simple head bail inside a yard without the full crush? I have seen a simple design used on a quiet house cow where there was a concrete slab with 2 steel building stirrups sticking up out of the concrete at the end and a coppers log bolted into each, loose enough that the logs could be moved apart (into a V shape) and then moved upright and tied together to hold the animal's head in place. Any comments on that design? And will I have no hope whatsoever of getting them in there without a race, or will regular feeding in that space make going there easy?
With the yard, having read the reason for round/hexagonal yards, does it still hold for just 2 animals? A 3m x 3m yard would be easier for me to make, and (i think) cheaper than buying 6 steel panels.
Sorry if that all sounds crazy. I am just very aware that they will be here next weekend and I haven't worked out what I need in this area yet. Any advice would be very very welcome!
On the plus side, the fences are all sorted!