Nearly 2 years ago the president of a Texas Longhorn association asked me to write one to three articles per month for a small circulation Texas Longhorn Magazine. Although many of the past months I was in the hospital, I completed the articles by deadline, each with color illustrations and some with pie or bar graphs. There were no payments for these multiple articles. I was happy to contribute to assist entry level producers.
Things have changed. In the last week the small circulation magazine has "discontinued all business" with me of every sort, and my family, and all my grand kids, for ever. Obviously I will not be spending hours every month donating my time on helpful articles for this magazine and the industry.
All is not lost. The same articles that were scheduled will still be written and sent directly to you by email. If you miss any, you will be able to go to the Dickinson Cattle Co ranch site and read them at a later time at www.texaslonghorn.com. In fact over 400 articles are on line now about marketing, minerals, mating, medications, showing, horn growth, etc. The site is a treasure of information directed to entry level producers and professionals alike. Here is the first of these new articles:
Most every ranch has portable steel panels in use or stacked around the corrals. Some are light weight imported metal and others like Powder River or the Bry Horn Safe Panels are heavy and extremely sturdy. Some panels are attached permanently to a fence line and others are easily handled to move around to different pastures. It is not unusual to see panels leaning up against a fence when not in use. On the heavy made panels they can be painted every 5 years and the longevity of their use can be dozens of years.
All of the above stuff you already know. Now lets talk about the life and death part of panels. Panels can kill you.
When we lived in Colorado Peerless Farms was a huge Salers operation. They leased thousands of acres around our operation and moved panels to different places when working cattle. One of their hands was loading panels in a large aluminum trailer and leaned the panels a little too straight up so he could fill the trailer with a lot of panels. As he was carrying panels in the trailer the panels begin to lean, came over on him and killed him. The accumulation of several dozen panels created so much weight he didn't have a chance to lift them off himself.
Save a kid... A chain and a carabiner from your local hardware store is cheap insurance.
Although I only know of one person who died by panel waffulation I would bet good money several others died the same or a similar way.
I have heard of calves who stuck their heads through panels to get a bite of grass, pulled back and caused one or more panels to crash on them, twisting and breaking their necks.
Although I have not heard of it happening to cause injury, kids love to climb trees, fences and surely panel stacks. The same danger could be even more so with ranch kids. If kids can get in a gorilla cage, in an alligators mouth or a lion in the back yard, like this last few days, ranch kids can mess up themselves bad with panels.
Now that I have hopefully scared you to death for all the right reasons, this is an easy one. EVERY STACK OF PANELS ON THE RANCH, AT THE FAIR GROUNDS, IN A TRAILER, ANYWHERE, JUST TIE THE TOP PANEL TO THE FENCE OR WHATEVER THEY ARE LEANING AGAINST SO THEY DON'T FALL FORWARD. It can be a little rope, or baling wire, or better yet a chain. It may save the life of one you love. We don't have any extra good people.
If you want to refer back to this article, go to www.texaslonghorn.com. It will be saved for you. -Darol