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How to Build a Livestock Walk Through Gate

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • 8 fence posts (wood or metal T-Posts)

  • Post hole digger or T-post pounder

  • Shovel

  • Staples or T-Post clips

  • Fence pliers

  • Barbed wire

  • Tape measure

  • Gloves

  • Goggles

Opening a gate with your arms full while trying to keep a herd of cows from also getting through the gate is a challenge. If cows know one thing, it's when there is an open gate--they will generally attempt to get to the greener grass on the other side. A walk-through gate will come in handy in this situation.

Decide on the best location for your walk-through gate. This should be in an existing or planned fence line, preferably n interior fence as opposed to an exterior fence. This should be outside of working areas where animals are looking to get away from anything. The ideal location would be where the livestock are normally, unstressed and relaxed or where they seldom go.

Install two fence posts 24 inches apart in the main fence line. Post number 1 may already be in place if this is an existing fence. Install the post number 2 in line with your fence approximately 24 inches from the first post. Cut existing wires and wrap around post numbers 1 and 2 to create a gap.

Install post number 3 perpendicular to the existing or proposed fence-line and 24 inches out from post number 1. Install post number 6 24 inches out on the opposite side from post number 3. This will form a "T."

Install fence posts number 4 and 5, approximately 3 feet and 6 feet away from post number 3, respectively, and running parallel to existing fence. The posts should also be 24 inches away from existing fence line.

Repeat procedure for fence posts number 7 and 8 using post number 6 as a base guide for the other side of the fence. You should now have a rectangle shape of posts surrounding the 2-foot gap in the fence line.

Stretch the barbed wire between posts starting at approximately 4 feet 6 inches high. Ideally, a four-wire fence will provide strength and stability for long term use. Attach the wires to the posts, leaving a 2-foot gap humans can walk through, but livestock, with their long spines, cannot. The final shape is a three-sided rectangle with the fence continuing from the gap.


  • In choosing your location, avoid high traffic areas such as roads and highways. Occasionally, one curious cow will figure out how to "escape." However, most cows who enter the first half will not try to go around the second half as all they see is more fence and getting caught on the barbs.


  • Use care in working with barbed wire.

    Wear goggles and gloves at all times.