Check out Dr. Temple Grandin's brand new book:
Don't be put off by the title! She is very practical and has more experience of designing livestock housing/handling facilities than anyone else on the planet...
Temple Grandin, one of the most influential advocate of humane livestock treatment, has spent her life developing stress-free facility designs and standards of humane management. Grandin is a voice of reason explaining the benefits of keeping animals calm through every phase of their lives - benefits that include safer working conditions, higher yields of marketable meat, better-quality meat, and, of course, more humane conditions for the animals.The first half of "Humane Livestock Handling" reviews the natural behaviour and temperament of cattle. Working with the animals' natural instincts, Grandin describes low-stress methods for moving cattle on pastures, paddocks, and feedlot pens. Slow, controlled movement reduces stress and fear, resulting in calmer, healthier cattle. They eat better, are less likely to become sick, and do not run into fences and gates, injuring themselves and bruising the meat. Calm cattle are also far less likely to injure the humans working with them.The second half of the book is packed with construction plans, diagrams and detailed designs for putting Grandin's ideas into practice. Featuring plans for everything from gate latches to chutes, corrals, and sorting pens for full-scale facilities, there are designs that can be used in both large and small operations. In fact, half of the cattle in North America are already handled in systems designed by Grandin, and the demand for humanely processed meat continues to grow. Temple Grandin's systems are quickly becoming the industry-wide standard.