Gate Latch

During the very cold weather last month, we moved the rest of the goats into the new goat barn. They inhabited the large center aisle of the barn for over two weeks and were moved back to the big pen as soon as it warmed up.

We planned the center aisle for this purpose - as extra housing if needed - and much thought went into the details. There is a 10-foot gate along one of the long sides. The gate didn't have a latch yet, so we closed it with baling wire. It took time to wire it shut, and was even more difficult if we were carrying a bucket or something. During the first few days Wish got loose several times while we were going through the gate, pushing her way past us as we tried to juggle whatever we were carrying and to close the wire.

The gate itself is perfect and works just like I planned, but the method of closing it wasn't working.

So, hubby designed this gate latch. It's simple but very effective, and it's fast and easy to use, even if you are carrying something.

It swings up and down so it's fast to latch or unlatch. It's heavy and high enough so the goats can't push it up and unlatch it. It's not pretty, but it sure works. All it took was three scraps of 2x4.

The cross-piece still needs to be sawn to fit. It isn't pretty, but it sure works.


  1. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Where's the "Like" button? Nearly everything on our farm is "built-to-suit". It's rarely pretty, but it works. Most of our gates are wired shut too. Our farm is setup to keep animals in, not necessarily to let people in, haha.

  2. Great idea and it looks so simple. The only thing I wonder about....our goats would push on the bottom of the gate and get it open with only the latch at the top??

  3. I worry about anything new with my goats too. They are intelligent critters, and sometimes they're just lucky. But this has turned out to be, for us, goat-resistent. (Never say goat-proof!)

    The gate is 4 feet tall, plus 6" at the bottom, so the latch is high. They could only reach it with their noses, and it moves in an arc, rather than just up and down. The latch, made with 2x4's, is heavy. It is fastened to the post tightly; it doesn't swing easily and takes some muscle on our part. The crosspiece is nailed in such a way that it pulls the two "legs" in slightly; they are not perfectly parallel to each other, and they squeeze the gate, again not swinging freely up and down. So far, it's working!