Businesses of Agriculture Ranch Rawhide Portable Corrals 3-8-19
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From founding to today, convenience and ease of use are the key features that Rawhide Portable Corrals products and services offer in farming and ranching.

“We have revolutionized grazing on pastures and feed stalks by allowing cattlemen to utilize any and all available feed sources,” said Mary McDonald, co-owner of Rawhide Portable Corrals in Abilene, Kan.

She noted the portable corrals have also provided a convenient yet dependable facility to gather and work cattle on-site.

Plain and simple, the highlights of their Rawhide Processor Advantages are listed as: One person, no lifting, 10 minutes. This relates to the ease of set-up, as one person can set the system up in 10-15 minutes. There’s also versatility — you gather, sort, process and load all with one unit. There’s no need to haul catch pen, tub and alley, squeeze chute or loading a chute to do the job, explained McDonald.

“Also, the quality of construction is second to none, and the strength and durability is above par,” McDonald added.

Particularly helpful for ranchers is the permanent adjustable alley, which allows for working cattle on-site. The options of the head gate and hydraulic squeeze on the alley make the processor very close to a squeeze chute.

Another benefit of the Rawhide Portable Corral is it requires less labor for set-up.

“Also, ranchers have the ability to take it anywhere, and specifically, take the corral to the cattle — not the cattle to the corral,” McDonald said.

With 27 employees, the company builds eight Rawhide Corrals each week.

The company’s history is fascinating for farmers and ranchers, as well as those in the rodeo business. Mary’s husband John McDonald is a cowboy who had a trailblazing idea and worked hard to make it a reality.

“He is not an engineer by trade, yet he has continued to improve the Rawhide Corrals over the last 17 years,” Mary said.

John gained his knowledge of working cattle mostly in the rodeo world.

“He set up for rodeos and bull ridings all over the United States for televised events in indoor arenas,” she said. “The equipment and pens had to be stout and dependable. He was able to use this knowledge to make catching and working cattle much more user-friendly, not to mention safer for all involved.”

She said John knew he wanted the corral to be easy to haul, and be able to drive through it with a pick-up, luring the cattle. He was also intent on offering multiple pens for sorting, as well as having man-pass gates for safer and easy access for ranchers on both sides of the pen. By definition, a man pass allows a person working with livestock to lean and quickly slide through and out, making a quick exit from the pen to avoid injury.

McDonald’s corrals help make working with cattle easier to negotiate, and more enjoyable.

Amy Hadachek can be reached at

Amy Hadachek is a freelance writer who lives on a farm with her husband in North Central Kansas. She's also a meteorologist and storm chaser. Amy can be reached at