Wildlife Escape Ramps

About Water Trough Escape Ramps

Diagram of Animal Escaping Water Trough

Diagram of Animal Escaping Water Trough

Concept - The idea of an escape ramp is simple. Trapped animals generally swim around the perimeter of a trough, looking for a way out.  The escape ramp is located to intercept the critter and give them a means of escape.

General Ramp Requirements - NRCS Standard 614/645 requires the installation of an escape ramp in watering facilities.

Materials - The material used for their construction range from wood, metal, fiberglass, cement and plastic.

Configuration - It is also very important to consider the following:

  • Ramp should fit close to the sidewall of the tank to prevent animals from getting trapped behind the ramp.

  • The ramp should extend down to the very bottom of the tank. A large percentage of small animal drowning occur when the water level is only a couple of inches. If they can't reach the ramp, they aren't getting out. Give the critters a way out.

  • Maximum ramp slope is 45 degrees. Minimum 30 degrees.

  • Have a traction surface.

  • Wings should touch the sidewall to prevent animals from becoming trapped behind the ramp.

  • In large tanks ramps should be located every 30 ft.

Optional Attachment Straps


These optional attachment straps create a "hanger" for the ramp, allowing installation without drilling holes into the your trough.  They work well on aluminum, plastic or concrete troughs.

How To Build Your Own Ramp - We have links to steel mesh escape ramp plans in our Publication section. The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory has a good set of plans for a metal mesh ramp. Otherwise, we have escape ramps for sale with bulk price discounts.

Rainmaker Escape Ramp Installed in Trough

Rainmaker Escape Ramp Installed in Trough