Sunday, 9 April 2017

Our Calf Catcher

We have great cows,
but occasionally one will be overcome with the "crazy momma cow syndrome", and she will do everything in her power to stop you touching her calf.

These antics keep you on your toes,  sometimes it entails diving behind a tree, or playing
 ring-a-rosies around a bale or even, if the tractor is handy, diving under to avoid being stomped on.
All good fun, until the day you get caught.

So, Eric ( he is an insurance agent) decided instead of doing disability insurance on me, he decided that a calf catcher would be the solution, as most of the time it is just me alone working with these new born calves and dealing with their moms.

The calf catcher is designed to catch the calf, contain it, so that you can safely work on the calf (tagging, vaccinating, castrating etc) without momma trying to kill you.

So, here are some pictures and videos to highlight how it works. This is our first design, and having used it a few times, I can see where a few improvements can be made. 

The front end.
The gate opens in the front and you can guide the calf in. Once the calf is in, stomp on the brakes and close the door.

 The gate works best with newborn calves, the quad just  chases older speedier calves away. As we tag within 2 days this works pretty well.



The other side.


The back side has a release gate. So, once you have done all you need to do with the calf, you can
"eject" him out the back, and he can go back to his momma.



This is the gate at the back that flaps open to release the baby beast.


The"box" area. Onece the calf is inside the catcher, you can place him in this back are to help confine him while you tag or vaccinate. It is also super handy if you need to transport baby and the mom. If the calf is in this box, the mom can see, hear and smell the baby and as you slowly drive off she will follow. We moved a cow and calf this way a quart mile from the calving pasture to the barn.


From the quad, you can step directly into the catch are, keeping you safe from the mom.






Here are a few video clips that Eric took of us using the catcher.

video


video


video

1 comment:

  1. I've recently seen a couple of these for sale, but you say you made your own so I'm wondering what the materials ended up costing?

    ReplyDelete

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