As a farmer or small holder, you know that handling cattle can be a daunting and risky task. However, it’s a crucial part of the farming process that needs to be done properly. One of the safest and most effective ways to handle cattle is by using a crush. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why a crush is important, the different types of crushes we stock at Meirion Davies, and how to use them safely and effectively to handle your cattle.
Why Use a Crush?
A crush is a robust and sturdy piece of equipment that is designed to hold and restrain cattle safely and securely. It is a vital tool for any cattle farmer because it allows you to carry out various tasks on your cattle, such as health checks, vaccinations, and dehorning, with ease and efficiency. Furthermore, a crush provides a secure working environment for both the cattle and the operator. By using a crush, you can minimize the risk of injury to yourself and your cattle, making the handling process safer and less stressful for all parties involved.
Different Types of Crushes
There are different types of crushes available here at Meirion Davies. Each type of crush has its own unique features and design, allowing you to find one that suits your specific needs and budget. When selecting a crush, it’s crucial to consider the size and breed of your cattle, as well as the frequency and type of work that will be carried out in the crush.
A well-designed cattle crush will keep the animal’s movement to a minimum, increasing their safety during procedures. A great entry-level crush in stock here at Meirion Davies is the IAE Crusader Plus, which is designed to cater to both dairy and beef cattle. It comes with a manual, lever operated yoke, and fully sheeted bottom side panel on either side, providing ample grip for the cattle. The ratchet-style rump bar ensures the cattle remain forward in the crush, and a rear gate is fitted as standard. The crush also has pallet fork lifting points welded to the top horizontal rails, allowing for easy transport.
Other great options to consider are the Chieftain Squeeze Cattle Crush and Chieftain Suckler Crush which come with a range of features, including a super quiet design with rubber bumpers to minimise sound and vibration from moving parts. They also have four side doors on each side of the crush, providing substantial access to the animal’s flanks, and a quick squeeze release handle on either side of the crush for ease of use.
For animals handled less frequently, the IAE Saracen Squeeze and Saracen Suckler Crushes use a self-closing and automatic yoke which is activated by the forward movement of the animal trying to fit through the visible gap between the yoke arms. Like the IAE Chieftain Cattle Crushes, they have an all-round super quiet design featuring rubber bumpers to minimize sound and vibration from moving parts. Both crushes come with squeeze controls on both sides, allowing for any hand operation, and have four side doors on each side of the crush, providing substantial access to the animal's flanks. The floating panel design increases operational efficiency, and a ratchet-style rump bar is provided for keeping cattle forwards in the crush.
How to Use a Crush Safely and Effectively
Before using a crush, it’s essential to ensure that it is set up correctly and securely. This involves checking that the bolts are tightened, the gates are latched correctly, and the crush’s mechanics are working correctly. When handling cattle, it is important to note that they are powerful and unpredictable animals. Safety measures, therefore, need to be put in place to ensure the safety of all involved. Once the cattle are in the crush, you should not leave them unattended and ensure that the head gate is securely latched before carrying out any tasks.
In conclusion, using a crush is an essential part of handling cattle safely and effectively. It provides a secure environment for both the cattle and the operator, reducing the risk of injury and making the handling process less stressful for all parties involved. By selecting the appropriate type of crush and following the correct handling techniques, you can ensure that your cattle are safely and efficiently handled. For more information on our range of crushes, feel free to give us a call or come and see us at Meirion Davies.