Calf catcher .......... anybody using one?

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Calf catcher .......... anybody using one?

Apr 19, 2019 | 16:11 1 Looking at getting or building a calf catcher to mount on a quad or gator to use for tagging calves. Generally we go with two people and one catches the calf to tag, band, and needle it while the other protects you from the momma. My folks are getting old enough that they’re not comfortable doing either job anymore and my wife’s back has been really bad lately so we’re looking to make it a one person operation. Looking for opinions from someone who has one and how they like/ dislike them.

Got 80 on the ground and today is our start day according to the calendar which cows never follow anyways. Hope everyone else’s season is going good.

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Apr 19, 2019 | 22:33 2 I use one that I built it works good in open areas best to tag the calves 1st or 2nd day after that they get harder to catch. The quad will be less nimble with the extra weight and side draft of the calf catcher. Reply With Quote
Apr 19, 2019 | 22:44 3
Quote Originally Posted by DaneG View Post
I use one that I built it works good in open areas best to tag the calves 1st or 2nd day after that they get harder to catch. The quad will be less nimble with the extra weight and side draft of the calf catcher.
I was thinking about the side draft and if that’s a real big issue or not. We could either put it on a 400 Yamaha quad or gator with power steering. Do you have a picture of yours or a design you borrowed off someone else? I see some come with a carrier for the calf and that might be handy for us as we move the pairs to another field after they get tagged which is the day they’re born.

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Apr 20, 2019 | 06:38 4 Been thinking of building one too since I just got my first quad last summer. What I've been thinking is I want a trailed one like the original Soderglen "shark cage" type rather than the attach to the side version. Something that just drops off by pulling a drawbar pin. Was wondering if it would be possible to build a truly trail behind model but to have it like an old small square baler where you put it into work position where it would stick out more to the side of the quad if you follow me. Would need the inside wheel to be fixed but the outside wheel able to swivel. Getting to where we are calving just now involves driving through trees and over rough terrain so the attached to the side style wouldn't work.
I still worry you're a bit vulnerable on a quad with the odd cow. Drove past one the other day just fresh calved that looked like she wanted to join me on the quad so I just left it untagged! Reply With Quote
Apr 20, 2019 | 08:05 5 This the one I patterned mine from https://safetyzonecalfcatchers.com/ it works good but I have quit tagging calves at birth so it hasn’t been used for 2yrs, I rfid tag at branding all my cows are pastured together so dangle tag Id isn’t important. If the cows don’t know which calf is hers she gets a ride to town. Reply With Quote
Apr 20, 2019 | 11:52 6 Did build one when I had my knee replaced...used for 2 years, then the last couple of calvings just the tow behind weigh scale. When I was younger, nothing seemed to bother me..just do it...even if a girl pawed, I would just growl at her and tell her to f off...but as I get older, I am much more of a chicken shit. Had about 4 calves I didn't do last year...either too fast or didn't like the look of mamma....and those I tagged when I vaccinated, then would cross reference when I saw them sucking. Like DG said,,,,if she don't know her calf, time to go to town.
If I still didn't do a bit of the purebred thing, think I would just leave alone and tag when vaccinating before going to breeding pasture.
Early tagging does help if your are splitting up for different pastures.
Did a beside quad...ball on front of quad and ball on hitch. Think more maneuverable when catching calves...and you are stepping right into cage as opposed to getting off and walking back. Hooking on and off was pretty simple...or buy an older quad just for calf cage.
Like many things, you don't know you need one until you need one, then its too late.... Reply With Quote
Apr 22, 2019 | 16:23 7 Thanks for all the replies 👍

We would leave it mounted on a unit for the season so ease of mounting wouldn’t be an issue. Also we move the pairs out as they’re born so have a calf “ holder” in the back might work on a good chunk to lead the momma out the gate. The calves get tagged before they’re 18 hours old just to keep confusion down. Just found an extra calf this morning and not sure if it’s a twin or abandoned. Currently all cows have a calf so an extra one is a good problem to have I guess.😎

Hit the 20% done mark and +20*c today which is two reasons to be happy. 😉 Reply With Quote
Apr 22, 2019 | 17:40 8 Something to consider woodland - instead of moving pairs out how about moving the breds out instead? We've used this modified Sandhills model for about 15 years now and swear by it. Once you get as many pairs as you want in a group calved just call the breds to the gate and 90%+ will be through before the first pair gets there. Keeps your pairs sorted in tight age groups which prevents mixing old calves with young and also keeps your calving cows always on clean, uncontaminated ground. Saves ever moving fresh calved pairs too. Works great on our banked grass situation anyway. Reply With Quote
Apr 23, 2019 | 06:10 9 We picked up a calf catcher this winter for that I found on Kijiji.. it is a Soderglen Shark cage. I liked the design of it as I can unhook it in 30 seconds if need be, as far as safely goes we still are possibly dancing around the SXS with the cow but I'm pretty confident it will work ok. Seem to be having troubles posting pictures so this might not work so well ?
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Apr 23, 2019 | 06:17 10 Here is the other Name:  IMG_5346.jpg
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Apr 23, 2019 | 06:38 11 I still like the Soderglen design - looks simple but strong. Bigger wheels than some of the side mounted versions have and with the catching door that opens up it looks less likely to get damaged on rough terrain that the open forward, vertically mounted type. Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2019 | 07:19 12
Quote Originally Posted by grassfarmer View Post
I still like the Soderglen design - looks simple but strong. Bigger wheels than some of the side mounted versions have and with the catching door that opens up it looks less likely to get damaged on rough terrain that the open forward, vertically mounted type.
We used it yesterday for the first time on a cow with twins... worked great on rough pasture plus had room to move the twins back to a holding area. It will take some time to get used working with this outfit but I can definitely see the benefits, the cow was able to come up and sniff her calves and not be alarmed and both my wife and I felt safe when working on the calves(not having to look over your shoulder every other second) Reply With Quote
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